Societies at uni range from the crazy (hula hoops and quidditch) to the traditional (debating society). Airsoft is growing in popularity among students and is definitely one to consider.
So, with the help of Alpha Militaria and some of the top UK University Airsoft societies, we bring you the ultimate guide to Airsoft.
You can take it as seriously (or not) as you wish
With Airsoft you can be a strict professional with your approach or an extreme casual.
You’ll find onsite that the majority of people are there to have fun with their friends, not pretend they’re at war. Some players like to fork out thousands on the latest gear, but most universities supply equipment for the societies and the basics are inexpensive. Hiring is also the preferred option for those looking to try Airsoft for the first time.
“Our focus on making airsoft as cheap as possible to get into is one of our key values. We provide all the kit, guns, safety equipment, etc. you could need to play to any and all of our members”, says Tom of Airsoft Swansea University.
There are plenty of university Airsoft competitions as well, so if getting competitive is your bag, there are loads of opportunities. Look out for the University of Birmingham Close Quarter Combat (UOBCQC) tournaments where rival university societies compete against each other.
It doesn’t hurt!
You’d assume that getting shot with anything would be fairly painful, but unlike its sister sport paintballing, Airsoft doesn’t actually hurt providing you are wearing protective equipment.
"Never go cheap on protective equipment. This should be the first thing you should get, and you should only buy from trusted Airsoft suppliers so you don’t get sold any potentially dangerous protection.” says Sam of Airsoft Leicester University.
Getting started is easy
There’s a ton of resources online about the sport including an excellent Sub-Reddit and some great YouTubers - but what trumps all of them is popping down to your local club or trying out with your university society.
You’ll often find at clubs which have strong ties to universities that some of the staff will also be students, who can be a real wealth of information when getting into the sport.
It’s a great excuse to socialise
Part of the university experience should always be to make life-long friends and have a bit of fun along the way.
Joining an Airsoft society can offer this as you get a true sense of comradeship from its roots as a military-based team sport. It really is all about teamwork and with that comes friendship.
“The friends and bonds I’ve made have been the best, I’ve never felt more comfortable than around the friends I’ve made through the sport.” says Nicholas Mills, Airsoft UWE.
Dead men don’t talk!
Once you are hit in Airsoft, it’s your responsibility to raise your hand and head back to the respawn area. You should not point out your shooter to any teammates. Just take the hit and walk away.
Failing to obey this rule is the quickest way to lose allies in a game of Airsoft and become the number one target of a game, so don’t risk it!
Universities that have Airsoft societies
So there you have it: Airsoft 101. Most importantly - give it a try and have fun whilst doing it. It’s such a unique sport and university is a great time to get into it, so there’s really nothing to lose.
What societies are you planning to join at uni? Let us know @studenthutuk on Twitter.