While we took a little time away from our Women In Airsoft interviews, we have certainly not forgotten! As a reminder, we had 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. This time, we had the pleasure of speaking with Airsofter.Sam, and discussed her airsoft journey, what she enjoys most and the experiences and challenges she’s faced as a female player…
Hello, Sam. Thanks for talking to us today. First off, we always like to know the story behind a player’s callsign – how did you get yours?
I mostly just go by the name, Sam, but I do also have the ‘E-Honey’ handle, but that was in a previous life as a streamer and gamer. To be honest, I didn’t want people to assume I was a poser.
Can you tell us a little bit about the very first time you played and how long you’ve been involved in airsoft?
Well, I’ve been playing for around 4 or 5 years. Although sometimes, it feels like I just started. As for the first time I played, it was at a field called Tac City. I was so excited to go, my brother called me out because I was just posting pictures of my guns on Instagram before I finally plucked up the courage to play. I was SOOO bad, I thought I was manoeuvring through the buildings, but I was actually just sat at the back, haha! But the adrenaline was pumping, and I hadn’t felt that rush before, so I was hooked from the start, really. I have an addictive personality, so I went all in.
That’s a great story and a familiar one – when the airsoft bug bites, it bites hard. So, what was it that first attracted you to playing airsoft?
It was YouTube. My partner and I watched a lot of videos on it before I started. I needed an outlet; I was stressing at work, and I just needed an outlet to decompress. The more videos I watched the more I became interested and thought it was a cool way to express personality in these highly tense, adrenaline-fuelled environments.
For you, is CQB, Speed Soft or Milsim more your bag? Or do you simply turn up at your local game site and go with the flow?
Yeah, well I’ve played all of them, but mostly indoor CQB. That’s mainly due to it being at a site that’s close to me.
I do feel like each type of game has a special place in my heart. MilSim for example, I can truly get away from my ‘normal’ real life and hang out with my friends in an intense, action environment. Indoor CQB has its own community, I just enjoy being part of that.
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’m a daytime player for sure. I love sleep too much for night gaming. I have played a night game here and there, it’s cool… I’m not great with flashlights, I have no night vision for a start.
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.
Any moment I get to make a child’s experience on the field a better one, those are the most memorable to me. Those parents who just drop their kids off and leave their kids there for the day.
The amount of courage that child must have to play a game with grownups, by themselves and without friends is admirable. Watching them and thinking if they just kept their gun up, if they just hid down a bit more… giving them advice just resonates with me.
That’s fantastic to hear, airsoft needs more players that have the empathy towards younger players and newbies in general. Bravo. Okay, do you have any recollections of embarrassing moments you’ve had in a game?
I’m so clumsy, no hand-eye co-ordination or depth perception, for that matter. During a Speed CQB, I had no ammo or my gun was not feeding or something. During a match, I went straight for the flag in the middle with my all and went right into the barrier. I did hit my head and had to take a break. Humbling.
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?
Any ‘one ball’ is always so satisfying to me.
We couldn’t agree more, there’s something about the timing and the precision. 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’?
It does depend, I do like a bit of both. Teams give me insight and team play experience, having my team there boosts my confidence. I feel if I have my squad with me, I can do anything. But I do like to run solo to work on my skills, peeking, and not waiting at the back of the line.
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 regular loadout?
Keep it lite… mainly because I’m lazy and have no stamina. I will put my ‘pocky glocky’ in one pocket and my mags in the other. I prefer to fumble around trying to find my mags than having too much gear. It’s also hard to find gear that fits me well.
Have you tried or successfully modified your airsoft guns?
Oh yeah! I started off by building my own high cappas. I REALLY wanted to get into the tech side of things, and high cappas are surprisingly easy if you’re willing to put a little effort it.
What’s the farthest you’ve ever travelled to play a game?
I think the furthest was 2,800 miles, California to Miami.
Do you think male players can underestimate your abilities as a woman airsoft player?
Absolutely. They do it all the time. I don’t take it personally anymore, but even now I have some experience in airsoft, I still get guys coming up to me saying things like ‘you go girl’, ‘girl power!’ etc. It’s a shame but also amazing when you can outplay someone… that changes their perception.
Most sites we know of are genuinely good-natured for everyone, but there can be instances of players who show a lack of respect for each other in the heat of battle – whether it’s male or female. Have you ever experienced any hardships due to the fact you are a female player?
People have been mostly chill with me. I have done something that I thought was important from the beginning (which we really shouldn’t have to do), where I have worked on my skills as a player and less on my appearance. So I am like one of the bros – you don’t fuck with one of your bros.
In MilSim, I do tend to get more of a hard time, but my tactic is to ‘kill them with kindness’ and they have no idea what’s happening. They pick me up on all sorts of things like I didn’t walk the right way, I didn’t complete an objective in the right way etc.
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 do it! Honestly, just do it. The alternative is not doing it and letting this continue to be intimidating for people. But trying it, ok you might not like it, but at least you tried and now you know.
Is there anything you would do differently if you could start your airsoft journey over again?
I would probably work out a little bit more, haha! I would also probably take more pictures and get more content. I was worried about what people would think and I let that get to me and it stopped me from doing it. I wish I had just documented the journey even if I hadn’t posted it anywhere.
If you could change one thing about airsoft, what would it be and why?
I would say maybe this perception of mental health needs to be more important. The target market for airsoft is kind of skewed to the younger market, and the younger guys have a lot going off and are still developing and have no idea how to feel.
We need to have elements of supports and let these kids feel welcome, supported and make airsoft a place they feel safe and part of the community.
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?
There’s a big focus on joining in any hobby, people think that gear and equipment makes the player, if I just had that $500 gun or $1000 plate carrier I would be a better player. That’s NOT the case but it’s a huge barrier for entry. I think this is often intimidating for a lot of new players.
For female players, this is amplified a little bit, especially when it comes to gear fitting for women. I have to try and find the right size for me from the men’s line-up, but they don’t fit that well and there’s nothing worse than clothing that just doesn’t fit right.
Once again, thanks for talking with us Sam, we’ve had a blast 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?
To my team Trim, I love them, they are amazing, and they are people I feel so comfortable with.
GunFighter, it’s a tournament I host with my buddies. It’s a 1v1 revolver event. We’ve been hosting events for like a year now and it’s growing so well.
There is a group of young women here in the states FTWAirsoft (for the women airsoft), it’s a group made for all the women in airsoft to join. They are so nice and supportive and are willing to help you with anything. I love them all!