4 days, 19 hours, 17 minutes and 34 seconds till the cars roll off in Melbourne, the F1 season can’t get here fast enough to suit me. Let’s hope it’s not another Red Bull runaway season like last year, and that Schu, Ice Creme Kimi, and Kamui all make visits to the podium!
March Bashness is fully underway at BigSquid this week. Mon-Tues we’ll have half of the Sweet 16 bracket posted for your votes, then Wen-Fri you’ll be voting on the other half. As Brian, Adam The Intern, Jeff, and myself were sitting in Hooters making the brackets up we couldn’t help but smile. Why? Because when you look at the Sweet 16 it’s just loaded with kick arse trucks. I am old enough to remember the days when barely tapping a curb/pipe resulted in something breaking and your entire day being ruined. There are several trucks in our Sweet 16 that are just plain difficult to break. Running them full speed into a brick wall won’t break’em, jumping them off the roof of the house doesn’t get the job done, not only are they well designed but the quality of materials/plastics have come such a long ways since 85′. Anywhos, cast your votes and have some fun (I am not mentioning anything about betting!), and we’ll see if March Bashness blows up into a full scale HPI fanboys vs Traxxas fanboys vs everybody else fanboys like it did last year.
I had a strange convo with a LHS owner the other day. I had hit my LHS to pick up some STRC parts and as always the convo turned to business and numbers. My local hobby shop owner stated that he was in the midst of this third record sales month in a row. Now, my LHS has been open for close to 20 twenty years, so having a record month is no joke as they’ve ridden many a high tide (and low tides) in sales. The LHS owner didn’t really see any rhyme or reason to why sales were at record levels, he had not changed anything with his store or its advertising, but he was certainly stoked to see that his shop could still make some cash even when competing against all the internet retailers.
Then… two days later Brian told me his LHS was also having a huge month. It seems his LHS, which hadn’t been doing very well the last couple of years, is also seeing record sales. Now I realize most parts of the country have had extremely soft winters and that springtime is typically the boom time for sales in seasonal parts of the country, but I can’t help but think that maybe, just maybe, all this mainstream attention rc has been getting is actually resulting in increased sales at LHS’s. Right here, right now, just might be the time when rc gets a shot at the bigtime.
Unfortunately… rc isn’t set up to deal with noob drivers. We regularly test in Chicago, Champaign, and St Louis and none of those three cities have a venue that is noob friendly. In fact, during the winter months there isn’t a good venue between those 3 cities for a noob to get some wheel time in. Noobs aren’t looking to race, they are simply looking for a place to learn to drive without standing outside in 20 degree temps and 4 inches of snow. Noobs aren’t looking to get run over by a nitro 8th scale truggy ever other lap. I get the feeling that all the mainstream noobs entering our hobby now will be gone by the time they hobby reacts and creates noob friendly venues, thus resulting in a whole lot of Stampedes and Evaders being shoved to the back of a closet instead of being driven on a weekly basis.
On a different note….
Our BigSquid Lipo Shootout #4 is nearly finished. All the bench testing on the West Mountain CBA is completed, and nearly all our driving tests are done as well (we did most of our test driving in a 4wd Helion Dominus SCT). In case you haven’t heard, Shootout #4 is a 2S 5800 mah shootout, and we ended up with 7 entries- Traxxas, Turnigy-Nano/HobbyKing, Venom, Dynamite/Speedpack, Duratrax/Onyx, Orion, and Gens Ace. Are Traxxas Lipos any good? Are Orion Lipos truly high end race packs? The Gens Ace always do well in shootouts, were they able to hang with this field? There is so much talk on the net that Turnigy Nano tech packs are better than anything else on the market, are they? Venom has made huge strides the last couple years in battery quality, are they good enough to take the crown? Well… all your questions will be answered later this week when we post the shootout, keep your eyes on our front page!
That’s it for this week folks, support your local hobby shops, tracks and bash spots!
YOUR Cub Reporter