ASG reached out to female players across the airsoft community to discover more about what it’s been like for them stepping into a male-dominated scene for the first time. The latest person to talk to us, GemAirsoft (Gem), chatted about her airsoft journey from the beginning, what she enjoys about it, and the specific challenges she’s faced as a female player…
Hello, Gem – thanks for talking to us today. Can you tell us about the very first time you played airsoft and how long you’ve been playing it?
My first airsoft game was at a woodland site, and I was nervous obviously as it was my first game – and I was also very conscious I was the only female there. Everyone was absolutely lovely, including the Marshalls. My friend also let me borrow his gun which probably added to the positive experience as he had made a load of upgrades. While my other friend was having constant problems with his rental!
I was shy and reserved at first, I think I held back quite a bit until I was shot for the first time because I was worried about what it would feel like. Once I realised it wasn’t too bad, my confidence increased, and I had a brilliant time.
That same day I took a headshot and looked like a unicorn for a while afterwards. The only negative thing I remember from my first game was the filthy portaloos! Haha! (But the Marshall did warn me!) I have been playing airsoft for 2 years so certainly had an impact from the start.
We love hearing stories about people having a fun time the first time they took to the airsoft field Did you know much about airsoft prior to playing and what first attracted you to it?
I’ve always been a bit of a gamer, and to me – airsoft feels like a real life video game so it’s an absolute win-win!
Whether it’s CQB, Speed Soft, or Milsim – what have you played and what’s your favourite? Perhaps you prefer simply turning-up at your local game site and going with the flow?
I’ve never played Speed Soft or Milsim, although I would definitely give it a go. I’ve played both woodland and CQB. CQB has got to be my favourite by far. I feel like CQB is a lot more action-packed and there’s always something happening around you, whereas with woodland, you sometimes have to look for it, if that makes sense?
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’ve never played a night game so I can’t comment, although I can imagine I would prefer daytime games.
Have you ever had one of those ‘pure adrenaline, heart-in-the-mouth moments’ playing airsoft? Absolutely any situation that you’ll never forget…
There are LOADS of memorable moments for me. I’m not usually one for staying still, but I remember at one of the sites there was an area of long grass to the side which I decided to lay down in. It was a great position and the enemy team kept walking by and I kept taking them out – they had no idea where it was coming from. They were determined to find me, so they kept coming back and getting hit. I did finally get taken out, but the killstreak was awesome.
We think we might have to start calling you action girl by the sounds of it! What about the other end of the spectrum, do you remember an embarrassing gameplay situation you’d be willing to share?
I’ve been travelling for 6 months, I’m back in October. For my leaving game, my friends attached an inflatable banana to my back. I had just bought a new sling, so I believed one of my friends when they said it was twisted in my plate carrier. I occasionally felt something flapping on my back, but where I have my sling quite short there was some extra cord. I just put it down to the sling (I mean what else would it have been).
It took about 10 minutes for me to even realise! During those 10 minutes people kept making comments. One guy even said to me “God, you are going to stand out! I had no idea what he meant by it, and I was thinking all sorts of insults that he could have meant. Turns out he was simply referring to the bright yellow banana!
Oh wow, how did your callsign not instantly become ‘Banana Milkshake’ after this? Right, let’s move on from the embarrassing memories and focus on your finest moments, such as your best ‘kill’ or shot, or perhaps your longest killstreak?
My most memorable kill was a nice little killstreak where I flanked the enemy team, although it did help that I knew the site pretty well haha!
Brilliant work, Gem – knowing your surroundings is half the battle. In terms of your favoured style of play, would you say you are a lone wolf or do you prefer safety in numbers and to ‘squad-it-up’?
I do start with a squad, but normally as soon as the game starts, I end-up as a lone wolf! And no, that’s not because I get hit straight away… promise.
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 preferred loadout?
My preferred loadout is a single AEG (Scorpion Evo). I do have a couple of pistols but to be honest with you I barely run with them. I feel like they just get in the way, and when I do run with them, I barely feel the need to use them! I know a lot of people disagree, but I feel like it’s quicker for me to reload than it is for me to switch to a sidearm.
Have you tried or successfully modified your airsoft guns?
I did flat hop my gun, although I cannot take all the credit, I had a lot of help, and I was under strict supervision.
What’s the farthest you’ve ever travelled to play a game?
The farthest I have travelled is around 2 hours, although when I’m back from travelling I want to travel to as many sites as possible. I’ve made so many friends and a lot of them live quite far away so I’m keen to travel to play with them as much as I can. That’s something else I love about airsoft.
The social aspect of it is incredible and we usually make a weekend out if. We usually meet-up the night before for some food and then enjoy the game together the day after. I have met some of my best friends through airsoft.
Do you think male players can underestimate your abilities as a woman airsoft player?
I’ve had the occasional comment thrown my way. I’ve also had it where people aren’t trying to be rude but have made slightly patronising comments like that girl is “actually really good”. This is normally at new sites. I’ve also had people make comments about “being hit by a girl”.
Most sites we know of are genuinely good-natured for everyone, but you always get the odd instances here and there of players showing a lack of respect for each other – whether they’re male or female. Have you ever experienced any hardships due to the fact you are a girl player?
I wouldn’t really say they are hardships. I do get negative or inappropriate things said to me occasionally, and I do get people trolling me every now and again. But this is usually by the airsoft community on the internet and that says it all really. I remember sorting into a style where I could wear my cap, and someone made a comment about not being the time to do my hair, which annoyed me as I was doing it for practicality.
From the outside, airsoft could be seen as an intimidating arena for anyone new – what would you say to girls who are perhaps interested in airsoft but are still unsure about taking the plunge?
Please do it! Not only will you absolutely love it, but you’ll also make some amazing friends. For the most part it doesn’t hurt. If you are worried about not knowing what on earth you are doing then don’t, because there will be so many people happy to help you. I personally am always wanting to socialise and meet new airsoft ladies. The female airsoft community is also amazing and friendly, all us females seem to know each other and it’s really nice!
Is there anything you would do differently if you were able to start your airsoft journey over again?
Apart from wishing I had found the sport sooner, no! Although I’ve been playing 2 years, I still feel new to airsoft so I’m looking forward to continuing the journey, learning more and trying new guns.
If you could change one thing about airsoft, what would it be and why?
I’ve got a couple so pick whatever one! It’s easy to see red on the airsoft field, and sometimes the atmosphere can be ruined by this. This is a very rare example but one time my whole team stopped playing as the other team weren’t taking hits and although it is angering when people don’t take their hits, it’s also annoying when you haven’t got a team to play with because they have all quit.
Also, more kit designed for female shapes! Ok, and maybe some of the gross toilets, haha!
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 the biggest challenges are just knowing where to start. There are so many different loadouts and variations. It can be quite daunting starting airsoft, not knowing what to bring and what to wear. I think it is amplified for female players, as airsoft is a male-dominant sport, and that could be intimidating.
Also, finding female kit can be a challenge because there is not a lot out there designed for female shapes, especially for a new player who may not have a lot to spend. I’m still wearing kids combat trousers and returned a lot of plate carriers back due to not fitting correctly.
Once again, thanks for talking with us GemAirsoft, it’s been a pleasure. Do you have any shoutouts you’d like to give and how can women wanting advice about getting into airsoft, get in touch?
A big shoutout to @Ironsight1 which is one of my favourite sites, and also to @Vixen_08_a.d.s.u for being one of my best girls! If anyone has questions about getting into airsoft, or even just need someone to play with then don’t hesitate to hit me up.