The sport of airsoft is a unique sport in its own right. Although it’s close to the idea of paintball, it’s somewhat far from the same thing. The basics of airsoft (for those who do not know) is a gun that shoots 6mm plastic projectiles, known as BBs. Once hit, the player needs to be honest (something organisers are VERY strict on) to call themselves out. These guns rely on three basic parts: a battery, spring and gas. Each of these guns have their own advantages and disadvantages, each player has their own preference.
The airsoft gun currently most widely used in South Africa is referred to as an AEG, a gun powered by a battery. The reason many players enjoy airsoft is because many airsoft guns are made to look like real firearms. You will find replicas from the smallest of pistols to AK47s and M4s… all the way up to RPG rocket launchers and miniguns.
Airsoft has been growing in South Africa, some players have been playing 10 years or more. Over the years we have gone from seeing only a hand full of fields to more than 15 locations with a variety of organisations.
What has made the game grow so quickly? Airsoft offers a military rush that paintball cannot offer. Airsoft only requires eye protection and the airsoft guns don’t need cylinders or hoppers. Players dress and kit up to the look like a soldier. This image makes the player feel like a professional whilst having a blast! Airsoft is also a lot cleaner than paintball for the simple fact that you are not shooting balls of paint at each other. The third reason why airsoft has grown would be the cost of the game. Over the years paintball has become somewhat pricy to play. Airsoft offers the same fun for a lot less. Airsoft rifles often cost less in comparison to their paintball equivalent and BBs can cost up to a quarter of paintballs. With airsoft being a tactical game most players would also shoot less, which means a bag of 4000 rounds could last a month or two. So, it’s no surprise that airsoft has seen growth in popularity among long standing paintballers and newbies.
What makes airsoft great is the fact that this sport caters for everyone! No matter size, fitness or style. We have many players who come to the field on their own, with friends or bring their whole family along. Woman are drawn to play airsoft and are often the toughest opponents! There are many players out there who play the sport seriously by using fancy looking rifles, side arms, vests, radios, etc. making them indistinguishable from a real soldier. There are other players that take a simple approach by wearing a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and their rifle. Both these players play on the same team and against each other because no matter the look or the price of the gear they all do the same job… offering hours of fun!
No need to be hesitant to try it out, playing is the only way of truly knowing what airsoft has to offer!