You're rushing down a corridor and hear a shots fired. You duck and try to gain your bearings; but you are ambushed, shot, and forced to hold your gun above your head to signify your demise. This is airsoft.
Airsoft is a sport and hobby that seven-year-olds can play. Peter Do, owner of PowerEdge, an airsoft supply store and arena, said that it's a less expensive version of paintball, or lasertag without the smoke.
Airsoft consists of people shooting each other with airguns. There are different types of games that include holding locations and penetrating enemy strongholds.
"It lets you let out some aggression," said Michelle Saoit, a University of Hawai'i at Manoa senior.
Airsoft guns fire 6mm pellets. Being hit is like someone flicking you hard in the arm. Since there is a risk involved, there are guidelines that must be followed during gameplay. Everyone at the PowerEdge arena had their bodies wrapped up like a Christmas present under layers of clothing. Because PowerEdge enforces a policy that limits the speed at which the pellet is shot, they could not have been seriously injured. However, the players were aware that being hit by several small pellets will get them several little red bumps on your body.
The most important rule of airsoft is protection. When you are going to play at the PowerEdge arena, they will demand the use of full-face mask and gloves. A long-sleeve shirt and long pants are optional.
Ryan Kam, a PowerEdge employee, said airsoft is like doing cardio exercises at the gym.
"With all your gear on, you will work up a great sweat while having fun," Kam said.
Although children can play this sport, the price that accompanies some of the guns is not usually covered by allowance money. Getting started can cost as little as $40. Professionals invest about $1,000 and up, Do said. Since airsoft is a budding sport in Hawai'i, few people have invested large sums of cash into it. A good midrange gun will average around $200. Other gear includes the mask, gloves, and pellets.
Airsoft is also a collector's hobby. One of the first things that you will see in PowerEdge is that you can build a collection of replicas. The realism of the guns can give a sense that players are a marine or S.W.A.T. team member. PowerEdge supplies the guns from Japan and the parts to upgrade them. In essence, they are a small import toy store.