Is The RC Hobby Dying?


Is The RC Hobby Dying?

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The question of whether the RC hobby is dying or not has many people with varying opinions and on opposite ends of the spectrum. Quite a number of factors today are affecting the strength of RC racing and usage as a popular hobby. Today, the hobby is affected by factors like health, price, interest, and a major competition with the internet. While the RC hobby may still be quite alive, there are people wondering; is the RC hobby still very much alive, or is it dying? 

The truth is, the RC hobby is not as vibrant as it once was. As it is, the RC hobby may be facing a number of challenges that are having an effect on the number of new enthusiasts that are getting into the hobby, but, this, by no means, means that the hobby is no longer a widely popular pastime. 

A lot of people believe that it is becoming harder to use RC vehicles in many places. Bashing, in particular, is getting increasingly harder and may be dying as a result of many different problems that include Health & Safety, restrictions in the venue, insurance issues, compensation culture, among many other reasons.

To learn more about this hobby and some of the things that are affecting it be sure and check out the video below. 

Reasons why the RC hobby is having issues

There are a variety of different reasons why the RC hobby has had difficulty attracting new people in recent years. The first one that we will discuss is pricing. 

Pricing

One major reason RC racing seems to be declining quite significantly in some parts is the pricing. Many RC brands and models are really quite expensive, and spending such large amounts of money just to maintain a hobby can be quite the challenge. This has gotten even worse with the hike in prices that came with the changes of the exchange rate as well as tariffs that have been introduced in recent years. 

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These days, not as many people as before can afford to maintain the hobby, as was once the case.

Speaking of price and expenses, the financial burden that the RC hobby would place on a racer goes beyond merely purchasing the car. RC cars require maintenance to keep them in good condition and ensure that the car can last for a significantly long time. Maintaining the RC vehicle would include carrying out activities like adjusting the motor, regulating the suspension, oiling the gears, aligning the chassis, perfecting the paintwork, and also fixing any existing cracks or dents. 

Doing all of these things typically cost significant amounts of money, and many RC hobbyists have gotten used to the fact that they have to spend this much. However, not a lot of new racers especially may be willing to tread this path with the expenses it incurs. 

Large difference between toy grade and hobby grade vehicles

RC cars have both the hobby-grade and the toy-grade versions, with the hobby-grade version being a lot more expensive than the toy-grade version. However, more serious racers would normally go for the hobby-grade version with the toy-grade version being mostly patronized by beginners. 

Many people, not willing to deal with the cost of purchasing a hobby-grade RC, might be discouraged enough to give up on the hobby completely. 

Currently, the RC hobby is going through an affordability bump, and there are a lot fewer new hobbyists coming in, so as the older ones leave, there really aren’t any serious replacements.

Instant gratification

The fact that a lot of people today want instant gratification might also be one of the main reasons the RC hobby could be dying. A lot of people will leave the hobby just because they can’t learn to run the vehicle or do tricks on the first day they take it out and this is especially the case where there are so many other hobbies to choose from. Particularly with people of the younger generation, this is really the case as they do not seem as committed to the RC hobby as the older generation did, especially in its  heyday.

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The internet

Another thing to consider in the face of the decline of the hobby is the fact that the internet has risen as a stronger competition with local hobby shops. Some small local hobby shops which do not consider themselves in a good place to compete with the internet are closing up and leaving hobbyists with the only option as the internet. Now, not everyone loves to shop on the internet, and searching for local hobby shops that may have closed up can be easily too tasking. 

The next easy option for hobbyists in this situation is to give up on the hobby and probably find another one. This is especially the case with RC planes.

In addition, we can’t talk about the RC hobby dying without talking about the fact that the age of the internet is taking its toll on physical relationships and activities. We’re not even talking about the competition between local hobby shops and online shops now. This has a lot more to do with the fact that a lot of real-world activities are declining with more and more people, as especially younger people spend more time on the internet rather than doing real-world activities.

The younger people of today do not seem to enjoy the RC hobby as much as the older generation did because of a lot more attention to social media. Plus, with the trend of social gratification, younger people do not seem to be able to take a beating gracefully. This younger generation that seeks gratification from social media may be more willing to let go of the hobby entirely.  

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But, while the RC hobby may be losing its grip on some people and in some areas, the hobby still undoubtedly has a significant grip on a lot of enthusiasts around the world. Many people, especially older racers, have stayed true to their love for RC vehicles and have consistently invested in the hobby.

The RC market still has a very significant number of loyal customers who stay true to the hobby through and through. No, doubt a lot of factors may be affecting the level of commitment that people have to this hobby and how many people are still enthusiasts, but the RC hobby is not dead.

In the face of questions about whether or not the RC hobby is dying, the price has remained a very significant factor affecting the reach and grip of the game. But, RC racing is still very much alive and with a lot of loyal enthusiasts.

Conclusion

RC races, bashing, etc. has declined over the years but there are still hundreds of thousands of people all over the world that get excited to break out their RC car every weekend and spend time enjoying it with friends and family. In the future as we as a society trend more and more to online gaming and activities all real world activities will likely continue to decline. 

Is it possible that RC usage will die off entirely in the future? Sure, anything is possible but this hobby is far from being on its deathbed right now! 

Matt Robbs

I love to spend time with my wife and 3 kids. There is no better way to get them off the couch and outside than for us to grab the RC cars or boat and enjoy the sunshine!

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