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 player, Barbara, about her airsoft journey and the experiences and challenges she’s faced as a woman playing the game…
Hello, thanks so much for talking to us today. First off, we always like to know the history behind a player’s callsign – how did you get yours?
Well, my name is Barbara but people also call me Basia (short for Barbara in Polish). Angelhunt is my PC gaming nickname, which I happen to use on Instagram as well.
Can you tell us a little bit about the very first time you played and how long you’ve been involved in airsoft?
Spring 2015, my husband, a mutual friend and I went for our first game of airsoft at a local skirmish site. I already had the kit as my husband used to collect military gear for fun before playing. We immediately got hooked and for many years went religiously every two weeks.
Your husband was a readymade ‘in’ for you when it comes to getting into airsoft. Did he introduce you to none-competitive ‘plinking’ in the garden?
Yeah, I had a go of a HK416D gas blow-back gun at an improvised range at home and I really enjoyed it.
What’s your preference, CQB, Speed Soft, Milsim or do you simply turn up at your local game site and go with the flow?
I’ve played everything except Speed Soft. For the past 3-4 years I have been predominantly playing at Milsim events because I enjoy the adventure of it all.
Each player is different, some like daytime play, while others prefer using the cloak of darkness to their advantage in night games, supplementing their style of play. What do you enjoy most?
I like playing around the clock. I particularly enjoy the dusk & dawn. Investing in night-vision was a game changer for the night games and I never looked back, no pun intended.
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.
Breaching a Boeing 747 (the same one as appeared in Bond film!) at dawn, at a counter-terrorism simulation event in 2018.
We apologise for dampening your badass ‘Bond moment’ here, but have you ever had an embarrassing situation in a game?
Cracking a chem-light and spilling the contents all over my face and kit, not long after a teammate managed to do the same thing to himself.
Okay, let’s put the embarrassing memories to one side and instead focus on your best moments, such as your finest ‘kill’ or shot, or perhaps your longest killstreak?
The one and only shot at the entire counter terrorism event – eliminating a “terrorist” inside a Boeing 747. I am not sure these events are for everyone – it’s immersion over action.
We can only describe that as absolutely epic! So, in terms of style of play, would you say you are a lone wolf, or do you prefer safety in numbers and to ‘squad-it-up’?
Teamwork makes the dream work.
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?
I run as a radio operator at most events. My preferred loadout is my comms kit and my rifle.
Have you tried or successfully modified your airsoft guns?
I don’t use techs. Modding airsoft guns is not hard.
What’s the farthest you’ve ever travelled to play a game?
Over 1000 miles to play Mission Afghanistan LARP event in Poland in 2019.
Do you think male players can underestimate your abilities as a woman airsoft player?
I don’t know, I never thought about it.
Most sites we know of are genuinely good-natured for everyone, but you can always get an instance of players who show a lack of respect for each other – male or female. Have you ever experienced any hardships due to the fact you are a female player?
Nope, nothing springs to mind.
From the outside, airsoft could be seen as an intimidating arena to enter for anyone – what would you say to girls who are perhaps interested in airsoft but are still unsure about taking the plunge?
Just go for it, adventure calls.
Is there anything you would do differently if you were able to start your airsoft journey over again?
I wish I was not such a cheapskate when I started. Most of my cheap comms equipment broke and I ended up spending more on cheap repro than on one set of good quality comms.
If you could change one thing about airsoft, what would it be and why?
This is not strictly about airsoft, but I wish there was more choice of good quality female tactical clothes in various camouflage options.
We totally agree about the need for more female-focused tactical gear and camo. 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?
It’s a money drain and you need your own transport. Most of my mates in London who’d like to try are struggling because they don’t own cars (people mainly use public transport). I guess there’s possibly some truth in the idea that it’s harder to find out about the hobby if you’re a girl.
Once again, thanks for talking with us Barbara, we’ve loved every second of it. Do you have any shout outs you’d like to give and, if there are any would-be lady airsofters out there that want to know how to get into airsoft, how can they reach you?
Yes, a big shout out to all my amazing teammates over the years. For anyone who wants advice or help about getting into airsoft, you can find me on Instagram @_angelhunt_