Greater Victoria man thinks a Nerf league could be a blast

Entrepreneur targets kids and their parents for goofy sport

From swimming lessons to gymnastics to competitive sports, children’s lives are becoming increasingly busy, structured and scheduled.

But sometimes kids just need to run around, be goofy, and shoot each other with Nerf guns: that’s why Mike Innis is starting the Victoria Nerf Association.

“The rules are kind of silly and that’s kind of the point,” he says. “It’s not for serious at all, and you run around and blast each other with foam.”

There are 22 brightly-coloured Nerf blasters on a table in Innis’s Greater Victoria living room, all used toys he bought from VarageSale and Used Victoria. For ammunition, he has hundreds of dark blue foam darts, and 10,000 more he bought in bulk are on their way from China.

Innis, who by day works at a Victoria-area insurance company, said when he bought a Nerf gun for his three-year-old’s birthday, he remembered how much fun he had playing with the toys when he was younger. He and his friends would duck behind furniture and shoot back-and-forth at each other.

Now 32, he thinks kids and their parents together, and adults, could benefit from a fun, unstructured activity, something more casual and less intense than competitive sports.

The University of Victoria sometimes hosts an event using Nerf guns – Humans versus Zombies – but there isn’t a regular venue for this kind of play.

“How many kids’ sports are taken wicked too seriously by the time they’re like five and six years old, like hockey, soccer – definitely, on the Island,” he says. “Nerf’s not that. Not even close.”

Nerf isn’t meant to be played competitively, says Innis. The guns fire at an average speed of about 70 feet per second and even when fired at close range, the impact is so gentle you may not even know you’ve been shot. Unlike paintball, there is no visual marking that you’ve been hit, so players rely on an honour system.

“Within the hobby, that’s a big deal. You have to call your own hits,” he says. The hobby is typically so casual there isn’t an official national association or genuine rule set: “it’s kind of the point.”

In November, Innis started Foam Blaster Supply, a company that would supply rental Nerf guns and darts to the association as a way to fund the non-profit league’s insurance and facility rental fees.

He also hopes he can rent the blasters out for office and birthday parties.

“Give everyone a Nerf gun and let them go nuts … That sounds pretty fun, actually, right?”

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

 

Mike Innis purchased 22 blasters on Used Victoria and Varage Sale to stack his Nerf arsenal. (Lauren Boothby/VICTORIA NEWS)

Just Posted

Royal Bay student growing out locks for cancer

Luke Eilertsen to donate 16 inches of his hair to Wigs for Kids

UPDATED: More rental homes under construction in Colwood

New housing project underway on Sooke Road for families, seniors and people with disabilities

UPDATED: Health Canada looking into B.C. boy’s treatment of rabid dog saliva

BC Naturopathic Association questions Dr. Anke Zimmermann’s conduct on recent treatments

Westmont Montessori upgrades to be completed this fall

New space will feature larger classrooms, more storage

Get your hands dirty or enjoy nature at your pace

Fort Rodd Hill hosts two days of events for volunteer week and Earth Day

Lt.-Gov. Guichon believes she made the right decision

Outgoing Lt.-Gov Judith Guichon said her most memorable moments weren’t surrounding the election

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

VIDEO: Smokers talk pot rules at annual 4-20 event

Annual pot protest-meets-festival in Vancouver attracted hundreds to vendors, concert

Saanich’s Shew sisters win gold, silver at national wrestling championships

Kiana, 17, won gold while Zena, 14, won silver at nationals

New funds, recruits set to alleviate B.C. sheriff shortage

The Government of British Columbia announced new sheriff graduates, funding for more classes

Video: RCMP investigation gets a deer little photobomb

Princeton RCMP were conducting a drug investigation in Princeton which a deer strolled through

Farnworth says five years too long for feds to deal with organized crime in medical pot

Needs to be dealt with much sooner than that, B.C. Public Safety Minister says

UPDATED: Unions, CP Rail come to agreement, avoiding work stoppage

Locomotive engineers, conductors and signals specialists seeking new collective agreements.

B.C. woman known to hitchhike around province missing

Aislynn Hanson, 18, last seen April 13; known to travel throughout B.C. by hitchhiking

Most Read