Category Archives: Germany

Berlin & Munich: Paintball in Germany

I spent just under a month going in and out of Germany (mainly Munich and Germany) and am contemplating moving there in 2013. Heres what I’ve gathered so far on the paintball scenes:

Legal Issues:

I started looking at PBNation for something concrete in English, but a lot of it seems to be a) out of date and b) aimed towards American military personal living “on base” where things appear to be slightly easier with regards to importation etc.  I’ve tried to include as much as I can from talking to locals rather than foreigners living there, and from fields/pro shops themselves


All markers must be under 7.5 Joules force per shot and semi auto only, which translates to a legal field limit of “214 FPS” at fields (wink, wink, nod, nod).  All markers must be sold this way, and have to have a “F” Stamp, along with the calibre, make of marker and dealers stamp on them. I have been told that overseas markers can be given a temporary stamp at events (such as millenium etc) but am unsure how this works.

Paintball is R18, but do not require a permit to use.Air systems need to have the Pi symbol on them and be in test.

When transporting your gear it must be in a locked container, now they are pretty loose about this, and a locked gearback/backpack is fine – as long as it can be locked wherever the marker is stored.
I also understand that paintball is banned in Hamburg, but haven’t got anything to back that up.

The web talks about bans on woodsball/milsim, but I get the idea that that is more misinformation than anything as I see camo gear, tactical gear and markers for sale in shops.  Its more frowned on and referred to as “Gotcha” rather than paintball from what I can tell.  I think its more a case of speedball fields trying to distance themselves as much as possible due to politicians viewing them as potential training grounds  (which is laughable) for potential Neo Nazi movements etc. This is mainly out of the publics/politicians ignorance as opposed to being based on any actual incidents. Paintball was threatened with a ban in 2009, which was later dropped.

Fields:
I checked out a couple of fields when I was in both Munich and Berlin.For Munich the most speedball oriented field was MVP Paintball, which was walking distance from the U6 station “Garing Hochbruck” and apparently open until 11pm, yet was closed when we tried to visit. It still appears to be the best bet for tournament sup air style paintball.

MVP Paintball: Robert Bosche Strasse 12, 85748 Garing, Munchen

Paint Galaxy was reccomended to me as the best place to play in Berlin. The hall was fully astroturfed, and had nets that allowed the field to be split in half for training two teams/groups at once.  Both 3000 and 4500 PSI fills were available, and rentals were Spyders on 47cui HPA air systems.
I was able to train with a few local teams (who train every week after work), who were mainly running drills and scrimmages.  I was able to borrow a marker, and with paint (1000 paintballs) and field fee it came to around $35 Euro.
Paint Galaxy: Buchholzerstrasse 65, 13156, Berlin

Proshops:
I couldn’t find anything obvious in Munich, though I believe that MVP has a small amount of consumables onsite at their field.

In Berlin I was able to find Paint Supply – a fully stocked pro shop literally 2 minutes walk from a train station.  Berlin is definately “paintball friendly”.  I was literally about 30 seconds away from purchasing a “safer” brand air system until I found out that their credit card facilities were literally being installed the next day.  I could see this place becoming a second home if I was living in Berlin. Paint Supply GmbH: Bornholmer Strasse 6, 10439, Berlin – Get off at Schonhasuser on Metro U2

Tournaments:

There are two main tournament series that the Germans are involved in, the most well known is obviously the Millennium Series, which has events in England, France and Germany, and teams participating from all over Europe (and the world).

The other, lesser known overseas series is the DPL, the Deutsche Paintball Liga, which I am told is the largest paintball league in the world, and is definitely the largest in Europe.  The League is affiliated with the EUPBF (as is Millenium) so player/team rankings are all done properly and there is no (or at least very little) sandbagging.  Format is millenium, right from beginner to D1 divisions.

Munich, Germany – Oktoberfest

Finished up the final day in Zagreb and jumped on the train to Munich, Germany.  550KM and an overnight train via Slovenia and Austria, joined in a sleeper cabin with a bunch of Aussie girls about the start their buasbout tour.  Apparently they were staying in a massive tent city, something that I could imagine being pretty messy during the largest beer drinking event in the world.

Managed to organise my last minute accommodation on the floor of kiwi paintballer Liam’s flat in Munich, joined by 8 others (its a 1 bedroom place so it will be cozy!) in the last few minutes of SIM coverage before leaving for Slovenia, as accommodation in a shit hostel was starting at around 200 euro a night on the hostel bookers app (though hostel world was showing 30 euro in the morning – I don’t know what to trust).The trains arrive in Munich at around 6am, and of course shops don’t open until 8am in the station, so it was a case of spending a few hours watching the comatose oktoberfest revilers sleep it off in the station.  Got hold of Liam and managed to negotiate my way through the S-Bahn (Subway) system after some help from israeli tourists regarding tickets (I shouldn’t have bothered, but more on that later) and emerged in Toytown.Liams place was literally down the road from the nearest S-Bahn entrance, making it really easy to find.    I dumped my stuff and we were off for a tour of the city, which turned out to be on Germanys National Holiday – Unification day, which is celebrated in one city each year, turns out this year it was in Munich, so crowds were even bigger than they normally would be during Oktoberfest. Checked out all the major sights such as the Glockenspiel in Marianplatz, which actually moves around like a grandfather clock on a massive scale.  This was really impressive. Crowds were huge and this wasn’t even for Oktoberfest.  Beer tents and people in Leiderhosen everywhere. We ended up in the English Gardens for some beers, chilled in the sun for a while before walking back towards the city.  On the way I saw something that finally explained the person I’d seen on the train in a wetsuit at 6am that morning – remember, Munich is land locked.

River Surfing on the Eisbach turns out to be a popular thing amongst the local surfing crowd, and you scan spot people there all the time surfing on a tiny piece of the river, lining up, jumping in on tiny boards, then bailing… over.. and over again. As we walked back we stumbled upon massive crowds, no this wasn’t Oktoberfest, but German Unity Day, which is this year being celebrated in Munich, Bavaria. Police and revellers were everywhere as people from different parts of Bavaria paraded in their local dress.  Which leads me to, of course, the local dress for Oktoberfest, which we (or at least the guys) didn’t partake in due to the the enormous costs (and ridiculousness of kiwis and yanks wearing them).  It was a great way of spotting the locals and especially Australians.

You can pick the Australians by the fact that they are wearing the costume, but as they say “the cuffs don’t match the collar”.  They end up spending 100-200 Euro on the leather pants, shirt, hat etc, then finish it off by wearing trainers.  Any self respecting German will be wearing proper leather shoes for their Oktoberfest drinking sessions. We waited until the next day to go out drinking for oktoberfest and were told to go to the Hacker tent, which was the “Party” tent that the locals attended (whereas the Hoffbrau tent tents to me more US/AUS tourists and the bad kind of rowdy).   We had to get up at around 7am, for the tent to open at 9:30 am, and to get a decent seat.   To put it in perspective the guys went the next day – a Saturday and didn’t even get in after leaving at 6am.

There are two lots of seats in the tent, the reserved tables on the sites that rotate out and those in the middle of the tent by the band.  These are the best to get, but also the hardest as you aren’t forced to leave then the next session starts.  Luckily for us we scored seats right next to the band, and were there literally from 9:30am – 11:00pm.  Literally a case out Survivor: Oktoberfest – outlive, outlast, outdrink. Beers are around 9 euro each, but expect to get kicked out or never served again if you ask for your change on a 10 Euro note, the tip is assumed, and they staff deserve it considering what they have to go through on an average day (carrying 6-10L of beer at a time, 10+ hours a day to thousands of drunken revellers).  Beers are on average slightly stronger to qualify as an Oktoberfest brew, and come in one size only.  Most of us went through about 5 handles, except for the one who shall remain nameless who thought it was a good idea to stand on the table and skull his, to the cheers of a few thousand people.

Which was of course a great idea, until he comaed out the table.  You see, excessive drunkeness, dancing on tables, and underage drinking are all tolerated at Oktoberfest. There is however one thing that is not tolerated – falling asleep on the table!

To give an idea of how important it is to arrive early – my friend Anna travelled over from Karlsruhe to meet me, and arrived at around 3pm.  She was literally at the front of the queue to get in for 2 hours and kept getting told just 20min more to get in. End result – I ended up bribing the security guard 50 euro to let her jump the queue as without this she’d have never gotten in.

About 130-150 Euro later it was 11pm and time to go home, though in our drunken minds it felt more like 4am.  Locals were passed out all over the place, and well, discretion was the better part of valour.  For me, one day was enough, but I’d definately reccomend visiting Munich during Oktoberfest – if you are planning the following might be useful.

  • Book accommodation REALLY early. It sells out way ahead for anything reasonable, and expect to be woken by drunken people or worse if you are in a hostel.
  • Go in a group, or at least with a few people you know.  This makes it easier to acquire and hold a table. No table/seat = no beer.  That said, keep the group to 6-10 people which is a table size.
  • Expect to spend way more than you budgeted.  Its worth it.
  • Don’t expect it to be like a beer festival where you can sample multiple beers.  You’ll be drinking one brew, and lots of it.
  • If you are dressing up or buying souvenirs  do it before hand, as the shops don’t open until the tents open, and you will lose your spot in the tent.  Guys – just rock the check shirt..
  • Pace yourself, and eat throughout the day, Oktoberfest is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Write down your address, or remember your metro stop so you can get home safely.
  • If you are going to nick a beer mug, be discrete – if the cops catch you its a 50 euro fine.  Our crew of kleptomaniacs turned up at the flat with two after they didn’t get let in the second day.
  • I never said it was a smart idea, but you can usually get away with “riding black”, that is not purchasing train tickets if you are only on local trains.  Just keep an eye out for the DB Bahn staff as its a stiff fine (about 40 euro if you get caught).

Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany

Words don’t do this place justice, only that it is pure, unadulterated evil. The scale of it is massive, and once I got to the crematorium and gas chambers I needed to get out, straight away.  Have never felt like that in a place before.

Getting there is easy, just take the S-Bahn U2 Trains (either to Petershausen or Dachau) and get off at the station, there is a bus that takes you all the way to the camp. You can get there on a Munich XXL trainsport ticket that is 7.5 Euro all day (though I’ve still never had anyone check or ask for my ticket).