Why has airsoft grown so much in the US, but not the UK?
We know Airsoft is growing in popularity in the UK, over the last few years there’s more sites appearing, milsim events are booming and even a few places that are doing weeknight games. But the tragedy is that when compared to how the Airsoft scene has exploded in the US, we’re still in the stone age.
The easy way to explain it would be to say that the American gun culture has led to more people willing to try the sport and (due to the widely available real firearms) easier access to buying your first Airsoft weapon…but I don’t think that’s entirely the case, the UK has mostly just the wrong attitude towards Airsoft.
So what is the UK doing wrong? What do we as a community need to fix? Firstly, we need to fix the community, we have become almost tribal in how we play airsoft, unwilling to venture away from the comfort of our home site and how can you feel any sense of “community” with someone who you have never met? It has always been said that travel broadens the mind, we as a whole need to start travelling more.
On the topic of community, Our Facebook groups have been largely overrun by people trying to sell their own airsoft weapons, not a day goes by that our feeds don’t get filled up with people advertising things to sell, and from seeing this we start to turn away from the community groups because they all show the same thing , people screaming “buy my stuff”.
But, the biggest issue we have in the UK is that Airsoft is treated as a hobby, not a sport. As a hobby airsoft is doing OK, but it needs the energy, the pride that a sport brings, the need for proper teamwork more than just individual skill, and ultimately, sponsors to get involved.
If you look at our community from the outside, it looks like it’s the primary school playground, everyone is content in their own circles but (and I hate this saying) most people don’t know what they’re missing.
So go out, be brave and venture outside of your bubble, you might even like it.