Female players across the airsoft community have been letting us know exactly what it’s like for a woman stepping into a male-dominated hobby like airsoft for the first time. We sat down with Spanish airsofter, Waves.Airsoft (A.K.A Mar), and discussed her airsoft journey, what she enjoys about it, and the experiences and challenges she’s faced as a female player…
Hey there, Mar! Many thanks for talking to the ASG team today. The first thing we always like to ask people is how they got their airsoft callsign?
Well, as you know my real name is Mar, and as for my callsign it’s ‘Waves’. Although it’s more of a nickname really.
So, talk us through the first time you played airsoft and how long have you been playing?
I’ve been playing airsoft for about 4 years. The first game I played was a bit scary for me, since I usually go as a photographer to the games, not to play at all. I even yelled out in pain a little the first ever time I was shot
Did you know anything about airsoft prior to playing and what first attracted you to it?
Well, after spending 3 years doing airsoft photography I decided to actually take part and play and I ended up really enjoying it.
What type of games have you played and what’s your favourite? Do you prefer simply to turn up at your local game site and go with the flow?
I’ve played CQB, 8h Milsim, and games of all types near the region that I live . The ones I like the most (and usually play the most) are the games on Sundays with my friends.
Each player is different, some like daytime play, while others prefer using the dark to their advantage in night games. What do you enjoy the most?
I have only played one night game and that was back in November last year, so we were quite cold and that doesn’t appeal. I definitely prefer day games.
Have you got any memorable moments playing airsoft? Absolutely any situation that you’ll never forget.
I distinctly remember playing a game once across a hilly terrain where I upon finding a good spot, I was able to use the surprisingly good range of my rifle, and take-out a number of the opposing team, helping my team move forward.
We can see it now, quick, prices shots with your rifle, picking-off the enemy as your team pushes forward – love it! Going from one extreme to the other, can you think of any embarrassing situations you’ve had playing airsoft?
I have two embarrassing moments, one is when I realised that I definitely needed to wear contact lenses to the games because my myopia had increased. I actually killed one of my team for not being able to distinguish the colour of his bracelet.
In another game, there was a player with a shield that wouldn’t let us move forward and I managed to catch up with him from behind without him noticing – but when I went to shoot my pistol it had the safety on!
Many a proud warrior has been cut down to size with the ‘safety still on’ clanger. It’s happened to the best of us. Okay, so tell us about your best ‘kill’ or shot, or perhaps the longest killstreak you’ve achieved?
I once killed a sniper who was about 60-70 meters away, quite well hidden and wouldn’t let us advance in the game, he’d been an annoyance for us for ages. That was a satisfying kill.
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’?
I’m a team player most of the time, but I’m often know to ended up going alone as well.
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 favourite loadout?
I usually play long distance games in the mountains, so my custom upgraded rifle is usually my best ally.
Have you tried or successfully modified your airsoft guns?
No, I am lucky to have a sponsor, Vsgun, who has an excellent technical service and they are the ones who improve them for me.
What’s the farthest you’ve ever travelled to play a game?
I have played in several cities in my home country of Spain, such as like Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia. So the farthest distance I’ve travelled is probably around 300 km. I like to get out of my comfort zone and play on other sites.
Travelling 300km for a game is true dedication, we commend you! Okay, in your opinion, do you think male players can underestimate your abilities as a woman airsoft player?
In all the time I’ve been playing airsoft I’ve only had a problem with a player for a sexist comment. I honestly don’t think it’s generic in this hobby and I think most guys have a lot of respect for their fellow players.
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 one another – whether it’s male or female. Have you ever experienced any hardships due to the fact you are a female player?
I think this happens to many of us, the sizing and construction of uniforms is a problem. Very very few brands have uniforms designed for women, so sometimes it is very difficult to buy a uniform online because you are not sure if that size will fit you. I am part of a community of girls who play airsoft in Spain (CEAF) and it is one of the most frequently asked questions among us, to know what brands look good on a woman’s body.
From the outside, airsoft can 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?
Don’t be afraid to get involved in airsoft, since there are groups like CEAF that help make girls who play airsoft more visible. They support and helping each other as much as possible.
Is there anything you would do differently if you could start your airsoft journey over again?
I wouldn’t change anything, I think everything that has brought me here is a learning process that all players go through.
If you could change one thing about airsoft, what would it be and why?
I wouldn’t change anything about airsoft, really. However, what I would like to see is a change in the perception of airsoft with the public at large. There’s a stigma there of it being a violent hobby. Many people who do not know what airsoft is have the wrong idea and believe that it is something that promotes real weapons.
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 think that most of the problems that all players have, especially when we start, is to choose a loadout according to our needs and that is comfortable for us. Many times we start buying vests or chests that later when we play, we realize that they are uncomfortable, or that they make us very hot, or we think that having more pouches will be better. In the end, the best thing is to have a personalized vest with the pouches that we need and that is comfortable for us.
This also happens to us a lot for girls, since most of the kits feel that they are made more for a male body.