Axialfest 2018 Skeeno Report Part 3

Axialfest 2018 Skeeno Report Part 3

In Part 1 of the Axialfest 2018 Skeeno Report, I showed you the sights and sounds of Day 1, or Wednesday, at Axialfest 2018. In Part 2, I recapped my Thursday at Axialfest 2018 where I visited more vendors, saw more people trailing, checked out the Concours builds, and finished the day off with the CKRC Dollar Dash!

This is Part 3 of the Axialfest 2018 Skeeno Report.  In this edition, I will be running the Altra Ultra 5K, checking out more vendors and trails, monster trucking, parading, and finishing up with a nighttime trial run.  Come see what I saw on Friday at Axialfest 2018.

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My morning started off with Mista Tree cooking us breakfast, so I would be fueled up for the Altra Ultra 5K.

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Tree had the brilliant idea to reheat the sirloins and have a little steak and eggs for breakfast.  It was delicious.

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After fueling my belly, I was pumped and ready to run! My servo was upgraded after Axialfest 2017, so I was confident that I could finish this year.

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Looks like a pretty good crowd already, and it was only 7:30 a.m.

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Even Mr. Cru Jones looked a little sleepy, but he woke up and ran the Altra Ultra 5K, too. Hey, #47, that was my number last year.

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Two things I want, a new set of Lone Peaks and a 2018 Altra Ultra 5K FINISHER plaque.

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I noticed quite a few runner sporting gators. I took that to mean they were serious.

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Question: Should gators be color coordinated or mismatched to stand out? Asking for a friend.

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Mr. Hobby Wing aka Swanky Su aka Charlie Sue aka Charlie Suanka was ready to test out his new Hobby Wing brushless setup; totally programmable by Bluetooth, sweet!

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A little National Anthem before lighting the lipos!

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Ready to go.  I think there were 64 of us this year.  Are you running the Altra Ultra 5K next year?

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Mighty Mike T headed out WAY before me.

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That’s MTB legend Mike Bier, I mean Mark Weir, in the far lane.  He had prior commitments and couldn’t attend the whole time at Axialfest 2018, but he made sure he stopped by just to run the Altra Ultra 5K.

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It’s a bad sign when you have a mechanical before the first turn.  I hope they get it sorted and get back out there quickly.

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I didn’t do much running through the river bed.  All the rocks made footing a little sketchy and I didn’t want to risk a twisted ankle, so I settled for a quick walk. Also, it’s difficult to jog, drive, and take pictures all at the same time.

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That’s Half Link in the rear.  I tried to keep pace with him, but he eventually left me in his dust.

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The DWTS Crew set up a little fun log jump obstacle be their campsite. You could crawl it to the right or send it to the left.  Best believe I sent it every lap.  I wasn’t scurred.

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This hill was the Widowmaker.  It was steep and made you see stars by the time you got to the top, especially once you were over a mile in on your second and third laps.

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At least there was some relief after the climb in this downhill section.

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There’s that dang Half Link again.  I thought I was about to catch him here while straw hat man did some trail maintenance.

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You had to keep your ears open because there were logging trucks running.  You didn’t want to run out in front of one of those. Luckily, marshals were on the look out for you and let you know when it was safe to cross the road.

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Ben Thomas tried to catch me here in the old waterfall section.

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Since I wasn’t in contention to podium and was just out to have fun and finish, I decided to take a small detour and drive through the MyTrickRC highway.  Glad I didn’t get stuck on the broken bridge.

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Just as I was finishing the second climb on the Widowmaker, my daughter texted me.

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She reminded me to stay hydrated, and not die.

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Thanks, Skeeno Jr.  I took a moment to take a sip from my water pack.

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There’s Mr. Chris all awake and running wild.

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Hmm, clear dirt, should I play it safe and take the high line?

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No, SEND IT!

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My Tekin RX8 held up without an issue.  Are those waterproof?

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Wait, are those scale buildings on the Altra 5K course? I better stop for a picture.

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Last lap.  I stopped to admire my Bomber snaking through some various obstacles.  These Axial RR10 Bombers definitely work well.

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I did it! I finished! Thanks to Tristan Judkins for the photo. I ran the whole race with my phone in one hand and the controller in the other; those are the sacrifices I make to bring you the Skeeno Blog.

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Heck ya! Got my plaque.  That’s going on the wall of fame in my garage.

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I knocked almost 20 minutes off my time for the last 5K I ran, and the course was really more like a 6.3K.

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And I got a Finishing Selfie with Mike Bier!

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The 2018 Altra 6.3K finishers! Who won?  I guess I’ll have to wait for the awards ceremony to find out.

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After the Altra 5K, I had some time to check out the trailing and some more vendors.  I noticed the REEF’s RC guys finally at their spot and got to ask what those cables were for. They told me they were to lock up their rigs when they weren’t around, so they didn’t drive off on their own, smart!

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The trails were pretty packed in the morning.

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Even Mr. Tree was out wheeling his Yota.

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The Bay Bridge was very busy.

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It was a long drive across, but not as scary as the Golden Gate bridge of last year.

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Shh, don’t wake that camper in the tent.

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I can’t believe MMA star Jamie Varner is an RC fan.

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Getting off the bridge was easy.

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These slick rocks are always more tricky than they look.

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These two were having a good time on the slick rocks.

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More people on the handicapped accessible trail.

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This was the start of the handicapped accessible trail.

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OG Chino was still rocking his Half Cab and twin sticks.  I don’t think he even noticed me he was so focused on this section.

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Feel the Powa! of the Power Wagon.

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Looks like Registration is closed for lunch. #flossanddab

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Back at the DWTS camp, Big Country and all his homies were set up and wrenching away.

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It’s like a sea of RC in there.

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Is that a DWTS bumper sticker?

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Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers.  Enjoy the scenery and appreciate the beauty of the mountains.

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As the sun rose to mid afternoon, the temps also rose and people left the trails to try to stay cool. Under this bridge was a good chilling spot.

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I was only able to catch a few hardcore drivers out in the heat.

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Mr. Tree approves of this 4Runner.

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Some of the  rocks in this river bed were crazy big.

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Smile guys.

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I’m not sure if this is an action shot or a flex pose.

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He’s headed into the Unknown.

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Wait a minute, his rig wants to cool off in the river, too.

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It must have been refreshing, because this guy jumped in, as well.

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This is right about were I got hot and headed back for some more water and a snack.

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One thing I learned from our Austrian Axialfesters from a few years back is that they are not used to seeing big trucks on the road.  Even Average Joe and the Canucks were impressed with the 37″ tires on my trip up to the first Canadian G6. At Axialfest, there are big tires everywhere you turn your head.  RPP has big tires.

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Rivas’s A.T.A.C. 4Runner has pretty big tires.

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This FJ40 has big tires.

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This YJ has big tires.

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This XJ has big tires.

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KOH Champ Mr. Scherer definitely has big tires.

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The Prairie City SVRA approves of big tires. But, remember to use proper trail etiquette.

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I’m not sure where she’s riding, but that helmet and elbow pads say, SEND IT!

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Hey look, Magnaflow came again and brought some cool stuff for tomorrow night.

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I was lucky to spot Axialfest OG Brokenib out on the trail.

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He is still running the iconic Blue Bastard.

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I wonder if it’s still on 6S?

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The SPOD crew was following close behind.

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Down by the river more people were running the Knights Customs trail.

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This trail was popular with the kids.

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This Wraith is packed and ready for the long haul.

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This little girl was in a hurry.  She got a little annoyed when her father took a little too long on an obstacle.

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Dude, no cell phones when driving.  Don’t you know the rules?

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Luckily, we were off road, so no tickets this time.

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A fellow educator on the trial with his newborn.  I had a good time chatting with him and his wife.

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LOOK OUT!!!! DINOSAUR!!!!!

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These crazy aliens drove by like they weren’t even scared.

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What the heck? Is that the 1:1 Bomber? You never know what you’ll see at Axialfest.

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PS The Bomber has big tires.

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This guy was brave enough to save the submariners from the Jurassic Mosasaurus.

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The Dinosaur patrol is a little late.  The Raptors have already escaped.

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This was a great looking XJ.

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Rage at the River!!! There was quite a party going on by the overpass.

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This crew was enjoying the cold tub.  I kinda wished I had on my swim trunks.  The water looked great.

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It’s always cool under here with the breeze blowing off the water.

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Yoga by the river?

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Yup, more cooling off with the kids.

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Same idea but a little more controlled for the littles.

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I spotted this scale garage next to the road.  I loved the scale Ledgestone under the window.

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A couple years ago I spotted this teardrop at Axialfest.  It was in the initial stages of its build back then.

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It was a little more polished now with even more modifications to come. I wonder what it will look like next year.

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Those skeletons were still pickin and grinnin.

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I didn’t notice this scale garage at MyTrickRC when I ran by during the Altra 5K.

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Wait a minute, what’s this?

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The Monster Jam?!?!?!? I almost missed it.

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I’m always amazed at how difficult such an easy looking course is.  Competition makes the trigger finger get whiskey throttle.

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Elio and Pham look pretty serious.

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The kids were definitely serious.

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The kids love watching the carnage of the Monster Jam.

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Photo finish jump!

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Time for highest air.

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This guy blew his lid off.

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Hmmm, cool trophies. I don’t know what the classes were, but you can see the winners below.

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I swear, I turned around and the parade was just cruising by.  I almost missed this, too. There’s so much going on at Axialfest. Fun is everywhere!

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Is that a mile long Axialfest train?  It sure did feel like it. How long is a line with 2,000 people in it?

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The Monterrey Bay family was back again.  I recognized her pink livery from last year.

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At dusk, Tree, Mike, and I set out for a trail run.

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I see Mr. Tree back there trying to keep up.

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Dang, this day seemed extra long.  I woke up extra early to Altra 5K and stayed out late trailing into the Great Unknown.  See you in Part 4 of the Axialfest 2018 Skeeno report where we Rock Race and end a great week with the Axialfest 2018 Awards Ceremony and Raffle.

Axialfest 2018 Skeeno Report Part 2

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In Part 1 of the Axialfest 2018 Skeeno Report, I showed you the sights and sounds of Day 1, or Wednesday, at Axialfest 2018.  This is Part 2, and I will be recapping my Thursday at Axialfest 2018 where I visit more vendors, see more people trailing, go check out the Concourse builds, and finish the day off with the CKRC Dollar Dash!

3

Every day at Axialfest starts with a hearty breakfast. You need to fuel up for a full day of RC adventures.

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Tree didn’t get his rig fixed last night because he lost a screwshaft in the dirt.  Luckily, most Axialfesters are happy to help each other out.  When Tony Mazza heard Tree was pouting about not being able to drive, Mr. Mazza dug into his spare parts bin and found just what Mr. Tree was looking for.

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I spotted Mr. Colman aka Joshua Kaine Elliot aka ESP cruising around checking out the action.  He did tons of filming, so look for his video recaps of Axialfest 2018 coming soon!

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I went to see who was out trailing and ran into these guys on the handicapped accessible trail along the side of the road.

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Don’t be fooled by the looks of it. It was tougher than it looked.

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As usual, large groups of friends and family were seen walking to trails and out on the trails.

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Over in A camp, the Down With The Sickeness Crew was again rolling deep.  I think they have 100 members packed in there.

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The slippery rocks down in the river bed always provide a challenge.

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‘Merica!

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It’s important to remember to take a picture of your rigs at the beginning of every trail.

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That banjo player was still pickin and grinnin, but it looks like his wifey left him. Maybe she’s cooking breakfast.  Do skeletons eat?

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I wonder what that is.  I’ll have to stop by later when the Reef’s boys are around and ask them.

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Chassis, chassis, chassis.  You know what that means?

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Yup, CBE was back at Axialfest 2018, and they brought all the goodness with them.

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Hi, Mr. CBE!

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The coffee girls were back, and they bumped and danced and served up their coffee drinks all day.

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Our EMT friends returned to make sure any medical issues were dealt with quickly.  But, now that people know to stay hydrated, it’s a pretty slow week for Mr. EMT.

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RC4WD showed up on Thursday and brought out all the cool stuff.

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They have some amazing scale accessories for Axial vehicles.

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A working scale lift?  That makes changing muffler bearings a snap!

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These guys were checking out the tire selections.

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What did you win on the RC4WD Plinko game?  I think they were raffle tickets for a vehicle giveaway.

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I spotted these amazing vintage trailers as I left the RC4WD booth.

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The detail was unbelievable.

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Oven, check. Stove, check. Hood vent, check.

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Sink, check.  Dinette, check. Linoleum tiles, check.

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Same thing in this one.

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Both were beautiful.

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Hey look, it’s Harley from Vanquish Products.

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Tekin always has amazing vehicles.

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The 3D printed 6×6 was back.  See the Yeti Jr in the back?

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What up, Ty?

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Of course they also have amazing ESCs and Motors, but these servos are what I envy the most.  They’d be a great compliment to my RX8/ROC412 in my Bomber. Feel free to send one my way, hint, hint.

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I cruised past the pavillion.  It was set up and ready for Concourse later tonight.

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Roof Top Tents seem like the best way to get a comfortable bed just about anywhere.

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Hot Boyz! I believe this crew said they were from Metairie, New Orleans, Louisiana.

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This crew from drove by and recognized the Hot Boyz as camp neighbors from last year.  New friends are always made at Axialfest.

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I caught Big Tex Chris Zemek and Old Man Dan Wilson driving through some brush.

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Looks a little too pokey to stand on.

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This is either going to be cool or scary.  We’ll have to go check it out.

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There was a something Jurassic eating a sub on the river. Is that Meg?

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Someone should tell that kid not to swim in there. I’d hate to see him get eaten.

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Smile, little Axialfester!

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The river was a great spot in the hot afternoons.  Here this lady rests in the shade while still trailing through the gates.

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This probably means that there are dinosuars around.  I better keep an eye out just to be safe.

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This bridge made getting down to the waterfall easier.

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I scooted back up to check out the concourse and ran into Eazy E aka Elio.  He blessed by with some limited edition Axialfest 2018 trail swag. Who else got one?

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I got there just in time.  All the rigs were already lined up and ready to be judged.

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Oh, man.  The Skeeno Altra 5K Bomber.  That HAS to win.  Look how cool it is.

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There’s Mr. ESP doing his thang.  I hope he got good footage of the Skeeno Bomber.

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The next several pictures are some of my favorites.This one here looks like a solid piece of American iron.

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There’s nothing cooler than scale MATTRACKS.

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This Land Cruiser looks ready for some overlanding action.

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Work Horse.  I almost mistook this for one of the logging trucks transporting trees on the Fordyce access road.

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You don’t see many Jeep Liberties out on the trail.

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A scale engine bay always gets my attention.

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This monster truck looks like it’s ready for the Crawl For A Cure.

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Hmmm, will there be aliens at the Axialfest Monster Jam this year?

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This Tacoma would be right at home on the Rubicon.

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I wonder why I didn’t spot these Jurassic Jeeps down by the river.

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Jurassic dinosaurs or Star Wars space creatures?

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Another cool build by the guys at Tekin.

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What’s for breakfast? Check out the garbage can with liner.

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Mr. Kett, Mr. Knight, and Mr. Schultz hamming it up.

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David and Dolly of KLP Hobbies made the trip from China for the second time.  Glad to have you guys back.

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Matt Kett considered each entry very seriously.

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Badger and Gerrish also discussed each rig before choosing their favorites.

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Take a sip of the potion and hit the three wheel motion…

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This great SCX10 lowrider made an appearance.

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It was my favorite for its originality.  That’s all chromed out SCX10 under the body.

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Mr. Coleman’s brought out this cool Land Rover.  I believe he named it Blud Muney.

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The Axiallet was back, but this time it was business on the left…

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and party on the right!

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Go see these guys if you need and Axial haircut.  They’ll hook you up.

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Elio was on the prowl for youngster with no rig.  If you were a kid and didn’t have a rig, you might have gotten a special raffle wristband to win a 2ChainzScalerz custom built rig at the Awards Ceremony.

 

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This guy didn’t need a bracelet.  He was entered in the concourse.

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Daily driver
1. Alec Va DenBrink – Liberty
2. Joe Zuniga – Hilux
3. Elio Dianda – Brute

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D’raisin
1. Corey Hall – Goat
2. Todd Norton – Military 6×6
3. Bree Eral – Beetle

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Monster truck
1. Paul Russel Jr – White/Blue MT
2. Ben Thomas – Black Truck
3. Cancer sucks – Kye Steiner

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Trailer
1. Daniel Flores – Jeep Trailer
2. James Tomlinson – Forerunner
3. Judd Rummage – Amain Bike trailer

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Trailer
1. Daniel Flores – Jeep Trailer
2. James Tomlinson – Forerunner
3. Judd Rummage – Amain Bike trailer

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12 and under
1. Ina Eral – Unicorn
2. Sadie Silva – Dinosaur Wraith
3. Joe Zuniga – Blue Jeep

PS The Unicorn is amazing!

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Best Theme
1. Bree Eral – Dragon 6×6
2. Devlin Shipley – Scooby Buggy:
3. Chris Harder – Radioactive FC

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13-18
1. Jacob Simpson – 6×6 Flatbed
2. Dominic Reyes – Green Flatbed
3. Jensen LeBlanc – F350 SD

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Adventurist
1. Ty Campbell – Dakar Truck
2. Matt Hauck – Wrangler/ Powerwagon
3. Chris Prestwood – SBC Power Wagon

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Bomber
1. Jay Jaffe – Silver Otterpops
2. Mike Thompson – Red Altra
3. Dean Farrington – Black/ Orange

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After Concourse, it time for dinner!

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Sirloins, corn on the cob, and mashed potatos!

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The smell attracted our old friend from Costa Rica, Adolfo Gutierrez.

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This year he brought the whole Pura Vida! Crew out to Axialfest 2018.  We missed seeing Marcos Rojas, so maybe next year, my friend.

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After dinner, it was time for the CKRC Dollar Dash.  Mrs. Heather man (or womaned) the sign ups.

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1 Lap = $1, fastest time wins ALL the cash!

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Many competitors got slipped up on the PVC bridge.

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The good times usually go late into the night.

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That’s Old Man Dan.  He’s won the Dollar Dash for the past few years. Did he defend his crown again?  You’ll have to wait for the awards ceremony to find out.

Check out Axialfest 2018 Skeeno Report Part 3 where I will recap what I saw on Friday at Axialfest 2018.

Axialfest 2018 Skeeno Report Part 1

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You know what July means, Axialfest! That’s right, the largest gathering of scale RC fans at Cisco Grove Campground. Follow along as I give you a small sample of what went down at Axialfest 2018. Part 1 of the Skeeno Report will cover what I saw on Wednesday, July 18.

1

As usual, you have to stop at the store when you arrive at Axialfest.  This year was a little different though, because before you went to the store, you had to stop at registration on the opposite side of the street.

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First Axial staffer I ran into was Stinky Shawn Barton. He was up at Cisco Grove for four weeks getting ready for all the Axialfesters to arrive.

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Looks like a full schedule of fun at Axialfest 2018.

2

Before going in to the registration building, you got to get all your Axial vehicles teched by some of the Axial staff.  Randal Davis and Scott Kerkes were manning the tech booth when I arrived.

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If you passed tech, you got one of these stickers.

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If you failed tech, you got one of these stickers.

3

At the tech booth, RC legend Don Hughes was arguing with Matt Kearney about which brand of muffler bearings were the best.

7 Inside the registration building, Jeff Johns was happily pointing to the swamp cooler that was keeping the registration staff nice and cool all day long.

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There were cones and tape for traffic control, but I don’t think there were ever very big lines.  The new check-in system really seemed to smooth out the process since it was open all day, everyday.

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I saw one chain of 2ChainzScalerz, Adam Dean, aka G Eazy checking in and getting his swag bag, shirt, hat, waterbottle, etc.  Can you see the swamp cooler in the corner of the picture?

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Ohhhhh, sweetness! a PK Ripper.  This bike was on my wish list as a kid.

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Over at the camp store, the ladies told me that the campground was again sold out this year.  That’s 450 campspots! Axialfest 2018 was set to be off the chain once again.

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After checking in, we headed over to H30, the Skeeno Spot since Axialfest 2013.  This year we jammed 3 tent trailers and 2 canopies into our spot. Nothing fancy, but the orange shag sure is nice to stand on once the Altra Lone Peaks come off after a long day of walking.

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Tree, Mike, and I took little break after setting up camp before heading down to check out Vendor’s row. Mike brought a TV, but didn’t get to watch it much, because there’s too much to do at Axialfest.

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Ryan Gerrish of DS Pro had some screaming deals on bodies and hard to find parts.  I got a Glitch Buster for $1!

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This was  box of random Axial plastics.  It was all free.  If you broke a part, you could rummage through and find what you needed to get back on trail.

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MIP came out this year with Matt Olson.  We reminisced about our old favorite RC mag, Xtreme RC cars.

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MIP had this racer on display.  I’m not sure what it was, but it was HUGE!

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A Main Hobbies was back with TONS of goodies.

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Do you need some scale accessories?  A Main Hobbies has you covered. I see WERTYMADE, SBC, and CBE in there.

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They had a Wheel of Fortune to spin to win prizes.

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A Main again had a sweet custom build on display.  If I’m not mistaken, this was given away on the last day of Axialfest 2018.

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I’m not sure if those are Pivot Phoenixes or Fire birds, but it doesn’t matter. Those Knights Customs parts really complete this build.

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Speaking of Knights Customs, James Knight was back out with his amazing 3D printed goodness.

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His booth is alway filled with the coolest accessories.

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3D printed metal bumpers, exhausts and Pull Pals?  Yup, Knights Customs has them.  Do you see the scale Canyon Cooler?  They were Axialfest exclusives.  Did you get one?  I did.

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Hemistorm had his build on display.  Pictures don’t do it justice.

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The ‘ghost’ bodies were my favorite part.

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I love the way you can see how all the parts mount up in the stock bodies.

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Look how freaking awesome that 22R sits in this Toyota Honcho. PS, this was a raffle item.  See the tickets in the background?

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Here’s my sweet Knights Customs Canyon Cooler.  I think it’s going on the Jeep.  Did you get one?

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Of course, Pro-Line was there.

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Paul Willhite told me to look for tokens out on Trail E.  They could be turned in for prizes at the Pro-Line booth.

31Hatfields and McCoys. Budweiser and Coors. Red and Blue. Yes, it’s true.  Tower Hobbies was bought by Horizon Hobby and the once fierce rivals are now a team. Have no fear, they announced that Axialfest will live on.

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The official hobby shop of Axialfest, RPP Hobby was again packed and ready to meet your needs.

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They brought all the sweet deals with them.

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The best coolers to keep your perishables cold at Axialfest, Canyon Coolers was back. Did I mention Knights Customs has a scale replica?

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Cheers, Mr. Canyon.

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Hemistorm was manning the Castle booth.  Did you know Castle now has sensored brushless systems?

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I stopped by to see my old friends at CKRC.

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Yes, it’s true that they decided to close up shop and follow a new career path, but that didn’t stop them from coming out and having fun at Axialfest.  Here former owner, Jason chats with the Taz, Tristan Judkins and Half Link about his next adventure in life.

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CKRC even had their own trail.  The first part was a 2Chainz Skillz section.

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Of course, it was detailed with cool scale buildings and such.

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It looked easier than it was.  We’ll come back later and try it out.

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Of course, I had to stop and make Grumpy Fast Eddie yell at me.  Sadly, he wasn’t around, so I took the opportunity to totally violate his lawn. All my bearings will probably seize when he sees this picture.

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Pedals Bikeshop was back.. I tried to get them to give me that PK Ripper, but I got denied.  I did get a new PBS t-shirt, though.

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Over at Area 108, these skeletons were having a good time pickin’ and grinnin’ on the old banjo.

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I took a spin around campground to check out who was here and found lots of people already out running the trails.

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The bridge up front by the camp store is always a fun place to play.

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Lots of kiddos were out and about this year again.  This guy was smart and remembered to stay hydrated when out in the heat.

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This little guy was totally focused on driving.  I had a hard time getting his attention.

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He finally threw up the deuces.

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The water was low, but I still saw lots of little ones out cooling off in between driving the trails.

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I spotted this cool fire pit on my way out of the creek bottom.

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There were little surprise buildings all over the place.  I’m sure I missed a bunch.  How many did you see?

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The 1:1 SCX10 was back again.

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Last year Mrs. Zotti was over in A section all by her lonesome.

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This year she brought all her fun bags and canopies over to Vendor’s Row.  She can customize yours for you.

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The temps were only supposed to be in the mid-80s, but for some reason it felt WAY hotter.  Luckily, Mr. Barton had a little shade to keep cool on his security rounds.

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What in the what?  Secret Area 51 Security vehicle.  Scott G. brought his Haflinger out to play at Axialfest.  The engine looks like someone cut a VW flat 4 in half.

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Go check these out, super cool!

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Big man, little car.  Last year Tree putted on my Skeeno Skooter.  This year he jammed himself into the Haflinger.

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Something crazy happened this year; I actually got to drive my SCX10!  Usually, I’m so busy with STAFF duties that I don’t have time. This year I got to hit a few trials.  The 2ChainzScalerz course was my first stop.

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I had to fill up before we headed out.  I updated my trail rig this year by going with a Proline Toyota Honcho lid and Axial Nitto Trail Grapplers in the R35 compound.

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I never obey this sign.

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As I was trailing along I spotted this Northstar camper.

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I looked for the owner, but I think we was taking a nap.  Great work whoever built this.

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We trailed around a bit more until Tree and Mike had some mechanical issues, so we cut it short and headed back for dinner.

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For dinner, we hit up the MOGROG truck.

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That’s right, Unimog Food Truck.

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Hmmm, what to get?

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It all sounded good, so we had one of each.  It was muy delicioso.

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After dinner, the poopy pants boys fixed their rigs, so I went back to Vendor’s Row to see who showed up while I was out trailing.

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Looks like Casey Currie showed up.

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Yup, the axles check out.  It’s Mr. Monster himself.

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And, he brought enough Monster Energy to keep us going all weekend.

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Finally, Mr. Altra, Chris Cru Jones showed up.  He told me the new Lone Peak 4.0 will be out very soon.

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You know Altras are the offcial shoe of RC.

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And bonus! I get a little discount on my new shoes!

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So, that’s what I saw on Day 1 of Axialfest 2018. After getting Tree and Mike’s rigs fixed up, we decided to hit the hay and be ready for Thursday at Axialfest 2018. Look for the Axialfest 2018 Skeeno Report Part 2 where I will go over what I saw on Day 2 of Axialfest 2018.

 

Skeeno’s Axialfest 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Build

After AXIALFEST2017, I started thinking that I needed to update my trailing rig.  Last year, I built a new racer for for the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro, but I needed something new to run on all the trials at AXIALFEST2018.

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As luck would have it, Brown Santa dropped off some Green Tape just before the Christmas season.  Merry Christmas to me!

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When I opened up the box, it was packed with the new SCX10 2 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited CRC.  This would be a great new trailing rig for AXIALFEST2018!

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My buddy, Mr. Werty over at WertyMade contacted me as soon as he found out I had the new rig.  He wanted to use it as a test mule for some parts he was making; rear bumpers, front bumpers, and rock sliders. Since we’ve been RC nerd friends for many years, I happily agreed to lend him my new trailing rig.

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He returned it to me in even better than tip top shape.  All the parts he test fitted, he left on there for me, score!  I immediately started thinking about the things I wanted to modify and add to improve the performance and looks of the 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited CRC. First up was to get a spare tire and some RotopaX on the rear bumper.

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Mr. Werty repossessed those D Rings, so that was one item I wanted to replace on that sweet front stinger.

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Check out those sweet sliders, indexed to hold the body, just like the stock plastic ones, but these are made out of steel.  The wrench logo in a nice touch, too.

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Next up was a new set of socks and shoes.  I’ve always liked beadlocks and the classic Axial 1.9 Beadlocks were my first choice.  Just as I got the wheels, Werty annouced these new Wrench Rings, and I just had to have a set.

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Look how awesome the rings look.

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In order to add a little crawling performance, I like to add some weight in the wheels to lower the center of gravity.  The Axial Internal Rings are a perfect fit. I also swapped out to a slightly beefier looking tire, the BFG All-Terrains are a classic tire and the KO2 version is even better than the original.

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They mount up easily, and you can adjust the weight using the inserts.

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At this point, I was loving this wheel/tire/ring combo, but I wasn’t digging looking at the electronics through the wheel wells.

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It was starting to look pretty good, but I still had a ways to go.

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Next up, I needed to add some swag to the rear.

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Since I wasn’t using the stock Nitto Trail Grabbers, I pressed one into service as the spare tire.

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Next, I hit up my local hobby shop, CKRC Hobbies and picked up these RotopaX gas cans from Scale by Chris AKA SBC.

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Don’t worry, the tire rack swings away, so you can still get into the back of the Jeep.

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Another modification I like to do is the 3654 Mod to the wheel hexes.  Eazy Elio from Two Chainz Scalerz taught me this trick to give any Axial scaler a slighly wider stance. Since the stock hexes are about 3mm, this modification adds about 10mm of width to the SCX10 2.

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While I was at CKRC picking up the SBC RotopaX cans, I spotted these brass 8mm hexes from Team KNK. It might be slight, but the brass hexes will also lower the center of gravity slighty.

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They fit perfectly and come with new wheel nuts and set screws to secure them to the axles.

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Next up was adding some wheel wells to hide the electronics.  I used the wheel wells for the original SCX10.

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They aren’t a perfect fit, but with a little creativity with the scissors, they worked out pretty well.

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The curve of the Jeep Wrangler body means you have to trim the fronts quite a bit.

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I ended up trimming that front tab off because I was worried it would hang up on twigs and things on the trail.

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After a little black paint, they look great.

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Black helps hide all the imperfections.

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That’s WAY better than before; no more unsightly wires can be seen under there.

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I almost forgot to mention this cool feature on the WertyMade bumper. Those four holes are for mounting a rear winch if you want one…

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And that hole is a bottle opener for those times when you need to hydrate during wrenching sessions!

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Next, it was time to add a some interior to give it a little more scale look, as well as to hide the electronics a little more.  I heard from the Anthony Rivas of Rivas Concepts and Matt Kett from the Scale Builders Guild that the 2012 Jeep Wrangler body was a perfect fit.

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Sadly, I had to kill a perfectly good body.  If you want to try this, you can probably find an old body from one of your local RC buddies to cut up.

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Be sure to cut around the lights and fender flares.

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The rear view mirror mounting holes make a great mounting point.  The two screws hold the front securely.

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I found that the door handle impressions lined up perfectly and made getting it in evenly easy.

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I cut a big hole to allow for the rear body mounts to pass through.

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Don’t worry, with the tinted rear windows, you can only see it if you are staring directly into the rear windows.

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Looking good so far. Time for paint.

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I wavered between black, red, and silver before settling on the silver.  I was happy with my choice because the bright color makes the interior pop against the red.

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That’s what I’m talking about.  No more unsightly electrics can be seen in there.

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Earlier, I got distracted by that big open space in the front bumper. TIme to remedy that.

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I pulled the winch off my old SCX10 and it mounted up easily.  It even had a matching red hook.

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Oh yeah! that looks way better with the winch in there.

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I found some D rings on some old parts trees to replace the ones Mr. Werty repossessed. I even put one on the rear bumper.

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Back to the interior.  Sticker time!

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I kept it pretty simple in here.  The only thing I added was the steering wheel I had in my parts box.  Low Rider Style with the chain ring.

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Boom!

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Bam! The silver and black really contrasts well against the red.

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There it is mounted up, two screws through the mirror holes and a little tape hold it in.

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There’s the mirror screws holding the mirrors on and the interior in.

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I also found some wipers on the spare parts tree and mounted them up.

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I really like the clean looks of it.

51 She’s just about ready to conquer all the trails at AXIALFEST2018!

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I just wanted to add a couple more scale details.  First I added the molded door handles.

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A bonus of the door handles is they also hold the interior in place.

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Then, I added the molded hood latches.  Both of these come on the spare parts trees in the box.

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I had to give it a quick trail run to test it out.

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I must say, this rig handles amazingly well.

58I’m thinking this rig is going to be amazing at AXIALFEST2018!

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One last item before I wrap up this build.  I need a few more lumens than the stock headlights, so I decided to add the JRC Offroad Roof Rack.

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Looks pretty good up there even though it’s originally meant for the 2000 Jeep Cherokee.

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The Rigid Light Bar fits perfectly up there.

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I used the 8 String LED and 3 Port High Output LED Controller.

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I’m really loving the look and capabilities of this rig.

 

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I’m definitely ready to emark on the adventures that Axialfest 2018 holds. I just wish July 18th would get here already!

 

How To: Install Beef Patties in Method Beadlock Wheels

Install Beef Patties

 

Running weights in the front wheels of your trail rig or rocker racer can have significant benefits such as a lower center of gravity and improved stability.  After searching through options that would work with my Altra 5K Bomber Build, I came across these Beef Patties made by the same company that made the Beef Tubes I used inside my axles on the Bomber Build. The Beef Patties add 4.5 ounces to the front.  These along with the Beef Tubes inside my axles increased axle weight by 6 ounces.  These are not made specifically for the Axial Method Beadlock wheels, but they can be installed with minimal modification.

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As you can see, the hubs don’t quite slide into the Beef Patties.  The hubs are just about 1mm too large in diameter, so a little sanding is necessary.

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I used some 60 grit. It made quick work of the job.  Just a few passes on each nub is enough.

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I stopped and checked clearance, almost there.  I just needed another pass on the sandpaper.

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Boom, slid in like a glove.IMG_20170602_163046

The Beef Patties fit perfectly in behind the wheels.

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Beef Tubes includes longer beefier hardware to mount them up. You can just see them poking out behind the spokes.

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Best part is they are a close match to the color of all the aluminum bling on my Altra 5K Bomber.  You know bling is important, because it adds 3hp per bling. I’ve already done a test run and am very happy with the improved crawling and handling.  Definitely a great, quick, and easy hop up to improve the stability of your RR10 or other rig.

More Information: Beef Patties

Bomber Adventure – Skeeno Completes an Altra Ultra 5K Enduro

Skeeno Completes an Altra Ultra 5K

Words and photos by: Matt ‘Skeeno’ Soileau
Guest photography by: The Great Dominic Longoria

IMG_20170930_113508The ScaleUltra.com tour made a stop in Reno, Nevada recently, so I finally got a chance to redeem myself after having to DNF in the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro at Axialfest 2017 due to a broken servo. If you’re not familiar with this race, you can read up on it’s history here: Altra Ultra 5K History

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Since the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro is a self supported race, I needed to make sure I had what I needed to finish. First up was making sure I had enough mAh to power my RR10 Bomber for over 3 miles. You can learn more about mAh/mile here: mAh/Mile  I didn’t take any chances and charged up all my batteries, 15,800mAh! I hoped it would be enough.  I also packed my tools and water into my hydration pack.

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The next morning when I arrived, there was already a good sized crowd gathered at the Wild West Motorsports Complex.

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The Altra Ultra 5K Enduro was part of a larger event hosted by CKRC Hobbies that included comp crawlers, rock racing, and scale trails. CKRC’s Jason Copeland was handling the sign ups and even had some tasty doughnuts for anyone that wanted them.  I wanted them, but decided I better refrain since I was about to run/jog/speed-walk/hike for over 3 miles. I did grab one after I finished, and they were delicious.

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It was easy to find the race coordinator with this sweet wrapped Sprinter van. I couldn’t resist a quick photo with my Bomber. Also, that guy is wearing my favorite Altra model, the Lone Peak 2.5.

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Mr. Chris Cru Jones was already set up and taking entries. Check out those sweet decals from S.O.R. Graphics. What’s that stuff behind Chris?

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Those are some sweet finishing prizes, hats, windbreakers, Camelbaks, kits, RTRs, and my favorite…

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…these Axial Adventure sweatshirts.  XL too, just my size.

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You probably recognize these 801 legends, MikeyT and PaulieB!

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Mr. Chris Cru Jones gave us a quick driver’s meeting, so we all knew the rules. The rules are pretty basic, finish as fast as you can.

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Can you find the Skeeno Bomber?

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Mandatory group photo of the Fourteen Fuegos. Don’t be scared to come run an Altra Ultra 5K Enduro, you don’t really have to run the entire time.  My goal was to keep a good pace and finish.

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Here’s a POV shot what it’s like to run a Altra Ultra 5K Enduro. It’s amazing how the difficulty level is raised when you are trying to hustle down the trail and drive at the same time.  It’s hard to watch your driving line and running line at the same time.  I can’t tell you how many times I center punched a rock with my front differential because I wasn’t watching my Bomber for a second.

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The first part of this race was a pretty good climb to the top of this hill, 500′ of climbing in .3 mile. According to my Strava data, it was a 25-30% grade.

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Luckily, there were some fun technical sections near the top to take your mind off the climbing.

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Almost to the top here.

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Those flags are the top, thank goodness!

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I was feeling it already and this was only the first lap.  There were three laps in this race.

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Ok, just kidding.  That wasn’t the top.  It was a false peak, and there was one last climb to the summit. That’s my trail-buddy, Tony Mazza down there.

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He was getting close to these flagstone kickers.  It’s probably not the wise choice, but jumping was the fun choice.

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I even waited to catch a photo of Mr. Mazza’s Bomber taking the jump.

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We trail-raced at the summit for a while, so I could catch a few photos.

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Ol’ Mista Werty was commissioned to be course marshal at the midway point.  I’m not sure why he has that umbrella, I don’t see any rain clouds in the sky.

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After the summit, we turned and headed back towards the start.

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Mr. Mazza left me in his dust when I stopped to refuel my Bomber.  Maybe I need to rethink my battery capacity.  5000mAh packs sound like a better choice than the 2200mAh packs I usually run.

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You can see the start at the top, left of this picture. That’s about half a mile from here according to my Strava.

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There was some fun technical sections back here.  Here Mighty Mike T.  pops an ollie down this section.

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Mikey T. was pretty pleased with his performance, so much so that he even paused for a photo for me.

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When arriving at this section the second time, I quickly ran over to the Dominic Longoria of CKRC requested he catch some photos of me while he was live streaming.

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Dom took some great shots for trying to execute two film duties at once all while commentating. You are a great multitasker, Mr. Longoria.

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I remember that rock trying to trip me, but my Altra Lone Peak 3.0′s kept me sure footed.

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After an exciting event, I was excited to finish in the Top 10. When looking at my lap times, it was clear my decision to run lower capacity 2200mAh batteries as well as stop to take photos affected my time.  These choices slowed me down, and without them, I think I would have cut almost 10 minutes off my lap times and finished several places higher.  Perhaps I’ll rethink my strategy at the next Altra Ultra 5K Enduro.

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So who wound up on top? Mike Thompson wearing the number 20 took home the win in a time of 1:08:21 with his personal fast lap being 22:03.7.  The “Altra Hot Lap” winner was Brandon Copeland (17) who set a blistering pace of 18.44 and finished second overall in 1:09:41.1. Taking the final podium spot was Paul Blackner (19) finishing in 1:14:11.9 and clicked off a personal fast lap of 23:03. Congrats on your finishes and walking home with some impressive Axial and Altra prizes. Congratulations are also in order for everyone who participated in the event as well as the staff behind the show. Now, will we see you at the next Altra Ultra 5K?

Find out more about Altra Ultra 5K Events:
ULTRA 5K ENDURO HISTORY
Athletic RC Adventure Mashup – Inside the Axialfest Altra Ultra 5K Enduro

Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Report Part 4

adventures_skeenos_axialfest_2017_report_part_4_500pxSkeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Report Part 4

Photos by Matt Soileau and Michael Morris

So, Here it is, Part 4 of the Axialfest 2017 Skeeno Report! Day 4 consisted of Rock Racing and the Awards Ceremony and Raffle. If you somehow missed reports 1-2-3, please pop back; Report Part-1, Report Part-2, Report Part-3.  Let’s take a look at what went down on the final day of Axialfest 2017.

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Scott Kerkes was still going strong teching rigs on Day 4.

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He must be the undisputed tech champion of Axialfest 2017.

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Scott has a special way with the little ones as well.  Here he reminds this little guy that Fast is Slow, so don’t try to win the race at the start.

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Pham was all teched and checked and ready to race.  This is what he was waiting for all week, the Rock Races!  I think he podiumed in every class last year.  We’ll have to see if he could repeat that performance this year.

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Anthony Rivas was ready to count racers and laps.  See that paper in his hands?  That must mean something official.

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Looks like this crew is ready to rumble.

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Hold up, is that a Yeti and Yeti Jr?  It’s like a father/son team.

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The Axiallet haircut was pretty cool, but an Axial tattoo?  That’s dedication. Raise your hand if you have an Axial tattoo.  Free entry to Axialfest 2018 next year if you show them your tattoo by September 20th.

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Jawn Shulzz was race director.  Here he gives the drivers meeting.

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Rules are pretty simple, fastest to three laps wins and goes to the mains…oh and no turn marshals, so don’t flip over.

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The Mod Squad, RC Driver’s Greg V, Hemistorm, and Scale Builder Guild’s Matt Kett, ready to catch all the action.

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First up are the littles.  This has to be my favorite class.  They get so excited.  It’s pure youthful fun.

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You never can tell where the rigs are headed when the little’s are behind the trigger.

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You can always tell a female driver.  I think pink is the mandatory color.

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See, pink shirt. And pink shoes.

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Pink shirt, Little Tazzette, yup, my theory seems to be true,

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These must all be guys, I don’t see any pink. Wait a minute, is that a pink shirt back there?

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The Littles attracted quite a crowd.

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Everyone likes watching the Littles. They also came to check out the Bigs aka the Olds.

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After the Littles was the Little Biggers. Oh, no! A rolled rig! I hope he can work it out, because, remember, there were no marshals to right your rig.

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The Little Biggers gave the Olds a run for their money.

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One wrong move and your race could end quickly.

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Once the Olds got one track, the racing became even more intense.

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Hey, there’s Pham.  One of the 5 or 6 classes he raced in.  I lost track, but you can count his face in the podium shots.

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Pham again? It seemed like he was in every shot, because, well, he was in every race.

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Finally, a shot without Pham.

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No Pham, but that’s his truck. Oh wait, I think I see his dome in the background.

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I see Sheriff Barton back there pointing out the leaders.

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Dang, another shot of Pham.  I’m starting to think he paid me to post so many photos of him.  I better check my paypal and see if I got funds.

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Let’s end this with a picture without the Pham in it. You can see the winners of the Rock Racing below during the Awards Ceremony.

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After Rock Racing, the Award Ceremony area was getting set up. I snuck in to take a look behind the scenes.

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Nice, a free set of the world’s best RC shoe, the Altra Lone Peaks!

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Dang, that’s a lot of trophies.  Notice the custom ones in the foreground.  That’s because we added some last minute classes to the Concourse.  Next year, there will be even more new classes added.

IMG_20170715_193541 Sheriff Shawn was all smiles, even though his ankles were not smiling. Word on the street is that he got robotic ankles, so he’d be ready for Axialfest 2018.

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Before people could enter the Awards Ceremony and raffle, they had to get raffle tickets. Cici, Cathy, and Mike are ready to rock.

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Here’s a table of swag to grab after getting your raffle tickets.

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People were eager to get good seats. They started lining up early.

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Waiting to wait, good thing they brought chairs.

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Finally, the gates opened and the masses flowed in…

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…and down to the arena.

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I see your shaka, hang loose my friend.

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Spots filled up fast.  I hope you brought a chair, or you were sitting on the ground.

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What is this?  A Honda Mugen engine?  What could that be in?

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Oh dang! An Axial 1:1 Comp Buggy.  Sorry, I got distracted, back to the ceremony.

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I like to cruise the arena and see who I can spot.  Here’s Dan the Man, Old Dan, Dollar Dash Champ, Dan Wilson of Team Vanquish.

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My Wheelers for the Wounded buddy, Mr. L.D.

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Hey, Crawler Fab with their sweet puppy.

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He looks tired. I wonder if he walked all the Scale Trails. That would have been over 10 miles!

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Chris Cru Jones of Altra fame. I can’t thank him enough for turning me on to Altras, truly my favorite shoe of all time.  I have three pairs now, and have my eye on more.

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Mike Bier with Root Bier and Ginger Bier, I know that last nickname needs work. I’ll think of something better for Axialfest 2018.

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Team Voodoo in the house!

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All the way from Hong Kong for the second year in a row, Jason Tsang of Boom Racing.

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Marc Bettencourt of Crawl4Cure.  They have a new location this year.  Go check it out: https://www.facebook.com/events/1099973673456868/

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Is that Little JJ on top of big JJ’s Jeep?

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I’m not sure, but pretty girls always get their pictures taken.  It’s a rule somewhere.

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OMG, OMG, OMG! It’s Two Chainz Scalerz!

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A-Main had the whole front row on lock.

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Finally, let’s get this party started. Oh no, Jahn Shuls has the mic.  This will be a while.

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I decided to check out the raffle swag. Dang, that’s a full table.

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I took a long time to give out all this swag.

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Oh Snapple, I see the A-Main/JRC creations. Sweet!

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And the Kona bike from Pedal’s Bike Shop and are those RTRs and kits behind it? If only I didn’t have one of those orange STAFF shirts, maybe I could win one.

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Dang, that crowd is HUGE! See if you can see yourself here: Axialfest Attendees Group Shot

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Wait, I think I see Jon Shults calling us up. I wonder what he wants.

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Oh, group shot to thank all the hard working volunteers of Axialfest.  Look how many people give up their hard earned vacation days to volunteer. Without them, Axialfest wouldn’t run so smoothly, so remember to thank the STAFF shirts when you see them next year.  Thanks ya’ll’s.

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Finally, I think we’re ready to start.

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Wait, why is Rivas up there? He hates attention.

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SURPRISE! Last year Rodney Wills caught the ol’dusty eyes when he was surprised with a special Vanquish thank you.  This year it was Rivas who caught the dusty eyes.

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Rivas has been volunteering for lots of Axial events for years, and when they found out he lost his RC stuff in a vehicle theft, wheels were put in motion.

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I’m not sure how many hands were part of making this happen, but Vanquish was definitely a big part again.  Full Vanquish set up on this SCX10 with custom Rivas Concepts paint on the body.

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OK, finally, let’s give some trucks away.  These two took home the A-Main/Judd Rummage trucks.

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Lucky Ducks! I’m mega jealous.

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Hold on, pause again for 2CS to pass out tickets to the kids.  Special SCX10-2 just for kids only.

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This took a while.  I was amazed at how many kiddos were at Axialfest.

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Speaking of kids, this guy won one of the many Canyon Coolers.  These things are amazing and the owner is a great guy.  I definitely recommend them, just for their customer support.

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Hold up, if that the winner of the 2CS rig?

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Yes, yes it is! Congrats young lady.  See you on the trails next year.

IMG_20170715_194917On to the winners of the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro.  Sadly, it wasn’t me. But, I’m back in action and ready for next year.  1st: THE Jake Wright, 2nd Mikey Thompson, 3rd Kyle Listul

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From the 801, Katie Murphy was the fastest female.  She gave me a run until my servo died. Skeeno Jr. has her sights set on her title next year.

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Rock Racing Winners, see how many Phams you can count.

Kids 10 & Under

1- Simon Kirsch
2- Joe Zuniga
3- Andrew Pena
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Kids 11-15
1- Kason Ernest
2- Hunt Parr
3- Ethan Mulhollen

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Factory Scx10
1- Michael Pham
2- Paul Russell
3- Bryan Kautz

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1.9 Frame Rails
1- Michael Pham
2- Angelo Lanford
3- Brian Richards

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Factory Bomber aka Team Tazz Takes the Top Three
1- Dominique Judkins
2- Harley Judkins
3- Saphira Judkins

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Exo/Bomber Open
1- Jake Wright
2- Mike Thompson
3- Chris Duran

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Yeti
1- Michael Pham
2- Devlin Shipley
3- Ben Thomas

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Tuber
1- Michael Pham
2- Rich Bolts
3- Danny Ensor

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Wraith
1- Spencer Bell
2- Mason Dunievitz
3- Michael Pham

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Before I say goodbye and see you next year, let me show you my mysterious camp mate one last time.  Here he is, Mr. Cory Shafer with Shawn Barton. on Sunday morning as I drove home.  Fitting shirt that Shawn is wearing.  They spent long hours and many days making Axialfest a success. I barley saw Cory at all.  He came in after midnight and was gone before the sun came up every morning.  I think he got less than three hours of sleep a night.

IMG_20170715_200014So, that wraps up Skeeno’s Axialfest 2017 Report.  You better start making plans for Axialfest 2018, because you know it’s going to be even bigger and better.  It is every year.

 

Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Report Part 3

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Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Report Part 3

Words: Matt Soileau aka The SKEENO’naterrater
Photos: Michael Morris & Matt Soileau

By now I hope you have read Part-1 and Part-2 of the Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Reports. This Part-3 report will cover Friday, July 14 of AXIALFEST 2017.

Friday events included the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro and the inaugural AXIALFEST parade. I also got out to check out lots of trail action.  Let’s go see check out day 3 of AXIALFEST 2017.

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Real or RC? Across the way from us, I spotted this 1:1 SCX10-2 XJ, or should I say the inspiration for it.  Note the license plate. Does it look like the Axial version? Peep the blog post: Building the full size SCX10XJ: Part 1 It’s very cool to come to AXIALFEST and see this kind of stuff in person!

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There was also this OG SCX10-1 JK replica on the other side of my campsite.  Axial fans even love to scale out their 1:1s!

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Friday morning, bright and early at 7 a.m. was check in for the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro.  I got up and made sure I was fueled for the race.  This was my first time running a 5K, so I was a little nervous. My breakfast choice is more for calming my nerves!

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Our breakfast must have smelled pretty good, because this little bugger was drawn over by the smell all the way down in D camp.  Actually, this is Nate Hart, an old RC nerd from Reno, former A-Main Hobbies tech support guy, and fellow bike nerd.  I’ve know Nate since he was a little 12 year old grommet. Great to see him at AXIALFEST.

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Here I am all kitted out with orange Altra Lone Peaks, orange striped socks, and orange shirt.  I heard if your kit matched your rig you’d get a time bonus. #KitMatchesRig It might be a thing…

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Chris Cru Jones of Altra Running was all smiles, after all, this event was partially his creation along with Rodney Wills.  You can read about the origins of the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro here: ULTRA 5K ENDURO HISTORY

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Chris got busy getting our buddies from the 801 crew signed up. These guys are one of the most progressive clubs in the scene!

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Cassie Currie was already checked in and getting his batteries ready.  Matt Kearney and Jaime Seymour don’t look as enthused about being up at 7 in the morning. Late night trail runs maybe… ?

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RCDriver’s Greg Vogel, #rodneysaiditwasok Wills, and the Judkins were all smiles and ready to watch the action.

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Mike Thompson was getting some scale shots with the scale banners from scaleultra.com. Check them out for more Altra Ultra 5Ks.

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After I got my race bib, I lined up in the correct spot. Racers started in numerical order, so I started in 47th place. By the way, that sweet wrap on my Bomber was done by Jay at S.O.R.  He did lots of rigs for AXIALFEST participants!

Screenshot_20170714-115549I’d like to say that this is me finishing the Altra 5K, but sadly this is just me on lap 3 or 4.  I DNF’ed halfway through lap 5.  I needed 6 laps to complete the race.  #SadFace
A stripped servo was my personal gremlin. Now, I want that new Tekin servo even more!  Hey Ty@Tekin, hint, hint, wink, wink.

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Turns out, the DNF was a semi-good thing.  It allowed me to take some photos of the other competitors that I otherwise would not have had time for.

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Here, Ben Thomas hooks the corner at the Start/Finish line. Rodney, Cathy and Mike Morris were the official visual lap-counters relaying bib numbers and “line-crossed” to Scott G on the computer. This system is very much the same for MTB and cross country races. AXIALFEST has a lot of progression of R/C all around us with these types of events and we are very stoked to be apart of it all!

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Jason from Pedals bike shop mobs his SCX10-2. He was able to finish the race with this mostly stock rig, so don’t think you need to upgrade to race.

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Hey look, the Phaminator, Phamtastic, Mike Pham gets a brief second to stand static as we are always on the move during the the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro.  I guess Chris and Jawn did convince him to participate!

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This young lady was jamming.  We diced it up for a while until my servo gave up on me. Her stock RR10 Bomber finished. She was our one and only female competitor this year.
I expect to see more ladies joining her next year! I know Skeeno Jr is ready.

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Anthony Dianda set some impressive lap times with his stock SCX10-2.  Are you catching the theme here?  Stock is good for the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro. Stock is good… At least you should try it so you know where the base line is. It’s that old 4X4 rule of thumb, learn to drive it stock, know your rig and when you modify you will know the full effect (full value) of the performance addition or if it’s truly an addition… #Dollar2PerformanceValue

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CKRC’s Alec Van Den Brink makes his way thought the dry creek.

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On the other side of the road, the creek was still flowing, yet just two weeks prior this trail was completely under water due to the amount of rainfall, snow pack melt earlier in the year.

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The section behind the pavilion was both fun and frustrating.  These rocks were difficult to navigate, but it made the racing exciting with lots of drivers trying to drive around or over one another. It was also a moment of respite from our running flat out! The Altra Ultra 5K Enduro is both technical driving and physically demanding! Just like a 1:1 KOH rig! Have your ever watched the live feed of King Of The Hammers as the drivers come across the finish line? They are WIPED OUT looking!

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Battery changes are almost a must when racing for over 3 miles flat out!  I personally swapped a battery every lap and half. I was running 2200mah batteries. I might need to rethink my mah rating to save some pit stops next year. #mahpermile

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All the coolest people race the Altra 5K. Here Ryan Gerrish from DSPro comes out of the Bottoms.

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Ben Thomas’s headband was working overtime here.

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Tony Mazza was in it to win it.  He passed me at least once.

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Not sure who #39 was, but he was kind enough to pose for me in the middle of the race.

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Team Voodoo coming through!

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Here’s Mr. Van Den Brink sprinting in to the finish.  If you want to see more of the AXIALFEST Altra Ultra 5K Enduro, check out this blog post: Athletic RC Adventure Mashup – Inside the Axialfest Altra Ultra 5K Enduro

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After the Altra 5K Enduro, I was a little hungry. Lucky for me, Starkey’s Food Truck was back with the bomb pizzas and sushi! Yes, I said sushi and so should you!!!

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Wood fired pizza oven! This is the real deal!!!

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Team MRB’s Franky Testa shows off the goodness…mmmmm.

DSCF1360 After lunch, I headed out on some trails to check out the trail action.  The river was finally flowing again this year.  With temps in the 90s, the water was looking really tempting.

DSCF1355 The rocks down at the river are slippery smooth.  The scattered sand makes them even more challenging.

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Some awesome rocks and lines over here.

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Hello there!

DSCF1362 Looks like this guy remembered his neck cooler, anything to try to keep cool.

DSCF1364 I caught the 801 Crew celebrating a birthday. I think it was the Utah gang, I see Mikey T and THE Jake Wright in there. Forgive me if it’s not.

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We all sang him happy birthday.  He was so pumped, he threw his rig in the air.

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One of the cool things I noticed this year was some new features cut into Hell’s Highway.

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It made the long walk down the hot road a little more interesting.

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I don’t know who cut all these features into Hell’s Highway, but BRAVO! Great idea and I appreciated your hard work.  It couldn’t have been easy moving all that dirt and rock.

DSCF1379Best part of Hell’s Highway for me was not having to walk it.  I brought my putt-putt again this year.  The old CT70 makes catching all the action A LOT easier.  I did catch old Putt-Putt ogling this DRZ400.  Think he’d trade me for a lightly modified CT70 turned 125?

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Dad and son about to conquer Hell’s Highway.  AXIALFEST is great family binding time.

DSCF1383 Can’t be an AXIALFEST without at least one trip up and down The Slab.

DSCF1385 I caught Butte County Scalers over behind The Slab.  This is a popular spot because of the water. DSCF1388 See how pretty it was back behind The Slab this year?  It was great to have some water running again.

DSCF1389 Down the way, I ran into Papa Don Hughes trying out this teeter-totter.

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It teerered, but it needed a little persuasion to totter. I think that rock was blocking  it.

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I Trail?  A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I? That’s 9 Trails!?!? Actually, there were 11 trails.  10 scale trails plus the Altra Ultra 5K trail that opened after the 5K was finished. Not sure how many miles of trails there were, but I hope you pack some mega mah when you come to Axialfest. Who is tracking their miles hiked at AXIALFEST? STRAVA anyone?

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I caught up with this crew up front by the gate.

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Let me tell you a little secret, sometimes I miss some shots and ask guys to drive lines again, so I can get better pictures.  I felt like a huge jerk when I re-positioned that silver rig up there and accidentally pulled apart part his roll ball.  I apologized profusely. I hope I didn’t bum out his AXIALFEST participant.  Sorry again, good sir!

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Of course, up by the campground’s main entrance is the Welcome to Cisco Grove sign.  Looks like it needed some maintenance. I caught this little guy working on it…or maybe he was posting up a garage sale sign.

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Around the corner and through A camp, I ran into Werty Jr. He was piloting his dad’s RC wagon.  He told me his dad was just back across the bridge, so I turned around to say hello.

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Ol’ WERTY really wanted to show off his short wheel base leaf spring conversion he had just finished up.

DSCF1407Stock Axial frame rails?  Nicely done, Werty!  If you want those parts, I’m sure he’ll make you up a set as well. PS: Rodney said he wants to commandeer a set!

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Ok, here was one of the coolest features at AXIALFEST.  The 50/50 grinding rail on the CKRC Trail.  Speeds on this were insane. But one of the coolest videos was one where the dude slid down the rail and at the bottom, pinned it and jumped over his buddy! Can anyone find and send us a link to that video? Think it was on IG.

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A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, and 5K.  Yup, 11 trails.  Luckily, there were these signs all over to direct you in the right direction to find them all.

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Dang, these two Jeeps are still kissing?

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I had heard rumors of all kinds of scale buildings and whatnots all over the Scale Trails, so I went on a mission to find some.  I’m sure I missed plenty, but here are some that I did find.

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On the way in I saw these guys coming out.

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General rule is if it’s not yours, don’t touch it.  Volunteers work long, hard hours building these fun displays, so it’s best to leave them alone, so everyone can enjoy them.

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Mine Shaft!

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Cabin?  Old Mill?  What do you think it is?

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Hmm, gated.  What does that sign say?

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No way! An Area 51? Could there be aliens at AXIALFEST?

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Holy moly! A UFO crash site!  And I see at least three green guys.  If they are green, they must be Axial fans.

 

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An old log cabin.

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Another mine shaft.

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Not really scale, but there was this bridge I caught a couple Axialfesters driving over.

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A Mercantile. I wonder if they sell Axial parts.

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Scale Cisco Grove was back.

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I love this building, so awesome. It’s a replica of Cisco Grove’s main office!

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A little bit of everything over here, EZ-Up, picnic table, water wheel, cabins.

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The A-Main Jeeps was packed to the gills and ready to hit the trails.

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Must be a bad neighborhood if they have to post wanted signs. Recognize any faces?  I see #rodneysaiditwayok Wills up there.

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Wait, another mercantile? Looks like I got here just in time to foil a robbery. They had the owner all tied up. I guess it is was a bad neighborhood.

IMG_20170712_155012_1 Good thing I ran into R. Lee Ermey. I sent him over to handle those idiots in the mercantile.

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Since it was hot, and since there was water, I decided to take a little wade to cool off my tootsies over at the Golden Nerd Bridge.

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There was lots of action over here.

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Everyone wanted to conquer these scary, but fun obstacles.

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It’s a little nerve wracking when you can’t quite see what your rig is doing near water 50 feet away.

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Some Axialfesters, like Heather O’Connor, also decided to wade next to their rigs. See Mike in the background?

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He pulled out his boat and we got a little scale speed boating action going.

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When will Axial release a boat?  What kind of boat should Axial produce?

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See, that’s a long drive across.

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I didn’t see many speed demons blasting across these bridges.

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There were lots of families enjoying the cool water.

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Some even offered to escort trucks across in case any accidentally decided they were amphibious.

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Dang this day seems long, must be that getting up at 7am thing.  Anyway, I headed back for dinner and couldn’t resist checking out the Knight Customs Toyota display again.  I thought this was a brilliant way to see all his parts in action.

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Finally, food.  Tacos was the treat.  Can’t eat too many tacos.

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Tonight was carne asada night. What’s your favorite camp food?

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After dinner it was the First Annual AXIALFEST Parade. I stopped by Mike Bier’s camp on the way to the parade. He was showing off his Go Hard jersey from the Grinduro mountain bike race. The Grinduro is sort of an AXIALFEST of the MTB world, part race, part party, and total celebration of MTB.

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This jersey is awarded to the rider who goes the hardest each night and finishes the best the following day.  Mike Bier has the skills to do both. You can check out the Grinduro here: https://grinduro.com/

 

IMG_20170714_193207That’s a long line.  Can we make it even longer next year?

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I knew Two Chainz Scalerz would be at the parade.

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Wait, what? Are those 8-ohm house speakers up there? Did he carry those relics on Fordyce?

 

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Go time! Best of Show Concourse winner, Todd Pearson, got the honor of leading the parade with his amazing military build.

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Around the corner, Matt Wolfe set up this flaming Arch de’ AXIALFEST.

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See the flames shooting out the top?

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I see the Pro Line guys stopped to shoot some video.  They always have great video recaps of AXIALFEST.  Look for them on their YouTube page.

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This good looking crew was a set up and ready to watch the parade.

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After the parade, I was ready to hit the sack. This was my longest day at AXIALFEST and my feet and body were ready for some rest.  I needed to recharge, because tomorrow would be another long day of fun at AXIALFEST.

In Part 4 of the Skeeno AXIALFEST 2017 Report, I will be covering Rock Racing and the Awards Ceremony and Raffle on the final day of AXIALFEST 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Report Part 2

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Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Report Part 2

Words: Matt “Skeeno” Soileau
Photos: Michael Morris & Matt “Skeeno” Soileau

I’m sure you’ve read Part-1 of the Skeeno Report.  In Part-1, Wednesday of AXIALFEST 2017 report, I saw registration and tech and visited lots of vendors.  This Part-2 post will cover my second day at AXIALFEST 2017, Thursday, July 13.

I saw more vendors, more people on trail, and lots of great builds as I helped judge the concourse. So, without further ado, let’s go!

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I told you I’d get back out after I ate that bacon.  Here’s me cooking up breakfast for Mike and myself.

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We called it the Conglomerate; fresh eggs from my chickens, bacon, hash browns, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and cheese. Mmmmm.

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So, yesterday was registration. Here’s what was in the swag bags this year.  Lots of goodness in there.

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My trail tracker didn’t get much use.  I was busy with my AXIALFEST duties, so I only ran the Altra 5K Enduro this year.  If Joe Ferguson makes it down from Canada or Marcos Rojas makes it up from Costa Rica next year, I will make it a point to get some trails in with them. If Chris Scheurer from Austria comes, Daniel Siegl and I will make him another nice warm cup of bacon grease.

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I updated my patch rack when I got home. Who has all of these?

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I’m starting to get a good collection of AXIALFEST memorabilia.
How’s your collection coming along? Sorry, I’ve been lucky enough to be in the inside…

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I might need to build a new closet or trophy room just to hold all my AXIALFEST swag. Sadly, my older AXIALFEST shirts got a case of the mildews and tatters, so Mrs. Skeeno tossed them when I wasn’t looking.

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Alright, enough reminiscing about past AXIALFEST’s. Right next to Camp Skeeno, Canyon Coolers snuck in overnight and set up shop.  They had lots of product to display and a comfy couch to relax on.

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A couple spots from Canyon Coolers, I saw this beast from Rebel OffRoad.
Much want in this thing!

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I’m very jealous of the Rebel Off Road crew.  I’d love to overland in that.

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Vanquish Products also must have snuck in after hours because here I spotted old Bobby T manning the booth.  Bob Tarvin has been an Axial fan since way back. He’s also a pretty amazing photographer.

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Down at the Pro Line Racing tent, Paul was giving swag away.  Not to be greedy, I scored this XXXL sweatshirt for our friend, Mr. Tree. What did you get from the Pro Line booth as I heard all kinds of cool items flowed from this claim?

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Speaking of “claims” Pro Line also had this scale mine out for photos.

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Remember S.O.R. Racing that was next to Pro Line?  Well, here’s the downtube wrap he made for my bike.  He can make custom vinyl for just about anything.  Hit up Jay Kendall if you need some custom work. Sorry my bike is a little dirty.

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I had to go for a ride as soon as I got back.  Also, yes, I do still run a 2X crank, so what. I heard Rodney still has a triple in his collection.

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Over at Tekin, they had some old and some new on display.  I love Tekin.  I run the RX8 in my Altra Bomber. It wasn’t the ESCs and motors that caught my eye this year….it was the servos.

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Hold up! New servos from Tekin?  I can say that these are amazing just from what I heard!  Infinitely adjustable endpoints that are programmable. Just pop on your servo horn and go.  No more lining up the center.  Also, it’s almost like there are no gears, they are sooooo smooooooth.  Maybe they mount directly to the motor.  They tried to explain it all to me, but I’m not a electronics nerd,  so I’m not sure.  But, I am sure that I want, want, want one of these for my Altra Bomber.  Ty, if your reading this, feel free to send me one.
Ty, can you hear me back there!

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Here’s why Gigabit Games rules.  They like goats, I have goats.  A match made in heaven.

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Boom Racing was also back with a huge display.

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Jason Tsang wanted to make sure I got it all in, so I took two pictures.

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Knights Customs was back and with much coolness on display. No not James, the product! OK, James, your cool too..

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Knight Customs make so many amazing accessories. That Pull Pal is available fully folding with a custom mount.  It was… truly amazing.  He also had the new Bug Out Racks available.

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Knights Customs had these genius displays with clear bodies.

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Knights Customs also brought out their scale shop. Check out the scale Axial boxes.

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Pedals had their Kona Big Kahuna on display.  Some lucky Axialfester took this home on Sunday. If you live in SoCal and need a bike, go talk to Pedals.  They will hook you up!, just mention #AXIALFEST2017!!!

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I finally caught the great Ryan Gerrish at the DSPRO booth photo!  He’s another Axial OG from way back-time-machine, from the stone age comp crawling days.  He was a fellow judge of the concourse, as well.

DSCF1539 RC4WD was all set up today.  They had lots of their accessories on Axial rigs to check out first hand and in person!

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I made it back over to the Two Chainz Scalerz campsite to get some pictures.
The lighting was better today. Half-cast shadow over two half-cocked TCSZ’erz.

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Here’s some more shots of the waterfall in nice lighting for dramatic effect.

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This Hilux was enjoying the cool water in the July heat.

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Behind the water feature was the church and cemetery.

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These headstones were awesome.  V. Terra, died of a broken link. That dude tried to square up on backdoor and got gangked. He had it coming… So the towns people said…

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The ‘motel’ had lots of business all weekend.

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I just noticed that guy sitting on the blacksmith.  That’s some strong metal work to support him.

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While I was taking pictures, I noticed Two Chainz Scalerz passing out some limited edition trail swag to these junior Axialfesters.

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Did you get one of these necklaces?  Have you ever been lucky enough to be blessed by 2CS?

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Lunchtime! Tacos at the Axial camp.  Pastor was my flavor of choice.

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Spotted this vintage tent trailer after lunch.  Thought it was a Sherwood like mine for a second. Turns out it was a Heilite.

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I also spotted this little motorcycle tent trailer out in the campground. I love tent trailers.

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I almost thought Rodney got the Yakima RTT for his ADV80 along with a new paint job.  Turns out it wasn’t Rodney’s Land Cruiser, but #rodneysaiditwasok with him.

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It was getting close to concourse judging, so I had to get over to the pavilion.  Lots of rigs were already staged.

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Participation quadrupled this year!  There were TONS of amazing builds in here.
It really made judging a difficult task. My brain was starting to hurt from all the coolness…

or was it that taco? No, not the Tacoma, but the taco-taco, loco… This concours action has gone loco, thats for sho! And for show!

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Lighting made it difficult for me and my cheap point and shoot camera to get good pictures.  I got a few good ones and my buddy Mike took some as well.  So, here’s a few of my favorites.  I loved this cab-over build by Ben Thomas.

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This Bronco was another one of my favorites.  My first real 1:1 wheeling trips were in Broncos, so they are dear to my heart.  This one had unbelievable detail.

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Bad shot of this amazing 70-Series Land Cruiser truck built by Todd Norton.  I love this thing. Also, that 3 wheeled thing next to it was really unique.

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2CS’erz had lots of builds entered.  They are the kings of scale after all.

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Eliott, aka Coleman, was checking out all the builds and live streaming the judging.

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Chris Zemek drove all the way from Texas to display his work truck and trailer.

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That TV worked and played movies.  This set up was A….A…..A…..Awesome.
I bet you thought I was going to say amazing.

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Hawaiian style! Check the stretch on the wheels. Or is that new school JDM style?

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I’m always inspired by the FC builds.  One day I’ll get mine built.

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Here’s the A-Main / Judd Rummage entry.  Look at all the cool accessories.

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Here’s another A-Main creation. Word on the street is Matt Hauck built this.

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Scale By Chris had some amazing monster truck entries. While I didn’t get a great shot of this rig, it was a translucent red body and very very CLEAN!

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Scale By Chris also entered this crazy show truck Blazer.  It went straight out on the trails after the awards.

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I like the Dead Bolts because they remind me of Broncos.

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These custom fender wells caught my eye. I dig the stickers in there. SoCal pre-runner style meets inland empire bro’sive meets this new stretch tire look… no crime in being creatively different! Catching eyeballs is the name of the game!

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The judging was difficult and took a while for all the judges to get their input.  Luckily, #rodneysaiditwasok to grease the judges.  That’s why all my friends won. Here is Rodney (on crutches) talking to the participants for this class and delivering the verdict. Schultz was stoked he didn’t have to deliver this news as competition WAS SO STIFF!!!

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Ok, just kidding.  Not all my friends won, but all that won are my new friends, because making new friends is ALL PART OF AXIALFEST! If you want to take a closer better look at all the amazing rigs and winners of the concourse, check out this blog: Axialfest 2017 Concourse

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On the way out I talked to this guy.  He scratch built this Shasta trailer set up.  It was pretty amazing, but unfortunately, there wasn’t a class that quite fit it.  Look for more classes next year. It’s going to just keep growing!

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All that judging made me hungry, so we headed back to camp for a little snack-snack.

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Right when we about to finish off our snacks, a little bird flew over and told us we were missing the Monster Jam.  Mike and I dropped our glasses and ran over to the park.

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Elio was on the mic directing the Monster Jam. We iz in troublez now!

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I’m not sure what the rules were or how they set up the brackets, but I saw some fun racing and jumping carnage.

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Some people played it safe…

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…and others let it all loose. All the racers seemed to have a great time.

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The action was fast and really testing my camera.  I really yearned for a better camera to capture the action.

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Even Tristan aka Tazz, aka “Photos By Tristan, the camera master, was being challenged with all the speed and jumping. But rumor is, he’s jumped to the dark side – CANON! And #rodneysaiditwasok Even with working with a new camera, I’m still sure his images turned out better than mine. Can’t wait to see a massive Photos By Tristan Photo Blog here on the Axial Blog! Hint Hint RODNEY!

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Looks like SBChris is getting serious here. Lining up his truck like a golfer.

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Even the kids got in on the action. Heck! All week, kids are the action at AXIALFEST!
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Don’t forget to bring your SMT10 next year.  I’m sure the Monster Truck races will be bigger and better next year.  The racing is just too fun to watch.

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After the races, I wandered the campground and spotted the infamous Charlie Sue, aka SwankySu,  aka Mr. Hobby Wing, aka Charlie Suangka.  It’s always good to see Chucky and his crew.

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Next to Mr. Suangka was RichDog51.  If you haven’t watched his AXIALFEST videos on YouTube get over there right after you finish reading this blog.

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Hold up, it’s Mike Bier, aka Mark Weir the legendary Mountain Bike racer. Let me tell you, he is a mega RC nerd.  He has two tracks at his house for racing.   It was great talking to him about bikes and RC.

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It was also fun watching his son shoot mosquitoes with the Bug-A-Salt rifle.

IMG_20170713_181245 It was getting late, so we headed over for some dinner. Mmmmmmmac and cheese. Also, the BBQ was delicious.  It’s good to eat with the Axial crew.

IMG_20170713_183648 Cute dogs seemed popular this year.  I’m not sure what breed this one was, but it don’t think it ever touched the ground.  Here, an unidentified AXIALFEST Staff member gets some cuddles.

IMG_20170713_215131 It had been a long day and I was tired, but the CKRC Dollar Dash was in effect again this year.

IMG_20170713_215323 So, we headed over for a bit to watch the action.  $1 per run.  Best time wins. Touch the ribbon and you DQ.

IMG_20170713_215408 Is that Coleman live streaming again?

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Team MRB member Russ gets his game face on here.

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Well, I was tired, so I retired early.  I didn’t get and pictures of Dan W of Team Old Guys. He won the Dollar Dash again this year with a time of 35.2 seconds and took home a cool $153 for his driving skills. Please bring your dollars next year and take this guy down.  His bragging is beginning to hurt my ears. Yes, I think he won last year too!? DW, true or false?

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So, that was my second day of Axialfest 2017.  I’ll leave you with this one last photo of Casey / ScalerFab and her cute puppy. See you in Part 3 for everything that went down in front of my lens on Friday of AXIALFEST 2107.

Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Report Part 1

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Skeeno’s Axialfest 2017 Report Part 1 – Hey! That’s me!

Text: Matt SKEENO Soileau
Photos: Michael Morris & Matt Soileau

You all know the deal.  July is AXIALFEST time; the annual gathering of all Axial fans to Cisco Grove, California for the world’s largest gathering of scale RC enthusiasts. This year AXIALFEST expanded to five days, starting on Wednesday and ending on Sunday.  Of course, I made my 10th consecutive trip to play, visit, and help out.  Here’s what I saw on my five day adventure at AXIALFEST 2017.

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Part 1 of the Skeeno Report covers Day 1, Wednesday, July 12 of AXIALFEST 2017.

IMG_20170712_054303 Mike and I met up early Wednesday morning and packed up all our stuff.  We packed pretty heavy.  He and I both brought our tent trailers this year.

IMG_20170709_094325Since we were staying for five days, we had to make sure we would be eating right.  Luckily, Axial is making these sweet mini fridges.  I got a prototype.  Look for them to be in production by AXIALFEST 3018. I will be doing some seriously long-term testing…

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A look inside shows they left room for hearty breakfast and dinner supplies. I didn’t need much lunch food, because I’m working on my bike diet and ate with the rest of the Axial staff.

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There was a fire next to I-80 near the Reno city limits, so we anticipated lots of traffic delays, but that didn’t happen.  We got to Cisco Grove around 7a.m.  The camp office was closed, so we proceeded to the Axial motorhome.

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I’ve been in the same location for last five or six AXIALFEST events, so it was easy to find. I was slated to share with Anthony of Rivas Concepts, but I don’t think he ever sleeps.

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There’s Camp Skeeno all set up and ready.  Mike’s trailer made a nice sun block in the afternoon.

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Inside you can see I settle for nothing but the finest orange shag and 50 year old canvas.  Ignore that heater.  July was extra hot this year, so there was no need for that.

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Once we got set up, I did head over to the camp office to check in and see how things were going. Next to the office is this cool scale area…

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There were already some rigs out on the trails and it was only 9 a.m. on a Wednesday!

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I spotted several groups getting early morning trail runs in.

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This guy was topping off his tank before heading out.

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I caught the office ladies off guard and they vehemently protested their photo being taken.

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Once they found out I was the world famous Skeeno, they begged me to take their photo. Ok, that might be a lie, but they did tell me 430 campsites were sold for AXIALFEST 2017.  That’s 80 more than AXIALFEST 2016! They also said that at least 400-campers had checked into the campgrounds on MONDAY! This tells me that AXIALFEST is becoming a WEEK LONG EVENT VACATION for a lot of RC enthusiast!

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I spotted this RC sticker bombed cruiser as I was leaving.

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I’m sure Rodney would approve of the basket on the front that was used to haul his SCX102 around in. Remember that cute little dog for later.

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I headed up to registration, but it was still early and while all the banners and barriers were up and ready, nobody was to be found. Again, technically the event is not open yet, so understandable. But you can see signs that a lot of work has already been happening.
I jumped on the CT70 and cruised around to check out some campsites.

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Last year was #yearofthebridges and the bridges returned this year with the addition of the Golden Gate bridge, fitting for this years theme #ProspectorFever

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This hobbit seemed friendly, but I don’t think that screen door is keeping any flies out.

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First thing I spotted in A-Camp was Zotti’s Bagz.  If you need a scale sleeping bag, hit her up.  She’s got lots of colors and styles to choose from.

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A-Camp is the location of the very first AXIALFEST’s.  It’s mostly tent camping and there were already lots of people set up and ready.  I had heard that many were coming up even earlier next year for AXIALFEST 2018, but I didn’t expect to see the campground so full Wednesday morning this year!

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The paper lanterns in this campsite were a nice touch.  Customization is the key to a good campsite.

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Speaking of custom, this roof top tent on a tear drop is pretty custom.

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I kept running into groups out trailing.  Will AXIALFEST start on Tuesday next year?

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These guys had a full tarp city. I’m not sure what was behind the curtain.  It might have been Oz.

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The Down with the Sickness crew had more canopies up than I could count.
These guys roll DEEP.

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I’m not sure how many rigs the DWTS crew brought up, but here Big Country poses with 22! And this doesn’t even count the ones that were already out on the trails.

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Speaking of Sickness, check out this sick haircut. I thinks it’s called the Axiallet; business in the front…

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…and party in the back.

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This young lady came up with the group from Monterrey Bay. She was extra proud of her pink wheels and cage.

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I’m not sure what was going down in this campsite, but I counted eight or so Power Wheels.

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This 16 window bus was my favorite.  I wanted to take it out for a spin, but the owners weren’t around to ask permission.

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The minimalist award goes to this guy.  One step up from sleeping in the car. I admired his style.

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I caught the Strider Bikes crew headed out to get on trail.

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I headed back to see what Mike was up to.  He had just finished setting his trailer up and handed me a pint to toast to our start of AXIALFEST 2017.

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After our toast, I headed back over to registration.  Things were starting to pick up.  Registration would be opening soon, so we had to get everything organized and ready.

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I spotted Chris Cru Jones of Altra and Juan Schultz discussing adjustments to the Altra 5K Enduro course.

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Miss Cathy and Mister Matt didn’t have time for pictures.  There were hundreds of swag bags to organize.

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Here’s Cathy getting the hats ready.

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Do you have an AXIALFEST 2017 hat?

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How about these special limited edition AXIALFEST hats?  They didn’t even have my name on one of these! OUTRAGE! hehehe I will protest!

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If your last name starts with an L, M, N, O, or P, your score card and lanyard was in those boxes. This is one station of the many for AXIALFEST 2017.

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Steve Miles, now you are famous.  That’s your score card.

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I’m glad Scott G doesn’t work in quality control with those peepers.

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OK, here’s where we knew things were getting serious.  Cathy started to hand out the STAFF shirts.  Head of Security, Shawn Barton gets the pick of the litter as Anthony of Rivas Concepts waits patiently.

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Scott Kerkes was the face of calm.  This wasn’t his first rodeo.  He was ready to get his tech on all week. I think that is Brad Perry telling ScottK, Rodney said it was OK, gimmie the keys to Jeff’s Jeep! I know this dope spot…

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Cathy and Cici were all smiles once registration was ready to be open.  Let the party begin!

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The line formed and went smoothly. The Axial crew has their system down!

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DSCF1099It’s amazing how quickly the hundreds of participants can move through tech and registration.

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I’m not sure why, but Chris from SBC seems to always be one of the first in line.

DSCF1096Remember the cute doggy earlier? I think that’s sticker bomb cruiser guy with his trail buddy.

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If you didn’t print it and sign it at home, there were extra liability waivers at registration.

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Someone got a little creative with the chalk. Is that a Deadbolt?

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Before the registration and swag tent was the tech area.  There guys  worked at a fevers pitch to get everyone checked out.

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They tried their best to keep the line moving at a good pace.

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Matt Kett from Scale Builders Guild was all smiles. See Scott Kerkes teching like a champ?  He kept it up all weekend.

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Axial’s R&D VP, Matt Kearney even got his hands dirty in the Tech Booth. Applying stickers is tough!

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Carts and wagons were a popular option for many that brought multiple rigs to get tech’ed and checked.

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American Flyers.  Those are some American classics.

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When you have lots of gear, it’s way easier to pull than carry.

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This young lady somehow levitated against this tree.

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The trusty EMT’s happily assisted anyone with medical needs, mostly dehydration and heat issues is what I heard.  Drink your water, people! With ELECTROLYTES!!! This message is “Rodney Approved” Electrolyte Replenishment – Why It’s SO IMPORTANT and HOW TO DO IT RIGHT!

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There were lots of cool 1:1s hanging around AXIALFEST 2017 as well!

Now, there were TONS of VENDORS at AXIALFEST 2017 too!  Many had swag to give away and deals on products. Here’s a few that I spoke with.

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Hitec was there. They not only had their servos on display, but also some sweet chargers. I might need to upgrade my old units for one of their all in one units. They were impressive.

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Super Shafty came all the way from upstate New York! They had a climb ramp for people to try for raffles.  I saw lots of flips and a few jumps.

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Super Shafty had lots of products on display as well as some fun decorations, but their product is way serious!

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Gigabit Off-Road had the coolest stickers, but maybe that’s because Mrs. Skeeno loves goats.  I caught them here before they were finished setting up.

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Phoenix Design LEDs was here again.

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Corey Shafer was my campmate, but we didn’t see him much. I think he and Rivas share the same sleep pattern.  Here, he briefly chills with Dan Huff in the Phoenix Designs booth.
Green shirt, back to work…

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Merica!

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A Main Hobbies had this amazing Axial SCX10 with Jeep FC body fully built and kitted as an overlander on display.  They gave it away on Saturday night during the AXIALFEST awards ceremony!

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Judd Rummage was commissioned by A Main Hobby to design and build this rig and trailer combo and it was unbelievable.

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There were so many details on this that I couldn’t even begin to tell you about them all.

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Blow up these pictures and just stare.  OK, I’ll point out my favorite part, the Honda Trail 50 hiding in the trailer.

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Cody Waggoner and Jesse Haines from Team Lasernut came out.  Cody’s been an Axial fan since the first Axial West Coast Championship in 2007. They are both top competitors in the 1:1 crawler scene.

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Hummer Portals seem to be all the rage in 1:1 crawling now.  Jesse Haines brought out his comp crawler for everyone to ogle over!

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He gets an amazing amount of steering out of those things.

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Cody also brought out his comp buggy.  Some lucky ducks got to take it for a spin.  I think Jay Kendall from SOR was one of the lucky ones. I got to drive it last year.  You can check it out here: AF16P1

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Ty from Tekin is an AXIALFEST veteran from way back.  He brought out the big tent this year.  I still remember when he drove his Subaru Impreza down. Times sure have changed.

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Ty built this 6X6 with custom 3D printed body built on a custom SCX10 chassis. It was pretty incredible.

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Speaking of incredible, the Two Chainz Scalerz crew brought out their amazing scale features again.

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This year it was a waterfall with a working water wheel…oh, and scale water tower.

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There was a scale town behind it, but I had bad lighting, so I decided to come back later.

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But, I couldn’t help myself from checking out the scale cemetery.  Each headstone had a members name and epitaph.  My favorite was Dan W, old guys can only rule so long.

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I caught Coleman from Extreme Scale Performance.  Have you participated in his weekly Axial Scale Wars? Did you catch his live stream of AXIALFEST?

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Proline had their scale garage and junk yard out for people to take pictures with.

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Lots of amazing details in there.

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Elio and Tristan’s Jeeps are either kissing or fighting.  I’m not sure.

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Jawn Shuhls and Chris Cru Jones were trying to talk Pham Bam into running the Altra 5K.

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JavaGoGo bumped the techno and made some delicious beverages.  The Funky Monkey was worth it.

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There’s the Giga Crew all set up.

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Jason from Pedals Bike Shop of Riversidea, Ca delivered Rodney Wills to AXIALFEST after a little accident that left Rodney cruzing on crutch-mobile status. Jason is a KONA Bikes dealer and together they donated a Kona Big Kahuna 27.5+ bike to the raffle pile! I see Jason read my Bomber build blog and stole my orange wheels idea.

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Prairie City representing California State Parks came out to play and also talk about their awesome OHV facilities. Check them out at http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1221

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Toyzuki had their rigs on display.  I was fascinated by their chassis kit that allowed the easy swapping of regular and overdrive gearing with the use of a transfer case.  It’s genius.

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My other favorite thing at Toyzuki was this custom VW Thing.

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I love the Type 181.  I spotted this almost immediately.

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Hailing from the east coast, Brazen also had a small booth set up.
Note Rodney on crutches…

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Forester coming through!  Subiworks brought their cool Subaru Forester. Check out the ground clearance, custom front bumper with winch and Rigid lighting.

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It also had these really cool RotopaX mounts built into the window openings.

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This was my first spotting of #rodneysaiditwasok which became the phrase of AXIALFEST 2017.  Something happened online and it spread like wildfire! Did you get your limited edition RSIWO shirt from SBG?

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Of course CKRC was on site with their fully stocked hobby shop.

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CKRC also had some limited edition giveaways as well as a customer appreciation dinner and their infamous Dollar Dash on Thursday night after the Concours event.

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Next to CKRC was the start of their trail.  There were lots of scale buildings on this course.

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Hemistorm came all the way from the other side of the planet to visit AXIALFEST with Castle Creations! I had the pleasure of  judging with him during the Concourse event.

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Hmmm, sensored motors from Castle?  I’m listening…

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Vanquish’s Dan W photobombs the Proline guys.

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Not only did Proline bring their scale junkyard, but also this amazing scale shop.

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Next to Proline was S.O.R. Graphics, not sore, but eS Oh aRe Graphics.

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Jay Kendall was a little camera shy, but he is super friendly.  He did the amazing wrap on my Altra 5K Bomber and even hooked my bike up with a custom sticker/wrap.  Hit him up at www.stuckonracinggraphics.com

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Some top brass from Rigid Industries brought giveway swag, prizes for the awards ceremony raffle and they brought their SCX10s to get their scale trail action on!

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It’s all a blurr now, but at some point in the day Jaime Seymour made some of the most amazing hamburgers ever cooked at AXIALFEST!

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GFE – Grumpy Fast Eddy of Fast Eddy Bearings is another veteran AXIALFEST supporter and he still yelled at everyone to get off his lawn.  I’m waiting for the time lapse video to come out.  I’m in there somewhere around 2:24am.

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Random sighting of “Brokenib” aka Chris Goris.  He’s another long time AXIALFEST participant!

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RCP Crawlers are one of the OG RC Crawler shops and still make parts from some old school rigs that we used before Axial was around.

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Team KNK came all the way out from Ohio with loads of their hardware kits.  If you need screws, bolts, washers, etc.  They are your go to.

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RC4WD had all their good stuff on display.  I caught them before they were fully set up here, but this tracked SCX10 had me dreaming of this set up on an FC Jeep. I’ll be back later…

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I heard people screaming, “Bear!” I was a little afraid, but it turned out to be this adorable Pomeranian puppy at the Scaler Fab booth. Dang, he is CUTE.

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Scaler Fab had all their bumbers and other wares available.

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Last but not least was RPP Hobby.

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It wouldn’t be AXIALFEST withouth RPP Hobbies.  They brought out their super-shop-tent-set out again to AXIALFEST 2017.

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I’m not sure when they slept, because their tent aka mobile hobby shop was packed every time I walked by.

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RPP Hobby also had a their trail start right by their booth.

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They also had a photo booth for AXIALFEST’ers to take scale photos at.

So, that’s just a small taste of AXIALFEST 2017.  It was a blurry fast day and I missed lots of things.  Luckily, I had four more days to come back and catch more action.

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So, keep your eyes out for Part-2 of the Skeeno Report coming soon, right after I eat this bacon. And I promise to try not to use the word amazing in any more blogs.