THE Cub Report, Version- The Used
Hello everyone and welcome to THE Cub Report. All you hobby shop employees are working your tails off during peak X-Mas season, just as the people are at the distributors and manufacturers. Kudos for your hard work and long hours, and just remember, the post X-Mas lull (until tax refund checks arrive) is nearly here.
So here we go… Last week the guys over at NeoBuggy/RCNews posted up an interview with Carson Wernimont. Ok, so he isn’t a big name if you are part of the bashing crowd, but he was/is a top level rc racer who recently decided to quit racing 8th scale to free up time for some full scale en-devours. In the interview Carson lays a lot out there, most notably to me, that he felt “used” by industry. This really isn’t talked about much outside the industry, so when most people think about young uber rc racers, they think their life is all cash money and glory. It is not. (Btw, everything below is totally my opinion, nobody else’s)
If you are a 20/30 something factory shoe (who aren’t one of the big 3) chances are you aren’t getting paid much at all (by that I mean slightly above what you would make at McDonalds, or even more likely, nothing at all) and you are putting in crazy hours. I’ve seen companies take advantage of young people’s fanaticism of racing time and time again, having them wrench/train/work/race insane hours, and not pay them diddly squat. And that even applies to some of the “bigger” names, like one of the top 5 guys in our sport who unexpected switched teams about a year ago is making under 40k from his new chassis sponsor. I don’t have to tell you guys that 40k doesn’t go very far living in SoCal, and certainly isn’t much of a wage for the ridiculous amount of hours that a top shelf racer has to put in.
But… from the manufacturers side… racing is way down, like non-existent low in many areas. Yup, all those big “trophy races” still get good turnouts, but that is only because every fervent racer within a 6 hour drive is showing up to those style of events. Local racing in most of our country is the deadest I’ve ever seen it, with even world class facilities that I live by getting just 10 people on an average weekend club race (or cancelling racing all together because of low turnouts). When the sale of hardcore racing products is down, the factory shoes, no matter how talented or dedicated, simply aren’t going to make enough bank to truly make it a living. Yet they will forge on for little or no cash, hoping there is a huge pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. There is not.
There is a lot of insanity in rc racing right now. The racing at the local level is dead, yet what there is, is wayyyyy too hardcore. I think that self-explains why local racing is dead. On the pro tour, it is also crazy, with dozens of guys spending thousands upon thousands of dollars trying to get to the top of the heap, without knowing that once there, there just isn’t much of a payoff.
There needs to be a “drop dead” point somewhere. A point where either someone (read- manufacturers) steps in and fixes rc racing so that some money can actually be made again, or the manufacturers pull out to end the madness. If a “factory driver” consistently puts in 80 hour weeks, all the while rarely being home to see his family, he should at least be making a decent wage, not how much he would be making as a 40 hr worker at Wally World. If the industry can’t support that, and right now it can not, it needs to be fixed, instead of just taking advantage of people. As always, just say’n…
That’s it for this week ya freaks, get out and support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can.
YOUR Cub Reporter