Everybody’s Scalin’ – I Suck At Comping and That’s OK
As I was grinding my freshly built Axial Dingo on the rock crawling course at my LHS last weekend, a sobering reality washed over me – I suck at comps. Even more startling was the realization that I really didn’t care. I’m a competitive guy by nature, so that sort of struck me.
It wasn’t always this way. I used to be decent at them. Back when I started crawling, rocks were the only thing I was interested in. If a spot was light on them, then it wasn’t worth my time. I also thought comping was the most fun thing a person could do with a crawler and anything else was a waste. Funny how my tastes have changed.
For those that have never taken part in a crawling competition before, a driver is tasked with navigating their vehicle through a set amount of gates in an intended direction (i.e. the course). A well built vehicle, meticulous tire placement, and thoughtful driving are the names of the game.
While the scoring is handled differently from club to club, one constant remains – it’s a big exercise in patience. Patience when pulling the trigger. Patience when you wait around for hours to have your turn at the track. Patience that I’ve apparently lost.
I blame the fun of trailing for ruining comping for me. Maximum wheel time and variety of terrain is what I find most important in scaling sessions nowadays. Doing some hardcore rock crawling is enjoyable, but I like it mixed up with woodlands running, hill climbing, etc.
The last few times I’ve been on a comp track have been exercises in frustration. Part of this is because I enjoy wheeling 1.9 size tired trucks, typically the hardest class most scale competitions offer (except for you masochists that run 1.5!), and as such I wind up beating and banging more than I do crawling. It’s like my mind doesn’t work like it did back when it was my main focus. I guess all that wheel time I put in really did help me. Hey, who knew that practice actually worked? Ha.
Some people assume that competition rock crawling is very easy due to the slow speeds and I think that’s complete hogwash. Even a guy who spends a lot of time on the trail, in a similar environment, can have trouble when hitting a purposely laid out course. It’s sort of like the difference between bashing on a dirt track versus actually racing. When you are actually being scored, $h** gets real in a hurry.
I have several friends that still find traditional comping to be the most enjoyable aspect of the hobby, and more power to them. It takes talent and practice. I just find trailing at a leisurely pace to be much more enjoyable. That’s why even though I suck at comps these days, I’m completely fine with it.
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