A First Timer’s Guide to AXIALFEST
Words and Photos by Matt Soileau
Are you planning on attending AXIALFEST? Is this your first time? Then this blog may be just what you have been looking for. This is Skeeno’s Guide to AXIALFEST. I will be covering all that you need to know about having a successful AXIALFEST experience.
Let’s start with what AXIALFEST is. AXIALFEST is a customer appreciation event held by Axial Racing to thank it’s loyal customers for their support. Each year is a bit different. For AXIALFEST2015, there will be several driving events including the world famous RECON G6 as well as the RECON Terra-Cross (RTX), and drag races. There is a grand awards ceremony on the final evening with so much giveaway swag it will make your head spin.
Last year I witnessed what seemed like every single participant received a prize. Many lucky participants scored brand new kits and RTRs. Some lucky drivers also scored a sneak peak of the Axial Yeti prototype before anyone else in the world got to see it! You definitely want to make sure you attend the awards ceremony.
At AXIALFEST you will witness a celebration of all things Axial. AXIALFEST is the Woodstock of Scale RC, a family gathering of Axial enthusiasts. Hundreds of participants from all over the world come together to share their love of Axial and scale adventure. Expect to see both male and female drivers from all walks of life. From singles to large extended families.
Not all are drivers; many are just there to support friends and family and watch the fun. There will be groups of people hanging out, wrenching on their Axial kits, cooking, and just generally socializing. Expect to find a very family friendly atmosphere where everyone is willing and eager to help out.
Step 1: Register
This year there is only one price for everything at AXIALFEST. $55 for each adult and $25 for each child. All preregistered drivers will receive a driver’s bag containing a limited edition AXIALFEST 2015 t-shirt and trucker cap, stickers, itinerary, and swag from Axial and the AXIALFEST sponsors. Word on the street is the swag will be extra special this year, so make sure you preregister now if you haven’t already.
You can register online right now at: http://axialfest2015.eventzilla.net
You may also register in person at AXIALFEST, but will not receive the driver’s bag. Extra shirts will be available for purchase at G-Central, but the driver’s bags are limited to only those who preregister. It is highly recommend that you preregister, so you don’t miss out on any of the limited edition swag from Axial and the official sponsors of AXIALFEST.
Step 2: Get a place to stay
Luckily, AXIALFEST is at a campground, a huge campground. Don’t be scared if you’ve heard all the camp sites are gone. They are not, but you may have to walk a little farther to get to G-Central as the veterans have probably already reserved their camp spots from last year that are closest to G-Central. Call Cisco Grove to reserve your spot ASAP.
Cisco Grove Campground
48415 Hampshire Rocks Rd., Cisco Grove, CA 95728
Cisco Grove is about an hour from Reno, NV and about an hour and a half from Sacramento, CA. Camp sites are about $30 per night and include water and electrical hookups. There are bathroom and showers available at the campground. Multiple people can share the spots to help divide the cost among several people.
Step 3: Start Packing RC Stuff
• Your kits (SCX10, Wraith, AX10, Exo, Yeti). Since this is AXIALFEST, the thing to remember is to pack Axial vehicles. You can leave your other RCs at home, as this is an Axial appreciation event. Before you arrive at AXIALFEST, make sure you do a once over on your kits. Clean, rebuild, and replace worn components to reduce chances of failure.
Don’t let something little stop you from finishing. I found this broken axle housing while cleaning up Skeeno Jr’s Axialfest rig just yesterday.
Also, be prepared for mud and water. Chances are high that you will be driving through both, so waterproofing your electronics is not mandatory, but highly recommended.
For more info on waterproofing, check out these past Axial blogs:
• Transmitter, charger, and all of your batteries. You will be driving your kits probably more than you ever have, so you want to make sure you have enough mah to complete each G6 stage. A good rule of thumb is 10,000 mah, but more is always better. You will be able to charge your batteries at your camp sites with the available electricity at each camp site. Make sure to bring a power strip, so you can have multiple chargers going at once.
• Spare Parts. Bring all the spare parts and electronics you have. Driving for three hours straight can tax even the most stoutly built drivetrains. If you don’t have many spare parts, that’s OK. Most veterans will have something to help you out on the trail. Vendors will also be selling parts on site, so bring some spare cash.
• Tools. Chances that you will need to make a repair or adjustment are high. Bring all your tools, including wrenches, pliers, drivers, scissors, and soldering irons.
• Hydration pack/Camelbak. It will be July and most likely very warm. You will be walking long distances for many hours. Bring a backpack or pack hydration to carry water, trail snacks, and tools and spare parts. There is no shame in stopping on the trail to rest, eat, or fix your kit because the goal is to finish. For more info on what to bring out on the trail, check this blog: Make Your Own RC Vehicle Field Tool Pack
• Lots of people bring RVs and campers. Others rough it in tents. Some people sleep in their cars. A good night sleep makes for a happy AXIALFESTer. Bring the stuff that will get you the best sleep. Tent, Mattress, Sleeping bag, pillow, and extra blankets are highly recommended.
• Canopy/EzUp. It’s nice to have protection from the sun or rain while cooking or wrenching. If you have walls for your canopy, bring those as well.
• Power strip/splitter. As mentioned earlier, each camp site has water and power. Make sure you have enough outlets for all your chargers, soldering irons, lights, etc. Some sights have the RV outlets, not the standard 110 outlets you see at your house. Have no fear, the camp store has adapters for sale for cheap. I think I paid $5 last year.
• Lighting/Lantern. You want to be able to see at camp if you have to have a late night wrenching session.
• Alarm clock. Events start early in the morning. You don’t want to be late or miss anything, so bring an alarm that will wake you up, especially if you are a night owl participating in after event revelries.
• Flashlight and Headlamp. There will be a night stage for the G6. You will need to be able to see in the dark. Don’t skimp. Get a headlamp with a high lumen output.
• Shampoo/soap/quarters. Showers are available, if you can find time, so you don’t get too ripe.
• Sunscreen. Don’t get burned by the high elevation.
Food and Beverages
• Water/beverages. A hydrated G6er is a happy G6er.
• Meals. Hungry equals grumpy. Be prepared for the breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for each day you will be there. There are no restaurants close by and the camp store has a very limited selection of edibles. That’s 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 3 dinners, if you are planning on being there from Thursday until Sunday. Plan accordingly.
• Snacks. Trail mix and power bars are good to have in case you need extra nutrition in between meals while out on a G6.
• Stove/BBQ. You gotta cook that food on something, right?
• Regular kitchen supplies. Pots/pans/knives/forks/spoons. Think about what you need for each meal and make sure you bring it.
• Coffee maker and coffee cups. A nice cup of coffee gets me ready for each long day. I like mine with a little cream and sugar.
• Paper towels. For your meals and wrenching.
• Soap/sponge/towel/buckets. Good for washing your face, brushing teeth, and doing dishes.
• Toothbrush/toothpaste. Fresh breath makes socializing less awkward, especially after a few cups of coffee. No one likes morning breath.
• Ibuprofen/Aspirin/Advil. Bring the pain reliever of your choice. Your feet and legs will be sore if you are not used to extended hours of being on your feet. 1000 trail markers can equal several miles hiking around the campground.
• Shoes- bring sturdy shoes for mountain hiking. Hiking boots are recommended. It’s also a good idea to bring some spare shoes for relaxing at camp and flip flops for the showers. I’d also plan on extra socks. After 1000 trail markers and several miles, your feet will most likely be sore.
• Jackets/sweatshirts/pants/hoodie/beanie. You never can tell what Sierra weather will be like. Temps can vary from in the 90s during the day to in the 30s at night. One year it rained. Last year the nights were very cold. Be prepared for everything, so don’t just bring shorts and t-shirts. Pack for four days of clothing, plus extra socks and underwear.
• Swimming gear. There is a little swimming hole at the campground. My daughter makes sure we hit it every year.
Step 4: Arrive
The first stop is at the camp store at the front of the campground. Pick up your campsite and vehicle tags, then go find your campsite. Get set up, so you can start the fun.
After you have camp set up, go find G-Central. G-Central is the central hub of Axialfest where all the activities begin. G-Central is located in the pavilion. There will be signs posted to point you in the proper direction. It is easily spotted, because you will see lots of large green Axial banners as well as the RECON G6 canopy, truck and trailer. There are usually other vendor booths also set up at G-Central. If you are not sure, ask someone. Everyone is friendly and helpful.
At G-Central you will pick up your t-shirts, hats, driver’s bag, and any other instructions. Inside your driver’s bag you will find the Axialfest itinerary, sponsor information, stickers, and some special swag from Axial as well as the official Axialfest sponsors. Make sure you preregister, so you qualify for all the driver bag goodies.
Don’t forget to check out the camp sites. Assorted vendors will also have their booths set up with their wares displayed and items for sale.
Trail markers will be everywhere! Don’t be surprised to see trail markers on the side of the road, next to your camp, in G-Central, pretty much everywhere. There are over 1,000 trail markers for the G6, so please do not disturb them. They will be needed for the entire event. Do not be tempted to take the one with your favorite number and risk the next G6er getting lost. Also, feel free to play with your kits, but please stay off marked obstacles. You’ll know because there will be colorful ribbon on certain sections.
What class are you in? RECON G6. Most AXIALFESTers come for the RECON G6. The RECON G6 is a scale trail run. At Axialfest, the RECON G6 is an extreme trail run. A course of 1,000 trail markers is set. Drivers start from G-Central and follow all 1,000 trail markers out, around, and through the Cisco Grove Campground, ultimately returning back to G-Central to finish. The general rule of the RECON G6 is No HOG, which means No Hand of God. That means you should not touch your rig. No flipping over or repositioning it if stuck. Use a tow strap or winch to make a scale recovery. Also remember to travel in the proper direction. The red trail marker is always on the right. Red on Right, get it?
Out on the RECON G6 trail, drivers will encounter a varied selection of terrain from dirt to rocks to mud to water to trees to whatever is out there. Have fun using your scale accessories like tow straps, winches and sand ramps to conquer the terrain. And here’s a little secret, if you see something that looks out of the ordinary on the trail, it might be a trail treasure. Attach it to your rig and drive it back to G-Central for a possible bonus.
Drivers have the freedom to drive as fast or slow as they feel. Most drive in small groups assisting each other when the trail gets difficult. Drivers during a RECON G6 are always happy to help out other drivers by loaning a strap, winch line, parts, or tools. Whatever it takes to help their fellow G6ers continue on the adventure. At Axialfest, the RECON G6 trail is often many miles long, that’s why being prepared is so important. Drivers and their kits need to be prepared to endure a long day of scale fun. And remember, Finishing a RECON G6 is like Winning a RECON G6.
There are several RECON G6 classes to choose from. Here’s a break down:
Every G6er falls into one of these four classes. 1.9 and 2.2 denote size of your rigs wheels, not tires.
• 1.9 and 2.2 Adventurist- this is the largest class. It’s very relaxed and about having a good time with friends. If you are a first timer, this is probably your class.
• 1.9 and 2.2 Ultra- this is a competitive class. It’s a race. These drivers run. Also known as Cardio RC. Bring your trail running shoes if you choose this class. This class also has more than the standard 1000 trail markers. If you encounter them of the trail it is courteous to pull over and let them pass.
Bonus classes. You will be in the both the above and below classes if you fit into one of the categories below.
• Drivin’ Divas. The lovely ladies of AXIALFEST.
• RECON Rascals. If you are under the age of 16, aka 15 and under.
• 40 and Over Veterans. Old guys rule! Feel free to take your time. We need it.
Other events include the following:
TERRA-X ROCK RACE aka RTX. Rock Racing meets RECON G6! We test the limits of the machine and sometimes the man? Don’t expect a regular timed race. RTX runs on completed laps. Also, don’t plan on a driver’s stand. There’s a little cardio involved here as well. You may be jockeying for position both on the track and in the drivers’ area. You may also be marshalling your own vehicle. RTX has the following classes:
Terra-X Rock Race – 1.9-SCX10 Class
Terra-X Rock Race – Wraith Class
Terra-X Rock Race – YETI Class
Terra-X Rock Race – EXOTerra Buggy
Terra-X Rock Race – OPEN, run what you brung. AKA the Mike Pham class.
1.9 4X4 RHYTHMDRAGS (YES – DRAG RACING IN THE DIRT!)
Yes, we are always trying something new… but it’s not new!
Concourse Show & Shine
Trailer queens that spit shine and show it off, minus the cobwebs please!
Once you are settled in, get ready to have a great time. Don’t expect much downtime. Once the action begins, it’s likely that you will be busy the entire weekend. Axialfest 2015 has set a tentative schedule below. Remember, times are subject to change, so be sure to check at G-Central for updates and LISTEN during the driver’s meetings.
Thursday Night July 16th, 2015:
6:00pm – 9:00pm Early Driver Check-In
6:00pm – 9:00pm Concourse Park Ferme
8:00pm – 9:00pm Judging of Concourse
Friday July 17th, 2015: TIMES SUBJECT TO CHANGE!!!
07:30am – 09:30am Driver Check-In
10:00am – 10:30am DRIVERS MEETING
10:00am – 01:00pm Terra-X
01:00pm – 02:00pm LUNCH
01:00pm – 02:00pm Driver Check-In
02:30pm – 04:30pm 4X4 RHYTHMDRAGS
05:00pm – 07:00pm Food Truck / DINNER (for those who don’t want to cook – bring your $’s.)
05:00pm – 07:00pm Driver Check-In
07:00pm – 08:00pm DRIVERS MEETING & NATIONAL ANTHEM
08:00pm – 08:30pm Driver Groups Staging
08:30pm – 12:00pm RECON G6 Stage-1 Night Stage (Headlamps Mandatory)
Saturday July 18th, 2015: TIMES SUBJECT TO CHANGE!!!
08:00am – 10:00am Driver Check-In
09:00am – 09:30am Driver Groups Staging
09:30am – 09:45am DRIVERS MEETING & NATIONAL ANTHEM
10:00am – 3:00pm RECON G6 Stage-2
LUNCH ON THE TRAIL – PACK ACCORDINGLY
04:30pm – 05:30pm Food Truck / DINNER
06:00pm – 09:00pm RECON G6 Stage-3 (Headlamps Mandatory)
08:00pm – 09:00pm Late or Trail DINNER
(you can eat out on the trail if time is needed so pack accordingly)
09:30pm – 11:00pm AWARDS Bonfire (bring your chairs and a stick of wood)
Sunday July 19th, 2015:
Sleep in and travel home safe or Sunday Funday for those who want to scale trail with us…
For more info, check out our past AXIALFEST reports.
Axialfest 2014 – Report By Skeeno
Axialfest 2013 – The Recap!
Axialfest 2012 Skeeno Report
2015 AXIALFEST REGISTRATION SITE
Facebook Event Page
Cisco Grove Campground
How To Waterproof your Receiver
How To Waterproof your SCX10
Make Your Own RC Vehicle Field Tool Pack