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Old 11-09-2006, 06:48 PM   #1
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Exclamation Change the Hobby for the Better - TODAY -

I would like to start a thread that features positive input, suggestions, plans, results, and cooperation in the community of racers to bring attention and wake up some of the "old school" mentality to try to bring racing back to the club level like it was in years past.

Now I know nothing stays the same, and can never be "like it was" but, as a collective group of hobbyists, we carry on our backs and in our wallets the real potential to get things done, change the way things "are" and force the industry to pay attention.

This thread will NOT be a place to:

Complain about ROAR Rules
Knock Companies business strategies
Complain about specific products
Debate NON-Issues
Attempts to "explain" how RTR is killing the hobby
Give a "shout out" to your "bros"

It WILL be a place to:

Offer ideas to increase participation at the local level
Create new race clubs or race series
Come up with collective group initiatives to present to Companies
Offer ideas for new products or pricing
Create new classes
Develop new ways to bring attention to this hobby

I truly believe, and I know there are others like me, that this "hobby" has taken on a new "face" over the last 5 years or so. There are many reasons why we are where we are. Too many to ever nail down to a simple few. We all know RTR has hurt us, battery and motor wars have hurt us, and the flow of products into a recessive market has hurt us as well. No need to mention it, its been done a thousand times.

What we need to do, as group, and the larger the group the better, is TAKE CONTROL of our hobby. We carry the destiny of our own futures. We make decisions everyday that may make us or break us.

If we could come up with a solid plan for action, put it in motion and follow it through to the end, we could effectively, as this large group, shape the future of our hobby.

This may seem like nonsense to some, to others that think "I am powerless to control it" and to those that only have a casual interest in the hobby, but there are many, like myself, that have been involved in one way or another with this hobby for 20 years.

ITS TIME TO TRY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Please share your ideas. As they come in, we can elect people to refine them, create local chapters to oversee them and finally, put them into motion.

Feel free to share your thoughts, but please be positive.

Thanks,

Freq
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Old 11-09-2006, 08:02 PM   #2
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I like what you are trying to accomplish. Without taking it to the stupid level, to solve any problem you have to first define what it is. As some one fairly new to RC the problems that I have identified are 2. Not the only two but a very important two.

Number 1 is cost. I think the creation of some cost limited classes would be good. Most kids can't afford our hobby. Heck, most grown-ups can't.

Number 2 is track attidude. I've been at a particular track where I wasn't welcomed and was actually yelled at by one of the regular racers. Now instead of going to that track (10 minutes from my home), I'm lucky enough to know of another track (about 45 minutes from my home), which I go to every weekend.

When the two problems are combined its enough to drive people away. SO, my idea is just to remember to have fun, wear a smile on your face and help someone else to feel welcome. The more people who have an enjoyable time, the more the word will spread. Stress the value of the fun, rather than the value of winning. I don't think rtr's can be a positive part in the equation because of the quality or lack there of some of the kits. Not to mention the inequality of the specs of the kits.

I hope some people come up with some good ideas, because this really is a fun hobby, even if you aren't good enough to win.
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Old 11-09-2006, 08:25 PM   #3
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It's funny, my local club is at a point where it's almost (but not quite) in desperate need of new racers. With this in mind, I recently went on a trip to Australia so while I was there I decided to check out a few races and see what they were doing ot get people in.

The first place I went was a temporary outdoor nitro club race held on a tuesday night. I have never been to a nitro race (or even an outdoor race) so I was surprised to see around 60-80 people racing and close to another 100 spectating. Now my club, on a good sunday seems to be lucky to get 20 people so I decided to go up and talk to the organisers and see what it was that they did differently to us.

I think the biggest difference was that anyone with a nitro vehicle was allowed to race. It didn't matter if it was a nitro monster truck or a pan car, there was a class for it. They found that if people come out to the races and see that the monster truck their parents bought them for christmas can be raced then they'll want to come back. Then the bug hits and after a season they'll buy a RTR nitro car and there's a class for that. The next class up is the RTR's with bigger motors and so on.

The next place I went to was an indoor asphalt track and while there weren't as many racers there there seemed to be a lot of entry level cars, TT-01s and such. One of the classes they ran was a drift class and it was quite popular. Apparently, the night before they had something like 20 people come out for drift racing. these people will molre than likely progress onto more serious cars and racing in the future. There were even a few guys with high end cars putting drift tyres on their cars and having a whole lot of fun with it.

Finally I went to an indoor carpet track (I'm told it's the only one in Australia) and they had a novice class that was pretty much a run what you brung class. This seemed to have a lot of younger racers in it and they came out with whatever they had. The club made it so that the novice classes ended earlier in the night so that the younger members would be able to get home at a reasonable time. Now, these kids have been given the oportunity to grow into something and in a few years they'll be racing serious equipment and having the time of their lives. (of course, they'll probably find the poon and real cars and drop RC cars but at least they're given the opportunity).

At my local track, the minimum buy in the be somewhat competitive in the bottom class is $1000+. It's hard to go out to a race because you're interested only to find you have to drop that amount of cash. I like how the clubs in Australia made the initial entry into RC a lot easier to swallow financially.
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Old 11-09-2006, 08:26 PM   #4
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i like this and all i can say is just have fun.
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Old 11-09-2006, 08:30 PM   #5
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Wow! Warhawk....!

You just single handedly Killed this thread!

I mean that as a compliment, meaning you hit the nail right on the head man!

Very well stated!

The only thing I would add is:

Limit the price of a car by class. (Cost of kit ie: Street Price when new)

EXAMPLE: Beginner Class $150 or less - 540 spec motors only
Sportsman Class $200 or less - stock 27t
Stock Class $275 or less
19T Class or 4300 $350 or less
Mod $400 or less

Batteries by 2008 for (Beginner, Sportsman, Stock) - Stick Pack - $40

Batteries by 2008, for (19T, 4300 or Mod) - "Lipo" Max Price @ $60





Quote:
Originally Posted by Warhawk 1
I like what you are trying to accomplish. Without taking it to the stupid level, to solve any problem you have to first define what it is. As some one fairly new to RC the problems that I have identified are 2. Not the only two but a very important two.

Number 1 is cost. I think the creation of some cost limited classes would be good. Most kids can't afford our hobby. Heck, most grown-ups can't.

Number 2 is track attidude. I've been at a particular track where I wasn't welcomed and was actually yelled at by one of the regular racers. Now instead of going to that track (10 minutes from my home), I'm lucky enough to know of another track (about 45 minutes from my home), which I go to every weekend.

When the two problems are combined its enough to drive people away. SO, my idea is just to remember to have fun, wear a smile on your face and help someone else to feel welcome. The more people who have an enjoyable time, the more the word will spread. Stress the value of the fun, rather than the value of winning. I don't think rtr's can be a positive part in the equation because of the quality or lack there of some of the kits. Not to mention the inequality of the specs of the kits.

I hope some people come up with some good ideas, because this really is a fun hobby, even if you aren't good enough to win.
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Old 11-09-2006, 08:36 PM   #6
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Talking

Thanks for the comments guys. This is how things get started!

#1 issue that is most mentioned on the boards, is the cost to get started.

That might be a first step that we, as a group, could tackle.

I have thought of many things to solve this and some of the companies have a "spec" class that limits costs but I don't think it is enough.

Possible solutions:

1. Tracks offer charged batteries for Novice classes. Included in race fee.
2. Donate batteries you don't use or don't meet race specs, to the "new guy"
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Old 11-09-2006, 08:40 PM   #7
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Always have fun...
please i can't stress enough...support your Hobby shop where you race at after all they need to make money in order to keep things going. if something cost a few more dollars (or whatever coinage is used) why not give it to your track. usually my cutoff is 5%-8% difference. Most tracks are lucky to break even at the end of the month when they close their books.

And if you have newcomer racers flowing into the track suggest to the track coordinators that they have a novice class setup..even if it's just for 2 or 3 racers in that heat.
You'll surprised when that happens, the regulars or local pros take more time to help out the newcomers because they are watching them rather than when they are thrown into the same heat.

As stated below...donate stuff if you see a newcomer on a budget...I always give away old batteries...or tires that i don't need...newcomers can use them for practice. And if they ask how much just say Please don't hack me on the track

And remember this is about having UBER fun...any bad day at the track is better than mowing the lawn or sweeping the pavement or herding a flock of cattle

Last edited by olhipster1; 11-10-2006 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 11-09-2006, 08:44 PM   #8
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The local shop in my town, which is working towards building their permanent track came up with a great idea. We have an Andretti Thrill Park in town and the shop owner gave them a sales pitch to hold races in their parking lot once a month. The Andretti park loved the idea and has even offered up killer gift certificates to top it off. The first race went off great and a ton of spectators came by to watch as well. The hobby shop sales went up quite a bit the next week too. The second race is 12/17 and it's turned into a big deal with all kind of mfr's jumping in to donate raffle prizes for this big December race.

Bottom line here is.....if you can "take your show on the road" and possibly put in a place with more visibility, it just may pay off. Many businesses could be potential race locations and both parties could benefit nicely.

Also, a nitro truck class was offered and it turned out to be quite large and those guys are ready to go at it this month too.

It's great way to expose r/c racing to potential new racers.

Good luck!
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Old 11-09-2006, 08:47 PM   #9
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One of the biggest and best things you can do for a "newbie" or fellow racer that is having problems is just take the time to drive their car, check their circles (about 95% of most newbies problems) and offer advice. Ive done this several times and thats all it takes to make someones day and keep them interested in racing...

A lot of stuff that us "pro's" know and take for granted the new racers dont have a clue about and just need someone to show them!! Thats how you keep people interested

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Old 11-09-2006, 08:47 PM   #10
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I would like to get this rolling and we will need organization to do it.

First we will need leaders (not directors) to assist with collecting ideas and delivering them to the respective local levels.

I propose setting up 3 Reform Groups. East - Central - West.

Each group will have a Leader. That person will become the spokesman for their particular area and make decisions on what items to bring to the table regarding reform issues.

Without organization from the start, this will just be another discussion that goes nowhere.

If you feel you have the extra time and the respect of your fellows racers to devote several hours a week working together on ideas, please contact me and we can start working on ideas to organize our efforts.

Keep this in mind, there are 38,000 users on this board. If we got 50% of them to donate $1 to our cause, that would be SEVERAL full page ads in Car Action to promote our efforts. Interesting huh?
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Old 11-09-2006, 08:53 PM   #11
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Grease Monkey,

Australia can't be doing every thing to well.
They only have about 80 entries total for their on road nats next weekend.
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Old 11-09-2006, 09:30 PM   #12
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I know this is in the electric onroad forum but does anyone else feel it is an off road problem as well? I know hobby shops that sell alot of off road vehicles but nobody knows where people are running them. I know of an outdoor offroad track that basically sat idle all summer. I went there a couple of times by myself.

Or would you prefer to just look into the on road aspect of the hobby?
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Old 11-09-2006, 09:58 PM   #13
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I think when we get the 3 Groups setup, we would be smart to divide them into sub groups of Electric Onroad, Nitro Onroad, Offroad and Oval.

As I am an Electric Onroad guy, I started the idea here.

No problems including other areas of the hobby as well.

If we can show actual progress, I'm sure the other groups will want to be involved.

The idea is simple. WE can change this hobby. Someone has to start, organize and push this forward. I guess I'll try to start the ball rolling forward

Thanks for all the input. Nice to see Eric Anderson was right on top of this.
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Old 11-09-2006, 10:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warhawk 1
I know this is in the electric onroad forum but does anyone else feel it is an off road problem as well? I know hobby shops that sell alot of off road vehicles but nobody knows where people are running them. I know of an outdoor offroad track that basically sat idle all summer. I went there a couple of times by myself.

Or would you prefer to just look into the on road aspect of the hobby?

Off road is actually huge and has a large following, often if you talk to someone in the off road scene they will point you in the right direction. I actually love this thread it will eventually accomplish great things I hope. It is what myself and a few selfless other tried to start by attempting to get a permanent track in our area. I am in region 1 and if at any point I can possibly give assistance to the cause monetary or time and effort count me in.

I realized that just getting into the 1/12 scale scene that I have in a very short time spent over $1200 just to get some of the basic equipment to run as well as be competitive. If in fact this is to succeed and launch a revolution there will be voices needed for the cause.

We also need to realize that it is necessary to help the new comers and guide them into price restraints and help them not go over board. Most new racers coming into nitro I always try to steer them in the right direction so that they do not spend aimlessly. As I said I am in and can and will use the solutions and ideas to promote in my area and to build my local track to a new level of racers. As one post mentioned it is very hard for a club to even break even when the books are tabulated, SO I must emphasise on the education in etiquette of the sport as well as the physical and financial obligations that are taken on when one assumes a position to try and do or make changes for the better. It is every racers duty to assist another racer, and as I believe if you see something wrong you must call the persons attention to it. Once this is done the process of proper behavior and etiquette is instilled in the mind. Once this seed is planted and grows roots those racers in turn will do the same and when this ideology spreads; camaraderie and sportsmanship are born but at a new level. A level that once the roots are planted can never be torn up.
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Old 11-09-2006, 10:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASM
The local shop in my town, which is working towards building their permanent track came up with a great idea. We have an Andretti Thrill Park in town and the shop owner gave them a sales pitch to hold races in their parking lot once a month. The Andretti park loved the idea and has even offered up killer gift certificates to top it off. The first race went off great and a ton of spectators came by to watch as well. The hobby shop sales went up quite a bit the next week too. The second race is 12/17 and it's turned into a big deal with all kind of mfr's jumping in to donate raffle prizes for this big December race.

Bottom line here is.....if you can "take your show on the road" and possibly put in a place with more visibility, it just may pay off. Many businesses could be potential race locations and both parties could benefit nicely.

Also, a nitro truck class was offered and it turned out to be quite large and those guys are ready to go at it this month too.

It's great way to expose r/c racing to potential new racers.

Good luck!
I totally agree with this post. My situation is a prime example of what visability can do....

I had a highly visable location for 10 years at a local business, that just got sold this past spring. The new owners put a TON on money into it and R/C racing was no longer in the plans.

We used to get tons of spectators since it was on a busy road and next door to another busy business that their customers used to stop and watch too.

Not only did the extra spectators translate into possible new racers, but the existing racers looked forward to racing in front of a large "ooo'ing and ahh'ing" crowd every race! The spectators were always amazed at what organized R/C racing was about and always asked questions and took fliers with web information....

Our track now is VERY hidden in a seldom used public park, and attendance this year has been down at least 2/3rds from just last year! The new track was twice as big and the asphalt was light years better.....go figure....LOL

Second problem I see is the indirect competiton of video games....these new fangled video graphics are just plain SICK!!!!! I can see why so many people are into it.

I'm not a gamer, but my grandson and all his friends are addicted and would much rather play these games inside in the air conditioning for 10 hours rather than spend 10 hours outside on a hot afternoon racing with old pop pop....LOL

Third, as much as I like to see EVERY facility do well, it seems like "travelling" series races (in our area anyway) gets all the attention, since that is where the most competition will be on that weekend. Everyone gravitates to these races, and the weekly races at the LHS's/tracks usually don't do well when they are up against these types of races.

One solution that we worked on was to get the most popular tracks to not only work together with scheduling, but to work together to streamline class specs so when a racer went from track to track, they wouldn't have to change much (if all) to compete.

Racer really do appriciate that....

Anyway, that's my take on this situation.......Good thread by the way...
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