ASG has been reaching out to female players across the airsoft community to discover more about what it’s like for a woman stepping into a male-dominated scene for the first time. We spoke to Ghillie Sniper Girl, co-founder of @ukaladies_ and talked about her airsoft journey, what she enjoys about airsoft and the experiences and challenges she’s faced as a female player…
Hello Ghillie Sniper Girl, thanks a lot for talking to us today. First off, can you tell us the story behind how you got your callsign?
Sure, the Ghillie Sniper Girl tag comes from a shot I took with a sniper rifle at around 80m, the people around me were saying: “Did you just hit that?” and I was like “Yeah…I think so!”. In the aftermath of that shot, among the banter and excitement, the callsign was born, and it soon stuck.
Talk us through the first time you played airsoft and how long have you been playing?
Well, my first ever game was at a CQB site at night, and I just didn’t like it – in fact, I was tempted to not go back. I was then persuaded to give a woodland game a go, but I just couldn’t run around with an AEG all day, so I gave sniping a go and I just fell in love with it. For me, seeing the BB fly through and hit the target is really satisfying. I soon discovered airsoft had a very special community and I couldn’t get enough of it. 4 years on and I’m still playing.
We’re pleased to hear you stuck at it, tried daytime events, and then specialised with a sniper to really kickstart your airsoft journey. Did you know much about airsoft prior to playing and what first attracted you to it?
It was just something completely new to me. I hadn’t heard about it before. I didn’t realise you could get guns that were so realistic yet weren’t actual guns. The community spirit has also played a significant part in my enjoyment.
What’s your preference, CQB, Speed Soft, Milsim or do you simply turn up at your local game site and go with the flow?
Personally, it’s local game sites all the way for me. Although, I am quite interested in dialling things up to eleven and trying MilSim. One day I’ll give it a go, I’m sure.
Each player is different, some think daytime play is best, while others prefer using darkness to their advantage in night games for a totally different experience. What’s your preference?
As I’ve mentioned earlier, I played at night in my first airsoft game, and it was clear very early on that it wasn’t for me. I definitely prefer playing in daylight, it’s more forgiving and you can get the lay of the land far easier in my opinion.
Have you ever had one of those ‘pure adrenaline, heart-in-the-mouth moments’ playing airsoft? Absolutely any situation that you’ll that you’ll never forget.
There was a time where I was wearing my ghillie suit, laying down in the open, the enemy team was attacking. I was just lying there poised, I had five or six enemy players within metres of me, slowly walking past. I could literally hear my heartbeat in my ears. It was ‘intense’ to say the least.
That does sound intense and reminds us of off the classic moment in Call of Duty Modern Warfare, hiding in the grass, with enemies’ mere inches away, slowly walking past. Do you have an airsoft moment that was rather embarrassing that you’d be willing to share?
Yeah, definitely – I can instantly recall the time I fell over in a mud puddle and dropped a grenade close to my feet, I didn’t do that again, I can assure you.
Another time, I was hidden behind an enemy player, as I sneaked up behind them, I slowly drew my pistol, only to realise I hadn’t even loaded it that morning. Oh, the shame.
Okay, let’s put those bad memories to one side and instead focus on your finest moments, such as your best ‘kill’ or shot, or perhaps your longest killstreak?
There was this one time when we were defending a bridge, and there was an enemy stationed around 80+ metres from me. I really didn’t think I could make the shot and I tried a couple of times, while my teammate relayed back to me as each shot fell way short. Then by chance, a gust of wind gave the final shot some extra push and clipped the enemy player on the leg… that was one of the longest shots I’ve ever made.
In terms of style of play, would you say you are you a lone wolf, or do you prefer safety in numbers and to ‘squad-it-up’?
Given the role of a sniper, I would have to say lone wolf. It’s hard not to enjoy the patience and the stealth that’s required.
Of course, a player’s gear is their personal preference, some go for the classic AEG and side arm combo, others swear by the sniper rifle – what’s you preferred loadout?
Well, I’m very much into having a sniper as my main weapon, obviously – and I also carry two pistols for when the dynamic of a game changes and I find myself in a tricky, close-quarters situation. So yeah, that’s my usual loadout.
Have you tried or successfully modified an airsoft gun?
I have a project going on now with a second-hand gun that’s in a bit of a sorry state. I’m hoping to put in custom parts and really take it to the next level.
What’s the farthest you’ve ever travelled to play a game?
I have travelled to Turkey for a game. I also travel to Newcastle quite often which is around a 4-hour drive for me.
Do you think male players can underestimate your abilities as a woman airsoft player?
Yes – 100%! Since the day I started I have received numerous sexist comments playing airsoft, because I am a girl some automatically think I can’t play. I would say it changes depending on who you are with and what kit you have, but you still get the impression you are being judged.
Most sites we know of are genuinely good-natured for all, but at times you get instances of players showing a lack of respect to others – male or female. Have you ever experienced any hardships due to the fact you are a female player?
I’ve turned up to sites where I am the only female player, and you almost feel like you must prove yourself. I can hear comments when I get put on a team full of guys. I have been accused of not taking hits and the ‘SHE’ card comes out, ‘she isn’t taking HER hits’
What would you say to girls who are perhaps interested in airsoft but are still unsure about taking the plunge?
I would say just try it, turn up, asks questions. Approach other female players or a marshal. Just give it a go… it’s better to have tried it than have not tried it at all. And really, don’t let the fact it’s mainly full of boys put you off. It can be competitive at times, but fundamentally the majority are there to have fun.
Is there anything you would do differently if you were able to start your airsoft journey over again?
I wouldn’t do much differently other than I would ask more questions. I have learnt more from members of the community just by asking them and wish I had asked them sooner.
If you could change one thing about airsoft, what would it be and why?
Airsoft is such a small sport in the grand scheme of things and there seems to be a perception of the companies garnering a sense of loyalty with groups of people within the community. I feel it would be better to not have such loyalties to certain brands, and just be more open to trying new things and products.
In 2022, what do you think is the biggest challenge for a newbie stepping into the hobby for the first time, and how does that compare for a female player?
From what I’ve seen personally, I’d say the biggest thing is players trying to figure out what equipment (gun) to get due to all the options and sifting through people’s mixed reviews on each one. Also, I feel if a girl was to ask for help with this, they would be given a more ‘effeminate’ choice of weapon – smaller pistol or ‘girl friendly’ weapon skin, for example.
Once again, thanks for talking to us Ghillie Sniper Girl, it’s been a pleasure. Do you have any shout outs you’d like to give and where can woman get in touch with you if they want advice about getting into airsoft?
If you’re a female wanting to get into airsoft, I would recommend checking out @UKAladies.😉