Hello everyone, I hope you all got your rc-on over the weekend, whether it was burn’n tires bald in your sub-division, jump’n off the old shed out back, or play’n airplane demo derby with 40 of your closest new found friends at eFest. We all work our butts into the ground Mon-Fri to earn the right to blow off some steam with our toys on the weekend. Happy Monday to you all, dig in deep, kick butt all week, and see ya at the bash ground this weekend.
Rockstar Suzuki rider Davi Millsaps won again Saturday night to extend his lead in the 2013 Supercross series. Every week that passes it becomes less of a surprise and more about a man who is finally reaping the rewards of all his hard work. Of course it doesn’t hurt that Bubba’s knee is a wreck, Reedy keeps putting it on the ground, and the Ryan’s have been having issues. It’s a long series no doubt, watch Speed live again this Saturday night to see how this fairy tail story unfolds.
I am soooo not an airplane guy, but as you all know we’ve started doing airplane and boat coverage this year, so I was recruited to check out some of the action at an event called eFest held in Champaign Illinois. Now, I’ve been to, lets say, a half dozen air events over my rc career (a lot more if you include trade shows) and this was actually my third time attending eFest, but previously I used air events for work reasons, not to actually pay any attention to what was going on. So… in this Cub Report I’ll be trying to describe how an indoor air event compares to an indoor car race.
First off the biggest difference was the stress level, there just wasn’t any at eFest. You can attend a local rc car race and see guys totally flip’n out from the moment they walk in the door. They flip out if they don’t get a good pit spot, they flip out if the track is over-watered, they flip out if there are short course trucks out on the track during practice, they flip out if short course trucks aren’t allowed during practice, and the stress just builds over the day. At eFest all the flyers seemed ridiculously mellow. They were just kinda hang’n in their pits chill’n, bench race’n, and smiling an awful lot. Needless to say I was having a hard time wrapping my head around this. And… it wasn’t just the flyers having a good time, all the industry types were especially mellow too. Yes, it’s a full on nuclear war between Hobbico and Horizon on the sales floor Mon-Sun, but eFest almost felt like a big dual company bbq. You could be sitting at a table enhaling a couple hot dogs with brass from both companies and they were having a genuinely good time talking about their kids volleyball teams, how the Illinois basketball team was doing, etc. At most trade shows they don’t seem to mingle much, at eFest it was one big good ole’ time.
Another big difference was the pits themselves, at a car event everyone is constantly spinning wrenches, at the air show it looked like a guy might bust out a hobby knife once every couple hours, but that was about it. Back in the day I actually enjoyed wrenching on my cars, now days I find it a total nuisance, I kinda like how these airplane guys operate. I’d enjoy car racing much more if I could spend 8 hours bench racing instead of gluing tires, re-building diffs, and changing shock oil.
The eFest show had a lot of spectators, something you won’t find at most car gigs. Watching rc cars go around a 30 second laptime track is about as much fun as watching paint dry for most muggles (and even for the hardcore racing guys), but the novelty of watching an rc airplane fly doesn’t wear off as quickly. For example, there are just so many different types of planes to watch, and at any moment they could very well make a major mistake, wad it up, and total that sucker completely out, and that compels you to keep watching. Also, you sorta gotta keep watching because one of those planes just might end up in your lap. I saw a couple planes land/crash in the pit area, one about 20 feet from me. Any which way, I could watch planes for an hour without totally being bored, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say that about cars (no matter how much I like driving them).
eFest featured an event called “combat” which is the direct equivalent to demo-derby (and it was easily the most anticipated event of the weekend). This says a couple things to me- 1. these guys aren’t afraid to bash, and 2. thus they are my kind of people. If you play demo-derby with an rc car you might very well break an a-arm that costs $6 and some car guys are “ok” with that, but if you play demo derby with your plane you could very well total it out, and there are veryyyy few surface guys that would even fathom of doing that to their baby. No doubt, I’ve got a new found respect for the bashing ability of the air crowd after watching them play “combat”.
One of the events at eFest was a type of night fly, they turned out the lights and let planes fly around that were all lit up with LED lights. I simply can’t imagine a track turning off the lights and just letting the guys drive around just for fun with their LED’s on. The night flying was really very pretty cool, and an event done strictly for fun. I think that was the biggest thing I came away from eFest with- it really was about fun, something that was seemingly lost in rc racing decades ago. No doubt there are still surface events held strictly for fun, our Bash-A-Palooza events are proof of that, but it should be noted that the biggest indoor flying event in the world revolved around fun, not tenths of a second in lap times.
On a different note..
As it always seems to be, we are lined up for another busy week around the BSRC offices. We’ve been bashing the Vanterra cars, look for our un-boxing pics and reviews to start being posted this week. Google+ made some changes (enhancements? LOL) last week so we had some technical difficulties in our LIVE show, but this week at least one of you guys is joining in the fun with us. And of course we’ll be posting all the news that’s worth knowing up on the front page.
That’s it for this week guys, thanks for reading and support your local hobby shops and bash spots when you can.
YOUR Cub Reporter