ASG reached out to female players across the airsoft community to discover more about what it’s like stepping into a male-dominated scene for the first time. We spoke to airsoft influencer, Vixen_08_a.d.s.u, about her 5-year airsoft journey and the experiences and challenges she’s faced as a female player…
Hello, thanks a lot for talking to us today. First off, we always like to know the history behind a player’s callsign – how did you get yours?
My callsign came from my teammates (ADSU). I joined them a year-and-a-half ago, but they quickly pointed out I needed a callsign. I was the only female – there are 9 of us, I was the 8th member – and there were a few inappropriate suggestions! But, due to my red hair they kind of linked it to foxes and that’s where Vixen came from.
Can you tell us about the very first time you played airsoft and how long you’ve been playing it?
It all stemmed from joining a friend’s paintball day for their birthday, we noticed airsoft and said we should give it go, that was back in 2013. So, I would say it started sometime around then and it spiralled from there. I’ve been hooked and skint ever since.
It’s interesting to hear you got into paintball first and then moved into airsoft. Did you know much about the hobby prior to playing and what first attracted you to it?
The guns are awesome, they look a damn sight better than those paintball guns. So, I would say that’s a big attraction. Also, the adrenaline and rush I get from essentially playing Call of Duty in real life.
So is it CQB, Speed Soft, or Milsim for you, or do you simply turn up at your local game site and go with the flow? What type of games have you played and what’s your favourite?
I’ve not done a Milsim as yet, but I would really love to. It’s just not something I’d like to try on my own, so it’s in the planning stages still. For now I mainly stick to walk on days but switch things up with the style of game I play so it doesn’t get too repetitive.
Each player is different, some like daytime play, while others prefer using darkness to their advantage in night games, supplementing their style of play. What do you enjoy most?
I do love a night game… I don’t have a preference as such, but I do get a kick out of night games, especially at our local site that does a cool Halloween-themed night game.
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 are just so many great experiences I have had over the years I have been playing, it is impossible to pin it down to just one… sorry!
No problem at all, that just means you’re always enjoying yourself which is damn awesome in our eyes. So is there a moment from a game that was rather embarrassing that you’d be willing to share?
It’s a bit of a difficult one for me because I am not easily embarrassed… plus there are just so many of them. It says a lot when all of your friends say ‘be careful don’t fall over’ at the start of every game. I did also fall up a hill once… check me out defying physics! Haha!
Okay, let’s put the embarrassment to one side and instead focus on your best moments, such as your finest ‘kill’ or shot, or perhaps your longest killstreak?
I wouldn’t say it’s the most memorable, but it is one that sticks out to me. It was a friend’s birthday and a private game, and we were told to pair-up at the beginning. We were then told to hunt down our partner BUT, if you shoot someone else, you’re out. I was paired with my partner and let’s just say… it was quite competitive. It ended-up with us ‘killing’ each other at the same time.
In terms of style of play, would you say you are you a lone wolf or do you prefer safety in numbers and ‘squad-it-up’?
Oooo that depends. I do enjoy playing with my team, but they can’t always make every game. It’s the whole room-clearing thing with your team backing you up that is amazing. But if my regular team isn’t there I am just happy to go off by myself.
The gear a player carries depends on their personal preference, many go for the classic AEG and sidearm combo, others swear by the sniper rifle – what’s your loadout of choice?
That’s tricky… I’ve had quite a few, but I would say my tropic pattern, paired with my EVO as my go-to loadout. It means I’m effectively ready for anything.
Have you tried or successfully modified your airsoft guns?
Not as of yet… I’m not very ‘techy’, but, I am in the process of learning more about gun upgrades so I can do it with the confidence that I won’t break anything!
What’s the farthest you’ve ever travelled to play a game?
About a 4-hour car journey.
Do you think male players can underestimate your abilities as a woman airsoft player?
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’m quite lucky that my home site has a lot of female players, and they make a point of this to encourage more female players. I personally don’t get intimidated really, so I’ve never let it bother me. But I can absolutely see how other girls would feel intimidated. I have seen it and had comments made towards me. I do feel girls are treated differently in general, for sure, like they are surprised you can do what you can do… like a back-handed compliment almost.
From the outside, airsoft could be seen as an intimidating arena for newbies to enter – what would you say to girls who are perhaps interested in airsoft but are still unsure about taking the plunge?
I would simply say ‘just go for it, just try it’. Some people do find if they have someone to go with, it is a lot easier, but don’t let it hold you back from something you want to try. Jump in at the deep end and you will be surprised with yourself at what you can achieve.
Is there anything you would do differently if you could start your airsoft journey over again?
I would probably have travelled sooner; I really regret not doing that from the off, to be honest. I also wish I had learnt more about the tech side of things, so I would be able to fix my own gun in the field.
If you could change one thing about airsoft, what would it be and why?
Get rid of all those people who don’t take their hits, it’s so frustrating!
In 2022, what do you think is the biggest challenge for a newbie stepping into the airsoft hobby for the first time, and how does it compare for a female player?
I would say some of the costs associated with getting the kit you want. It can easily spiral out of control and before you realise it, you have no money and 20 guns with nowhere to store them.
Well, Vixen_08_a.d.s.u, it has been great finding out about your airsoft experiences today, Vixen. Do you have any shout outs you’d like to give and how can women wanting advice about getting into airsoft get in touch?
There’s so many! The Renegades, a.d.s.u (Airsoft Division Shadow Unit), UKAL, LoneStar, Dagger1Charlie, BravoBrock, women play airsoft too. I’d also be more than happy to speak to anyone looking for recommendations or help, feel free to contact me directly through Instagram @Vixen_08_a.d.s.u.