Reviving Airsoft in NOVA

Discussion in 'Virginia Airsoft Forum' started by ES99, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. ES99

    ES99 New Member

    Hello VA airsofters,

    I am just another NOVA airsofter who loves the sport with a passion. Unfortunately, I feel that many NOVA airsofters, including myself, have not been able to play as much as we may want to due to the fact that we don't really have any fields in the NOVA area. I’ve only played seriously for 3 years but I’ve heard stories of the experiences back when NOVA airsoft was at its prime. ACQB is now officially dead since that “Point Blank Airsoft” thing won’t ever happen and there is currently one field for airsoft with that being PEVS Paintball of course. PEVS has had its good times but the vibe has seem to have of died there as few players seem to show up nowadays. As such, NOVA players can only play at places that require long drives to get to. As of now, there doesn't seem to be any new fields starting up anytime soon, with the exception of Culpeper Elite Airsoft Experience however I'm not sure how that's doing since I hear very little about it. For these reasons I came up with a couple of ideas:

    1. PEVS Reform

    A couple of years ago, PEVS had a pretty decent amount of players showing up on a regular basis (20-40 on average). As time passed, these numbers have dwindled down for reasons such as:

    -We play the same games every time which gets repetitive and boring after a while

    -We airsofters are stuck to 3-4 fields (the airsoft-only one, the woods, the big logs field, and the junk-style one) which again gets repetitive and boring

    I was thinking that if we talk to the PEVS management and convince them to do something similar to that of Hollywood Sports Park in CA (a very successful place from the looks of it) where the players stage in one area and we move to a different field every game. I was also thinking that maybe the airsofters could possibly have a dedicated staging area close to the pro shop and not have to stage in the one near the airsoft-only field so we don't have to walk long distances in between each game and so we can have a bigger variety of game modes and fields to play at.

    2. Convince Hogback Mountain Paintball to allow Airsoft

    I know this idea may sound a bit extreme and someone may have already tried to talk to Hogback Mountain in the past but hear me out. For those of you that remember, someone on the VA forum known as Wkopko (I think that’s how it spelled) started a thread (located at the end of post) and created a letter to be sent to the PEVS management about starting airsoft at PEVS. It was a great letter and I believe it had many signatures to show there would be a good enough player base for Airsoft. I was thinking that maybe we could do the same thing at Hogback Mountain Paintball. I’ve seen pictures of their fields and in my opinion, it looks like it would be a great place to play airsoft.

    -They have a great variety of fields (over 10+) that seem suitable for airsoft (I do plan on playing at the fields to get a better sense of their suitability for airsoft.)

    -Located in Leesburg, VA which probably isn’t a long drive for most NOVA players

    If we could so something similar to how we started up airsoft at PEVS, it would be great. I am aware of the fact that businesses don’t want to take huge leaps into something new because they don’t want to lose money. Especially with the insurance, liability, permits, and other expenses that will pop up. I have an idea that could possibly convince Hogback management:

    -We send them a letter similar to the one WKopko wrote up to send to Hogback management about airsoft.

    -Wait for a response and hope that they would like to discuss airsoft

    -A small group of passionate, business-savvy airsofters meet in person with their management to discuss the details.

    -We tell them we understand the burdens of starting something new, but we give them ideas such as test run weekends and based on those test run weekends, the management would evaluate if airsoft is something they would like to do.

    -If they are to say yes, then maybe they could do airsoft events every once in a while or they could make airsoft like a once a month thing or something of that nature if they don’t want to get too into airsoft or lose money.

    These were my ideas for getting NOVA airsoft back on its feet again! I understand that my ideas aren’t perfect and for that reason, I encourage feedback and constructive criticism. Airsoft is a passion that is shared between myself and many other fellow NOVA airsofters and all I want is for airsoft to comeback and to grow in NOVA. Please share your ideas and feedback because it will only contribute to the revival of NOVA Airsoft.

    Thank You

    Hogback Mountain Paintball:

    Wkopko Thread:
  2. gscoulson

    gscoulson New Member

    I've visited PEV's but never played there, because I didn't ever know if anyone else was there to play with. Either events were on Sundays (which don't work for me), or when I called the shop on Saturday I was just encouraged to show up and see who was there. If there was a live roster online that showed how many people were registered to play on a given day, I'd be more likely to come. I haven't seen a solid Saturday airsoft event for a long time and don't look often anymore.

  3. Itsahak

    Itsahak Active Member

    Your ideas are good. The problem, as you've already noted, is that over time player dwindle occurs. This is not new. And fields that only offer such a small space, like Pev's will suffer worse from it.

    How far are you from Stuarts Draft? Augusta Airsoft, LLC is there and is a decent, solid field that is well run and sees an average of 50 players every Saturday.

    This is why the serious airsoft players have simply resigned themselves to driving to games...
  4. Grimace

    Grimace New Member

    Concur with your comments. There’s a large number of airsoft players in NoVa, but not many fields that can or will accommodate it. Let’s face it, NoVa has some of the most expensive property values in the country. If someone is going to come in and buy land, build it up, get insurance and start an airsoft field, they better be pretty dang sure they’re going to reap a large return on the investment just to break even. That’s probably why you’re not seeing any new fields popping up. Just down in the Hampton Roads area, where property is much less expensive, I can think of 3 or 4 fields within about 30 miles of each other. Hopefully some new fields will open, because there’s a large community that would support a good new field.

    It’s too bad that Pev’s is clearly not attempting to get new airsoft players to come out. A good Saturday there is now about 15-20 people, which is fun sometimes. The lack (actually really small numbers) of rental guns and no real airsoft pro shop means that you’re not going to get new players out there. That’s just how it is. Making all airsoft players hump all their gear out onto the fields to the staging area while paintballers stage in the parking/concessions area should be all you need to know about how Pev’s feels about airsoft. I guess Pev’s makes their money on paintball and that’s how it is.

    The airsoft rules are very restrictive (and talking to Rob, are all seemingly mandated by their insurance provider). I haven’t seen any other field that mandates full face protection (mouth, nose and EARS!) for all players, regardless of age. I’m an adult, and if I want to wear eye-pro and that’s it, why should anyone else care? They make you sign a waiver, so there’s no way they can be held responsible of you bust out a tooth.

    At Pev’s you can’t use full auto with a rifle unless your gun is under like 300fps or something. There is hardly any CQB, so that's not a driving factor. I actually kind of like that rule, because it takes tactics to win vice just spraying and praying on full auto like happens at many airsoft games, but there are times when full auto would be nice. From talking with Rob, they’ve had a lot of issues with dudes bringing in their HPA’s and running around at 40 fps, which is just stupid and unrealistic.

    Their changing rules on use of grenades and smoke are lame. Pev's needs to pick a grenade/smoke rule and stick with it. What you see at Pev's is people filling up buildings and trailers when defending. Because you can’t use grenades, smoke, or full auto, it’s nearly impossible to clear them out. All the tween fan boys like it, because they can “play airsoft” without the chance of getting hit. And due to not having an airsoft pro shop, you somehow have to bring in your own smokes and grenades.

    And the “big games” at Pev’s are not doing well either. Like you said, Sunday is just not a good day to do them for many people. Why can’t they do Saturday airsoft big games? I’m going to go on a little rant, so stand by….

    At the last big game, Pev’s charged nearly double normal field fees. We wound up playing only two one-hour games (including a nearly hour long lunch break in between) and then basically everyone went home. If you’re going to charge extra, then make it worth the money. A normal Saturday pickup game was much more fun than that. And if you’re only going to play for two hours, don’t put a lunch break in between. Just play another game and if the tweens need to go have Mom buy them some chips and a Coke, then you they miss out.

    The game also didn’t start until almost noon, nearly an hour late. I don’t know why they need to wait for everyone in line to get out to the field before they start. If you can’t show up on time, then just roll into the game whenever you finally are ready. Ballahack does this all the time, as do other fields I’ve played at. As a military dude, I laugh that nearly everyone playing airsoft loves the semi-Milsim aspect of it, but no one can even show up on time at Pev’s, or get a game started anywhere near the advertised time. The players sat around for a long time waiting for the refs to figure out what fields they were going to use and game type. If you’re charging extra for the experience, you can’t even have a game plan going in as to which fields will be used and what types of game will be played? Weak sauce.

    I’ll keep going to Pev’s occasionally, as it’s the only game in town for spending a few hours slinging bb’s. I now prefer to spend my time at Ballahack and CZ Airsoft for a generally better experience, offset by more time in the car. I'll have to try out Augusta (although Richmond area is not really NoVa).
  5. Itsahak

    Itsahak Active Member

    One of the issues with any commercial field is that airsoft honestly isn't a viable business entity. Sure there are fields here and there, such as BHack, that make the grade, but they are rare. Most of the fields we see are paintball fields, such as Pev's, XZone, etc that are wanting to add airsoft. It's pretty simple economics. Their paintball part pulls in 100+ players, their airsoft pulls in 20. It's not hard to see where their money and emphasis will be put.

    My buddy Vince has driven 3+ hours for years to attend my pick up games. It's the only way he can play, so its what he does.
  6. Sprite

    Sprite Member

    There is a Facebook page located here where people post saying that they're going. It typically yields some good results.


    As for your ideas, as well as everyone else's, I definitely agree with most of them, but in order to get your voice heard over there, you need to be there and actively participate in their little community. I have a group of guys that go there pretty much every weekend and know the management there very well. They really do look to improve airsoft over there, but most people don't go and talk to them. I would be more than happy to pass along any ideas anyone has for them though.

    The common theme at PEVS is that if people see that someone is going, they'll generally come out also. With that FB group I linked, you can see when people are going (we do a lot of our day organization on there as well). Join on up, post when you're going out, even post your ideas there!
  7. gscoulson

    gscoulson New Member

    Thanks, this is really useful.
  8. Rob_at_Pevs

    Rob_at_Pevs New Member

    Hey guys, I will answer and counter a few things that have come up in this thread.

    Number #1 - Paintball will always be our money maker, During spring and fall we will have between 400-700 people a day playing paintball. That is the only time when airsofters are only locked to 1 field during these heavy player/group days.

    The AS players are more than welcome to play any of our fields. As a rule most of the AS players tend to want to stick to the AS field and the fields close to that area as they offer more play area or combinations of field play. That and the truckload of stuff they bring with them. Leaving gear down in the general staging area would not be wise as things can go on walk a bout from there.

    #2 Products - We will I feel never carry a large assortment of AS guns or accessories. We will carry basics and pistols. We are not equipped to service AS guns, one of the reason we sell AS guns at the prices we do. We will be more than happy to order product if we can get it from some of our existing suppliers (Valken or Elite Force)

    #3 Insurance and Safety - Our insurance sets rules we must follow. Those rule state that mouth, nose and ear are to be covered, and sealed eye protection must be worn. There will be no movement on that, unless our provider changes those rules.

    #4 - Thunder B's and Smoke - Smoke, we typically do not allow it, too much grass and even the Enola Gay smoke will start the grass on fire. During big games I will allow people to use smokes under very special instances. A ref must sit on the smoke, they can not be thrown into buildings, or under bunkers/buildings/vehicles. I will not allow TB's to be thrown into complete structures, the sound spike can cause you long term hearing problems. 3 Sided and open buildings are allowed. These rule have been consistent for at least 2 years.

    #5 - ROF Energy Rules. We have has rather consistent issues with chuckle heads that can't managed to not burn someone down. So if you want FA you chrono down. If you want max range then you keep it in Semi. The number of issues we have had since the was instituted this rule has been minimal. We do allow Squad weapons to roll full auto at full velocities with a MED of 60ft ( Length of one of the larger trailers ). It wasn't just HPA guys that were causing issues, so don't throw all HPA players into that basket.

    #6 - Fields Part 2 - Matt from Tactical Sporks has started do some initial planing to re do the AS field itself. This is a bit of a long term plan. There is an on going discussion on the 2 layouts he had worked out. Its in the Pev's Airsoft page (non official). There is a matter of cost and ROI guys.

    I hope that sheds a bit of light on the issues.

  9. CSD1103

    CSD1103 New Member

    I just went to pevs this last weekend and from 12-4:20 we had between 20-30 players. I know there are not that many fields but introducing game modes recently like trouble in terrorist town and old fashioned spinner. We had a variety of players but a few were sponsored by Evike in the past so I think that pevs is okay but I am going to start playing at ballahack more often.
  10. 107Airsoft-Jonathan

    107Airsoft-Jonathan New Member

    I've been looking for a field that was not 6 hours away the only other field I found was in MD where my buddies play at. I need somewhere for my team to play until we move our operations to Florida in the next 5 to 6 years. Thanks for posting!
  11. Tor Strom

    Tor Strom New Member

    My name is Tor Strom and I own WarPlay Paintball and Lasertag located near fredericksburg (orange County) I have 25 acres (more if needed)ready for airsoft but do not know how to break in the sport. Through my lasertag contacts we are actually getting a deal with Bolt airsoft guns with blowback that will be the field rentals.
    call me to set up a filed
    703 271-0271
  12. Tor Strom

    Tor Strom New Member