So you’ve been to a site. You’ve decided that airsoft is fantastic and you want more! (naturally) So what’s next?

Gearing up of course!

First of all, and this should be written in massive flashing letter on every airsoft forum. What works for others may not work for you! Even our sage advice is just that advice. Read around, and take everything with a massive dose of sodium chloride.

We’re going to assume you’re at the point of having played a couple of times, so you’ve got some cheap camo gear to knock about in, and some boots, gloves etc that your’re happy to play in. I’m willing to bet that getting your own gun is next on the agenda. I’ve lost count of how many airsoft forum posts I’ve read which basically start “Which gun should I get?”

Only you can make that decision. There are literally hundreds to choose from. The best advice I can think of is have a look at all the guns you can where you’re playing. What do you like the look of? Ask politely and most players will show off their pride and joy, probably even let you fondle it to see how it feels. Bear in mind you are going to have to carry it around all day.

Also consider how you want to play. I am reluctant to suggest sniping for anyone straight away. You end up out of the action for long periods of time, and a large percentage of the game becomes about the infiltraiton of positions or just plain hiding! For a new player I really would recommend something robust, that lets you get stuck in to the action and see the action. It also saves you the immediate expense of needing a sidearm for close targets.

Then, armed with your UKARA number, or site membership for the shop to confirm you are a valid player, check out the retailers. Again the internet is your friend, there are quite a few in the UK now (check out the supplies page here). You will pay more in the UK but you avoid the hassle of customs and you really don’t want to try that out just yet! If you are thinking of attending a big site with a shop don’t be afraid to haggle. You don’t get anything unless you ask!

Some other things to consider purchasing.

Face Mask. Two reasons, if you’re not hiring kit anymore these will not be provided by the site, and secondly it’s much nicer to have your own. You can customise it to make it extra comfy, spray it in your favourite colours and most of all have complete confidence that you’re getting adequate protection. I heartily recommend full face protection having seen way too many teeth shot out…

A decent battery for your gun. The ones that come with them are usually rubbish. An excellent retailer for these is the component shop, but there are plenty of others.

A charger for your battery! Preferably with an auto cut off so you don’t over charge. If you can afford it one that will charge various battery types is useful and future proofs you should you decide to buy LiPo batteries later, at not too much extra cost.

Spare Mags. You will be amazed how you always empty a mag at critical times and no-one likes hearing a dead mans click… And trust me trying to refill your mag, whilst crouching inevitably behind cover that is too small whilst taking fire is a right pain. Much better to simply stick a new one straight in and get firing.

Comms. If you’re playing with friends, comms adds a whole new dimension to your play (Spider – such as having to listen to Swampy claim my kills ). A decent PMR radio and an earpiece or headset works really well.

Some webbing or an assault vest to keep all this gear in! To be honest, ebay is as good a place to start for this and much of the gear you will look for…

Be warned, all this kit soon adds up. Take your time and make sure you don’t regret buying something you are not ultimately happy with.

The next phase in your slow descent to becoming a geardo will be upgrading and customising your gun, and then it’s all over for you I’m afraid. You’re definitely an airsofter.