43,000 square feet await airsoft players at Strikeforce Sports' indoor, close-quarters combat field. Once games start, that space starts to feel like an entire city. Foam boards have been transformed to look like buildings of brick and stone. Among them, obstacles such as trash cans and cars are the only things standing between players and their opponents. Strategy plays a key role here, as players choose whether to sneak slowly around corners, go through crawl spaces, or storm in and face their challengers head-on.
Away from the competitive space, Airsoft pistols and rifles, along with other gear, blanket the walls of the onsite pro shop. Here, staffers help players customize their airsoft guns with add-ons, including red dot sights. In addition to restocking their equipment, players can refuel between rounds at the full-service restaurant and sports bar.
Cousins Dean Del Prete and Paul Sattler started playing paintball for fun in 1986. Noticing a lack of places to play or find equipment, the pair took advantage of this business opportunity and founded Cousins Paintball the following year, creating a one-stop shop for players. They started out with the only paintball field on Long Island, and since then, they have grown to encompass 10 New York locations with scenario and speedball fields. Today, teams equipped with full mask and semiautomatic paint markers wander across their 20- to 80-acre spaces, searching for the opposing team's flag. Eco-friendly paint ensures trees do not suffer lasting damage, and themes such as hide-and-seek and cops and robbers add variety to a full day of games.
High-school social-studies teacher Anthony Pennino Sr. played his first round of paintball in 1985. By the following year Tony had gathered 20–30 friends and kin for paintball bouts on his family's private land. As demand for paintball guns and safety gear grew among his brigade of marksmen, he converted his basement into a makeshift store, supplying paintball accoutrement from home until moving into a storefront in 1990. Within two decades Tony and his clan formed the lauded paintball team the New York Dogs, opened their own indoor arena, and eventually combined that arena with their largest store yet.
That facility forms the backbone of Island Paintball, where a sports turf field hosts Model 98–brandishing players. In between games, players can watch other contests from behind the staging area's Plexiglas viewing windows or browse Island Paintball Supplies' gun wall and 12 massive showcases of paintball gear. An in-house gunsmith repairs any malfunctioning guns, which patrons can wield at open-play sessions and private parties.
Obnoxious Paintball offers 25,000 square feet of indoor, climate-controlled splatter heaven, with an X-Ball field (110'x125') equipped with labyrinths of inflatable rubber bunkers for strategy and shelter. Chromatic warriors brandish the exclusive, all-metal Planet Eclipse ETEK3 AM paintball gun, its compressed air tank rapidly ejecting a barrage of kaleidoscopic paint spheres that eliminate opponents from the game after transforming each one into a flesh-and-blood Jackson Pollock piece. Players can bring their own artistic armor or rent masks and chest protectors for $5 each.