History of DoodleBug Sportz

(transcribed from a video)

Danny with Doodlebug here, I have a lot of people ask me about the history of DoodleBug so I figured I will quickly go over it with you.

The first time I played paintball I was, I think, 12 or 13. I wrestled in eighth grade because all my friends wrestled and the season end party was a paintball party. So we went and played paintball with the wrestling team. There was probably 40 or so people who left at probably seven in the morning, but had picked me up and we went and played off of Sultan Basin Road. It was on DNR Land, so Department of Natural Resources. Big old trees, and what not. We played out there, there was all my buddies and what not.

I’ll never forget the first time that I went playing, my buddy Andres, one of my best friends, we were both hiding behind this giant stump. A typical paintball story here, and the coach Brian Elliott, who will say he introduced my family to paintball ’cause he basically did. He had on a bright mask and it was either pink or fluorescent yellow, and he goes running down to flank us, and it was probably like 40, 50 feet from my buddy and I. He shoots at us and you know my buddy, we were both on kind of one knee, like doing a lunge type kneel there, and the paintballs whizz by me and my buddy’s was kind of behind me. My buddy gets hit. I won’t remember the rest of the story because my buddy got hit right in his manhood there, and dropped him to the ground. This was the first time I ever went paintballing, my best friend got hit in his manhood. It was pretty amazing.

After that outing, like I had a blast and everything, it was probably two to three months later, I went to a birthday party with one of my other really close friends, Aaron. We went to his birthday party, there was some Church land that they wanted to go camping on, and we brought out own paintball equipment and went and played. We didn’t have any equipment. My dad went to a local pawn shop or something and he got some Stingray paintball guns, so the super cheap Walmart paintball guns. I remember mine had like the cheapest, probably, I don’t even think it was aluminum, the cheapest barrel but it was this longer barrel with this special little shroud and all the stuff. So I was the typical paintball sniper when we first started. When I got some souped-out Spider One, obviously it was all mechanical. When I first started there really wasn’t electronic paintball guns. You know Tippmann’s, and what not, but it was mostly Autocockers and stuff like that.

So paintballed for my friends birthday and then after that my dad, started taking us back to Sultan Basin Road, and I don’t remember exactly when this all started but we went basically every single weekend. We would go out and we would play off of Sultan Basin Road with other people, and like the friends that we would bring. Like every week my dad would be kind of, I don’t know if he got annoyed, just the way the story’s been told to me and I’ve got to remember it is. We’d go out and play and people would run outta either CO2 or they’d run out of paintballs. They’d run out of something and Sultan Basin Road, it’s a ways out there. Like the closest paintball shop to Sultan Basin, like where we’re actually playing is probably a 20, 30 minute drive into Monroe. It’s probably longer than that actually, but it’s very inconvenient. Like you’re not going to go get stuff and come back.

So my dad ended up purchasing one of those tow-behind travel trailers. He gutted it, you know put bars on the window, like you see at all Doodlebug facilities, and he put paint in it, and he put a CO2 bottle. You know started doing fills, and started selling paintballs. That’s how he started. I think he said he started with like $5,000 when he first got going with it all and again we’d just go play every weekend, and he’d sell stuff as people needed it. That’s how it all got started. Now from there he had a buddy, that did autobody stuff, and had a piece of property up in Stanwood, and so we ran a field.

Well, I wasn’t actually allowed to like really work in the business when I was a kid. My dad, said “No. You need to get a real job,” well not a real job. “A real job’s any job where you get a tax statement at the end of the year,” that’s what my dad’s always told me. So he says, “You need to go and get a job for somebody else. You can work for me, you can help out from time to time and what not but you cannot be working here all the time.” So like literally I’m pretty sure that’s a large portion of the reason why I like doing paintball and want to do paintball stuff is that I just like was plain not allowed to. I would move schools, and do random stuff but I wasn’t allowed to work in the field. So it wasn’t until I think I was in high school, and like I’d already worked at Clyde Revord for a couple of years before I actually started working full-time at the paintball facility.

But long story short as far as the Kayak Point, Woodfield goes, it’s the property we had, I believe it was 10 acres. I think there’s actually three residential lots, that I think were five acres. I could be incorrect on those parts though, don’t quote me on that. But basically we used two of the lots and someone else owned the third lot. They ended up they wanted to build a house on it. My dad has spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to get his Conditional Use Permit to make that into a legitimate place and all this stuff, and it got denied. So he spent a lot of money, just like trying to get it to where he could use that land for a paintball field, and it got denied because the third guy wanted to build a house on the property.

So once that happened my dad said, “This isn’t going to happen to me again. Like it cost a tremendous amount of money and all this work I’ve put in over all these years has kind of gone to waste a little bit.” So he decided he was going to do indoor paintball. You know he can get a commercial building and no one can bug him. It’s easy to get permits for that and everything else. I remember me and one of my other buddy’s that played paintball all the time, we’re both like, “Ah, you’re crazy, no one’s going to what to do indoor,” dah, dah, dah. I think a lot of people told him that.

Like most people that start businesses and do their own thing, he didn’t listen. He was very smart. He didn’t listen to us and I mean look at it now, we’ve been doing indoor paintball for over 15 years at this point. So that’s how we got into indoor paintball, and I am about to pull into where I am going. So I’m going to go. So that’s part of the story for today and I will fill you guys in more, if you ask questions and what not, I will do some of these videos while I’m driving to and from different locations. So thank you. Have a great day.