Richard Derry’s Account of Past and Present AXIALFEST Events

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Words & Photos: Richard Derry

AXIALFEST, the largest RC event in the world, grows larger each year, simply as an Axial customer appreciation event!

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My first time to this amazing event was AXIALFEST 2015, and I thought it was amazing even back then. There were so many trucks driving around and everyone was so involved, there were big name vendors like Tower Hobbies, RC4WD, Vanquish, Tekin and RPP Hobby, CKRC Hobbies, Jeep Brand, Magnaflow, JRC, HoyFab, GCM, Holmes Hobbies, Knight Customs, Futaba, KNK Hardware, 212 Performance Gloves, Car Buff, BRAVEN, GearHead RC, Phoenix LED,  and many more!IMAG00110_500px
Photo courtesy of Skeeno

AXIALFEST2015 was basically a large adventure festival with adventure trails, concours, mud drags and TerraXcross rock racing. All this, back in 2015, when the awards ceremony overflowed from the main pavilion.

Then, AXIALFEST 2016 was the “Year Of The Bridges” and there were many of them with each of them being unique and hand made. There were bridges crossing ponds and rivers, bamboo bridges going up the faces of rocks and really cool teeter-totter bridges with a few scale objects scattered along the trails. AXIALFEST 2016 also had the addition of its first ever Ultra 5K RC Enduro which was sponsored by the shoe maker Altra Running. Vendor Row grew as well and had more additions like Boom Racing, Knight Customs, Amain Hobbies, ScalerFab along with the regulars of Tekin, SOR, Scaler Fab, CKRC, Proline Racing, RC4WD RPP Hobby and Scale Builders Guild. There were even full size sponsors like Method Race Wheels, BFGoodrich Tires, Magnaflow exhaust and RIGID Industries! Attendance grew as well, there was even a “Celebrity” by the name of Casey Currie who showed up and ran the Ultra 5K Enduro and several night run trails! For the awards ceremony they had to move from the pavilion out to a large parking lot area which accommodated the attendees.

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This year, AXIALFEST 2017 was all about the old California mining culture tagged #ProspectFever. Along the trails you would find hundreds of little scale details, there were mine carts and tracks, abandoned mines, water towers, gold, miners, axes, questionable bridges to drive across.
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There was a large mine cart track that your RC would slide down a 15 foot “cliff” to the bottom! This year saw the addition of three more trails for a total of 10 trails to adventure on. The Axial crew took extra time and attention to make the trails as veritable as possible as some would test both your physical skill and that of your truck, others were a nice relaxing drive that would let you have time to take a look at the beautiful surroundings that are in the High Sierra mountains.

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Taking a stroll down the famous AXIALFEST Vendor Row felt like it had doubled in size. There were the familiar names from last year with the addition of Canyon Coolers, Pedals Bike Shop, KONA Bicycles, HiTec RC, Castle Creations, ToyZuki, Team G, BPC Chassis, Brazen RC, RCP Crawlers and AZU4RC. Attendance was insane! Not only had Cisco Grove campground sold out all of their regular spots, they also weren’t turning anyone away and as a result they split campsites. When you’re at AXIALFEST, there is always a sense of friendship among all, there were a few time that one of my son’s RC had some issues and there was always someone that would offer a tool, a spare part, or just an idea on how to correct the issue. You also see families hiking and driving together, young kids (A LOT OF KIDS!) enjoying the outdoors, mom’s carrying babies and just having fun.

Huge thanks and recognition goes out to Axial employees and volunteers who out-do themselves each year, lose sleep, and are away from their families for days, even weeks to create an amazing event that has become a favorite Summer tradition in my home as well as hundreds of others.