Radio-control model vehicles catching on as big pastime and hobby for all ages

Off to the races - Jamie Hollett of Stettler Radio-Controlled Bashers Club displays various models of  vehicles.

Off to the races - Jamie Hollett of Stettler Radio-Controlled Bashers Club displays various models of vehicles.

Radio-controlled electric and nitro-methane vehicles and boats and helicopters are picking up speed as a popular hobby in Stettler for all ages, from young children to senior citizens.

“It’s growing in Stettler and it’s a big hobby worldwide,” said Jamie Hollett, vice-president of Stettler Radio-Controlled Bashers Club that was established three years ago.

Now with about 15 members from six years of age to 55, the club completed a track and rock-climbing course at its home base by the moto-cross track just north of the town of Stettler last year.

“With the completion of our race track last year, the hobby has taken off locally because people have somewhere to go to operate their vehicles,” said Hollett.

“It helps to have the track so people don’t have to run their vehicles on the streets.”

This hobby is both fun and educational for all ages.

“People are realizing that this is something for the whole family, for young children and parents,” said Hollett.

Even when the club meets at the track, members are always willing to give a helping hand to newcomers.

“We usually meet at the track every second Tuesday of the month and members can access the track at other times,” he said.

“We just have fun competitive racing and some vehicles travel up to 70 miles an hour,” said Hollett.

To parents, he advises that this is a good hobby for teenagers since it teaches them to maintain and repair a vehicle, mechanics and to respect property of their own.

“It also teaches them that it costs money to fix,” said Hollett.

“I have a six-year-old son and he always wants to watch me fix the vehicles so he can do it on his own.”

Beginners can get into the hobby by buying a smaller vehicle for around $400, and then they can modify their vehicles from there.

Hollett has four radio-controlled vehicles of his own after he was introduced to this fun hobby about seven years ago.

“I bought a used radio-controlled truck to try it our and I’ve been hooked ever since,” he said.

“I am fascinated by the mechanical aspect of the hobby and the ability to update and do different things with these cars.”

Recently he opened a business downtown Stettler that sells radio-controlled vehicles and their parts and other products.

“Before I opened the business, we had to go to Red Deer to get the vehicles and their parts,” said Hollett.

“Now with a store in Stettler, it makes its easier for local people to get parts.”

An open house at the track last summer attracted a lot of people and potential members, the club is planning a similar event after the ground dries from all the heavy rainfall this spring and summer.

Chad Mack currently serves as president of the club.

Radio-controlled or R/C cars are usually categorized as either “toy” or “hobby” grade.

Remote-controlled vehicles are usually one of two types: control of a vehicle by radio transmission or by a wire connecting between the transmitter and car.