Bashing Vs. Racing

Bashing Vs. Racing

If you wanted to (and many do), you could lump all RC’ers into one of two groups–those who race and those who don’t.

I am a racer. Well, by definition, I’m a racer. I don’t race every weekend, but I do race. Some years I race a lot and some years it seems like I only get to the track a few times. I’ve also been racing for a long time, and while I am hardly known for my winning ways, I do a pretty good job of keeping it off the pipes and I almost always finish in the A-main. I even get my fair share of podium finishes and wins with an attic full of bowling trophies to prove it. I am a racer.

I am a basher. I mean I am also a basher. I love to bash, and by bash, I mean having fun running an RC car or truck–no racing involved. Or maybe racing is involved. As in racing down a street against a  buddy or around a call-it-out-as-you-go backyard “track.” No transponders, no corner marshaling, no actual track barriers, etc involved. “I’ll race you to that tree and back. Go!” I’m that guy. I am a basher.

What I don’t understand is how people see themselves as strictly only one or another. I spoke with a self proclaimed racer the other day who claimed to not only not get bashing but also claimed he had never bashed. Really? You never just ran an RC car for the fun of it? Again and as he put it, he just didn’t get it. To tell you the truth, I didn’t get it. To me, that is like saying you ski, but only in a race and that you just couldn’t wrap your head going down a slope for fun.

Most bashers I know don’t have an opinion of racing other than it’s something that’s not for them. On the other hand, far too many racers I know have a negative opinion of bashing. They look down on it. Guess what? Either way you’re just playing with a toy car. Let me put it this way. If I push my son’s Tonka truck around a dirt pile, I’m playing. If I take that Tonka truck to a big purpose-built sandbox at an official playground, I’m still playing–even if I pay $20 and 30 or 40 other guys show up with toy trucks.

So, are you a racer or basher or both? Do you think one is better than the other? Let’s hear from you!

If you liked this article, you’ll also like this one on bashing.

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Updated: September 27, 2011 — 4:08 PM


  1. I was a basher for about 10 years, for the past year I have been plumbing all my hard earned cash into racing. Waiting for the weekend or a race evening can seem like a very long time. Where as when I used to bash I would only have to wait for the batteries to charge.

    I don’t bash my race cars for the reason they cost allot more!

    So at the moment I don’t bash, I do miss just going out when ever you please and throwing the car here there and everywhere. So I am looking for a basher car as soon as I have brought all the racing stuff I need.

    Which is quite allot given I have took up 1/8th rally cross, 1/10th 4wd buggy, and 1/10th touring car. Before I got into racing I did think it wasn’t for me, but I soon found out it was!

  2. ever one start out bashing…some start racing
    i dont like how people say its just a toy car…those are not real racers…if you where a real racer you know a real race truck or car is well over 1000 buck…it stop being a toy at esc cost more then that…

  3. Have to start some were. Why not “BASH” and get the feel of your car and knowlege of fixing it.

  4. I am a far anyway 🙂 it is 150km to my nearest RC hobby shop and 30km to the nearest town. I dont know anyone else with offroad rc so I have made a track (or more accurately a cleared paddock with a set of jumps) beside my house and having only had my first ever rc, Savage Flux :D, for a little over a year I am yet to actually drive alongside anyone at all, so if you are in the mid north of South Australia and want to have a bash at someone elses patch put up a reply 🙂 then I could have my first ever ‘race’ at my place.

    All said and done though I totally agree with Eric’s comment above, “Basher or racer, if you’re having fun you’re a winner”

    And when I landed my first 10M double backflip a couple days ago I certainly felt like a winner 😀

    Enjoy the fun everyone!

  5. If it weren’t for the local club and racing, I would have sold my stuff years ago.

    I used to think that it was the competition that I craved. Turns out I just like spending time with others with the same interest. So in a way, I’m a basher, but I only do it at the track with friends.

    It still makes me NUTS when I run a great race and finish mid-pack. I hate knowing that some of the other primates I run with are better than me 🙂

  6. Racer for sure, only run my rc’s at the track

  7. Good read,

    I’d have to say that most racers, if they truely thought about it, probably started off as what is defined here as a “Basher”. Some might have to stop and think way back to their first RC ride as a very young kid.

    My first ride was a Tamiya Frog that both my brother and I got for Christmas one year. Of course we set out to the first parking lot we could get to just to play with the new “toy”. In very short order we were trying to one up one another by any means we could think of. That of course lead to some broken parts and some hurt feelings. My Brother never got it. RC just wasn’t his thing. So in order to keep playing with the cars, I started using his car for a parts car. I knew nothing of racing and neither did my parents. So after all the parts had been broken the cars sat for years in a state of disrepair.

    Fast forward a number of years and I was finally able to get my own RC ride. By then I hard heard about the RC racing thing and wanted to try it out. One race and I was hooked. Racing for me was where it was at. Though the learning curve was steep, there were more people at the race track than at the local parking lot or baseball feild. With that first race I set off on a course as a racer and much lass of a basher. I wouldn’t even let my ride hit the street other than for some last minute testing. Everything was for the track and track alone. Being I had to buy all the parts myself, I didn’t want to brake a part doing something stupid off the track.

    Now many years later I find myself at times bashing my ride some on practice days at the track. usually because I’m a bit bored and just trying to have some fun. Things like a back flip or front flip, trying different transfer lines that no one in their right mind would ever try to hit. Some of the guys that have raced with me for years were suprised to see me doing those things. Why? Because I was always a racers first and had said as much many times. So for them it was a big suprise to see me bashing.

    I think the lines between being a “Racer” and a “basher” are blurred for many people and some like me have been on one side of that line for soo long, we tend to forget where we started. I agree that Bashers make up for a lot of the people in the Hobby. They are no less important than a racer. Sometimes they might even be more important to the Hobby that many would give credit to. As long as people are trying to enjoy the Hobby , no matter what part of it, the Hobby will continue to grow. For some it’s all about the racing and for others it’s all about bashing. Either way, there’s a RC on the ground and a radio in someone’s hand controlling it.

  8. I have to call myself a pure basher simply because none of my vehicles’ tires have ever seen an official “track”. Sure, I love to race my buddies around a makeshift course, but there’s no real pressure and we’re just out for some fun. I enjoy just getting out and running my cars; you know real casual.
    Having said that, I totally understand those who race. There’s a rush when you’re driving in a crowd and the results have some sort of meaning (trophy, etc). Plus, you get to hang around a lot of people who share the very same passion.
    My opinion is just to have fun. Basher or racer, if you’re having fun, you’re a winner.

  9. I’m a Racer through and through, but I know it’s the Bashers / non racing group that really bring in the bigger dollars in this hobby. Racing is the super minority in RC but each is to their own.

    1. Very true, Dave. If “Fast” is your real last name, you have to race.

      1. It truly is. Ask Chilly 🙂 I know right? I feel obligated to do so ha ha.

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