Losing grip – a winning smile
I’ll be blunt with you. My main purpose of writing today’s column is simple: to raise money. It works like this: I write columns, I get paid, I can then use said money to buy stuff. Stuff that I can then take to a nearby patch of asphalt and play with. Essentially, nothing has changed since I was about nine years old. I would do my chores, mum would pay me, and I would then buy toys to play with. Today writing is my chore, Brian is my mum (Gah! Where did that come from?! Perish the thought! Onwards, quickly!), drifting is my preferred toy. History truly does run in circles.
Writing columns isn’t exactly a chore though, I rather enjoy it and wouldn’t do it if I didn’t. I also write because I firmly believe in RC drifting as a fun, accessible and affordable hobby. And I want to help spread the word. While the RC industry might be facing tough times at the moment, I think that will change. Lego was on the brink of collapse about twenty years ago, and is now the largest toy producer in the world. Board games (another favorite pastime of mine) were a thing of the past at the start of the millenium, but are now coming back stronger than ever. Like Lego and board games, the RC hobby is a tactile one – you’re playing with real things, that has a weight to them. As opposed to playing on digital platforms. And a lot has to be said for that: being able to touch and feel, getting grease on your fingers and that very special feeling when you know a screw is just tight enough. Very, very difficult to replicate on an iPhone. If you’re reading this, you would have noticed already.
This afternoon I plan to head down to the park with my kids, for some tandem drifting. See, that’s a lot easier now that I’ve got two cars. While it might not be very tandem at this point, it should still be a lot of fun. And if Hikaru Hoshi can do it, we too can learn how.
So, who’s Hikaru Hoshi, you might ask? He is not my personal drift hero, but he’s a pretty cool dude. Eleven (11!) years old, factory driver for Team Yokomo and winner of the 2019 TDC – Thailand International R/C Drift Competition – the largest drift competition in Southeast Asia. How crazy is that? This kid is still in primary school, and beats guys (and gals) two, three, four and five times his senior! Check out his winning smile above, I’m pretty sure we will see it again.
Clearly, this is a very talented young man who must put in hours upon hours of practise to truly let that talent come into fruition. Not something I will ever aspire to, but inspiring nonetheless. A lot has to be said for any sport, where a kid can compete with adults – and win!
Before I pick up the kids from school I’ll get my MST out and reset it to the factory settings. The Yokomo YD-2 comes set up for asphalt, the MST RMX 2.0S does not. Actually, I don’t really remember how it felt driving it with the stock settings, so that should be interesting. Lately I have mostly been driving the Yokomo, and haven’t done any proper side by side testing – being too lazy to carry two cars to the park. Today however, I will have a kid to carry my burden, so no excuses not to swap back and forth between them.
And with that, I’m a bit closer to a new transmitter. I am currently driving a FlySky GT3C, a cheap radio that has served me well for years crawling and bashing, but when drifting I just don’t feel as connected – for lack of a better word – to the car as I would like to. It’s hard to put a finger on what exactly the issue is, but every time I drift I have a nagging feeling something is missing. It will be very interesting to see whether a nice radio will sort it out. Which one? Well, that’s a topic for another column.
If you’re not headed out to drift, why don’t you read another column here?
PS. BigSquidRC 15 years?! That’s pretty cool. I was going to celebrate that this is my twentieth column, but it really doesn’t compare… Congratulations!