RECON G6 Challenge Birthday Bash 2014

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2014 RECON G6 Challenge Birthday Bash
December 6, 2014
Moonrocks, Reno, Nevada
Words and Photos by Matt “Skeeno” Soileau

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Can you believe that the RECON G6 Challenge is four years old?  I can’t. It seems like just yesterday a few of us guinea pigs showed up at the first RECON G6 Challenge and tested our Axial SCX10s on the longest, most technically challenging trail they had ever been on.

This year the RECON G6 Challenge not only traveled to seven of the United States, it went global with a stop in Austria! Attendance records were also set at each event as more and more members joined the RECON G6 family. So, in honor of the birth of the RECON G6 Challenge, the annual Birthday Bash G6 was once again held in the birth city of this great event.

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This past weekend, Skeeno Jr. and I headed out to Moonrocks just north of Reno, Nevada to celebrate all the great things that have come to the RECON G6 Challenge this year. It just so happened to take place on the same weekend that a few local clubs were holding their Club Challenges, so the location was full.

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When I arrived, the line was already out the door. Eager G6ers were waiting in line to be registered and to also donate their toys for the Washoe County Sherriff’s Christmas on the Corridor program.

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Mr. Rivas Concepts and Mr. Cole were at the front of the line getting drivers registered and collecting the toys.

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Over 100 new toys were donated.

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Hoyfab had his YETI XL on display at the registration booth. This thing was sweet and full of extra detail. Equipped with a Premier Power Welder and tons of GoPro cameras. Hoyfab is the man to see for awesome 3D printed scale accessories.

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Also on the table was this wonderful jerky. I may have eaten multiple pieces while Cole and Rivas weren’t looking.  Thanks for the hookup OFO Crawlers. Feel free to bring more to Axialfest 2015.

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I spotted a couple sweet trailers waiting in line. The trailer is the new black. You better get yours ready for Axialfest 2015. And don’t forget, Axialfest will be held in July this year. More info can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1506299382978745/

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Of course RPP Hobby was in attendance, they are the Official Hobby Shop of the RECON G6 Challenge.

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This Drivin Diva didn’t have time to drive, but Alyssa made sure to come out to say hi to all her old driving buddies. Thanks for stopping by.  We hope to see you on the trail soon.

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While waiting for everyone to register, I headed over to the 1:1s to check out the rigs and see what was going on.  This first crawler I came to just happened to belong to my old buddy, Bryan.  Can you believe this started life as a Suzuki Samurai?  The only thing Samurai left on this rig is the firewall now.

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I also spotted the Axial Wraith in the queue waiting for its turn on course. Notice it’s also running the Official Tires of the RECON G6, Pitbulls.

DSCF0388The pile of kits kept growing and growing.

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This lone Land Rover was looking for a home. Who wants this?

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Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer would be proud to be seen in these two kits.

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Parker went over the rules. Remember, no Hand of God.  That’s pretty much the golden rule.

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As always, the National Anthem was played before the lipos were lit.

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Parker was kind enough to line us up backwards. We got to drive in reverse to that rock behind him before we could drive forward.

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Somehow, Skeeno Jr. and I ended up in the lead for the first dozen or so trail markers.

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Of course, Mr. Pham eventually passed us by. His Axial SXC10 RECON G6 Jeep is the envy of many G6ers. That’s the perks of working at a hobby shop.

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Skeeno Jr. tried to keep up the pace…

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…but Mr. Fokai finally got by her. Besides, the RECON G6 isn’t about winning. It’s about having fun, so we let him by and relaxed.

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Reno’s CKRC crew brought a full compliment of drivers and kits.  They were super helpful, and I saw them personally give away parts to at least three broken drivers, so they could finish.

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It’s a good thing I had my new Bull Rope tow strap. It came in handy. Since we had some recent rains, the rocks got a little muddy and slippery. Here, I had to pull Skeeno Jr. out of a crevice she slipped in to.

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Those balloons helped this Wraith float over the rocks.

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TM102 presented the opportunity for a little air time, so I took it.

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The courses at the RECON G6 Challenge are always long, so it’s a good idea to pack refreshments. Remember, it’s about having fun, so there’s no need to run.

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I have to include this picture because Parker loves Scouts, and this one’s leading the way.

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There’s always casualties at a RECON G6. Remember, finishing a RECON G6 is like winning a RECON G6. Don’t be afraid to make trail repairs and ask for help if you need it. Other G6ers are always happy to lend a fellow G6er a hand.

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Speaking of lending a hand, Werty lent Skeeno Jr. some of his sweet jack stands to help her with some maintenance in the pits.

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I think Mini Meeks was giving me the stink eye.

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Scale or 1:1?

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This Jeep was having a hard time climbing this section.  It took me a while, but I finally figured out why…there was no driver, duh.

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One of my favorite G6ers made it out. Mr. Stern is also our oldest G6er at 91 years young.

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The last time I saw this trailer, it was camo-ed out. This teardrop trailer was even cooler this time in full RECON G6 regalia. You can see the old version here: http://www.axialracing.com/blog_posts/1073908833

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I told you trailers were popular. Here the Werty trailer adds a little extra challenge to this sandy hill climb.

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Parker and RC Chick putted around on my CT70 making sure everyone was having a good time. He also used it to plant some special prizes on course.

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Here’s what he was planting, $20 RPP gift certificate coins. Did you find one?

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Remember that if you find something that looks out of place at a G6, it’s probably a trail treasure. Pick it up and take it back to G Central with you and you will be rewarded. Mr. Tree found this double barreled sling shot over on Course 2 and earned some bonus time for his good fashion sense.

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The best part of Moonrocks is the rocks.  The jagged granite provides tons of traction and the sandy decomposed granite removes that traction, so it’s always a dance with the trigger finger.

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I cut my RC crawling teeth at the Moonrocks, so it was fun to reminisce about all the old B.P.R.C.A comps that were held in these exact same lines.

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Uh oh, that Scout is falling behind. He’s probably just letting this Jeep feel what it’s like to be in front for once.

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After Skeeno Jr. and I were finished driving, we headed over to check out the 1:1s. This Jeep was at the top of a steep off camber climb.

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Here’s the other side of the climb. This leaf springer almost flipped on its lid.

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The Axial Wraith used a little wheel speed to get up this line.

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Just like RC crawling comps, there’s lots of waiting in line with the 1:1s as well.  That’s why we love the RECON G6, no lines and Maximum Drive Time!

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This 1:1 detonated his Rockwell in this crevasse. Skeeno Jr. thought it was awesome. She was fascinated by these big boys.

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My buddy Bryan made the crevasse line with no problem even with a hastily stitched back together driveshaft.  It’s all about finesse sometimes.

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As we headed back to G Central, we spotted a few of the last G6ers finishing up their courses.

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Some scale water, axle deep.

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The CKRC/Rivas Concepts Deadbolt was still looking good even after running all day long.

Of course, we finished up the day with a few awards.

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Durty Driver of the Day, Mini Meeks

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Drivn Diva of the Day, Mrs. Werty

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Expedition Driver of the Day, Mr. J.J.

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2.2 Driver of the Day, Mr. Kowatch

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1.9 Driver of the Day, Mr. Klein

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Drivers of the Year, Klein and Wolfe

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6×6 Driver of the Year, Mr. Hoyfab.

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Luckiest Winners of the Day taking home G6 kits, so they’ll be ready for the next RECON G6 Challenge.

The calendar of events for 2015 will be out soon. Watch www.recong6.com for events coming to your area soon. You don’t want to miss one.

Jump Properly

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If you got started in RC with one of Axial’s rock crawlers, you may not know how to properly jump. What is there to it? There’s more to it than pointing your vehicle at a jump and launching it. The part you may not know is that you can actually use the throttle and brakes to control how the vehicle flies through the air.

If you have experience with dirt bikes you may catch on that the throttle can be used in the air to actually raise the front of the bike. The opposite happens when brakes are applied–the front end lowers. Every RC vehicle jumps differently, but they all react, at least to some degree, to throttle and brake inputs. 4WD vehicles such as the Yeti, Yeti XL and EXO Terra Buggy offer more in-air control than 2WD vehicles. Vehicles with bigger tires can also react better to throttle and brake inputs–if they have enough power to really spin the tires. Also, in general, the more power, the more control in the air.

The best way to approach a jump surface is with even speed. Your suspension reacts as you accelerate and decelerate on the ground just like it does in the air as described above. When you approach a ramp, for example, and suddenly accelerate, on or right before the ramp surface, the rear suspension will compress. It will then rebound when you let off the throttle. Without getting too deep in a physics lesson, the rebounding suspension will cause the vehicle to start to lift its rear higher than the front. Even speed–neither an increase or decrease in speed–will provide the most consistent results.

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If the vehicle is nose-diving in the air, grab and hold the throttle until the attitude of the vehicle is level or slightly nose up. Dropping the nose using the brakes requires a slightly different method. Only a tap of the brakes is needed. Too much brake will quickly over rotate the rear up and over the nose.

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The key to a perfect landing, as far as throttle input is concerned, is to have the wheel speed match the vehicle’s speed upon touchdown. That’s a whole lot easier said than done, so concentrate on not having the brakes applied or having the tires spinning too fast. This will keep the drivetrain from taking too much of a jolt and keep the vehicle from darting out of control.

From approach, to launch, to being airborne and finally landing, jumps go by pretty quickly. It’s sometimes hard to imagine you’ll have time to think and do all of the actions described above, but with just a little bit of practice, it will all be second nature.