A First Timer’s Guide to AXIALFEST2017



Words: Matt Soileau Photos: Matt Soileau and Tony Phalen

Are you planning on attending AXIALFEST2017? 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 AXIALFEST2017, there will be several driving events including the world famous ALTRA ULTRA 5K Enduro. 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 receiving a prize. Many lucky participants scored brand new kits and RTRs. 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.





This year there is only one price for everything at AXIALFEST. $49 for each adult and $24 for each child 6-15 years old (kids 5 and under are free!). All pre-registered drivers will receive a driver’s bag containing limited edition AXIALFEST2017 swag from Axial and the AXIALFEST sponsors. Word on the street is the swag will be extra special this year, so make sure you pre-register now if you haven’t already.


You can register online right now at: http://events.eventzilla.net/e/axialfest-2017-2138871199


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 pre-register. It is highly recommended that you pre-register so you don’t miss out on any of the limited edition swag from Axial and the official sponsors of AXIALFEST.




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
P: 530.426.1600
W: www.ciscogrove.com

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 bathrooms and showers available at the campground. Multiple people can share the spots to help divide the cost among several people.



• Your kits. Since this is AXIALFEST, the most important thing to remember is to pack your 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. Due to all the rain we had in California this year, chances are high that you will be driving through both – even possibly some snow – so waterproofing your electronics is not mandatory, but highly recommended.


For more info on waterproofing, check out these past Axial blogs:

Waterproof Your Receiver

How to Waterproof your SCX10

• 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 trail. You will be able to charge your batteries at your camp site with the available electricity. 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 repairs or adjustments are high. Bring all your tools including wrenches, pliers, drivers, scissors and even a 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.

Low Ball


• 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.

High Ball

• 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. The trails are open all the time, even at night. In fact, night runs are some of the best runs, so you’ll 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 in the campgrounds, if you can find time, so you don’t get too ripe. No quarters needed, just sounded good.

• Sunscreen & hat. Don’t get burned by the sun at high elevation.



• Water/beverages. A hydrated AXIALFESTer is a happy AXIALFESTer.

• Meals. Hungry equals grumpy. Prepare you 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. Axial is also working on securing a couple food trucks to come up and join the party. Last year we had Starkey’s Food Truck show up and it was a major hit!

• Snacks. Trail mix and power bars are good to have in case you need extra nutrition in between meals.


• 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, wrenching or just general clean up.

• Soap/sponge/towel/buckets. Good for washing your face, brushing your 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. This year we’re going to have 10 trails; 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.

• 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 quite 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.

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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 as soon as you can 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 upper 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, the Axial motorhome and the trailer. There are usually other vendor booths also set up around 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 (if you pre-registered) 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.



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 or around G-Central – pretty much everywhere. There are 10 trails with over 1,000 trail markers for AXIALFEST2017, 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 driver 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? Most AXIALFESTers come for the Adventurist class. The Adventurist is a scale trail run with 10 different courses and over 1,000 trail markers. Drivers start at different locations around G-Central, sending them up through different areas of the Cisco Grove Campground, ultimately returning them back to the G-Central area. The general rule of the Adventurist class 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 Adventurist trail, drivers will encounter a varied selection of terrain from dirt to rocks to mud to water to trees – basically whatever is out there. Have fun using your scale accessories like tow straps, winches and sand ramps to conquer the terrain.

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 on the Adventurist trails are always happy to help out others by loaning a strap, winch line, parts or tools. Whatever it takes to help their fellow Adventurist continue on the adventure. At AXIALFEST, the Adventurists 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.

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Rugged Radio Rock Racing
As traditional R/C offroad race tracks have become super-groomed sugar-coated brown tarmac, Axial is once again putting the rough, the rocks and real dirt back into off-road racing!
For more information, including the rules, see our post here: Rugged Radio Rock Racing

Axial launched this program last year (2016) in conjunction with ALTRA Running shoes. If vehicle speed and running through the woods appeals to you, this might be the class you seek. Axial will design a designated enduro course just for this class! This will be fast paced physical event. Physical endurance, quick reflexes and knowledge of your rig as well as your physical ability are key.
For more information, including the rules, see our post here: http://www.axialracing.com/blog_posts/1073920956

Concourse Show and Shine
Hello AXIALFEST 2017 participants! Concourse is now in its fourth official year and growing because of YOU! Because last year’s participants stepped up the game, AXIALFEST is responding back with additional classes!
For more information, including the rules, see our post here: http://www.axialracing.com/blog_posts/1073920951


01:00pm-04:00pm Registration & Tech Opens
01:00pm-00:00pm Trails Open Upon Completion of Registration & Tech Inspection
05:00pm-06:00pm DINNER
06:00pm-08:00pm Registration & Tech Open

10:00am-12:00pm Registration / Tech Opens
12:00pm-01:00pm LUNCH
01:00pm-02:00pm Concourse Staging & Tech
01:00pm-06:00pm Registration Open
02:00pm-06:00pm Concourse Judging & Awards
06:00pm-07:00pm DINNER

07:00am-11:30am Registration / Tech Opens
07:00am-07:30am ULTRA Driver Check-in
08:00am-11:30am ULTRA Race
12:00pm-01:00pm LUNCH
02:30pm-05:30pm Registration & Tech Open
06:00pm-07:00pm DINNER
07:00pm-09:00pm AXIALFEST Parade – Starts at Front Office of the Campgorund

08:30am-10:00pm Registration & Tech Opens
09:00am-12:30pm Rock Racing
01:00pm-02:00pm LUNCH
05:00pm-06:00pm DINNER
06:30pm-07:00pm Raffle Ticket Pick Up Main Pavilion
07:00pm-09:00pm Awards Ceremony

Sleep in and travel home safely. Thank you attending AXIALFEST2017!

For more info, check out our past AXIALFEST reports.
Axialfest 2014 – Report By Skeeno
Axialfest 2013 – The Recap!
Axialfest 2012 – Skeeno Report

Useful links:
Facebook Event Page
Recon G6
Cisco Grove Campground
How To Waterproof your Receiver
How To Waterproof your SCX10
Make Your Own RC Vehicle Field Tool Pack