Is Short Course Here To Stay?

Jan 12, 2011 21 Comments by

Let’s face it. Trends come and go in RC. Well, to be more specific, the “in thing” changes. The first “in” category was 1/10-scale electric off-road. Oval had a healthy run. Then came touring cars. Nothing dominated the hobby for a few years after the on-road craze and then came rock crawling. Rock crawling’s rise in popularity was impressive. That is until we saw short course take center stage and hog the spot light.

Here’s the question: Is short course here to stay? Many of the previous categories such as oval, touring cars and rock crawling started with mass appeal and then became so specialized that they naturally only appealed to a much smaller group. Will short course follow in their foot steps? Will something else come along and be the next big thing or will short course have a long, happy life?

Featured News, Matthew Higgins, Short Course

About the author

About Matt:I think it’s safe to say I’ve done a little bit of everything in RC. That said, I predominately race off-road and my current passion is short course. One of my all-time favorite classes is oval carpet racing. Besides racing, I can often be found working on one of my many never-complete projects, and it seems I have an ever growing collection of rock crawlers—specifically scale crawlers. Matt’s 5 Hot Topics: Short course, Racing, Scale Builds, Crawling and the General RC Hobby

21 Responses to “Is Short Course Here To Stay?”

  1. J.Wilson says:

    I’d like to see a NASCAR style race with stock cars.

    • Matthew Higgins says:

      Amen to that J.Wilson. I believe stock cars not built on pan cars would be a huge hit and bring back on-road. I’d still like to see short course stick around and even continue to grow and grow

  2. RC Smith says:

    I think that SCT racing is here for a long while. It seems to be taking over the ST class everywhere. The scale appeal and the fender to fender racing has everyone hooked.

  3. Thunder says:

    I’m a old RCer from way back, and got my start from racing Oval at “The Whip” I would like to see more more SCT racing oval on Carpet. Dont like to see the hand made jumps on carpet, puts allot of wear tear on the rug.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I think as along as the stock sct class stays stock It should be around for a while. I’m not a on-road guy but the class w/ nascar style cars could be fun. I’m also not into rock crawling so i have no opinion on that. I would love to see electric ST and buggie racing come back as those were the first rc’s i owned.

  5. Russ says:

    I like short course, but only to the point before the platforms become glorified stadium truck or 4wd buggy chassis with a truck body and tires.

    Now, all of the big manufacturers offer their spin offs of their existing buggy and ST platforms which misses the point. Besides the slightly awkward handling and launch characteristics from the big body, it is 1/10 offroad as it ever was in my opinion.

    The Spec classes that were sweeping the race tracks where I ran have succumb to mod classes and who can spend the most money and go the fastest. Casual enthusiasts lost interest and new entrants were once again too overwhelmed to start racing.

    I knew when Associated and Losi made their short course offerings based on their existing race platforms that the class is doomed for the long term.

    Short Course to me was and is all about the Slash and other platforms that were not purpose built race machines. They could race and were capable, without the end result of matching buggy and ST lap times.

    I await in exile until Monster Truck classes start popping up again…

    • Matthew Higgins says:

      I don’t think it’s the chassis that will be the problem. I believe track owners will be doing themselves a huge favor to keep the motors fairly tame (the 17.5 2WD class rules) and maybe pick a track tire. Keep it simple and you’ll keep people coming back. Someday people will realize that a program that is fun the casual hobbyists will work better than one dedicated to the total diehard elite

  6. scoobyvoodoo says:

    I myself am a scale kind of guy. Thats partially why I like SCT so much. However, I’m still waiting to see a true scale type SCT. Independent front end with a solid rear axle.

    I think SCT racing will stay around for a while as long as it is kept simple. But I guess spec class would be the best solution if it is kept tight rule/parts wise. Like kit wheels/tires so everyone is on the same plaing field. I have seen regular stock class racing get plum ignorant and out of reach for most beginers. Stock class now days is about as fast as mod was back years ago.

    Governing racer entrants for classes based on their experience would help too. Thats why I quit racing locally. Kids would come in to race with several grand worth of model and hardware thier grandparents bought them and could not drive one lap without taking people out in every turn. I got tired of replacing my busted parts because others could not handle their models. I just run for fun now. Got to tired and broke from being hacked by newbs. That in my opinion is a good example of what can kill local racing and bring down specific model genre class racing.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Oh two wheel gas truck will you ever return? (sigh)

    • Matthew Higgins says:

      Ah, I used to love that class too, but gave up on it when the tracks started changing to be either dedicated to 1/8-scale or so hard packed that the gas trucks had no traction

  8. Eric Ketchum says:

    I think this short course craze is different because they are racing them at tracks that race other vehicles as well. Lots of people are moving to buggy, truck, or 1/8th scale after they got into the sport with short course. I think this is the best thing for offroad that has happened in a long time.

  9. Mike says:

    I started with the xxx buggies and trucks. They were a blast dnt get me wrong, but every time you land a little bit sideways u bust a carrier or ball stud. The slash trucks are so durable and u can make them handle like a champ. I for one am a sc racer for now on. It’ takes me back to my motocross days (without all the broken Bones and hospital stays). Wheel to wheel racing. Live fast.

  10. Matt says:

    I wish touring cars would make a come, at least companies like HPI and Tamiya still make great products for this.

  11. Anonymous Almond McClain says:

    I think SC is here to stay, and will eventually replace the 1/10th scale Stadium Truck class.
    Since Tamiya put their little SC trucks out there people have wanted scale realism with the performance of stadium trucks, and the newer, bigger SC trucks have accomplished it.
    With the marketing of Traxxas, the class is huge. And with the ability to purchase RTR slashes from Pep Boys, a major national retailer, has put the little cars in almost every town in America that never had a hobby shop to support it. Now if Wal-Mart would just pick up HPI or Team Associated we’d have plenty of Turn Marshalls!
    I think the only class that may eventually take over the SC’s is if the bigger scales suddenly get cheaper than they already are. HPI has done a lot to get big scale affordable. I think the only thing that could bring more eye candy to the track are bigger cars with all the attributes of our current cars.

  12. john czarnecki says:

    i think it could be if the rules are enforced thats why i stoped racing . ppl were using tires motrs and batteries that were not spec for the race. this problem made me drop the hobby once and drop racing for the second time now im a backyard basher and i make my own rules

  13. Anonymous says:

    I can see the short course craze ending if it doesn’t take a more scale turn soon. the proline pro-driver is the start of it, that’s for sure, but they are not scale enough to become that scale class. the scale rock crawlers i believe are slowly coming to a rise, i raced sc for about a year, got a scaler recently, and i have to say it. it is more fun than racing in it’s own awesome way. and that’s why i think sc needs to become a lot more scale, and all the classes should be more scale then they were. there’s a group of people on a site called scale-desert.com who build these amazing tube frame rc desert vehicles, and they are the most scale things you’ll see for a high speed rc offroader. that’s what we need traxxas to release next, something to completely redefine the availability of the scale rc’s in the world, so instead of spending days bendnig and brazing metal you can go out and buy one. that’s what needs to come next, because unless we get more scale vehicles coming out we won’t make much progress in getting more people involved. having a display booth at the baja 1000 that says traxxas or ae and they have mini buggy’s and trohpy trucks on display would help this hobby grow so much.

  14. Matthew Higgins says:

    Lot’s of great comments here, guys. Thanks!

  15. Warren says:

    How about somebody, proline, jconcepts getting out some stock car bodies that fit on the slash and other sct to make them stock cars, maybe even some old school stock cars, chevelles montecarlos, now that would be cool!

  16. Voodoo Steve says:

    Well sorry to say it isn’t staying around here, the nearest sc class was 40 miles away and this year the class has been cancelled due to lack of interest……or so they said…. and “they” are their 2 LHS’s who do not stock any parts for the cars they sell…. not even a battery, now how can you expect to run any rc classes without parts support? the interest is here……… the support is not.. and that is pitiful…….But the outlaw private tracks are growing pretty good…..

  17. Anthony "Ajay" Bean says:

    SC is the most popular class here at our track.
    Most of the novices start out with RTR losis or Slashes and eventually make their way up to the more serious SCT Class.

    We basically put restrictions on the allowed motors (10.5t 540 for 2WD, 6.5t 550 for 4WD), and that’s that. But on the whole topic of “Spending more money makes you go faster”, i reckon it has its truths and lies.

    sure, spending a heap of money on an RC Truck might just give you the advantage over say, three quarters of the field at a track. but it’s the top quarter, the A-Main drivers, who spend time tuning their cars, and who know the sneaky tricks to save money and shave seconds, who are the ones who win races.

    After all, RC racing is a simulation of real racing, on and off the track. SCT just makes it more realistic due to the scale appearance and restricted motor power :)

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