Gel blasting, also known as gel balling, is a tactical game played as a CQB (Close Quarters Battle), involving sticking a bunch of people in an enclosed area and having them shoot at each other.
Other similar games include paintball and airsoft guns.
First popular in China when airsoft guns were banned, gel blasting is now a popular team sport played worldwide, and fast gaining traction in Australia.
After all, what’s there not to like about a fun day out meeting friends and shooting at them?
Part One, The Noob
Gel blasting is a very intense sport, with people trying to shoot you while you do the same to them.
Gel bells hurt way less than other sports like paintball.
Made up of 94% to 98% water, these gel balls are made of an eco-friendly polymer such as sodium polyacrylate, exploding on impact and biodegrading fast.
Running, ducking and crawling through obstacles and around the arena will keep you physically active for hours.
Needless to say, the better physical shape you’re in, the better you will perform. And the more you play, the more exercise you’ll get so that works out great for your fitness!
How does a gel blaster work?
The basic function of a gel blaster is propelling a small gel ball with compressed air.
There are three methods for air compression; gas-powered, powered by electricity from a battery (AEG), or spring powered.
The gas-powered ones use compressed gas, contained in a little gas canister in the magazine with a refillable bottle.
Battery-powered AEG’s compress a spring with a small motor, while springs push the balls in a spring-powered gun.
Both AEGs and spring-powered guns utilize the compressed spring to give the gel ball the velocity.
AEGs are by far, the most common type of gel blaster gun.
So, how do you begin gel blasting?
First off, you’ll need a gel blaster of course, some gel balls and safety goggles.
The only mandatory safety equipment required is eye protection. Even though the gel balls are soft and only weigh 0.02 grams, being hit in the eye is still painful.
You can either purchase your own gel blaster, or try renting a gun in the arena in which you will be playing.
Why get your own gel blaster?
- You can spend as much time as you need with your equipment before going to a game
- In your own backyard, you can have a lot of fun.
- You’re more confident because it’s yours.
- You will already know its limitations, how to aim, and the distance it is accurate to
- You already know how to refill the mag quickly
- It’ll cost you more than a rental gel blaster
- You might get the wrong type of gun for the roles that you like playing
- The gel blaster you’ve chosen might not suit you
Getting an inexpensive, entry-level blaster and starting blasting is a simple and enjoyable way to get into the gel blasting world.
There are affordable combo packs that offer great value, getting you into the sport with minimal financial commitment.
How to choose your first gel blaster?
As a budget first-time buy, you have the JinMing M92 Beretta, a fully automatic gun with gel balls fed by gravity through a hopper attached to the top.
In contrast, most gel blasters are fed from a magazine by a motor.
The JinMing M92 Beretta is available in a 2-pack combo for about $70.
At $35 per gun, you can not expect premium builds and limited upgrade options, but for your first gun, they’ll do the trick and you’ll have fun.
A more extensive one is this family combo deal also by JinMIng, going for $350 a package.
The package includes two M92 Berettas, an M4A1 assault rifle, and a SCAR V2 assault rifle.
Both assault rifles are fully automatic and magazine-fed. Also included in this combo pack are 50,000 gel balls, a practice target, and a couple of speed loaders.
The two assault rifles are of decent quality and can both be upgraded for speed and accuracy with more powerful batteries, stronger springs, metal gears, and hop-ups.
Getting a good quality gel blaster will be more rewarding in the long run once you quickly start to improve and require better performance.
When selecting your first gel blaster, always choose from a trusted manufacturer with a good track record. Also, evaluate:
- Is the performance out of the box acceptable?
- Can you upgrade performance in the future?
- Will it fit accessories?
The manufacturers of gel blasters are usually Chinese, where gel balling became big after airsoft got banned.
Some of the more common brands that are known for their quality blasters are NWell (Newell, Well), LTD/Warinterest, JingJi, CYMA, LeHui and JinMing (JM).
Make sure you are happy with the stock performance of your gel blaster right out of the box so you don’t have to start your relationship with a technical upgrade.
However, when you get into gel balling and start improving, you’re likely to want more performance from your gel blaster so the ability to do technical upgrades is crucial.
Gel blaster accessories come in a wide range. Some improve power and accuracy, some provide lighting, or some gel balls even light up in the dark. And face it, some gun accessories just look way cool!
Having a gel blaster that these accessories can be attached to will increase the likelihood of a long and meaningful relationship with your new blaster.
Kinds of Gel Blaster
There are all kinds of gel blasters from handguns and sniper rifles to submachine guns or assault rifles.
As a beginner, the best choice for a steady companion blaster is a submachine gun (SMG) or an assault rifle.
They are the bread and butter of the game and there will always be a place for them in every team.
The main differences between an SMG and an assault rifle come from them being replicas of the original guns.
A submachine gun uses handgun ammo and an assault rifle shoots rifle ammo that has a longer range of doing some damage.
A submachine gun has a shorter barrel than the rifle and is more effective at closer range. Since the bullets are smaller, the magazine is smaller.
When a gel blaster is a smaller gun, it sacrifices accuracy and range and might have fewer gel balls in the magazine but it also allows for more agile movements for the player.
Many of the gel blasters can fit a drum magazine that holds heaps of gel balls. Have a browse at some drum magazines here.
Choosing Gel Blaster For A Beginner
Choose the right gel blaster as your first one so you don’t have to buy a new one every time.
So, what is vital with the initial gel blaster if you want it to survive your better skill set in the future?
- Ready to rock out of the box with no need to reassemble it at arrival.
- Good quality, strong build that won’t fall to pieces after repeated use.
- Readily available spare parts, as all things will break if used enough.
- Easily upgraded to accommodate for your growing mad skills.
There are a multitude of gel blasters to select from that are suited for a first-time gel baller.
Vector v2 by LeHui
This submachine gun comes with a unique design and is made out of sturdy nylon.
The design has required a non-standard solution for the gearbox, although the components inside are standard, making it easy to upgrade and service.
It ships with an 11.1v battery, which is more than enough and probably doesn’t have to be upgraded.
Out of the box, it delivers 15 rounds per second at 220 feet per second, with an electronic fire selector that lets you choose single, burst or automatic fire.
It also comes with a flashlight and a laser sight. Transporting the Vector is easy, it’s only 55 cm long with the buttstock folded, so it’ll fit in most bags.
The Vector can take a drum magazine to increase the capacity from the stock mag’s 150 rounds to 800 to 1,000 rounds.
The Vector V2 is an excellent choice for a beginner; it’s simple to use and will last long if treated and maintained well. Check out the Vector V2 here.
MP5 by LTD/Warinterst
The MP5 is a solidly built submachine gun with a nylon body built to last.
It comes with metal inner and outer barrels, metal gears and silver wiring. Also included is a metal, in-barrel, hop up and a drum magazine holding around 300 gel balls.
It will hit accurately up to 20 meters, has a rate of fire of 19 rounds per second, with the velocity of 250 feet per second.
Also with a 11.1v battery, that’s one thing that doesn’t have to be upgraded.
The MP5 has 14 mm reverse thread on the end of the barrel for attachments and a pretty cool flashlight can be a replacement handguard.
You can find the MP5 by LTD here.
SLR CQB by JingJi
This SLR CQB (Close Quarter Battle) is a strong construction made of solid nylon.
The folding buttstock has a velcro brace so you can strap it to your forearm, allowing you to run around spraying gel balls while still having one arm free.
The stock performance is great, firing at a velocity of up to 240 feet per second.
The rate of fire is about 15 rounds per second and the firing distance is around 25 meters.
This assault rifle comes with metal gears, 11.1 volt battery, metal inner and outer barrels and a full-length tactical rail for accessories on top.
This is one of the most common types of gel blaster at the moment with heaps of tactical accessories available if you want to customize it.
Upgrading for higher performance is easy. While most components are standard, the majority of this gun’s parts are already metal and will not require upgrading, so you should be set for a bit.
Get the Jingji SLR-CQB with Metal Gears and start blasting!