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Why is RC racing not growing?

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Why is RC racing not growing?

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Old 11-27-2014, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed237 View Post
I always felt that there needs to be more actual racing. 6 to 12 hour race day for a 7 or 10 minute main? You have to be 'all in' to spend that much time doing something so obscure.
Not to nostalgia here, and I know someone will come back and tell me about shorter races...

But I remember the 4 minute mains being awesome.

The 6 minute stuff now is still badass.
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Old 11-27-2014, 10:36 AM
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Lots of good comments here. All worth consideration. Hacksback got it right for me at the get-go of this thread. Too many classes. Takes far too much time to run off an event for the small amount of run time a single car competitor gets.
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Old 11-27-2014, 10:56 AM
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Part of the reason why RC racing isn't growing is how novice racers are treated. Many times I've seen young racers get so discouraged at the track because no one wants to help them with their Traxxas car - they spend all of their efforts pushing them into "race vehicles" when they don't have decent electronics, radios, etc. It doesn't help when the local fast guys all hang out in their own group and aren't very approachable.

I feel that the responsibility for cultivating young racers rests on the local fast guys. If we each take a few minutes of our day to "adopt" a new racer, we would all benefit. Suspension tuning is the same for every vehicle, and often a new racer just needs a setup that is just good enough to let them worry about staying between the pipes. Pushing "race vehicles" with ball diffs and more fragile parts doesn't help at this stage (unless they aren't going to be putting money into the cars themselves).

For the "senior novice" racers that are about to enter another class with a more competitive vehicle, local fast guys who run (or have run) that platform should be helping with setup and maintenance tips, but it is important to do so in a way that lets them learn. Instead of just throwing a setup on the car for them, walk them through building a set of shocks so they can learn how to do it themselves. Share with them the effect of each change so maybe next time they will try it themselves (and possibly fail, but they will come back for help if you teach them right).

The tracks I club race at (Mike's RC World in Bellingham, WA and Skagit River Raceway in Burlington, WA) have a pretty strong novice and younger racer field (15 or so drivers, including the young racers that have been booted from novice because they got fast enough to run with the main group), but you also see our novice racers pitting right next to the fast guys, so they are learning more every race day. We also have a pretty generous group of regular racers, some have even donated vehicles to young racers who were wanting to race competitively but didn't have a way to pay for a better vehicle, and we have a racer sponsorship program at the track, allowing young racers to help with maintenance, food delivery, cleanup, etc. in exchange for free or reduced entry fees.

Another area we can improve on is the race program itself. At Mike's RC World we tried a new format for the novice racers this past weekend and it was very popular with the novice class and the regular racers. We added 2 sessions of novice only practice to the pre-race program and added a novice only practice session between each round, then moved the novice qualifying to the middle of the race program so they had the same race day pace as someone running 2 classes - without increasing their cost. The regular racers benefit from this program by getting a short intermission during each round and it doesn't add time between rounds (we re-sort after Q1, then sort and post the mains after Q2), allowing everyone to get done at the same time. Last race we had 168 entries, started at 10:00AM and were out the door by 7:30PM (5 minute qualifiers, 6 minute lower mains, 7 minute single A mains).

Another area that some tracks are forgetting is cooperating with other tracks in the region. Here in the PNW we have a couple of good tracks that are within day-trip distance of each other (3 hours), and we get quite a few guys that run both, and we share the flyers of both tracks at each track so people know what's going on. If more tracks realized that their best marketing tool can be competing venues, more tracks would stay alive, and more racers would show up.
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Old 11-27-2014, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Socket View Post
Not to nostalgia here, and I know someone will come back and tell me about shorter races...

But I remember the 4 minute mains being awesome.

The 6 minute stuff now is still badass.
6 minute mains? We run 8 minutes now. I'd like to see less classes and longer mains.
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Old 11-27-2014, 11:03 AM
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I got into RC heavily last year after nearly losing my right leg in an off road motorcycle crash. I was laid up for month and after multiple surgeries I couldn't do anything. I found going to the track gave me that same feeling of exhilaration as the moto. But for me, getting to the track was difficult an having a family and job it was hard to find a free weekend. I'm 40ish, and I see a lot of guys out there my age. Some are super into it, some are novices like me.

I like the free entry for rookies idea. But getting my wife (who is super cool) to sign off on watching the kids so I can go race is an impossibility. Since I'm out of moto, maybe we have some of our family life back that was previously gone with me on the road every other weekend to race. Anyhow, it's an amazing hobby, and I can't help to think if tracks were in areas closer to more people, it would be a no-brainer. We built one in a vacant area, and it's a great tool for awareness as it gets tons of bike and foot traffic
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Old 11-27-2014, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by JeepnMike View Post
In my case, family and kids... Most races are at night, I can't just ditch my family at night to go race RC cars (if I want to stay happily married). I spend many spare weekdays just running laps after laps and enjoying myself when it is practical to be at a track.

This hobby definitely caters to singles, young and old, a little less in-between.
This is where I'm at as well. I am happily married and have 4 boys (all under 9 years of age) so we stay very busy raising them. I love the hobby and have several cars but haven't raced once - I would like to but we are just busy with life......The nearest track is out of town so I don't get to visit too often because of time and schedule constraints. I still love the hobby though, whether I ever get to race or not.
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Old 11-27-2014, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed237 View Post
I always felt that there needs to be more actual racing. 6 to 12 hour race day for a 7 or 10 minute main? You have to be 'all in' to spend that much time doing something so obscure.

I think this is the main issue with racing. I'm 2-3 hour round trip (depending on the track) and an 8-10 race day. It's hard to allocate that much time especially if you have a family.

I loved racing and have a huge love for r/c cars and all though I haven't raced in few years or even touched my stuff, I still come on here daily and have a huge wish list of kits and electronics I want to buy. I do plan on getting back into the hobby but the only time I'll be at the track is on practice days where I can knock off a few packs.

The high costs of kits isn't really an issue compared to what you're actually getting and the quality of the kits. I remember 25 years ago spending near $450 for a car that would barely stay together without hopups and a runtime of 5 minutes.
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Old 11-27-2014, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by gene1219 View Post
I think this is the main issue with racing. I'm 2-3 hour round trip (depending on the track) and an 8-10 race day. It's hard to allocate that much time especially if you have a family.

I loved racing and have a huge love for r/c cars and all though I haven't raced in few years or even touched my stuff, I still come on here daily and have a huge wish list of kits and electronics I want to buy. I do plan on getting back into the hobby but the only time I'll be at the track is on practice days where I can knock off a few packs.

The high costs of kits isn't really an issue compared to what you're actually getting and the quality of the kits. I remember 25 years ago spending near $450 for a car that would barely stay together without hopups and a runtime of 5 minutes.
oh they still make traxxas

I think everyone that owns a track and most of you racers always want to do it on the worst days/times of the week. I mean honestly who has time to race on a weeknight? I just went last night (wed before thanksgiving) and did a practice from 5-10 and by time I got home and put my stuff away and settled in I finally got in bed around 1am. no way could do that if I had to get up for work.

and it seems like where I live the race scene is a ghost town during summer. it seems like all the tracks are always closed.

Last edited by mtpocketsracing; 11-27-2014 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 11-27-2014, 11:40 AM
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Its the please-all nature of the current state of society. Every little voice has to be heard and acknowledged, even though they're in direct conflict with every other opinion. Look at how many opposing opinions there are in just this thread. The directors/organizers are basically stuck. Add classes, people complain. Take away classes, god forbid someone's left not being able to run. Make the mains longer, people complain they can't make the time or want shorter race days. We're stuck on train tracks because changing anything is impossible without everyone being up in arms. As mentioned before, the decline of parking lot racing outside the hobby store, and less nitro cars drawing people in, are likely culprits as well.

Everyone likes to blame the unfriendliness occasionally witnessed at some tracks, but this hobby has only gotten better in that regard. 10-15 years ago the hobby wasn't very friendly either to newcomers. Especially without the wealth of information/knowledge the internet provides today. What is different about today, is some of the newcomers themselves. 10 years ago the proficiency of newcomers who could at least keep the car off the pipes had to be higher. I took a break from r/c for college, and returned 4 years ago. The novice classes were at least able to get around the track. Today, the average novice class is a destruction derby. The other thing is kits vs. RTR's. Before you had to at least build the car so at a minimum had a basic idea of your car. Having to explain how to take off wheels, puts a damper on wiliness to help.

If we want the hobby to grow, its things like these that are going to have to be accepted.
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Old 11-27-2014, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by RC10Nick View Post
I think you inadvertently hit the nail on the head.

Want to know what's wrong with this hobby? Look no further than this thread. Every other post is about how useless kids are and how hopelessly addicted they are to video games, or some other form of "the younger generation sucks."

Its old twerps with those kinds of attitudes that put off new guys, young and old.
This.

Originally Posted by Ed237 View Post
I always felt that there needs to be more actual racing. 6 to 12 hour race day for a 7 or 10 minute main? You have to be 'all in' to spend that much time doing something so obscure.
And This.


People really do like to beat up on the young generation, yet ignore the fact that its the same stuff the "old" generation did as well towards them.

People these days want to see more value for that dollar, and you have to have an environment that offers more than just drive for a half hour total to sit around for 6 hrs or more per class. Having a great group of friendly drivers offers that as outside of the die hards, you won't get the turnout you are wanting.

And beating up on someone's vehicle because its Traxxas or what have you does no good. Its almost like those people who are doing this really have nothing else worthwhile in there lives other than the fact they can turn the wheel on the controller to make a toy car go around a track fast.

Doesn't mean RC companies and organizations are fully off the hook either. At some point, if you want people to desire to actually race versus bash, you need to make something that gets the word out there and make it something you want to do in conjunction with the environment being accessible.

All and all, for me and mine, some of the best times we had racing were in classes where it wasn't high pressure, where guys had a laugh or two on the stand over a spin out and truly just enjoyed RC.
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Old 11-27-2014, 12:24 PM
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Honestly i don't care about staying at a track for 6 or more hours im able to tune on my buggy watch some racing and BS with some guys walk about the shop etc. what else am im going to do. Now i run one class most of the time but if i know its a pretty big race for sure a 2nd class i will try to run a lot of downtime.

As for the entry cost to race its no more than going to the movies for tickets or the candy/popcorn. Most tracks charge no more than $20 inless its a big race at most $25 usually $30 one in a very blue moon.

I don't have kids and have nobody to answer to also so.
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Old 11-27-2014, 02:00 PM
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no complaints about the cost of race fee's, I remember paying over $10 back in 1993! Personally its the super long race days that get me, I actually have a family at home and it sucks to be at the track for 8 hours (its fun, but my family does not see it that way lol) and racing on weeknights is tough when I have to be up for work at 5am
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Old 11-27-2014, 02:57 PM
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Long days is what keeps me out, but i think iindustry wide the problem is advertising. No company wants to be the first to shell out a ton of cash to essentially advertise for an entire hobby. The only company that could do large scale advertising is traxxas because they sell their crap everywhere. IF AE or losi were to advertise on tv the consumer would end up going to a hobby shop and more then likely purchasing a different brand.
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Old 11-27-2014, 03:14 PM
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2wd SC is dying off. Buggies aren't for new people. I think most people are over thinking this. Buggies are for the serious racers and are very frustrating when your not running well. The magic of RC is in the trucks. Before sc, stadium truck was the attractive class for new racers but now both of those classes are dwindling in comparison. Bring back the popularity of SC and you would see more new people come. At least in my opinion.
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Old 11-27-2014, 03:20 PM
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Reading a trend here that time is the contributing factor.

My gf's grandkids play soccer. A game for them usually takes 1-2 hours. Then add in travel time, about half a day.

Applying this to r/c, perhaps three 4 hour events per day would make it more appealing? Rather than one 12-16 hour event?
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