TALK IT UP TUESDAY: Kody Knudtson
Tuesday, Sep 13, 2016 08:41pm
By Aaron Waldron
Welcome to LiveRC's weekly column, "Talk-It-Up Tuesday!" Here we spend a little time talking with industry icons including racers, manufacturers, team managers, developers, promoters, and everyone in between! Sit back, relax, and go behind the scenes as we interview them all!
Aaron Waldron: How old are you, and where are you from?
Kody Knudtson: I’m 31 years old and reside in Seattle, WA
AW: What do you currently do for work?
KK: I work for a family business focusing on the drone industry.
AW: How did you get into RC, and how long have you been racing?
KK: In the mid-90's I had an RC10T, then in ’97 I built a 40-size trainer plane. In the summer of 1998 I raced an RC10GT and have since dabbled here and there with off-road. My on-road passion started in 2008 after checking out the awesome Seattle Indoor Raceway.
AW: When did you decide to start taking racing more seriously, traveling to larger races and acquiring sponsors?
KK: Soon after getting into on-road I was going to as many races as I could. I was hooked! I started off doing a series in the Northwest for carpet racing then the following summer made the trip to my first Reedy Race of Champions.
AW: What are your most proud racing moments?
KK: Making the main at many races such as IIC, RROC and ROAR Nationals have all been great moments. Winning my first ROAR National Championship in Modified Touring car was a big one.
AW: How did you get introduced to drone racing, and how long have you been involved?
KK: It had been on my radar over the last few years but it just wasn't easy to get stuff going looking from the outside in. In May of this year, after hours of reading and watching YouTube, I took the plunge.
AW: How does drone racing compare to RC car racing? What are some similarities and differences?
KK: Getting that adrenaline rush from tone to tone and hanging with your racing buddies is the same in both hobbies. Both require that you work on your tune/setup, practice and compete. After that, there's a large difference as with drones you’re doing it FPV (First Person View), where in RC car racing you’re doing it LOS (Line of sight). What this means is your view for your drone race is via a set of goggles receiving a signal from your drone's FPV camera. It’s a different experience and perspective. With quads you’re flying so tracks can be designed with elevation changes, giving that roller coaster feeling at times. Both use tracks but with FPV the landscape can also be turned into a track for fast, easy setup.
AW: Is there any part of drone racing that you think would work well for RC cars?
KK: Drone racing excels when it comes to the cost of gear to be competitive and running costs to keep you racing. You can build a competitive race quad that could win a national for under $400. Consumables like props are super cheap, unlike tires for cars.
AW: When you’re not at the racetrack or flying field, what are some of your favorite hobbies?
KK: Flying stunt kites and shooting guns.
AW: What’s the best part of RC and drone racing? What about these hobbies annoys or bothers you?
KK: Hanging out with my buddies racing and chatting about technology. I dislike the starting costs getting into racing competitively. I'm sure if costs were down volume would be up!
AW: Who are some of the people that have helped you the most?
KK: Jake Danilchik, Keith Yu and many locals have helped tremendously along the way.
Photo: Samuel Forbes, via Facebook
AW: Do you have any advice for RC car racers who would consider trying out drone racing?
KK: Sign up on MultiGP.com and find local chapters and go check it out! Also, find your local Facebook group to ask questions and find help if needed. Don't be afraid to ask questions as things are a little more complex when getting started. Not all goggles work for everyone. Test them out and make sure they work for you. You can never have enough props and batteries!
AW: Thanks for the interview! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
KK: Have fun, be safe and be smart about where you fly! We've seen how a few bad DJI drone users have really made a hassle for model aviation. Support the Academy of Model Aeronautics as they’re fighting to keep model aviation possible for us.
Photo: Mark Day, via Facebook