So you’ve had a look online or in store, seen a few videos and decided that airsoft might be the right thing for you. So where do you start?
Finding a site
Finding an airsoft site can be as easy as going on Google Maps and searching for airsoft sites, don’t worry there isn’t any hidden membership or secret password, it's just as easy as clicking and booking a day! You can choose either Rent kit which will usually provide you with a rifle, BBs and face protection commonly in the form of a Paintball Mask or you can bring your own equipment in which case you will be responsible for your own Face Protection, Airsoft Guns and BBs.
Can I go on my own?
Yes of course airsoft sites have no minimum requirement to sign on and often rely on solo players to help fill in the gaps from big groups not wanting to swap sides. Of course going with friends is a great way to get some enjoyment but remember no one is there to look down on you and many airsofters are welcoming of new players in the hobby so long as you follow the rules correctly. Just make sure you take your hits and listen to advice and you might just find yourself a group!
What happens before a game?
Before you start the game you’ll be provided with a ‘Safe Zone’ this is the no fire zone and will usually have rules against loaded magazines in guns or firing guns while in the zone as this is the area where most people will not have protection on. You’ll be given a safety brief that will cover some basic rules such as:
- The Safe Zone area where it is and what is not allowed in it (I.E. Loaded Guns)
- When you are hit you raise your hand and yell “HIT!”
- All Airsoft Guns you are using in a game must be Chronographed before the game and you must inform a marshall if you want to change BBs or use another Gun
Obviously some sites will have specific rules such as Knife Kills or Binary Triggers but these can vary depending on what type of site it is and the marshalls running, If you have any disabilities such as epilepsy this would be a good time to mention it to one of the marshalls so that they can inform all the players about strobing lights or any other changes that need to be made to accommodate you.
How do you Chronograph?
Before any game starts the Marshalls of the site will Chronograph every Airsoft gun you are planning on using, some sites may allow you to Chronograph later on during the day but it’s best to get it all done in the morning to avoid issues. You will let the Marshall know what BBs you are using or they will make you use 0.2g BBs either way you will shoot through the Chronograph and as long as your Gun is under the limit, usually around the 350 FPS mark, then you will be given an indicator that your gun has been Chronographed in the form of a sticker or Zip Ties depending on the site.
What should I wear?
Whether you are bringing your own equipment or are renting from the site what you wear in airsoft is very important to how you are going to look and feel. Go to an outdoor site in a t-shirt and shorts don’t be surprised when you come home looking like a human dot to dot. When starting out it’s best to just follow a few tips:
- Never cheap out on eye protection! - Always a good word of advice this is the most important thing in airsoft is keeping your eyes covered BBs have been know to blind so make sure you’ve got glasses that are either ANSI or EN 166 rated these are able to withstand loads more impact than a BB would provide giving you the best chance of shaking off an unlucky hit
- Keep it covered - The more of your body is covered the less a BB will hurt when it hits there. This goes for Face and Body. It's always best to wear an extra layer if you can to avoid any nasty stings.
- Keep it concealed - No ones going to want you in their squad when you look like a big target and they blend in with the bushes. It’s best to bring some form of military camo, British MTP and DPM can be found cheap on most military surplus websites and works really well for blending into the British countryside. If you don’t want to go down the route of looking like you walked straight out of the latest Call of Duty just stick to a dark hoodie to avoid anything too bright.
- Good Footwear is key - Regardless of what you wear above you should really think about what you're going to wear on your feet. Running around all day in mud and sweating is going to be hell on your feet unless you keep them protected. Ankle supporting boots are brilliant but also walking shoes can work just as well to avoid trainers unless you want to get your brand new Nikes ruined.
- Hydrate - Like with any sport keeping hydrated is key bring a large bottle of water and keep it at the safe zone to drink between games or invest in a hydration pack for your equipment for quick relief between firefights.
So now what?
Have fun! Airsoft is a sport all about enjoyment so get out there and start shooting before you get shot and remember if you need any advice or just want to stock up on some essentials before your first game come over to Drapers Gun Centre Nottingham and ask to see our airsoft collection.