The change from tournament paintball being played exclusively in the woods to almost exclusively in arenas happened almost overnight. From the first NSG (National Survival Game) tournament held in New Hampshire in 1983 through the NPPL (National Professional Paintball League) World Cup in 1996, literally every major American tournament paintball game was played in the woods. It was at the 1996 World Cp that the U.S. paintball world was introduced to Hyperball, a new arena concept that used corrugated drain pipes, now referred to as “hyper-tubes” as bunkers. Hyperball fields were smaller, easier to judge/referee and because they were played in open fields, could finally be filmed and photographed professionally.
But the ’96 World Cup was not the first major event to be played on Hyperball fields. Earlier in 1996, WDP, makers of the legendary Angel paintball gun, created Hyperball and showed it to the world in a seven-man event held in Birmingham, England. The tournament was a great success and Hyperball quickly became the go-to playing field of the major worldwide events. England’s Banzai Bandits won the event and have the distinction of being the first-ever Hyperball champs.
Meanwhile, a few months after attending WDP’s Hyperball Championships Laurent Hamet Adrenaline Games from France, began working on another field concept, Sup’Airball (now referred to simply as “airball”). Like Hyperball, airball fields were smaller, played in open air arenas, easier to spectate and much easier to film and photograph. The big advantage airball had over Hyperball was that it was much easier to transport and set up. All that was needed was a pallet of flattened bunkers that could easily be blown up to Lifesize bunkers with a standard leaf blower. Within a few short years airball overtook Hyperball as the field of choice of all of the major paintball tournament promoters worldwide.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s DYE picked up teams like Team Image, The Family, The Cartel, Aftershock, Baltimore Trauma and Legacy. DYE currently sponsors all levels of tournament teams—Los Angeles Ironmen, Chicago Aftershock, London Nexus, Vision France, Toulouse TonTons, Jungle Boyz Brazil, Tampa Bay Damage and many more.
While Adrenaline Games is still manufacturing airball bunkers and fields, Airups of Gilbert, Arizona has come into their own the past decade as a top manufacturer and supplier of airball bunkers and fields. AirUps line is extensive with all types, styles, sizes and configurations of airball fields and bunkers. Whether you need a single “brick, elbow, Aztek, snake or ’W’,” or you need a complete 2016, 2917, 2918, 2910, or 2020 tournament field, AirUps has you covered. AirUps also makes a zombie line of bunkers and fields, backyard fields, three-man and five-man fields and much more.
AirUps.com was founded by Brent Davis. Before manufacturing paintball bunkers, he owned and operated a successful paintball field in Midland, Texas for three years. All of AirUps’ bunkers are made from Heavy-Duty reinforced Vinyl, with one-and-a-half-inch heat welded seams. They are durable, well-made and among the most affordable airball systems available anywhere.
18109 E Sunnybrook Ln,
Gilbert, AZ 85298