Protective pads are an optional item that can enhance safety and reduce discomfort in airsoft.
Q: What do I need for protection as a new player?
A: At minimal you will want full seal eye protection that is ANSI Z87 rated and something to protect your lower face like a mesh mask. Full paintball masks that are tested and approved would also be acceptable.
Q: What about elbow and knee pads? Do I need them?
A: Elbow and knee pads are purely an optional item. Though they do reduce the discomfort of getting hit they are not required. Some people may find them useful if they do a lot of kneeling or crawling, especially older players.
Q: What other recommended gear should I consider?
A: Clothing is subjective for airsoft. Dress for the environment you are playing in and in clothes you don't mind getting dirty. Otherwise wear BDUs or something more suited for skirmishing if you want more durable clothing. You would also want to consider some kind of vest or load bearing equipment to carry your spare magazines and other essentials. You could just as easily go out and play in a hoodie and some jeans but you may end up losing your magazines out in the field and so on. But if you have clothes or pockets that will secure your magazines without any problems then a vest or chest rig won't be needed and should be considered optional.
Q: If I get shot on my gear, does it count?
A: Weapon hits are totally dependent on your local field rules but pretty much hits anywhere on the body, padded or not, still count as a hit.
Q: What sizing options are available?
A: At the current time being, the only options for sizing on the elbow pads and knee pads we carry are one-size-fits-all/adult. These elbow pads and knee pads are secured with velcro loops so you can go as loose or as tight as needed. Younger players with smaller frame bodies might have trouble fitting these types of pads, just for fair warning.
Q: Does wearing elbow pads or knee pads feel heavier?
A: Weight is negligible as these tend to be made of lightweight materials such as neoprene or nylon. If there is a perceivable change then it might be in terms of comfort/discomfort levels. Wearing pads over a long period of time can get discomforting and cut off your circulation if you secure them too tightly, but other than that, we do not feel a perceivable difference.
Q: How badly does it hurt to get shot in airsoft?
A: If you've never played airsoft before, you might be curious how much airsoft hurts. Since the projectile is smaller compared to say a paintball, the pain is substantially less. If we had to relate the pain to anything it's like getting a pinch (or multiple pinches). Whereas paintballs can leave bruises, airsoft can leave welts and could potentially brake skin in some cases.