Sunyjim's Paintball Club

History - Paintball in London, Ontario

National Survival Game (NSG)
        London Ontario

Paintball started in London Ontario in 1982. This new business venture was started locally by an out of work Ford worker by the name of Steve Ingles. Steve had, I believe, the only NSG franchise in Ontario at that time.  His first field was located out the southwest end of the city, Warncliffe rd. towards Delaware.
   You can read more about this era from James SPUD Botaitis , an "old skool"  player who played pro for 8 years out of the group that was the Unknown Rebels.
  Spud remembers the First Year of NSG:
"There was lot's of interest when NSG opened. Lots of companies bringing their staff out for fun.. or so the boss could see if managers were really leaders or followers.  Steve Ingles milked the Free Press for lots of free advertising since paintball was a novelty in the first years.  Like any business I guess the first year was slower than the 2nd as the word of mouth built up the crowds."  
"My pals Gord and Jim and I worked as referees many weekday games for "company picnics" and the weekends were mostly the rental crowd... so it was quite busy relatively early on. Business went downhill for Steve because he was a bit of a dick as a person, and ran a minimal operation with his field.  He charged maximum money for minimal service, he had no concept of customer service.   The Nelspot and then Splatmaster were also no competition as the other guns started to come out. He was his own worst enemy as the years went on. Soon as Flagswipe opened up he lost all the regulars practically over night."
The first group of regulars at that field banded together under the name of the "The Unknown Rebels" to play Capture The Flag in tournaments under the 15 man team rules of the NSG.   They were invited to the first NSG sponsored North American Championship in New Hampshire in 1983.  The team won the two day tournament and People Magazine hailed the Canadians as the first world champions of the sport. The Unknown Rebels and their offspring continued to intimidate competitors at the NSG championships for several more years, but it wasn't enough to keep this field in business.  Steve was reportedly hard to deal with and the regular players were always looking for alternative fields and equipment dealers. This NSG field serviced the casual rental crowd until about 1988/89.  The start of Flagswipe in 1986 had quickly taken a serious chunk out of Steve's business.







Joe Survival - London Ontario
   Joe Survival was really nothing more than a blip on paintball history. It was a poorly run operation that the paintball playing crowd, that were going to the NSG and later the Flagswipe field would hardly consider.
Glenn and his wife Anita (Logey, Logie?) ran the field, Back in those days the game was a survival game, And then later a paramilitary style capture the flag. All the markers were uncommon even for the time .50 caliber pistols. Cheap knockoffs of the other popular .50 caliber the Crossman 3357
As you can see from the map in the flyer, and the google map below. The first field is Just north west of the new Oxford bridge, right near where Commissioners comes up to meet Oxford out west of the city. The field was within what is now city limits,
that field was closed when the owner of the land sold it for residential development. Sept 1987,  Joe Survival then moved to their newer field which is now the site of Flagswipe outdoor.
The opening of the Original Flagswipe field in 1986 certainly was the death toll for this field. It lasted probably only a few years after they moved in 1987 not able to compete with the better run, and better equipment of Flagswipe.

Matt 'Maverick' remembers...
well, where do I begin. The last time I was at Joe Survival out past Byron was May, 1987. That Sept. I was told that they had moved.. I was never sure where, as I was more interested in Flagswipe and actual 'capture the flag' as opposed to Joe survival. I found the guys at Joe survival very 'anti-Flagswipe' and anti-68 cal. They were convinced that .50 cal was the only way to go, despite being the only 50 cal field left in North America. They focussed on the 'war' aspect of the game more then any other field I've played at. It was mostly 'capture the flag' style games, but they had their own twists to it. They had their own 'mercs' who would play for whoever could bribe them the best, they had these mortar contraptions they'd shoot off towards one base or the other... lots of smoke got tossed.. he was working on 'grenade launchers' when I was there the last time. I just found that Flagswipe was a better option for me. As much as I enjoy the mil-sim experience, Joe survival made it more like 'soldier of fortune'.

                                                                                                            The Location of the Original Joe Survival Field

Superior Firepower, and FLAGSWIPE - London Ontario
Around 1986 Flagswipe was begun as a paintball field by Bill Strocki and was originally out between London and Woodstock. Mike Lukas began Superior Firepower as a PMI dealer, out of his home in St. Thomas and used to sell out of his car at the original field. He and Bill had an understanding, and worked well together promoting the sport. When they moved the field down to Port Stanley, Mike began running more and more of it as Bill was losing interest. Mike bought Flagswipe from Bill some time in the early-mid 90's and began running both out of the Wellington St. Superior Firepower store and at the field. At that time Tim Morris (now owner of the Comic Book Collector) was the manager for the Superior Firepower store. Dwayne Summerhayes (the Current owner of Flagswipe in London, and Revolution in Woodstock and the dealer for PMI Canada East, and previous member of NPPL team Detroit Fusion ) began playing in the early 90's out at the original field, on The Express, and occasionally with the Woodstalkers. The store was moved to Hamilton Road at William, then sometime around 2000, they had relocated again to just down the road at Hamilton and Maitland. By this time Mike Lukas was heavily involved with PMI, and Dwayne also now involved with PMI was running more and more of Superior Firepower running the store part of the Flagswipe field at Hamilton and Maitland eventually if I'm not mistaken buying Superior Firepower from Mike. Sometime around Summer 2001 Superior Firepower slipped into the night, as Dwayne bought the Flagswipe portion of the company and now going under the Flagswipe name exclusively. The store was redesigned, making it much larger,  and the indoor facility renovated. By this time the outdoor field was their current field near Stratfordville East of Aylmer
Thanks to Matt 'Maverick' for major help with the history

 Joe Survival's Second field. Now the site of Flagswipe Outdoor.
Stratfordville outside Aylmer

Adrenaline - London Ontario
Started in 2000 by NPPL tournament player Tom Hack, formerly of Detroit Fusion. Adrenaline was located at it's original location north of London on Highbury Ave at Hwy 7 a nice bushball/scenario field that gave some variety and competition to the paintball industry in London. 
  In 2005 the very successful field and store on Kipps Lane was sold to Greg Muscutt (formerly with Bellamere Country Market here in London), and the field moved to Melbourne road, South West of the city.
  In Tom's Hack's Own words:

   I was an avid tournament player for several years and decided to open up Adrenaline as I saw a need for a choice for London area players.   Flagswipe pretty much had a monopoly on the London market at the time.  I had great success in the paintball tournament scene winning world cup championships in 1998 and 2000 with Detroit Fusion.  Through my involvement in the tournament scene I was able to make many key contacts in the industry.  It was kind of funny as Dwayne Summerhayes (owner of Flagswipe) played alongside me on Fusion in 2000.  He was the field manager for Flagswipe at the time under the ownership of Mike Lukas.  It did create some awkward moments at times as we were both competitors in the business world and also team-mates.   I worked full time at 3M when I started Adrenaline (still do) and looked at it as a little side business in the beginning.   Business soon took off half way through year 2 and I found I no longer had the time required to devote to a professional tournament paintball team and chose to retire from competitions.  By year 4 Adrenaline's rental gun fleet had grown to over 130 markers and in the Summer of 2004 opened up the Adrenaline pro shop on Kipps Lane.  I saw the need once again to provide the customer a choice in London for specialized paintball equipment.  Competition is healthy and it resulted in much cheaper equipment pricing in London.  A store, a paintball field, a full time job at 3M, and a family became allot to handle.  Top that off with some zoning issues and I decided it was time to sell the business.  Greg Muscutt had been a regular customer that year that was just breaking into the local paintball market.  He already had a small rental fleet and a great property out near Melbourne.  I bounced the idea off him about taking over Adrenaline and a few weeks later we had deal.  I went with Greg to walk the new field location and immediately fell in love with it.  I knew it would be perfect for my existing customers and with Greg's easy going likeable personality I would feel good about passing the Adrenaline name onto him.
Thanks Tom for your slice of the history!

Coming soon some older paintball fields;
 "Paintball Image" and "Swypers Paintball", St Thomas
If you know anything about these fields, drop me an e-mail.






Paintball, we came we saw... and SPLAT!