Hello everybody It's Heikki here and I hope you're rolling good! Today we talk about RC! Really? Such a surprise! Oh yes today we take a little oversight to trends of RC car hobby today! Let's see where our train is going!
Availability and variety of RC cars today is just stunning. I feel that many who consider themselves as a hobbyist have their own primary area of interest but want sooner or later to have at least one example of something else. While lurking posts of peoples RC garages it appears that there is often one bigger scale basher, one or two crawlers and often some rare vintage kits. I can also spot some RC aeroplanes, boats etc.. RC is indeed a very wide hobby and there is only one way to hobby it right - your own personal way!
Once again I'm also encouraging to try something new! Pop that bubble and expand your consciousness! Do not get me wrong. If you are in to carpet racing and carpet racing only - it is perfectly fine but keep in mind that there may be many unknown worlds to discover even for those who feel they've seen it all already. My message here is that try something new and stay open for new fresh ideas! You may even like it!
Bash the Pain Away
I never really understood bashing before I had opportunity to try a true real modern day beast in shape of Team Corally Shogun 6S. Is hard to explain but it made me smile when I first pushed the trigger down and tested its capabilities. Bashing is RC fun in pure simple form and thats pretty much most of it! It has also been very popular during last few years and truck of this type are selling good all around.
Bashing is backyard type of sport and during these times of future unknown this seems to be one of the main trends of RC. Competition side is getting smaller but backyard and leisure style of RC is growing. Everything is getting faster and trucks should be able to take some real violence today. Some are already talking about RC as a lifestyle hobby and why not! I get bigger kicks from RC than real cars nowadays.
Biggest players on the bashing field are of course Traxxas and ARRMA with it's huge and dedicated fan army. New challenger in the field is Belgian Team Corally that has strong background in competition side of RC and have diluted their experience in this area to their line of stunt trucks!
Faster than Bullet
Speedrun seems to be catching popularity all around the globe. We can see this trend here in our shop in the shape of requests for such stuff and also that such stuff seems to be sold out everywhere including our distributors! If you are a competitive type of driver this should be easy to understand - only one can be fastest and fastest one wins!
No-Prep or Drag Racing competitions have done something that I did see not coming - huge, even astronomical cash prizes in RC competitions. King of Streets just few weeks back had the main prize of 18 000 USD! And this is just for starter. Super Chip RC Drag Race in Oklahoma will be held in May and is supposed to have over 20K USD of main prize! Quite a motivator to tune up your Slash no? It goes like this - you pay 100$ to take part and the winner takes it all. Is this kind of type to collect prizes something that lasts winds of time we will see! I could see that this could fit fine on some areas of crawling comp scene too.
Crawling and Scale Off-road have been steadily growing their success during last ten years. While many think they are still too slow for them I've seen some very dedicated RC drivers to make full U-turn in their hobby when they've finally "got it". For some it is the ability to climb the rocks (what is more challenging than you may think!) and for some it's the delicate scale realistic appearance.
RC Crawling on the competitive side continues its dividing between performance and scale realism based trucks. Especially having light, flat chassis rails and light weighted Power Wagon body seems to be the only way to go in performance class today. Meanwhile the everlasting discussion that if this is "scale in the meaning of the name" keeps raging on the forums and Facebook. I say that keep on building what pleasures you most but if you comp, follow the rules and the spirit of the scale when in competitions! And do not forget the shovel!
Popularity of real sized off-road racing like Ultra-4 has also brought some speed in crawling too. Modern day Ultra-4 trucks like Axial Capra or FTX DR8 Desert Racer are balanced to offer both speed and rock climbing ability. Not too easy to combine "best of both worlds" here. Interesting to see also if bashing style will catch drift in RC crawling with new dedicated trucks like Axial Ryft Rock Bouncer.
Mini or palm-sized crawlers are very popular today thanks to smaller new LiPO-batteries and fast USB chargers. Kids love these too and for many future comp drivers these are the first touch for RC. We all started it somewhere and these Minis will be wanted collectibles one day when the nostalgia hits.
To Comp or Not to Comp
Yeah, what about "real" competitional levels of RC like buggy racing, Short Course or GT? How are they going? Unpleasant truth here is that this area was already getting smaller before Corona times and this uncertainty of future has not really helped. Competition side of RC is definitely in dip at the moment but this is where everyone of us can help!
Is it simply the circle of life? In discussions many veterans say that it really is like this. Trends go in and trends go out, You can't explain that! Hypes are also often fed to us by manufacturers. They bring out something new and market it as hot and people catch to that drift. Then years pass by and this what was new hot trend starts to dilute as part of the mainstream and get lifted up again after ten years and the wheel keeps turning! This is also the one business model how manufactures work and should not be considered as a bad thing. We get more toys to play, too!
Decline in traditional areas of RC maybe also caused by simple saturation of the market. There is simply now just more and different kind of ways to hobby competitive level of RC.
Now I am not saying that there is no more competitions or the sport has died away and waiting for funerals. I really hope that this is just a dip and people find their ways back to tracks when times get better. It is also very easy to be smart from your sofa - go and get involved to your local club or track and make the hobby better! Hobby lives or dies with the hobbyists.
How to get more racers then? Simply put one has to be interested about the track and driving the car itself before they can get really in to competition. Make newbies welcome and let them have their mistakes. You were noob once too, remember? Be nice and don't lose your cool if someone else makes a mistake.
This is a topic that has been around for a some time and there is simply no one truth. Maybe there is a information gap? Or a generation gap even? Do you know what is happening at your local club? Do others know? Is anyone really taking care of the FB pages of your club and announcing about the happenings? Could you be the active one? Did you find interesting YouTube-channel? Share it and spread the word!
I really hope that this is just a dip and after corona we see the rise of traditional racing classes! It anyhow is responsibility of everyone to make this hobby more friendly for beginners. Once again be rather part of the solution than part of the problem!
What is your opinion here? Where do you think that hobby is going from your perspective? Discussion continues in different social media platforms in shapes of funny memes and deeper thoughts. My take from this is that the hobby is more popular than ever, it has just so many subcategories and everyone has their own favorite. Like said, trends come and go! It's the circle of life and Elton John has made a song about it, too!
Yours truly and see you next week, Heikki from EuroRC
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