Copperas Cove man brings Gellyball to town
By BRITTANY FHOLER
A new entertainment option is available for families in the Copperas Cove area thanks to Central Texas Gellyball.
Owner Michael Aker first opened Central Texas Gellyball on August 30, offering a special event for a birthday party where people could shoot at each other with no mess and no pain, unlike paintball.
Central Texas Gellyball is family-owned and run by Aker and his aunt Peggy. Aker did not create Gellyball, but he became a Gellyball distributor after stumbling across the official Gellyball page on Facebook.
“Hosting the parties out here doesn’t even seem like work,” Aker said. “You’re having as much fun as they are, so it’s really, really cool.”
Unlike paintball, which has longer matches that can be more competitive and also more painful, Gellyball is more casual.
Gellyball uses biodegradable polymer beads, like Orbeez, that expand to 8mm when submerged in water and burst upon impact. They are shot from a battery-powered pistol or rifle. The Gellyball guns are designed to shoot 150 feet per second and up to 13 Gellyballs per second, according to Aker.
Players get the adrenaline rush of chasing and shooting without the painful impact of paintballs that often leave players bruised all over.
Aker said he really wanted to offer an affordable entertainment option for families in Copperas Cove, which is why he keeps his prices low at $25 per person with unlimited ammo.
“It’s not like paintball. It’s not like airsoft,” Aker said. “The closest thing I can compare it to is Nerf. There’s not a winner, there’s not a loser. You’re coming out here having a good time.”
Aker offers two-hour sessions on the weekends where customers can reserve the three small fields and the weapons and ammo for special events like birthdays and other parties. In the two-hour period, the games last a total of five to 10 minutes at the most, allowing for multiple winners by the end of the session.
“When you leave here, you’re just like, ‘That was fun. I had a blast,’” Aker said.
Aker said he won’t do paintball anymore because of how sore he is when the game is over.
“This is family fun at its best,” Aker said. “You get out here and get to shoot your kids, shoot your parents.”
The Gellyball founders wanted an activity that all ages could participate in, Aker said. Because of the low-impact ammunition used, the game is open to just about all ages.
“Between five and 10 is a weird age - the kids want to, but most moms can’t get over ‘Oh my God, They’re going to get hurt,’” Aker said. “They come out here and if they can walk, they can play.”
“My goal is to be able to keep your five-year-old entertained and your grandma if she comes out,” Aker said about the types of games offered with Gellyball.
The one-acre field located in Kempner has three separate areas for playing, with honey barrels, wood pallets and inflatables to offer cover for players.
Central Texas Gellyball will be offering a Zombie Hunt themed night during the last three weekends of October- October 16 and 17, October 23 and 24 and October 30 and 31)- with 50 percent of the proceeds raised going to Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.)
Admission is $7 per person. Each person will receive a Gellyblaster gun with 750 glow-in-the-dark Gellyballs. This is open to participants aged 5-years-old and up, starting at 6 p.m. until dark.
“You get to shoot the zombie, not just be scared by them,” Aker said.
Central Texas Gellyball plans to partner with the Coryell County Rainbow Room in November and with Communities in Schools in December, offering special events like the Zombie Hunt and donating a portion of the proceeds to the organizations.
Central Texas Gellyball also offers Adult Nights on Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The cost is $25 per player and includes unlimited ammo. Participants can bring their own drinks and coolers. Spectators are free to attend.
Aker said that he plans to eventually offer axe throwing for Adult Night and for private parties to coincide with Gellyball.
People can visit the Central Texas Gellyball Facebook page for more information or call 254-278-8386.
The field is located at 420 County Road 3390 Kempner, Texas.