If you haven’t seen it yet in your city, soon you will.
Backpacks filled with machines and propellers. Hoops suspended in the sky. Flags turning causeways into air-slopes.
It’s no secret that drone racing is quickly becoming one of the most popular underground sports in the country, and with hundreds of thousands in prize money on the line, it’s no mystery why pilots come from around the world to compete in racing tournaments stateside.
So, where does that leave you?
For most, watching the sport is good enough. Thanks to the first person view (FPV) captured from the drones in flight, the viewing experience puts you directly into the driver’s seat of this fast-paced aerial experience. And when it comes to accessibility, you can stream it for free or check out past clips on YouTube to satiate your need for speed.
But if that does scratch your itch, you may want to try it out for yourself! That’s where we can help.
The first thing you should know about drone racing is that there are two main components – the drone, and the FPV goggles. While you can race without them, the real rush of adrenaline comes from reacting to the racetrack from the drone’s own point of view.
Second, you should know to start slow. Most professional drone pilots custom-build their racing drones, but to learn the fundamentals, you should purchase a starter FPV drone. The speed of these drones is more forgiving to new pilots, and attempting to customize your first drone will most likely lead you to losing money instead of saving it. Find your ropes and get used to flying tiny UAVs at slow speeds before you move up the ranks and challenge your neighbors.
Third, know that you’re going to crash. A lot. While joystick dexterity may give you a leg-up on other starters, nothing will stop you from eventually wrecking your racing drone. Consider purchasing an unbreakable starter drone like this one.
Fourth and finally, know that drone fun isn’t just for racing. If you purchase a racing drone only to find you have the flying talents of a penguin, consider modding your drone for alternative uses. These things aren’t one-size-fits-all, and many racing drones fitted with modifications for stunt flight, “combat” with other drones, and more.
Whatever your flavor, racing drones are a great starting point for anyone interested in aerial hobbies. If you’ve always wanted to fly a model airplane, start a new hobby, or race outside of a cockpit, this just might be the new sport for you.