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Thread: FPV racing and why itís stupid.

  1. #1
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    FPV racing and why itís stupid.

    FPV racing and why it’s stupid.
    Sure FPV racing is fun, maybe with a small group of about 8 pilots where you might actually get some stick time and not care who wins. Otherwise, it’s become nightmare, designed and born from the vision of $’s and fame dancing in the minds of any charlatan as he saw it for the first time on YouTube or Facebook posts. “This is the future” they muttered in unison as they drew a logo and laid plans for world domination of the subject, and that meant pioneering standards. Those who pioneer the standards of any new activity or sport put their name forever on the budding sport, like anything else that came before it. In order to implement those standards these charlatans needed leagues and organizations, official only in appearance, in order to dupe the world into adopting FPV racing hook-line-and-sinker.
    I watched as the those people threw down their own funds in order to launch those very leagues and hold events so grand in appearance that they could not be ignored by the existing FPV industry, pilots and even the public. Drone Racing, as we know it today, is not what was seen in those very 1st examples. As I type, another event with international implications is making waves around the world. Money is being spent at an alarming rate; pilots are spell bound by the magnitude of it all. It seems every FPV pilot in the world has joined a small team and thrown themselves and their hard eared cash in the ring in order to win a prize, gain fame, more sponsorships or simply say they were the best at something on a given day. I do not see one worthy reason for any FPV pilot to get involved. Unless those things are what you seek from your hobby and free time. Typically we choose to escape through our hobbies instead of creating more stress and anxiety in our lives. Is this a sport or a hobby, make up your mind.
    FPV racing as it stands today has lost touch with the very culture and people that bore it. Even the most famous, the most skilled pilots held up as its super stars are beginners to the rich and lasting heritage of FPV radio controlled flight. Much of the influx into the hobby has been driven purely through FPV racing videos, new RTF racing aircraft and the excitement drummed up for events. They have created an entire new market of people who want to race and fly but have no idea how to solder, and frankly, they don’t want to learn and have zero interest in our hobby as it was yesterday. We have invited the worst of our populace into our home, and we have failed to guide them appropriately. We have allowed the charlatan to lower the bar of entrance, to bring the mountain down to the size of the common man in order to grow the market and dup even more pilots into the sport. The pile of broken props, for an unworthy cause, grows deeper every single day. For that mistake we will lose the culture, traditions and the very hobby that built FPV racing. But I think we can still turn it around if we wish.
    Chad, the US National Drone champion, posted a video recently expressing much of the same thing with much more tact than I. Charpu showed to the US Nationals last year and felt it then; I watched it in his eyes as he scanned the scene upon arriving and soon left to find a quiet park to fly. Every day during that week long event the pilots met in a park or go-kart track afterwards and enjoyed FPV and each other more than they did the races themselves. That event became famous and great for one main reason. The networking and off the track experiences that everyone felt and wrote about, were grand to say the least. The drone racing was not the take away and the media and organizers (even the pilots) failed to realize the value of what they had when they all 1st met. Like minds formed innovative partnerships that day behind the scenes to push the hobby forward, only distracted by the racing events on the world stage. All the public remembers is who won, and I find it quite ironic that Charpu noticed it 1st (and never said a thing) and now Chad. Each the most famous pilot in FPV at the time it was expressed.
    I think it’s time we take a step back from racing and think about what it’s doing to us as pilots and to our hobby as a whole. Is this the direction we wish to go? Are we being steered by those with money and only a desire to make more? I observe as young people watch their 1st FPV video (racing or not) and they are amazed. “How much?” or “How do I get into this?” The vendors and the industry will not suffer without racing, but our culture will with it. I see those people buy up RTF racing quads and give it their all, they give it their passion and they race for the win. They spend countless millions each year in the USA alone and they bust props every single weekend to the cheering delight of any company with a ABS plastic molding machine. The people enter this hobby because they see Chad and want to be him, because they see Charpu making money and becoming successful in something they love to do in only their free time. I can imagine that almost every vendor in the FPV game has been asked by every single little “racing team” and club in the nation for free gear and sponsorships because they race and want to become the next “winner”. I hate to break it to you, but the jokes on you guys, you are the new market. Not the innovators or even the winners. The innovators are speaking out and trying to tell you all something and some risk reputation and their paycheck to do it. I suggest you listen.
    The buying power and numbers of the FPV pilot community is untold, we hold the keys to stopping this madness before it gets even more out of control. It’s time to rein it in and get back to basics. Racing has done its job in promoting FPV and drones in a more positive light to the public, but our culture has already moved past it, and it’s time to let the charlatans know. Now let’s move on and continue innovating, racing is a dead-end. It’s a dead end at a long trail of tears, failure, drama, let downs and busted props. If you are rich have no job and an inner drive to beat and say you’re better than your fellow man, then by all means, drone racing (as a sport) is for you! But I won’t look up to you, and I doubt anyone worth a darn in the FPV hobby will either, so enjoy the fame but understand it’s a fallacy cooked up by people with a desire to make money, nothing more.
    Typically, the FPV hobby is made up of passionate, highly skilled and intelligent people. They are well versed in many subjects to be able to innovate in ways many people cannot. They seek challenges, they take their time, and they do it for personal reasons. What we are doing is shutting them out, in favor of the worst types of people. People with zero determination to learn this hobby and overcome its challenges and therefore will never find its intrinsic reward. All they want is a win, and the hobby as we knew it will die with the ushering of a “sport”. I propose, and challenge all FPV pilots, to stop entering races held by any organization. Go out and fly or race your buddies instead, I believe our point can be made to those wishing to profit from you.
    We can all stop supporting all racing leagues and organizations by not racing in them, not spending our hard eared money and our valuable time in helping them succeed. You are all literally giving away your passion and value for their success. We can always race on any given weekend with our friends, there’s grassroots groups doing it every single day. If someone wants you to race, make them pay you. We do not need those leagues they need us. FPV racing, otherwise known to the public it’s sold to as “Drone Racing” will evolve and become something unrecognizable to the traditional FPV hobby. We simply do things for a different reason that means our goals; mission and means are all different. It’s time we make the distinction; it’s time we hold ourselves, our peers and our community to a higher standard more deserving of the passion and greatness that is the FPV hobby and everything that makes it so great and worthy of so much of our time and money. Let’s find, highlight and propagate what FPV is all about and stop wasting our time and energy for people who don’t get it and want nothing more than profit from us.
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    Last edited by squishy; 6th February 2018 at 02:06 PM. Reason: because the message was lost on the ignorant ears of the unintelligent masses..
    Flight Club - "In thrust we trust"

  2. #2
    Size matters c5galaxy engineer's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    Joseph Oregon
    5,967 I am sub'ed if for no other reason then to see where the chips fall on this one.
    Squishy you have a lot to say on this.....I am going to have to go in for a second read. There is quite a bit to digest in that post.
    Brett Hays

  3. #3
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    Jul 2014
    Roanoke, TX

    For every NASCAR or LeMans there's a group of buddies gathering at an autocross event or drag strip to just spend a few hours having fun together, and the latter is rarely interested in competing in the former.

    But the big events and competitions do tend to drive innovation. Just like auto racing has resulted in huge improvements in technology for everyday cars and trucks, FPV racing technology will improve RC aircraft.

    This is assuming it's handled well.

    I don't have a lot of interest in "real" FPV racing, though I'd like to try it, but there are plenty out there who are into it and I don't have an issue with it. Obviously there are going to be teething problems with any new series or sport, but it'll work itself out in the end.

    There have been multiple instances of the "old guard" complaining that younger pilots were "cheating" by entering the RC hobby when a new technology made things easier. The first I personally remember are the early ARF models, when everyone was afraid that there would be no more craftsmanship or scratch-built models. Then the advent of cheap electric power, then foamies. Then RTF foamies, then "drones", then RTF "drones".

    How many of the people complaining now only started flying a few years ago when multirotors first became widely available?

    If a person has no interest in doing repairs or building from scratch, I have literally zero issues with that. I've known many people who buy RTF planes, put them together, crash them, throw them away, and buy another. I don't judge them because they aren't enjoying the hobby "right".

  4. #4
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    Sep 2013
    Chester U.K.
    Well said Squishy, I don't want to be the next " Charpu" or "Banni", I just enjoy chucking a Quad around a course (anything, trees, bushes Cones, whatever), if I've got someone to do that with, Great, It just puts a huge smile on my face doing it with or without the "Race", If I get it right, I'm grinning from ear to ear, When I get it wrong, I'm Falling out of my chair laughing hysterically, Either way, I usually spend that evening recounting the experience with like minded friends spilling beer out of the side of our stupid grin's.
    All the right notes.....Not necessarily in the right order. Eric Morecambe

  5. #5
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    Sep 2012
    Gainesville/Ocala Florida
    I saw this most recently at the CFL FPV meet. The meet has changed and the Drone Racing crew would take it over if they could. I enjoyed the meets much more 3-4 years ago when drone racing wasnt at the events... Not to mention that they would like to use the entire 5.8Ghz band so they can practice.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2015
    Corvallis, OR
    Quote Originally Posted by MadMonkey View Post
    If a person has no interest in doing repairs or building from scratch, I have literally zero issues with that. I've known many people who buy RTF planes, put them together, crash them, throw them away, and buy another. I don't judge them because they aren't enjoying the hobby "right".
    Yeah, to add to this, the people that are in it only for money or fame won't last. They'll constantly be doing this for the wrong reasons and never have enough to make it. You simply cannot succeed in this hobby long term if you refuse to learn any of the fundamentals. Unfortunately, with the large cash prizes and numerous racing leagues and organizations cropping up everywhere, the wrong people get attracted to it. There are so many new people trying to get into this hobby because they watched 5 youtube racing videos and are now convinced that they can jump right in and compete. When you try to help them and guide them in the right direction (No, that 4S Alien F1-5 with RS2205's and 5045BN's would not make a good first quad) they ignore you and listen only to the people selling them the dream. A week later they'll be on the help forums crying their eyes out about being "almost done with this hobby" or "at my wits end trying to get this to work" because they can't tune a quad worth a damn or solder anything together properly.

    And it's starting to wear down on me. I used to feel like you owed a debt to whatever forum you participated in and gained knowledge and experience from. You paid that debt by sticking around to help the next new genuine person with their struggle. The problem is that these people that are showing up aren't genuinely interested in any of it. They just want their brand spanking new quad to fly right out of the box and onto the racing line. The expectations these people have is just unreal. I'm starting to just not care about these new people's problems because for every guy you find who actually wants to learn it all there's a dozen trying to slap together whatever flavor-of-the-month consumer parts are popular to make themselves famous.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2015
    New Zealand
    Squishy...I think your post is gold..couple of points I personally don't agree with..I get your encompassing ideal...but....this is the start of something new, that everyone is hopping on the bandwagon of. You helped encourage it, to be fair. The raging bull is moving....controlling its direction and premise needs to be done now. or let it go and hang with your mates...doing what you have always done.

    Whats important? Everyone has a different ideal!

    Thank gawd.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2013
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Completely agree with KaliKraven. I witnessed the same thing. I still enjoyed myself because I got out to meet some old faces and fly some!

    I'd Rather just hang out and enjoy chasing some friends flying planes/quads! Really not into making my hobby into a competition.

  9. #9
    Navigator 33db's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    All "FPV racing" was to me is one way of possibly legitimizing FPV in the eyes of the public. After all, if the cattle see it on TV they are much less likely to get spooked while chewing their cud in the park.
    Locals Only Brah.

  10. #10
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    Jul 2014
    Norway, West coast
    The soul of fpv is safe. Its us friends at the lab, in the parks in the mountains and in the fields. Organized racing will never become a big part of the real fpv community. We build, fly, hang out with friends and maybe attend a race event once or twice just to experience it. Because of the way we fpvers are many of us will get somewhat bored with the scene. We are basically geeks, not athletes or spectators.

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