Stories and Photos by Paul Valdez
First published in Issue 23 of 4Low Magazine
Axialfest is one of the most amazing things you could experience with an RC scale crawler! Axialfest is an Axial Racing customer appreciation event for anyone who has built, customized or just bought an Axial based rig. These rigs are 1/10 scale with no limits on customizing it any way you want. Creativity is always pushed to the next level every year.
This event takes place in Cisco Grove, California, every summer since 2013. The ideas and creations are limitless for the vehicles that are brought to Axialfest for an all out week long adventure. This year there were around 3000 people ready to experience twelve 150 gate courses, a 5k Ultra endurance race, a concourse show ‘n shine, monster truck competition, and rock racing! The atmosphere itself is nothing less than spectacular. If you ask anybody that has been to an Axialfest event, they would say that words can never explain how amazing it actually is to see so many people in one place having this kind of adventure from day to night to day.
The adventure courses are 12 courses that can be done at any time during Axialfest. The 150 gate courses have a variety of levels for each type of driver, skilled or not. The courses are amazing. The Axial team comes out a month in advance to create these amazing obstacles and ideas for each course. Water crossing bridges, rail slides, and even themed courses. Sponsors help design a theme to their course to make the trails a bit more fun to experience with some really awesome ideas. Personally, the Jurassic park course was my favorite for 2018. Another thing that makes it really cool on the trails is that the flags for the gates are reflective so seeing the path is quite easy when you’re looking for that next gate.
Now, as far as the people, nothing comes closer to saying “one big family for a week”. Campsites all around come together to help in any way they can for repairs, information, or just to hang out. It’s such an amazing sight to see so many rigs at night with all the lights glowing through the camp and in the distance through the courses.
The adventures continue during the weekend with the competition portion of Axialfest. First, the Ultra 5k endurance race. Two and a half miles of running with your rig through all elements of the terrain; water, rocks, wood, dirt, and mud. The vehicles used have to have specific features in order to race to keep the competition equal so it all comes down to the driver. Another competition is rock racing. This is where you and your Axial rig compete in a three lap rock racing course. One main rule, you can’t touch your car. If it rolls over and you can’t correct it, it’s now a course obstacle. You have two qualifiers in each class, then a main race for all the top qualifiers. Awards are given out for these events and everyone is there to put their rigs to the test and take home a trophy.
Axialfest has been one of the greatest things I have seen so far as a whole in the RC crawler world. Whether you do or don’t have the budget to get into the big rigs. Going scale is nothing short of an amazing time for anyone interested. You can make your rig so life like that friends and family will be asking “did you buy a new vehicle?” The accessories are limitless and you can go from mild to wild with any Axial rig. Put your very own touches to it or build a complete replica of your personal vehicle. Either way you make it as far as your imagination allows it. Axialfest to me is a place where I have seen my rig do things I could have never imagined. The staff of Axial racing are such great people and seeing all their efforts come together to bring this great event each year shows how much they appreciate the community of RC crawlers that support them across the world. 2019 will be here soon enough and I look forward to the next event date to be released. If you have a rig and have thought about going to Axialfest all I can say is, it’s the adventure you’ve been waiting for. Family, friends, and fun. Axialfest!