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How do you grow a club?

How do you grow a club?

Old 12-12-2015, 10:24 PM
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Default How do you grow a club?

I am returning to my local club after about 10 years away. Ten years ago there was a good crowd for on road racing. Today the on road is way down. What would you recommend to gro interest in on road? The off-road group is seeing similar numbers to 10years ago.

Give me your best advice.... What would you do?

Thanks in advance

Jon
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Old 12-12-2015, 11:09 PM
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I am pretty new to RC.
Being a fan of import tuner cars, as well as an evolution X owner, a 350z owner, I extremely love road racing( real track or track for RCs).
i have been asking the same question to myself, too...
Who isn't on road racing as popular as off road?
In Los Angeles, we have 4 times more of off road tracks than on road tracks.
Other than ordering stuff from LHS who owns on road track, I really don't know what else I can do.
Would like to get some ideas as well.
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Old 12-12-2015, 11:54 PM
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The best way to grow onroad is to roll out the red carpet for new racers, help them get set up and rolling with a controllable car, good tires, and don't run them over.

Back when my LHS was still open I had a loaner car that got a few racers going in onroad, I think it would have stuck if the business was better run.
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Old 12-13-2015, 04:31 AM
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I tried this in 2012, F1RCClub. Organized a 20 race series over 12 months.

1. Cheap racing.
2. Rules aimed to novice/newbies.
3. Provided race photos on rctech, websites.
4. Racing started at 1:30pm and finished 5:30pm.

Hope that helps.

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Old 12-13-2015, 07:15 AM
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As a non racer or club member I'll try to give an outsiders view.
Most new owners don't know about racing or clubs. They saw an RC somewhere. Thought it would be fun to mess around with. Or get their kid outdoors.
I sight of big air jumps and crsshes wins over " just driving around the parking lot".
Those I've meet that have gone to the track, had less then friendly experience. My encounters with active racers have been mostly negative. The guys that stopped racing 10-15 years, have been helpful.
Most people are simply too busy to spend a day at track, plus practice. Why drive out to club/track and pay to drive. I've got 5 good spots within a minutes walk.
I've suggested a track day event. Or a time trial/ Autocross style class. Get people used to driving on a course. Then add other cars. I have no problem breaking my own stuff, don't really want to hit or be hit by someone else.
I've read and heard from few that it's less the 10 percent are involved in organized RC. The mindset has shifted.
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Old 12-13-2015, 07:19 AM
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Racing Slash trucks on carpet saved our place. Some actually do move up to VTA from there.
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Old 12-13-2015, 07:49 AM
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Clubs grow by totally bending over backwards to help new guys.

Having loan cars that can be rented are great, we have loads of kids come down and try out the waters and it does not cost a lot to hire a car (5) so they can come down, race silver-cans in TT01/02's and have fun. If they like it then their parents can buy them a kit To continue racing.

It's important to not try to sell newcomers top end stuff. Honestly can you imagine how ridiculous it sounds to someone that is interested in the hobby to suggest they buy a 300 car, 150 esc, 100 for 2 lipos, 200 for a controller, when they have seen RTR cars for 150 in their local hobby shop.

Always have an open beginners class, so people can race these cars. Silvercan / low power motor. Sell a kit tyre (set of Sorex etc, they last ages) have a no additive rule (again this is odd for any newcomer) and help them fix their cars, even if it might mean you miss the occasional race.

A local club near me has been running for over 30 years, still gets great attendance, always gains new youngsters (and young at heart racers) and it is a friendly night out.

Save all the ott racing attitude for large race meetings, it's never good to have cliques in a club.
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Old 12-13-2015, 08:39 PM
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I'd like to add my .02 cents. I would say affordability, I wanted to race RC cars since I was probably 8 years old but financially I wasn't able to. Getting my parents to spend $500+ to get me racing wasn't going to happen. I had a spectator at the track this past weekend ask me how much it cost to get racing, I tried to be as honest as I could , I told him he could buy a entry level car for around $100, another $100 on electronics, $20 on a body and another $50 on a battery. His response was, " it adds up pretty quick ! " Probably won't see him out racing anytime soon. And the prices I told him was with hobbyking in mind. I'd have to say having rental cars available would be a good idea and of course advertising the track and racing, my local track is outdoors right off a main street that has lots of traffic so we tend to get alot of spectators at times, where if it were indoors there would most likely be a need to advertise somehow to get people involved. I know not all kids are the same and we have a few kids that are regulars at our track, but my 12 year old son wasn't interested in RC cars or racing them at all ! But that worked out fine, more RC action for myself ! 😆
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:31 AM
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People have hit on my #1 thought. You've got two possible approaches: attract former racers back to it, or get new racers into it. The first approach gives you a small audience and limited growth, while the second approach is unlimited.

I ran an offroad track for maybe 7 years as a hobby, while also being an addicted racer. I know a bit about racing stuff, but three weeks ago I was an onroad novice at the race day. I asked some really experienced people what I should get to get started, and the answer was basically:

- You should run USGT
- So you need a 4WD sedan chassis... XRay, Serpent, Associated, or blah blah blah
- You need these spec tires, because that's what we run
- You need a 21.5 turn motor, because that's what we run
- Get an ESC
- You need a radio
- Get 2S batteries, because that's what we run
- You'll need a charger
- We don't have power, so figure that out

Approximate minimum perhaps $600 for decent and lightly competitive equipment (I spent much more, naturally . Is that what we're going to tell someone watching races for the first time, interested in getting in? I spoke with several such people, but certainly could not tell them the above. How does this sound?

Get the Losi 1/14th Rally car. $200, everything you need to race comes in the box. They have them in the hobby shop. (For the record, I haven't driven this car yet, but based on the local shop's loan of a Traxxas Rally I expect the Losi to make one heck of a fun class, and will be trying that this weekend. You also need a transponder, which is a great thing for the track or interested racers to offer for rent. It's also true that Losi elected to include a wall charger instead of a car charger, so it's not quite everything you need in the box.)

To attract new racers, you need an entry-level class/car that is:
- Easy to describe and easy to buy, without worries that you might be getting the wrong thing
- Inexpensive, compared to most of our toys
- Durable, hence the Rally body
- Easy to own... limited setup options, low maintenance, cheap parts, long-lasting tires

I'm certainly not saying this is the only such car/class... the above happens to be mostly cut-and-paste from an email. You just need a class with these characteristics, to reliably convert people to novices, and keep them long enough to have a chance at converting them to addicts.

The facility basics are also important. If someone wants to take up a new hobby, they are looking to get a certain amount of "mileage" or "time wasted" out of that hobby. If the time they are able to put in to onroad RC is less than they want to waste, they'll add another hobby... you then have something competing for their time. The answer here is regular and reliable racing, and hopefully practice availability so people can self-serve up to their level of need.

One more thing, alluded to above, is that sometimes people aren't very welcoming. That's a serious mistake. Without a steady flow of new blood, there won't BE racing. You're shooting yourself in the foot if you are not welcoming to newbies.
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Old 12-14-2015, 12:01 PM
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Getting new people is definitely the key. A class where someone can walk into a hobby shop (or visit a web site) and buy a car with everything needed to run would be a great thing. I remember back when I ran a track we had a class for the TC3 RTR. Everything you needed was in the box. We had a "novice" class. And we allowed people to do whatever mods they wanted to the car with the stipulation that if you won two races in a row or three races total you had to move up to the next class.

There is a track near us that does the same thing with the Tamiya TT01 cars and they have a good crowd of them.
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Old 12-14-2015, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Billy Kelly View Post
As a non racer or club member I'll try to give an outsiders view.
Most new owners don't know about racing or clubs. They saw an RC somewhere. Thought it would be fun to mess around with. Or get their kid outdoors.
I sight of big air jumps and crsshes wins over " just driving around the parking lot".
Those I've meet that have gone to the track, had less then friendly experience. My encounters with active racers have been mostly negative. The guys that stopped racing 10-15 years, have been helpful.
Most people are simply too busy to spend a day at track, plus practice. Why drive out to club/track and pay to drive. I've got 5 good spots within a minutes walk.
I've suggested a track day event. Or a time trial/ Autocross style class. Get people used to driving on a course. Then add other cars. I have no problem breaking my own stuff, don't really want to hit or be hit by someone else.
I've read and heard from few that it's less the 10 percent are involved in organized RC. The mindset has shifted.
^^ Very well put. I'm a racer from yesteryear, 15yrs+ yrs ago to be exact.
I feel the same way. I came back last Fall and found a whole different group of people that do not speak my language.

I decided to make a mini-track in my basement. I drive my m-chassis and Mini-Z's on it. Plenty fun for my kid and me. We take our offroad trucks outside to a nearby field, walking distance.
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Old 12-14-2015, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Billy Kelly View Post
As a non racer or club member I'll try to give an outsiders view.
Most new owners don't know about racing or clubs. They saw an RC somewhere. Thought it would be fun to mess around with. Or get their kid outdoors.
I sight of big air jumps and crsshes wins over " just driving around the parking lot".
Those I've meet that have gone to the track, had less then friendly experience. My encounters with active racers have been mostly negative. The guys that stopped racing 10-15 years, have been helpful.
Most people are simply too busy to spend a day at track, plus practice. Why drive out to club/track and pay to drive. I've got 5 good spots within a minutes walk.
I've suggested a track day event. Or a time trial/ Autocross style class. Get people used to driving on a course. Then add other cars. I have no problem breaking my own stuff, don't really want to hit or be hit by someone else.
I've read and heard from few that it's less the 10 percent are involved in organized RC. The mindset has shifted.
That's actually one of the things that bothers me about the way racing is today. If you want to go racing plan on spending the whole day there. Seems like you just qualify and qualify again and then qualify some more and then qualify one more time. By the time the main gets there I'm tired of racing.

I know hardcore racers like the multiple qualifiers. But I'd be happy with practice, a heat, and then a main. But I like racing, so I'll race however they want me to race I guess.
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Cosmo View Post
That's actually one of the things that bothers me about the way racing is today. If you want to go racing plan on spending the whole day there. Seems like you just qualify and qualify again and then qualify some more and then qualify one more time. By the time the main gets there I'm tired of racing.

I know hardcore racers like the multiple qualifiers. But I'd be happy with practice, a heat, and then a main. But I like racing, so I'll race however they want me to race I guess.
Yeah, I agree with this. I don't see a need for 2-3 hours of practice, then 3 rounds of qualifying, and then the mains. It's just too much, too tiring, and some guys see 'qualifying' as racing. And in the end, it doesn't mean much as it just determines the starting order for the main, which usually changes in the first turn pile up!

I'd rather have double A-mains than round after round of qualifying.

Mark
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by scirocco14 View Post
Yeah, I agree with this. I don't see a need for 2-3 hours of practice, then 3 rounds of qualifying, and then the mains. It's just too much, too tiring, and some guys see 'qualifying' as racing. And in the end, it doesn't mean much as it just determines the starting order for the main, which usually changes in the first turn pile up!

I'd rather have double A-mains than round after round of qualifying.

Mark
I agree 100%. But it's fallen on deaf ears when I mention it at our track, so I just go with it. I was told they would run as many qualifiers as the racers wanted to run. I was the only one who said "one"...
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:42 PM
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If they ran only one qual most of you voting for it would scream bloody murder because you didn't make the main to be able to run your "dbl A's". Lol

Most really should take advantage of the 2-3 hours of practice.

Dbl a mains make absolutely no sense to me. Triple mains I understand. Dbls not so much.

If you get taken out or break in a1. What do you really think you are gonna gain by just running the one other main??? Even if you win a2. You still will more than likely finish mid pack.

For the ones saying quals should be cut because they "don't mean anything".

You can fix your problem with the day being too long.

If you know the mains usually start at your track at 4pm. Show up at 3. Start last in the last main. Run your main and out the door you go after marshaling.

Your race day just went from 8-9 hours to less than one.

Also if the days are too long. Don't show up every weekend they run then complain about it on rctech. Lol. Only race once- twice a month.

Leave the "race days". For the "racers".
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