Extreme Oklahoma Crawlers
In a photograph, it’s easy to mistake crawlers for the real deal. But rather than full-sized trucks, jeeps, and road-worthy vehicles, a closer inspection reveals them to be miniature remote-control replicas. Controlled by hobbyists or competitors, RC rock crawlers conquer off-road paths with surprising agility. The pastime is growing in popularity, with events as close to home as Hafer Park.
“If you’ve seen the rock buggy races that happen in places like California and Arizona, then you can imagine a rock crawler event,” said Kollin Sendall, Extreme Oklahoma Crawlers member and administrator. “People gather for little rock crawling competitions all around Oklahoma. Some of the best spots are Lake Murray, Lawton Wildlife Refuge, Robber’s Cave, or more locally at Arcadia Lake and Hafer Park.”
It was Kollin’s son who first connected him with the hobby. “I bought my son an RC crawler truck. We were having so much fun driving it around that he told me I should get one of my own, and it just evolved from there.” Now, Kollin is immersed in the world of crawler competitions.
“It unites a wide range of people,” he said. “We are seeing more and more kids getting into it with their parents, which is a fun way for them to bond and spend time together.”
The monetary investment varies. Starter kits can be found for as low as $30, with specialized parts and specific replicas ramping up into the hundreds. Kollin encourages anyone who might be interested to give crawling a try. “It can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple days to build a crawler,” he said. “I live in Edmond, so HobbyTown on Danforth is always my first stop for parts.”
Kollin calls crawling a great hobby for anyone with a mechanically inclined mind. “If you enjoy building things, or if you think off-roading sounds fun but is too big of an investment, crawling is a fun and financially better option.”
The group’s Facebook page is a good place to start. It’s filled with dabblers and die-hard drivers, ready to answer questions and connect on the crawling journey.
Visit @ExtremeOklahomaCrawlers on Facebook to find upcoming events near you.