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Old 05-22-2006, 01:24 PM   #46
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Well-some small degree of forward progress has been made. JIm Herrmann has made a flyer for the local hobbyshops. He already dropped some off at two stores and will hit two or three more this week, as well as talk to the managers of the stores about what we do.

I am also going to put together a "Media Car" this week. I own a beater XXXS G+, servo, batteries, motor, tires. Locals will donate bodies, esc, etc. to my effort!! I guess well keep it charged up and if someone looks curious or got sent to the Gate or the outdoor track across town at the Hobbytown USA location-well give-em a pack to try it out.

I hope I can make the car somewhat reliable so they hit stuff and not break it. Fore sure the bruhes will be cut or the throttle dialed back a bit for less top speed and a real easy to drive set-up.

Thanks for everyone ideas. SOme manufacturer involvement would be nice still.
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Old 05-22-2006, 01:45 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayhuang
Well-some small degree of forward progress has been made. JIm Herrmann has made a flyer for the local hobbyshops. He already dropped some off at two stores and will hit two or three more this week, as well as talk to the managers of the stores about what we do.

I am also going to put together a "Media Car" this week. I own a beater XXXS G+, servo, batteries, motor, tires. Locals will donate bodies, esc, etc. to my effort!! I guess well keep it charged up and if someone looks curious or got sent to the Gate or the outdoor track across town at the Hobbytown USA location-well give-em a pack to try it out.

I hope I can make the car somewhat reliable so they hit stuff and not break it. Fore sure the bruhes will be cut or the throttle dialed back a bit for less top speed and a real easy to drive set-up.

Thanks for everyone ideas. SOme manufacturer involvement would be nice still.
At my local track here in the UK (its a fairly well known track within the UK) we hold one or two beginers fun meets during the year. Usually around the Christmas time.
We also have had a car to try out, and the response has been great! A few people usually take to the hobby and we usually get a few more members from it, although alot of them give in within a year.
The "media car" as you call it usually attarcts the younger audience to have ago, and before long you find the Dad having a bash too
I hope this project works out for you and sets an example for everybody else (including manufacturers) to follow, thanks for promoting the hobby!
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Old 05-25-2006, 03:37 PM   #48
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Something to think about is, "what was it like when I was a beginner?"

I started in 1983, as a kid, along with my younger brother. B.I. (before internet), our contact with the hobby was the hobby shop and a few magazines that weren't on the news stand. When entering the local hobby shop, there was always a rack with copied flyers for tracks and clubs in the area. We would scoop them all up like free baseball cards. Our parents would drive us to one of the tracks on the weekend to take in the sights.

We did NOT have patronizing tracks and "house cars" or classes for beginners to get started. There was no such thing as entry-level race cars. There was no intimidation because the fast guys had lots of money or track time, or had cars that we could understand. They were always something we aspired to be, and compete with. The A-mains were filled with guys we wanted to learn to drive like.

As a 13 and 10 year old in a hobby of mostly adults (even then), we were never disrespectful of anyone, and always listened when we were told what to do and how to do it. We inhaled as much information from other racers as we could. The both of us were in love with working on the cars and getting better, and we LEARNED how to communicate with adults and people we didn't know. We learned how to problem solve, rationalize through difficult and stressful situations, and we learned from our mistakes.

I think the problem today is that RC racing is competing with too many different lazy outlets for kids (video games, DVDs, internet, etc). While you may have a few kids our young people who are inspired enough to attack the hobby like my brother and I did when we were young, you don't have enough to create entire classes around them, especially on the local level. I don't know if the solution is a beginner class, or house cars, or a special practice day for nOObs, or even low end cars. We bought basic RC10s in 1984 and the car grew with us as we learned. You can still buy a base level RC10 for just about the same as they cost 20 years ago. Touring cars pose a whole new level of issues for newbies, which may be why RTRs and monster trucks seem to be a massive section of this industry and hobby right now.

Personally, I'd like to see more tracks and clubs, and more places to give kids and new racers a place to learn and enjoy the hobby. I'd like to see LESS classes to divide and water down the new and old racers alike. While I love the idea of a spec car and class open to everyone, its unrealistic to think that shielding new racers from the "F" main is going to make them want to race any more than in a "beginner" class.

There are few things to bring new racers to the hobby that haven't been tried. It's a different world we live in than the one I started racing in. You can't compete with video games and the internet and expect to win. You just have to co-exist and not lose the new racers you ARE getting. A lot of that will fall on the shoulders of the hobby shops, track owners and current experienced racers. It's all about being good hosts and better mentors.
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Old 05-25-2006, 08:59 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodgersfan
In my area, most of the EP on-roaders have too much ego to make themselves available for help.
I find the nitro guys and the off-roaders to be much more welcoming and supportive.
Is that Oval or TC..? Whats up Dane.. You raced at my track once..JBRL Oval in Kingsburg
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Old 05-25-2006, 09:25 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApexSpeed
Something to think about is, "what was it like when I was a beginner?"



We did NOT have patronizing tracks and "house cars" or classes for beginners to get started. There was no such thing as entry-level race cars. There was no intimidation because the fast guys had lots of money or track time, or had cars that we could understand. They were always something we aspired to be, and compete with. The A-mains were filled with guys we wanted to learn to drive like.
I was a beginner two years in the touring car class and I think you are totally right I wanted to be just as good as the A main drivers even tho they had more money and track time than me. All I cared about was to drive better so I could be just as good as them and not saying their better just because they have better or more stuff then me. they also always help the beginners out with set-up and motors and stuff like that. I am still not the best or close to being the best but they still inspire me to do better and I am only 14 so I have time to do better and reach their level.
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Old 05-26-2006, 07:30 AM   #51
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Apex,
I couldn't agree with you more. Your story sounds VERY similar to mine. I agree with your assessment that there are too many LAZY outlets for kids these days. In my opinion, the RTR's are just an extension of that.

When I got my first kit (Tamiya Frog) it took me a full 24 hours to build it. I was 10 and did the entire thing on my own, no help from anyone. When I was done, I felt I had accomplished something.

There may be a bit more complexity in some of todays cars but really, it's not that different from the mid 80's AND the instructions on most kits are SO much better than they were.

I think the big thing here is the word LAZY. It's coupled with a declining interest in math, science and engineering. All subjects which are shunned by many kids these days. Working with RC anything, building, wrenching, problem solving, etc is all a window into the engineering field. I know a kid who's parents bought him any RC stuff he wanted including some sort of $2000 plane. Their justification for it, "Messing around with RC stuff is actually better preparing him for an engineering degree than baseball or any other exticurricular could."

I couldn't agree more...

How this helps the local racing scene is simple, there has to be that curiosity and fascination with these mechanical things to make you want to wrench on your car vs. wasting away at XBox.

For me, I have my FTTC4 and 12L4 sitting on my desk as I work...to me they are things of beauty. I've been fascinated with RC for 21 years now (you think I'd be a better driver though). That fascination has not let up one bit.

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Old 05-26-2006, 08:24 AM   #52
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Sometimes my brother and I talk about what the RC world has done for us, and like you mentioned, we both agree that it harvested and refined problem solving abilities, logic, learning and development as young men, and even social skills we may not have gotten through stick and ball outlets as kids.

Not to divert the topic too much to historical references, but I don't think that the answer for new racers is to patronize them with stepping stones to better things, but to inform and expose them to what is truly enjoyable about the sport/hobby. While it might work on a few to dip their feet in the water slowly with a beginner car and limited classes, I don't know of many egos that would handle the stigma associated with "sportsman" or beginner cars or classes.

I think much of the responsibility of this issue falls to the magazines, the shop and track owners and operators, and then current racers, in that order. Convincing a brand new carpet touring car racer to buy a full-ticket Corally or Xray is a great way to sour our current short-attention span potential racers. Again, maybe the monster truck revolution is in steamroller mode because they are so forgiving to bad setup and bad driving, and excuse a lack of attention to detail or care.

To me, these backyard hackers aren't the racers of the future, though. And thought needs to be given by everyone in the industry, from the manufacturers on down, as to how to cultivate new racers of all ages—and not just sell monster trucks.
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Old 05-26-2006, 08:41 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRXS
I was a beginner two years in the touring car class and I think you are totally right I wanted to be just as good as the A main drivers even tho they had more money and track time than me. All I cared about was to drive better so I could be just as good as them and not saying their better just because they have better or more stuff then me. they also always help the beginners out with set-up and motors and stuff like that. I am still not the best or close to being the best but they still inspire me to do better and I am only 14 so I have time to do better and reach their level.
As I was reading this thread, I had this kid in mind. "JRXS" was a beginner just a year ago and now half of the adults at the track can't keep up. I've helped him out when he asked, encouraged him, and even sold him all of my old crap. (Just kidding Potter) Our track breaks the skill levels down into four groups. Beginner, Intermediate, Pro and Expert. The kids stay motivated because they're racing against other newbies. As you become better, you move up to the next class. It helps to not discourage the new guy while he learns, and the better drivers don't have to dodge pinballs during the race. JRXS has already moved up twice and I can't say he's spent all of his allowance just yet.
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Old 05-26-2006, 02:33 PM   #54
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From Reading what slitskin says.

We run a system of seeding driver in there class. The first week you go you a seded in the lowest class no matter if you are a top driver to start with. After that week it we seed you in the apporiate class according to your previous week performance. This I think would encorage new drivers to improve ther preformance to go up into a more competitive class.
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