Throughout my younger years I was an avid paintballer. I owned my own paintball gun – the too-well-known Tippman 98 Custom (Wal-Mart’s finest!), electrically feed hopper system, and I only used the best paintballs (In my opinion of course), ‘The Works’. Playing speedball in a field here in Ohio, I met all sorts of people from young kids who were just playing because their parents brought them for something to do, to adults, who lived and breathed the sport. Years later, a few of my friends stopped paintballing and picked up Airsoft. At first like most people, I was like, “Wow, this is dumb, how do you actually know when you hit someone?!”. A game based off of the “Honor System”, seemed completely absurd to me. Then giving in to peer pressure, I finally bought some kind of off-brand gun from Walmart (Not the best idea), played a game and loved it. Having a gun that feels and looks like the real thing just seemed so much more, well, AWESOME! Looking further into the game, Military Simulations looked phenomenal, the exhilaration of a simulated battlefield, having a squad, breaching buildings… SIGN ME UP! I bought a Condor Plate Carrier, bought triple stack mag pouches, hydration bladder backpack, and even a shotgun shell holster to hold the CO2 for my pistol (a friend suggested this, best idea ever), and even got some of my Dad’s old Woodland camo to use. The feeling of being dressed for the occasion just makes you feel so much more, “In the game”. Sure paintball has its own uniforms but nothing like this, it felt awesome. Recently while surfing the web, I stumbled onto a post on a board called Reddit.com, in the subreddit /r/Airsoft, the post was “People who switched from Paintball to Airsoft, what made you switch?” A lot of people talked about money being the biggest issue with paintball, while others argued that the fact that Airsoft had a more realist feel than paintball did. The best post that I saw was written by the user Coffeeist:
“Paintball is great for rentals and such, very accessible. Even airsoft places with rental equipment I could see being a bit more intimidating to a new player than paintball. Reason for that, from what I’ve seen, is that I’d say the gear/gun difference on average between a rental and people bringing their own stuff is a lot less in painball, whereas in airsoft a rental is in Tshirt and Jeans with a pretty meh rental gun, facing people in complete military gear with high-end, pinpoint rifles.
However, once you get more into it… own your own awesome gear, awesome gun, etc, it just seems so much more fun to me. I like the guns so much better… there’s a reason real guns are built as they are, and when using a fake one I’d much rather it be like a real gun (as airsoft is), and not the aesthetics and operation of a paintball gun.
The speedballer setup looks so dumb IMO. Granted, the occasional airsofter who is convinced that they are a totes legit Airbone SEAL Ranger is pretty irritating but I haven’t had very many of those. People who just rock some cool gear is just good fun (especially when you run RusFor, komrades!).
Basically, paintball is good for rental. When you are ready for your own setup, the gun operation, gear setups, teamwork, games, etc, I find so much more fun in airsoft.” [sic]
I could not have said it better myself. The community in Airsoft is a wonderful thing, sure you will meet people that think they are better than you because they have all the latest and best gear, but your there to have fun and so are they. So if you are thinking about making the change, don’t just think about it, just give it a go! Just remember: It’s a game, so have fun!