Opinions In RC Can Be Expensive & Are Often Wrong
There is an old saying, opinions are like buttholes (cleaned up for our younger readers) everyone has one and they all stink. I have been around a lot of opinionated people and those in the Remote Control hobby, whether it’s Electric Trucks & Cars, Nitro, Planes, or whatever, people’s passion borders on what I am used to seeing when people talk about politics. It is important that you, as quickly as possible anyway learn to trust your own gut, and learn to cut through the opinions to get to the facts. Let me give you an example from when I was first starting out which wasn’t that long ago.
RC Opinions At The Track:
When I first got into the RC hobby, I started out getting into racing electric short course trucks, most specifically the Traxxas Slash. My first day at the track was a very expensive one, a day filled with me asking just about everyone their opinion about “what you need to compete at that track”. I got answers, oh baby did I get answers. Everyone was “SURE” I needed to upgrade to a center differential, then the next guy was “SURE” I couldn’t win without upgrading to an expensive servo, the next guy told me I was an idiot if I didn’t run an expensive type of tire. Well needless to say, I walked in with a stock Traxxas Slash 4X4 right out of the box, and walked out with the following list of upgrades. (Now that I look back I am starting to wonder if they all worked for the shop)
- Upgraded Team Associated Servo-$80
Traxxas Center Differential Upgrade-$80
New Tires & Rims-$50
Upgraded Receiver & Remote $300
RPM Upgraded Bumpers & A-Arms-$50
When I lined up that night for my first race I was sure I was going to dominate….How could I not? Well the fact is I finished last, correction I didn’t finish at all. After being lapped several times I didn’t even finish the race. After the race I took the time to seek out the guy who won, he must have had a $2000 setup with all the fixings, well again I was wrong. He had a few upgrades sure but you want to know what he told me? He told me his secret. It was simply this, practice. He said he spent 2-3 days a week at the track just running the course and that was his big secret, finally an opinion/advice that made sense and wasn’t going to cost me an arm and a leg. However I did really love those upgrades after a while and even wrote about the traxxas slash upgrades here.
The Advantage of Getting Opinions at The Track:
One clear advantage of getting your opinions at the track is you can ask people who actually own or run the particular setup you are asking about. If you want to know about Slash upgrades, seek out people who are running the slash and doing well. You will be able to find them at the track, unlike forums which can be a dangerous place to seek advice.
Opinions From Forums: (even our rc forum)
When I was starting out, deciding where to spend my first RC dollar I spent weeks and weeks trolling the forums, reading the different opinions out there, trying to decide what was the best truck to go with. The fact of the matter is, and this is important, most people who are telling you how to spend your money either have none of their own, or never owned whatever they are claiming to be the expert on. People have a unique way of making opinions sound like fact, especially in RC Forums take them with a grain of salt and try to locate trends.
Never go off a single persons opinion unless you really trust them, you can verify they actually speak from experience, and of course are not trying to make money off of you. RC forums are a great place to discuss RC problems, news, share stories but it is important you don’t take all your buying advice from them.
There is a symptom of RC research that can affect a lot of people, even my good friend Allan. It is called paralysis by over analysis. That is you can read and read different posts, watching hundreds of videos, and troll forums and never come to a decision. You get information overload and that’s no fun, RC is supposed to cure stress not cause it. Just remember, at the end of the day, it’s your money, your time, and your hobby. Sure you’re going to buy some stuff that isn’t so great but hey, so what? That’s all part of the hobby and part of what makes it fun.