Hello AXIALFEST 2017 participants! The Concours Class is now in its fourth official year and growing because of YOU! Because last year’s participants stepped up the game, AXIALFEST is responding back with additional classes! Concours just keeps growing!
With the addition of classes we’ve also added some more judges too!
MEET THE CONCOURS JUDGES – AXIALFEST 2017
• Matthew Kett of ScaleBuildersGuild.com
• Anthony Rivas of Rivas Concepts
• Josh Elliott of ExtremeScalePerformanceRC.com
• John Badger of RCCrawler.com
• Ryan Gerrish of DSPRO
• Chris De Graaf of HemistormRC
• Tony Phalen of CompetitionX.com
• Matthew Skeeno of Skeeno’s Skinny Dipping Service
• Rodney Wills, Axial Global Marketing Director & Judging 1:1 car/truck shows since 2004.
The following are your judges bios:
BIO: MATTHEW KETT OF SCALE BUILDER GUILD
Since 2006, Matthew Kett (aka Imthatguy) has had a passion for radio control, specifically, scale accurate RC trucks. That passion inevitably led to The Scale Builder’s Guild web forum. The Scale Builder’s Guild is a purpose built forum with one goal in mind. Uniting scale radio control enthusiasts worldwide, and providing an environment to share their projects, knowledge and talent. Since that time, the SBG has evolved into the number one destination for scale accurate RC builds and boasts 5,000 forum members, 20,000 Facebook followers and nearly 9,000 Instagrammers!
Matthew actively builds RC models and attends as many competition and expo style events as he can. He likes to build truck bodies from scratch using techniques he’s learned through practice and patience. His favourite brand is Toyota, as evidenced by his extensive RC collection, including 40, 60, 70 and 80-series Land Cruiser’s, Hilux’s, SR5’s and a rare Toyota Trailblazer (notice a pattern?). He’s won numerous awards for his builds and has been featured in many magazines. He enjoys building all kits, but Axial’s have always been his favourite. Attention to detail and accuracy are his number one goals in all his builds.
Matthew is a film editor by day and works in television commercials and online content. He lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with his wife and two cats. For more information on the SBG, visit www.scalebuildersguild.com, facebook.com/scalebuildersguild, instagram.com/scalebuildersguild and youtube.com/8imthatguy8
BIO: ANTHONY RIVAS OF RIVAS CONCEPTS
Since I was kid I have been fascinated by cars, and trucks in general. So naturally I loved R/C! After breaking a few department store cars my dad got me my first Hobby Grade R/C. This was the beginning for me, it would always be a part of my life in some way. It was fun to go fast and jump, but more fun when I had a purpose, like sled pulls, and seeing who could drive a course the fastest.
At 16 my first 1:1 vehicle was a 1983 4WD Toyota SR5 pickup truck, when I was 17 I was introduced to rock crawling and hooked. I spent months in my garage learning to wrench, mostly bolt on and mechanical stuff like axles, clutch, birfields , and dual transfer cases. I wanted to conquer Colorado and Moab trails. Little did I know this 1:1 hobby would one day have a 1/10 scale counterpart.
Fast forward to 2006, I discovered RC Rock Crawling on a 1:1 Forum. This was much cheaper than fixing my 1:1 and it was starting up all over the country. I was working in the Oil and Natural gas fields across the U.S. and you could be certain I had an RC crawler in my work truck. I started traveling to compete in Rock Crawling events and just having fun. One day at a local hobby store I saw a truck body and put it on my back-up Axial AX10 comp crawler, to me this was the day Rivas Concepts was born. From this day forward I would set my comp crawler in line and go drive, this would later be called scale crawling. I liked it because it resembled a real truck. People said I was wasting a perfectly good Comp Rig, but I was having fun. Someone once asked about my crawler with with truck body, I walked up as a friend replied “Oh that’s a Rivas Concept rig. I liked it, so I used it.
I enjoy the resemblance to 1:1 trucks so much I started doing pictures and video. This is what Really got the Rivas Concepts name out there globally. I have even done some RC projects with 1:1 companies like Falken Tire, but truly I do it because I love the imagination and creativity behind it. #Rivasconcepts
BIO: JOSH ELLIOTT of EXTREME SCALE PERFORMANCE
Back in 2007 while living in Hawaii Josh picked up his first Axial. It was an AX10 Scorpion RTR and he decided to turn it into a Jeep to take to the beach. In order to show his friends and family back home he decided to make a video and put it on YouTube. 10 years later and that channel is now one of the most supported in the RC industry! Josh has been blessed with an impressive lineup of sponsors and a supporting network of over 16,000 YouTube Subscribers, 17,000 Facebook followers & 6,000 Instagram followers! He has taken home some awesome awards such as Axialfest 2016 Best of Show! His YouTube channel is home to several popular series such as Motor Control, Camping with Coleman and ScaleWars! With a focus on using the radio control hobby to inspire creativity, an active, healthy lifestyle, and most importantly a positive mindset, don’t be surprised if he seems like someone you have been friends with forever! He has an impressive lineup of diverse builds with an obvious soft spot for Axial based Jeeps. Aside from running his YouTube channel Extreme Scale Performance full-time he also has a small “Content Creation” company by the name SonderFelt to handle client productions. Josh lives in picturesque Bend Oregon with his Wife & 3 dogs. To learn more about Josh and Extreme Scale Performance visit www.extremescaleperformance.com, www.youtube.com/dogcrick, www.facebook.com/extremescaleperformance, www.instagram.com/esp_rc
BIO: CHRIS DE GRAAF of HEMISTORMRC
I got into hobby grade RC at the age of 16, and started to get obsessed by it almost ten years later. The HPI Baja for me was what really kicked off my RC life as it is today. Driving Endurance Cups, eventually even producing parts for the HPI Baja made my company HemiStorm get noticed by magazines in the USA such as RC Driver and RC Car Action. In 2010 I quit working as a contractor and decided to dedicate my time fully to grow my company HemiStorm Products.
In 2011 I sold my house in The Netherlands to move to Norway, and I used the profits from the seven years in which I built my house from the ground up to take on some more risky, expensive projects in manufacturing. That’s when I came out with the first aftermarket body for the then brand new Losi 5ive.
In 2012 I noticed there was a demand for sharing tips and tricks through videos, as most large scale RC forums were slowly fading. It was also hard to find honest, non-sugarcoated reviews about products. After being disappointed in supplying YouTube content creators with my own products, seeing how there was no return for my investment, I wanted to see what this whole “YouTube thing” was about. I started doing mostly painting videos, initially with a main focus on large scale RC’s. After a while I diversified the content as much as possible. Axial Racing played a huge part in making this happen. The first generation SCX10, the Exo Terra and the Yeti series have assisted me in bridging the gap between my initial content and the content I produce today.
My main goal is to encourage people to hone their skills, push their boundaries and think outside the box. My channel shows that being fond of one genre in surface RC doesn’t automatically disqualify you from enjoying other aspects of the hobby. Putting a faux drift motor in the back of your Bomber is fine. No rules.
I’ve won paint competitions, been featured in a number of magazines, I’ve won the “Lifestyle Channel of 2015″ award for my YouTube channel on national TV, I’ve been featured on the national evening news and I’ve worked with companies such as Qualcomm and even famous Formula One drivers such as Lucas DiGrassi when shooting commercial videos. I’ve travelled a lot with more to come, and I’m enjoying every new face I see and embrace all the experiences and opportunities I’ve been presented and blessed with.
My YouTube channel currently has over 74000 subscribers, with some key builds being my 5th scale Dodge Challenger and my Axial Yeti XXL which runs two Castle Creations Mamba Monster X setups with 1515 motors and too many features to briefly list.
I’m working as a Brand Manager, live in Halden, Norway in the middle of the forest with my wife, twin girls and two cats.
/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\//\//\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\///\/\/\//\//\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\\//\\//\BIO: RYAN GERRISH of DSPro LLC
Ryan started building crawlers in 2000 while living in California, and co-founded ORCRC (Oregon RC Rock Crawlers) in 2003 after moving back to Portland. He worked at Tammie’s Hobbies in Beaverton during the birth (TLT) and explosion (AX10) of crawling, and helped fuel it’s spread locally and through RCCrawler.com. As the local scene grew he began travelling to larger events, including the first Nationals in Moab, and the first Axial West Coast Championships at Donner Pass. He was recruited to drive for Team Axial by Brad “Bender” Dumont after a few notable victories. He’s been promoting Axial in Portland at the International Auto Show for the last 7 years, and contributing to the Axial Blog periodically. He still attends local get togethers and competitions, although not quite as frequently as he’d like.
Dspro was founded in 2008, and was the first RC company to offer 3D printed accessories for crawlers. Over the last 2 years they’ve been ramping up production of crawler related product as well as offering various small scale manufacturing services, such as laser cutting, CNC routing, and CAD. Ryan hopes to have some exciting new bodies ready for the public by the end of the year, and to expand his website to feature a wider range of hobby-related items.
Ryan currently lives in Beaverton, Oregon with his wife and 2 cats, and enjoys basketball, working on his Steyr Haflinger and Unimog 404, and long walks on the beach. He has attended every Axialfest since 2007, excluding the one on his dad’s birthday that one year. www.dsproonline.com
BIO: TONY PHALEN of COMPETITIONX
Tony has been an avid RC enthusiast for over 25 years, building, bashing and racing pretty much anything he can get his hands on. His affection for the hobby started back around the time of the Team Associated RC10T, his first real racing vehicle. A quick trip to the track and a full night of racing netted him a 2nd place podium spot in the Novice class and it was pretty much game-on after that.
His love of racing became an addiction and his collection of cars got a bit out of hand – everything from 1:18 scale micros, motorcycles, 1:5 scale gas-powered monsters and recently scale rigs – if it had wheels, Tony was racing it! His passion for driving led to many manufacturer sponsorships and an exciting new level of racing on the Regional and National level, where he piloted his way to the top step of the podium many times.
During this time, Tony noticed a slight disconnect between beginners and the pros – it seemed like some of them never had the time to assist beginners when they were struggling. In 2001 he created CompetitionX, a website dedicated to sharing his learned knowledge of the industry with the RC community. It started out as a tuning site, a place where beginning drivers from around the world could go to learn how to properly set up their cars, but soon turned into a colossal entity that now shares RC projects, reviews and all other kinds of RC info. Over the years, Tony has also worked with and worked for many industry manufacturers as well as a leading industry magazine.
Last year he created a huge Eat. Sleep. RC. campaign, giving away thousands of dollars worth of RC gear over the year to help spread the word about Radio Control. It was a huge success! December included “25 Days of CompetitionX-mas” and the Christmas Day prize was an all-expenses paid trip to AXIALFEST2017. The winners of this package will be in attendance this year; they’re pretty pumped to be attending their first AXIALFEST event!
Today, Tony has switched gears a bit and enjoys a leisurely afternoon of trekking along trails with friends and family. He lives with his amazing, creative and ultra-supportive wife Danna and their beautiful dog Bailey. She loves RC as much as Tony does, she just shows it in a different way when she’s chewing on the tires (the dog, not the wife).
BIO: MATT SOILEAU aka SKEENO
In 2000, Skeeno dipped his toes into the RC world when he decided to get an RC boat. That Traxxas Nitro Vee turned into a T-Maxx that turned into an HPI Savage that turned into an OFNA Hyper 8 that turned into an X-Ray M18 that turned into an Associated TC5. Along the way many other RC vehicles were cycled through his collection as he explored all the facets of RC.
In 2007, he attended the first Axial West Coast Championships while driving his Goliath-based crawler for Team PTI. While at the 2007 AWCC, he was first introduced to Axial products when Axial Vice President Matt Kearney showed him the prototype for the original AX10 Scorpion. From then on, he has been hooked on Axial!
Skeeno is going on 10 years straight as an Axial fanboi. He has attended every Axial West Coast Championship and Axialfest since 2007 as well as innumerable local events. In 2007, he even traveled thousands of miles to Missouri and Saint Catharines, Canada to get his scale adventure on.
While Skeeno regularly participates in Scale Adventure events, his biggest claim to fame is his unique knack for capturing the essence of these events. He started off writing printed magazine articles for Xtreme RC Cars Magazine, RC Driver Magazine, and RC Car Action Magazine as was soon given a coveted corner of the internet to post his various blogs on the Axial website. You can peruse his experiences here: http://www.axialracing.com/blog_posts?author=15
BIO: RODNEY WILLS OF AXIAL RC INC
Rodney Wills may not have been born with a silver spoon in his mouth but he was more than compensated for it by being able to grow up behind the wheel. At eight years old he started driving heavy equipment on his uncle’s farm. Flouting child labor laws his uncle would put him to work; he would get him started and jump off the tractor, and have Rodney cut and plow fields. The uncle found Rodney a willing employee. Now while he did not engage in any tractor races, the seed had been planted (literally); the passion for driving already raced through his veins.
Later on in Alabama Rodney would drive his father’s old pickup truck. As young teen-agers sometimes do, he would sneak the truck out to splash in the mud on the local country back roads. Rodney did not limit himself to four-wheel rides, however. Motorcycles were always apart of family life and Rodney had started riding at age five. Racing motorcycles with the family came at age six on the dirt oval flat track at Talladega. Trail riding was an everyday thing in the backyard woods and local mountains.
Magazines would introduce Rodney to skateboarding in 1977 and then BMX. Normal by today’s standards but then in rural Alabama, Rodney was way ahead of his peers. Just like his hobbies, his life went in the order of Art, Music, and Cars. His passions led him to the California College of Arts and Crafts after two years at the Atlanta College of Arts and Crafts. After achieving a bachelors degree of art in graphic design, Rodney went on to work ten years in the snow, skate and surf industry through his art, working for the famous O’Neill wetsuit company. Next came the music as the art & marketing director for the car audio speaker Image Dynamics. That led to Rodney starting the import car culture lifestyle magazine, TMRm’zine (1996 – 2000). This magazine put the “lifestyle” label on the import market that has now grown to enormous proportions in the automotive industry.
Joined Axial in 2011 and hit the ground looking for adventure one rock at a time!
One of the proudest achievements was putting together the AXIAL SCX10 RUBICON TREK: http://www.axialracing.com/blog_posts?cat=814