What is "Airsoft"?
Airsoft is a combat simulation team based sport very similar to paintball but far more realistic; it hurts less and costs a fraction of the price. Airsoft is played all over the world in every enviorment possible; ranging from underground nuclear bunkers in England to the frozen forests of Russia. There are over 700 airsoft sites in the UK and Scotland. Airsoft is a sport that caters towards each persons play style in its own way whilst remaining safe and enjoyable.
Airsoft uses RIFs "Realistic Imitation Firearm". These are, effectively, replicas of real world firearms that fire 6mm plastic pellets. To be in line with UK law these are usually painted a bright colour to help law enforcement etc recognise that these are replicas. You can, however, obtain full black versions of these weapons. Although you will need the correct licence; this is called a "UKARA" and can be obtained very easily with our help. As a society we are more than happy to allow members to use our licences.
Unlike paintball, where the player you hit will have a bright paint splatter on their uniform, airsoft pellets leave no splatter due to being plastic but will make a loud impact sound. You will often see the hit player recoil in pain (small as it may be), for this reason the sport is largely based on honor with players having to acknowledge that they have been hit. Though don't let this discourage you; the airsoft community always welcomes new players to the sport with open arms and will happily teach and guide them on what to do and how to go about it. Airsoft is also one of the biggest up and coming sports/hobbies in the UK with more and more members joining every year.
Airsoft is commonly used by military and police personal to train their communication skills and other tactical and strategic skills. For the averge person this means you will be able to develop key communication and team building skills as part of a larger group, as well as meet loads of people from many different backgrounds.
What we do as a society:
We hold 2 airsoft events every month with a wide range of airsoft sites at our disposal, all of these airsoft sites are fully equiped with rental gear and weapons for a small extra fee so it is not manditory to own your own "RIF" though we do recommend purchasing one if you enjoy the sport as this brings down the cost of playing considerably.
Our local sites are: Bravo one (an in door urban environment) in birmingham.
Westmidlands Highcommand (again an indoor urban environment) again in birmingham.
Frontier airsoft (a woodland forest site) near Penkridge.
Westmidlands FOB (urban forest site) near Stoke-on-trent.
Amongst many others.
We also hold social gatherings 1-2 times a month to talk about gear, events and help guide any new players on what they may want to purchase.
Fees and costs:
We expect each game to cost around £20-£35 depending on what site we decide to play at.
Travel: We take group Ubers to the sites we play at and then split the Uber fees between the people riding each vehicle, this can range from £10 for the full day to £15
If you have your own vehicle and can give other members lifts you must register as a driver through the Students' Union, and can claim mileage costs.
What Airsoft can do for you:
Here are some first hand stories from current society members as to what airsoft as a hobby has done to benefit their lives:
"Tallin" : Airsoft started for me back in early 2009 when i was going though a very dark patch in my life, i personally struggled with social anxiety and depression amongst things so this was a big step out of my comfort zone... But after my first game i was instantly hooked! I made friends with multiple people from all ages and they all welcomed me with open arms to the sport and were more than happy to teach me the basics and help me find what gun i wanted to purchase for myself, this did wonders for my social anxiety as i finally felt like i was being accepted for who i was when i was with these people and no matter where i went and who i played with i felt the same feeling.
I have almost played airsoft for 10 years now and all of the negetive things that followed me (depression etc) have been gone and i without a shadow of a doubt atribute this to Airsoft... I cant think of any other sport that would do what airsoft has done to me and i would fully recommend anyone that has even toyed with the idea to try atleast 1 skirmish.
"Josh" : I started playing airsoft in December of 2017 and immeadiately fell in love with it, I originally started playing it as I wanted to get more confident with myself, get outside, lose weight and have fun. At first when I went to my first game all by myself i felt out of place and awkward but the staff and the other players greeted me with open arms and told me the basics of the sport and were very friendly, they also told me what brand I should look at getting for my first rifle and where to look. I had also watched quite a lot of Youtube on airsoft and the more 'military' side of it, mainly Milsim events and how fun they looked, and thats what my loadout is trying to replicate and it also suits my playstyle and interests. Now a year later, I feel a lot more comfortable about myself and I have fallen completely in love with the sport and I feel apart of a bigger family now and a great community and hoping to help others with joining the sport.
Types of airsoft events:
These events are for the more casual player and make up the majority of the events we do as a society. Skirmishes usually last a full day 9am-6pm and consist of multiple smaller games often utilising gamemodes such as "Team death match" and "domination" along with many others often seen in videogames.
It is common to see a player count of around 50+ at these kind of events though it can often exceed 100 when weather is good.
Milsims are for the more seasoned airsoft player, they often last 2-4 days and will be an on going operation throughout these days. They are often created to replicate real world military conflicts and usually have alot of role playing involved especially with interactions with prisonors and civilians.
These events are a great way to escape from life for a few days and can be VERY intense and depending on the weather can push you near your limits but that is often part of the reason people attend these events as it brings you as close to war as is realisticly possible without enrolling in the army.
These events often have around 100+ attending players on averge
LARP events (live action roleplay):
These events are alot more fantasy based then milsims but do retain some aspects, again these events last around 2-3 days and often follow a story created by the organisers... These range from zombie apocalypse scenarios with people playing as infected soliders etc or apocalypse fallout style stories though the possibilities with this type of event is endless.
Airsoft in the UK sadly doesnt have as many social festivals in comparison to countries like America but we do luckily have the NAE "National Airsoft Festival" that lasts around 2-4 days and usually has around 3000-4000 in attendince per year! This is a great place to meet people from all over the world and make some incredible memories with lots of interesting people!