No. However, make sure to wear proper safety gear.
Many people are very excited to play airsoft but are concerned that it will hurt. This can deter many potential players. This is an understandable concern; airsoft generally doesn’t hurt, but there is additional safety equipment one can wear to further reduce the risk of pain.
What Does it Feel like to Get Shot?
If you have dressed appropriately, 10% of shots you don’t feel at all. 85% of shots feel like a poke or a light tap on the shoulder. 5% of shots hurt. This means that 95 shots out of 100 don’t hurt at all.
If you’ve ever been stung by a bee or even a wasp, you’ve felt much more pain than you would ever feel at an airsoft field. Airsoft typically stings when you feel pain, but it wears off fairly quickly (2 minutes or less).
The worst places to get shot are the face, fingers & inner thigh.
You should always wear full-face protection. Airsoft guns can chip your teeth which does hurt (even at distances of 30 meters). As you surely know, teeth do not heal and are expensive to get fixed. The skin on your face is sensitive & heals a bit slower. Getting hit there is very unpleasant. Bear that in mind if you tend to show your face to people – at work meetings, in school, etc. We highly recommend a full-face mask.
If you wear full finger gloves, you won’t feel pain for any longer than 2 minutes. The fingers hurt more than getting shot in the hand. Bare fingers can hurt for a half hour or longer depending on the hit without gloves.
Finally, the inner thighs hurt when getting hit just a bit more than the rest of the body. Your inner thighs are very sensitive & aren’t exposed to a lot of pain. Because it’s a less common place to get hit, it’s not that much of a concern.
Paintball & Airsoft have different pains. If you’ve played Paintball, you could characterize it as being punched, but airsoft stings more. Paintballs are a lot bigger & hold a lot more power, but airsoft’s force is more localized due to the small projectile.
How to ensure a safe experience?
A very important thing is to play at legal airsoft fields. These ensure that only safe guns are used, eliminating the risk factor of overly powerful airsoft replicas.
Every replica that goes on the field is tested for its power. Most guns are safe for use at close range. If you have a more powerful gun, then you have to stand 100 feet away if it’s an outdoor field. If the field is indoors, or you have a really powerful gun, then you cannot use it.
Demonstration of the Most Painful Airsoft Events
The following video shows you the worst that can happen. As you watch, you can tell that a lot of these clips are spread out over many events & time. Novritsch plays a lot of airsoft & is, therefore, more likely to witness painful events in airsoft.
Many of the shots in the video are startling shots. The pain from these lasts maybe 5 seconds. However, many people trip or slip in this video.
What to wear to mitigate risks?
Airsoft BBs aren’t the only thing to worry about in airsoft. Be aware that the outdoors has prickly bushes & other sharp things. Long sleeves, pants, & gloves will help with those & the BBs.
Eye protection is required at most fields, so those you should definitely have and use all the time you are at an airsoft event. Chris made a video about Full Seal eye protection and how can it help you with fogging issues. Make sure to check it out
Face mask – as mentioned earlier, your face is delicate & very sensitive. There’s nothing manly about dentures, so it’s best to protect your teeth at the very least.
It’s also a good idea to protect your hands. Full finger gloves are basically a necessity. Getting shot in the fingers hurts. Many times you’ll get up close & personal in airsoft. The hand is the first thing coming around the corner.
Wearing a helmet is also recommended, even without BBs flying around. In intense moments, you can bump your head into something hard.
Running, diving, or even going under something puts you at risk of banging your head. Some of the toughest airsoft events require helmets for these reasons. No one wants to see someone hit their head on the pavement because they slipped on some BBs.
Also, wear knee pads. Sure, when you’re 7, kneeling on a rock doesn’t hurt that much when you’re in shorts & a t-shirt. When you’re 16 or older, you weigh a lot more & on the airsoft field, you’re carrying a lot of stuff. There’s much more pressure on your knee with that rock. Wear some knee pads to protect your knees.
In the majority of cases, airsoft does not hurt. We strongly recommend you wear appropriate safety equipment though – there is inevitably a risk of some pain.
For airsoft beginners, this means wearing jeans & a light Jacket. Don’t forget to pack gloves & rent the full face mask!
We must also remember to be aware of non-airsoft hazards. Wearing an airsoft helmet & knee pads is smart because you can bang your head or injure your knees.