To Comp, or Not to Comp, and Other Drivel
A trip down memory lane with Team ScalerFab Father/Son Duo, Randy & Tristen Williams.
In my search for ideas of subjects to bore my meager audience with, I often find myself drifting off in memories of the first realizations and discovery of RC crawling. The awe of actually seeing a 1/10th scale rock crawler and the scale details sometimes hidden around the rig. The amazement of researching all the aftermarket products and modifications, and the videos. I watched so many videos. The warden was delighted when I finally purchased the first crawler thinking this would be the end of evenings sitting in the living room watching YouTube videos on the TV. At least I think she was delighted, she should have been at least.
Our first scale crawler purchase was an Axial Deadbolt. I had watched plenty of videos and read thread after thread of builds, mods, and reviews. I knew it was a good buy. Then, using my superior skills of cunning and flattery, I convinced the secretary of the treasury that our spawn would probably enjoy one for himself, so that he might further imitate his dear ol dad's close proximity to perfection and utter bliss. She fell for it. This time I ordered a kit.
I tell you all this because at the time I had no idea what we would be doing with our spankin new RC's. I had been to a local get together and didn't realize at the time that I was watching a competition being held by the local club. Once we got our rigs going we went out and drove them a few times. Shortly after I had a conversation with a friend who introduced me into the hobby. I will summorize below.
Friend: How do you like your crawlers?
Me: They're good, I think. I mean Im pretty stoked about them.
Friend: Do you plan on comping?
Me: I don't know, we are new and I can't see us doing very well. Competition tends to bring out the nasty in people sometimes. I really don't want to ruin what we just got started in.
Friend: Relax, there will be plenty of old people just like us playing with toy trucks. It's all about fun.
Me: I don't know.
Friend: Suck it up cupcake. Put your big boy underoos on and lets do this!
Me: I'll think about it strange little man.
That was the short version of the conversation. We had a few more afterwards and the thought of competing did sound appealing. I decided to do some reading and read I did. There is a wealth of knowledge out there on RC crawling for fun and competing. So much so, deciphering this knowledge alone by a new person is almost as easy as licking your own elbow. Luckly, if you have a local club around there's a good chance someone has already been competing for a while and can help you get up to speed or help with questions. Once you get started it's really not that hard to understand what a crawler course is and how it's layed out and a general knowledge of the rules.
Rules. Yes we have those. The organization or idividual who puts the event on will determine what rules are used. Some of the more common rules for Scale crawler competitions can be found at SORRCA.com.
After some contemplation I decided to have a go at a scale competition and I'm glad I did. Who knew driving tiny trucks in a competition could be so exciting. The first course on that first competition I was at the starting gate and I was shaking like a hound dog passing a peach seed. It was intense and I loved it! I still get all edgy and nervous before a competition. It sounds silly really but it is a blast for sure.
The reason I decided to write this is, when we started out I read everything I could on competitions. A good majority of what I found wasn't exactly positive. I felt like I was making a huge mistake or that there was a risk of ruining the hobby due to some of the bad experiances I read about. The truth is that it was fun and, as with anything, people tend to complain more about bad experiances than praise the good. I haven't been to a competition yet where I didn't enjoy myself. I always left wishing I could go back and start the day or weekend over again.
The people at the competitions are there for the same reasons as I was. To have fun and enjoy the hobby. I also worried about the trucks. I didn't have any fancy axles or killer bodies on them. We pretty much had bone stock trucks. I watched my son out drive some of those all metal works of art and afterwards the guy driving the truck came over and shook his hand. He said "That right there just goes to show you don't need $1000 in a crawler to be competitive". In hindsight if I had someone tell me this I wouldn't have been so hesitant to give it a try.
Randy and Tristen Williams
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