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 hobby for the first time. We spoke to Alex, aka ‘Tooth Fairy’ and talked about her airsoft journey, what she enjoys about airsoft and the experiences and challenges she’s faced as a female player…
Thanks for taking time out to talk to us, Alex. The first thing we always like to ask is what’s the story behind your airsoft callsign?
Basically, I’d been playing airsoft for about 4 weeks when a couple of guys decided to grant me the moniker of ‘Tooth Fairy’ after a shot someone’s tooth out. They then called me it whenever they saw me, and it just stuck.
Talk us through the first time you played airsoft and how long have you been playing?
I don’t recall all the details, but I got a buzz when I shot someone for the first time and I’m not going to lie – I laughed my head off. I’ve been playing for 8 years now so airsoft clearly had an impact on me from the beginning.
We’re strong believers in that when the airsoft bug bites, it usually bites hard. Did you know much about airsoft prior to playing and what first attracted you to it?
Well, I did air-rifle shooting, then clay pigeon shooting and I kind of got bored of hitting targets and heard you could shoot at people at a site called Ntac. I think that was a natural progression to airsoft.
There’s plenty of sub-genres to airsoft, CQB, Speed Soft and Milsim, for example. What have you played, and do you have a favourite? Or do you just turn up at your local game site and go with the flow?
CQB, a weekend of Milsim and I’ve travelled to different sites in the UK for skirmish days. To be honest, I like them all.
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?
The Milsim weekend I took part in was in the winter, so we played at night. The heart rate pumps faster when you’re clearing out the buildings in the dark. I can go into full-on stealth mode in the dark and surprise the enemy. But really, I would say I enjoy both day and night play.
During your time playing airsoft, what memorable moment most stands out for you?
The UKAL meet in June. It was weird and funny at the same time, meeting people who I followed on Instagram. It was like meeting a long-lost family member in person for the first time.
We’d agree with that, meeting online friends for the first time in the real world is a surreal experience. The camaraderie and sense of community within airsoft never gets old. Do you have an airsoft moment that was rather embarrassing that you’d be willing to share?
Well, I did CQB in the dark and one of my own teammates threw a flashbang at me! I was knelt on the floor when it went off right underneath me. I saw stars, was blind for around 30 seconds and thought I was going to throw up.
Okay, let’s put those bad memories aside and talk about your finest moments, such as your best ‘kill’ or shot, or perhaps your longest killstreak?
My third time playing at an organised airsoft site I was still rental, and I shot a guy’s front tooth out at full auto. He was at the bottom of a hill; I was at the top, hiding among the trees. He went looking in the bushes for his tooth. That will always stay with me.
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’?
For Milsim I always squad-up, so if I get killed, I can go back to find them and finish the objective. For skirmish, I start in a squad but after being killed I will go full lone wolf.
Ah, mixing-it-up with squad and lone wolf-style play is a sound tactic to vary the play. 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?
I’m quite traditional and will normally stick with a single AEG and carry around 8 mags with me. I’m conscious that differing weather conditions can interfere with my pistol’s performance, so I try not to rely on it too much.
Have you tried or successfully modified your airsoft guns?
Nope, that doesn’t really interest me. I let my hubby do all the tech work. So, he pimps-up all our guns.
What’s the farthest you’ve ever travelled to play a game?
I’ll put in the effort when I need to you. So, in the past I’ve done a 4-hour journey and stayed over the night before an event.
Do you think male players can underestimate your abilities as a woman airsoft player?
Hell yes. That’s proven by my experiences at Milsim weekends, playing alongside and against airsoft veterans
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?
During my very first Milsim game, out of around 200 players I was the only female. So, as you can imagine, I stood out – and I got some attitude off a guy for no reason at all. However, the following year I’d got better gear with a full face-helmet and the same guy saw me but treated me completely differently, simply because I looked the part.
What would you say to girls who are perhaps interested in airsoft but are still unsure about taking the plunge?
If you already know someone who plays, then have a go of their gun in the back garden. Shoot them and let them shoot you so you know how painful it will be. Also, there’s a lot more females at sites now than when I first started eight years ago. Go up and speak to them to break the ice and play alongside them.
Is there anything you would do differently if you were able to start your airsoft journey over again?
Yes, I wish I started at a younger age. I’m nearly 40 now, and I ask myself “Will I still be playing when I’m 70?” The answer: Yes, probably! Haha.
If you could change one thing about airsoft, what would it be and why?
That all the sites in the UK have the same rules. Some places let you do full auto in the CQB, while others don’t. Some let you throw grenades from the top to the bottom floor and vice versa.
In 2022, what do you think is the biggest challenge for a newbie trying airsoft for the first time, and how does it compare for a female player?
They don’t know what gun to use. Just because it’s the most expensive doesn’t mean it’s the best. Who cares how you dress or what you use? Go out and enjoy yourself. It’s a very fun hobby to do.
Thanks for talking to us Alex, it’s been a fascinating chat. Do you have any shout outs you’d like to give and where can people get in touch with you if they want advice about getting into airsoft?
Shout out to all my followers and to thank them for the crazy comments that make me laugh and the support they have given me.