St. Rose-based NOLA Paintball offers fun for all ages

Open around just 12 months, St. Rose-based NOLA Paintball is the greater New Orleans area’s newest paintball park.

Located at 10390-D East Airline Highway in St. Rose, the facility is run by owner Ryan Chartin. Chartin is a 20-year paintball enthusiast who also runs Pelican Paintball Pro Shop & Repair in Metairie, where he sells pro-style paintball gear, equipment and supplies, while also offering repair services.

“Owning the pro shop for approximately three years pretty much gave me the opportunity to open the [paintball] field,” Chartin said.

NOLA Paintball’s two-acre field in St. Rose features three different fields – a concept field, a speedball field and a jellyball field. While paintball has traditionally only been available to kids beginning at age 10 and up, jellyball is a relatively new type of play designed with younger age groups in mind.

“Jellyball is for kids five and up,” Chartin said. “The jellyball has a softer capsule that is a little gentler on younger kids; it’s a smaller projectile.”

The softer jellyballs are clear, water-filled with no pigments, while a typical paintball is larger and filled with a mix of polyethylene glycol (PEG), other non-toxic material and dye. Unlike standard paintball equipment, jellyball guns have no external canisters and are much lighter, perfect for younger kids. The water-filled jellyballs are lighter, Chartin said, and since they are much smaller “it doesn’t really hurt; little kids can enjoy it without having to worry about getting hit.”

Chartin said with his jellyball field, he’s seen an influx of parents having birthday parties for their children, allowing the parents to actively participate.

“Jellyball is a very, very new thing – but I’ve seen more parties come in and bring their kids that are maybe seven or eight years old, and the parents end up having more fun than the kids; they [all] ended up having a blast,” Chartin said.

Chartin’s other two fields, featuring a speedball field and a concept field, are the traditional paintball field setups. Speedball is the most recognized type of paintball game using inflatable bunkers placed in different configurations on the field to challenge players, requiring team communication, speed and agility. Most tournaments are held on speedball fields.

“[Speedball] is mainstream, what you see on TV – shooting fast, the tournaments; 90% of [how paintball is shown on television] is speedball,” Chartin said.

His concept field, also called a “rec field,” is designed for occasional, recreational players or birthday parties using a different configuration.

Contrary to its name, there is no actual paint in a paintball; industry experts say the “paint” inside a paintball is closer to laxatives than actual paint. Chartin said in prior years paintball has also been misunderstood regarding the “sting” of a paintball. Using proper protective equipment, paintball is a fun and safe sport, Chartin said, and typically does not hurt.

When someone makes a comment about a paintball stinging them, it’s normally because “people either don’t store it properly or it is an older paint, or it’s a cheaper brand of paint,” Chartin said. “A lot of the [paintballs] that I have currently are a lot softer of a shell.”

Paintball is great exercise, Chartin said, similar to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts, which involve intervals and short bursts of speed.

“You’re outside, you’re being active, you’re having fun with it,” Chartin said. “I like promoting [jellyball and paintball] parties because it promotes the kids getting outside and not sitting behind a tablet, gets them interacting with their parents.”

For more information on NOLA Paintball, visit or on their business page via Facebook.


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