The 2021 WE Rock schedule just released, Big Rich brings you another new competitor's perspective on competitive rockcrawling. Hear Jason Childs talk about his journey to get started, why he choose to jump straight into the Unlimited class, and what it is really like.
If you are interested in competing, check out the rules on www.werocklive.com; the schedule and call if you have any questions. I’m happy to help.
2:35 – learn about the classes in WE Rock
9:47 – I really wanted a Samurai
12:15 – why don’t you go to Supercrawl?
14:32 – Do you really want to do all that work?
16:18 – The start of the new car
20:29 – I’ve always been competitive
28:15 – I still have so much to learn
36:48 – That’s how you learn from the best
38:06 – Bonus, a quick lesson on competitive skydiving
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Welcome to the Big Rich show, this podcast will focus on conversations with friends and acquaintances within the four wheel drive industry. Many of the people that I will be interviewing, you may know the name, you may know some of the history, but let's get in depth with these people and find out what truly makes them a four wheel drive enthusiasts. So now's the time to sit back, grab a cold one and enjoy our conversation.
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[00:01:20.250] - Big Rich Klein
With last week's episode and this week's episode of Conversations with Big Rich, I'm trying something a little different. We are interviewing new competitors to WE Rock. The idea behind this is to give other competitors or future competitors who may be our listeners a chance to hear what it's like from two guys that are just starting and what their experiences were and why they did it the way they did.
So far this year with this podcast, we've been talking about the history of rock crawling and four wheel drive motor sports, so we thought we'd change it up a little bit and discuss WE Rock rock crawling and how we can help new competitors get started. That's the idea behind these two podcast last week and this week. For more information on WE Rock itself, you can go to WEROCKlive.com. We have rules for all of our classes, plus we have contact information for myself, the rule book, so that you can study the rules, if you like.
And just to let you know your first time out, we suggest that you come to the judges training sessions, which are typically Friday night and Saturday morning, and we'll post those specifically for each event. But it'll give you a chance to see what the judges are calling and how the event is actually scored. To give you an idea of what we do class wise, we have three pro classes for buggies or vehicles and we have three sportsman classes for buggies or vehicles.
And we offer a UTV class and actually two youth classes for five year old to eight year old and then nine to 11 year olds. The sportsman classes, starting with the smallest or least capable of the three classes, would be our sportsmen C. Sportsmen C is more of a full body. Thirty seven inch tire size maximum and no rear steer. Also like suspension on whatever the vehicle is being claimed to be. We have a sportsman B class, which is a little more complicated because it can be basically our trail rig class and you can go up to 40 inch tires on a single seat or forty twos on a two seater.
And then we have our sportsman a, which is an unlimited buggy trail, buggy class, it can be single seat or for a two seat. It also allows rear steer, although you do get pointed as a penalty for using the rear steer on course. You only get the penalty once per course, and that's more of a strategy than it is anything else for that class, then we get into our pro classes and the pro classes are mod stock, which is a thirty seven inch and under tire size class, and it's a full body and like suspension class.
Then we have our ProMod class, which is up to 40 inch tire two seat, front engine, no rear steer, and then we have our unlimited class, which anything goes. You do not get pointed for rear steer as a penalty in unlimited, but there is a penalty for using rear steer and the spotter rope on the same course, you can use one or the other without penalty. The sportsman classes run on what we call our C courses, and the C courses are tamer, but still a challenge even for those unlimited trail buggies.
There's multiple lines and bonuses. So even if you're a sportsman C competitor on thirty sevens, you may be running on the same course as a sportsman a but you'll have lines designed for you to be able to get through as well as lines available for those unlimited buggies. You can find videos of rock crawling on our YouTube channel, which is We Rock Live. We promise that if you come out the first time, we will treat you kindly and we won't we won't kill you.
I guarantee it. We've never we've never done that yet in 20 years of rock crawling. So come on out. Enjoy yourself. Get to know everybody that's out there. The pros are more than happy to help the sportsman. It's a way for them to get to know everybody and for yourself to get to know everybody, we camp on site at all of the events. So bring a motor home, bring a tent, sleep in the race trailer.
Whatever you're comfortable doing, we always have porta potties on site, sometimes running water. I believe that you'll have a really good time, even if it's your first competition and you're worried about what's going to happen, don't be come on out, enjoy it. Watch look at the courses, walk the courses, talk to the pros, talk to other sportsmen and come out with a good attitude and enjoy yourself. It really is a great lifestyle.
Thank you for joining us on this episode of Conversations with Big Rich.
Today's guest is Jason Childs. He's a newer competitor, you would say to Rockcrawling. He jumped right into the WE Rock Unlimited class last year with a Jesse Haines fabrication buggy. And we want to talk to him about his decision to jump in not only the competitive rockcrawling, but the highest class there is and the class with probably the toughest competition at the moment. So sit back and enjoy this. All right, Jason Childs, thank you so much for coming on board and being part of conversations with Big Rich and maybe giving us a little bit different perspective on rockcrawling, not so much from the history side of it, like guys who have been competing for 20 years or competed 20 years ago or so, but basically a newbie's idea of rock crawling in what interest you had getting into it.
So let's start at the very beginning and, you know, tell us where where you're from, where you grew up and how you got started.
[00:08:06.050] - Jason Childs
Well, kind of started. I mean, as a kid, I was born in Sacramento. My dad had take me hunting every weekend, every day, if he could. And that was our off roading to start with. We deer hunted, drove around, hiked a billion miles, never really saw anything. But then as as I grew up, I kind of moved all over. My family was heavy machinery, mechanics, and they worked on the pipeline and big rigs at Patkar and a few other place
So I ended up living in Fairbanks, Alaska, Puget Sound, Anticortes, Washington. I mean, pretty much everywhere. And that work took us. It was kind of like the military life. Ended up in NorCal because of the temperature. I mean, as my my stepdad, my dad or my basically my parents got a little older.
The warmer temperature was easier for them to acclimate to. And that's kind of where we ended up and it just stuck. So I had an old forty three Willys m.b that I probably drove way too many places that I shouldn't have beat it up for a while and life kind of took its course and got away from it for a little bit and got a little older and I wanted a Bronco so I built a seventy two Bronco and I put a fuel injected 5 0 in it and had some fun there.
It was thirty eight swampers back then and had just had a good time. Then I was told that we wanted a house and I was like, you want a house. And I was told to sell it for the down payment. So that's where that went. And I got away from it for quite a while then kids, family. And I was like, this is time.
I have to get back out there and started looking around and was told, no two doors, no scratches. No, I wanted a Samarai. I wanted a roller. I just wanted something to beat up on and ended up with a four door JK.
So I went and bought one of those and immediately started swapping stuff here and there went sixties and forties and all the I'm sure this is going to get the JK guys going, you know. But as I think you people know, it wasn't the traditional JK and I kind of just beat on it like it was anything and it just went from there and got the family into it. Everybody was kind of part of it. Some some like it more than others.
But as I progressed more and more and more, I wanted more and more and more. And to keep modifying the JK versus look around that something else was it just didn't make sense. So in two thousand man, I don't even know what year it is right now. I'm stuck at home so long. Twenty, seventeen ish I believe. Maybe sixteen. I started looking around and I, I saw a single seat rear steer buggy and I was like, huh, that looks interesting.
And I'd always want to get into rear steer and kind of mess around with it, learn it, because it just intrigued. I mean, as fun as it can be, you get you in just as much trouble, just as quick.
And so actually I reached out and I ended up purchasing one of Jesse Haines's old cars that Matt Deas drove from Jeff Rowland and shipped it across and started just messing around with it. Oh, I had so much fun with that. And kind of out of the blue, I owned it for like three or four months out of the blue. Someone reached out to me, was like. You want to sell your car? And I was like, no, no, I'm good.
And they were like, what would it take? So I threw a number out there and well,I'll be damned.
He gave me 50 percent down and set up shipping and it was gone about a month later. So it was one of those where then I didn't know what I was going to do. And in between that time I had it and I actually think I ran into Matt Messer, I believe, from Trail Gear on the Rubicon. And he recognized the car instantly and came up and chatted with me for a little bit. And he goes, Why don't you go to Super Crawl?
I was like, what's Supercrawl? And so I got home and I looked it up and I was like, That looks amazing, but I don't know if I'm like what I should do. And so I started looking at the classes a little bit and comparing it to videos I saw. So they have some different classes. And I was like, you know, what, if I'm going to do it, I'm just going to go out and have fun.
So I did. I signed up for Unlimited. I never competed before, never even seen a competition in person. And I showed up and went through it and I was like, wow, this is awesome. I have no idea what I'm doing.
[00:12:53.100] - Big Rich Klein
Was that with the JK?
[00:12:53.710] - Jason Childs
No that well, so I thought that was with a blue buggy.
Yeah. So like, right before right before I sold it, I took it to SuperCrawl. I had actually met you just before that at Donner because I was going to try to make an event. And so I brought it up to make sure it passed tech. And I remember I pulled up and you started laughing because apparently everybody knew this buggy and it was just one of those where I didn't know. I just wanted to make sure I didn't show up somewhere.
And they go, oh, no, you can't do that. You have to do this. But so I end up going, that was when Supercrawl was in September, I believe. Right.
And so I went there and didn't know anybody did I mean, nobody had no idea what was going on, just kind of stumbled through it. I remember going up the first day and I got paired in a group of four or five pull up and I'm first course spotter ride. Don't have any idea what's going on and kind of just start walking the course a little bit. And I remember actually Cody and Randall were right behind me, so they kind of just, Hey have any questions.
I probably look like the tourist. They were just like you probably new. And so they kind of helped me out and gave me some pointers on little things here and there. And we had a great time. We I mean, we did all right. It wasn't, I mean, spectacular. We didn't really have any expectations going in. And from that point on, I was like, this is awesome. I'm going to keep doing this as much as I can.
And then I sold the car. So it was it was one of those where it was kind of a really wild ride.
At first. It was up, down, up, down. And I remember reaching out to Jesse and saying, hey, I want to make this change and this change and this change. And his only response was, do you really want to do all that work or would it be easier just to build something new? And I was like, I hate you because I knew he was right. And but I just don't have all the technical skills as far as fabrication that he does.
So it was one of those where I'm looking at I can modify it fairly easily or not. And he was right. It boiled down to it was probably better to start building another car. So I sold that. And that's where I put the money towards a new car. I was about ninety nine percent of the way through of building one of the two seat chassis'. And I mean all the parts, everything we were welding up the chassis, everything of really I had plumbing and electrical once it all went together.
And that's when the fire up in Paradise happened and I lost it all. It was all up at a buddy's shop and unfortunately didn't make it. And so it was kind of one of those where back to square one again. And so I've been going to a couple events here and there and watching. I drove down to Bagdad, took some photos, just hung out and had a good time. And it was just one of those where maybe I learned something, maybe I didn't.
And I met some people. It was kind of just I don't know how it was exciting and fun to me. So I just kept going even though I didn't have a car.
And the whole time I was kind of looking around for something and to buy and everything was just out of my price range or wouldn't work. And I'd have to do what I was going to do with the first one is modify and modify and modify.
And Jesse reached out and said, hey, would you be interested in a roller? Or maybe I could do the chassis and Axle's. Do you have a place to put it? At that point, I was living in a fifth wheel RV in the back of friends properties because we we couldn't go back to our house. And I was like, I don't know if that I said, yes, I do, but I'm kind of stuck here. And so we started talking and he was like, if you just come over every now and then and help out, help out as much as you can.
I have room in my shop. We can just slowly build it and go from there. And I was like, man, if you do that, that's amazing. Turns out I was living at his house just about every other week.
It felt like going back and forth. And then one day he walks in and goes, morning. I was like, Morning. He goes, you want to make Donner? And I'm like, that's like six weeks away. This thing is still in pieces, he was like, I think we could do it. Well, I'll be damned Saturday morning at like 5:00 in the morning.
I pull in to Donner. I wouldn't say it was done, but it was done enough to go and it was good enough for me.
It was I had a blast and I was I was so happy to get out and go back in there, even though we're we've been riddled with little things here and there and things that just could frustrate you. But I just I just love it. So I just want to keep going.
[00:17:45.060] - Big Rich Klein
I did remember that the first year, two thousand nineteen. Was the was the first season and you guys had a lot of struggles with drivability, there just always seemed to be something that it just wouldn't work for you. I I really admired you for showing up and. Going through the motions, even though you knew it wasn't one hundred percent, that there were things that they just weren't going to allow it to perform the way you needed it to. So I was I was really impressed that you you had the fortitude to hang in there and not just say, OK, I'm going to wait until it's perfect. You know, you don't learn by staying in the garage.
[00:18:32.680] - Jason Childs
No, that's kind of one. That was one of the driving factors for us.
As for me is I needed seat time. I know I needed no matter what, even if the car's flawless. You need seat time. And I would rather I mean, it sounds funny. I'd rather be able to work on it on the fly because what if you do break something? So I've got a lot of practice repairing that thing. So I know it very well.
But it was there's been a couple of constants, but it was tracking some of the stuff down that has just been the probably the biggest hurdle. It was little things here and there with fluid leaking or why is it keep dumping out of this or just stalling? There's there's been a bunch of little things like that that all kind of just encompassed the whole experience. But there's nothing like getting on the course and at least driving the driving it, understanding what's going on, because there's more to the car than the whole competition.
And that took a long time to learn. I mean, spotter communication with the driver, understanding the car time management. Oh, man. There's been such a learning curve in so many different aspects that has outside of even the car. So it's I figured it was always learning, no matter how good or bad it went.
I was learning something
[00:19:52.660] - Big Rich Klein
and and jumping right into into the fire with both feet and going into the unlimited class, which is probably the stiffest competition out there. You're on the biggest courses with the biggest bonuses. They're not they're not necessarily easy. Some of our teams make them look really easy. But, you know, it's not something that's that to take lightly jumping into to begin with. What was your thought process in not going into sportsman, but jumping right into the to the unlimited class?
[00:20:29.200] - Jason Childs
I've always been really competitive, whether it be I played competitive baseball, volleyball, every sport. Everybody has that story. I feel like if you put yourself against the best, even if you aren't the best, you're going to learn. They do things a specific way for a specific reason at a specific time. You may not understand it, but if you're on course and you see it or you realize you're in the seat and you're like, man, that made total sense after the fact.
Again, it's a learning experience. Nothing against sportsmen or honestly, you could ask any of my friends, I'm just an idiot and I go for go. It's one of those where it's just me, like the way I am. I'd rather be beat by the best every single time and learn because learning to me is what is fun. Like, I love it.
I don't like losing. Don't get me wrong. But it's one of those where the like you said, the competition there, if you have everybody there, I mean, it's the best of the best. It doesn't matter what day it is. I mean, they still have to drive the same courses. There's always that same chance they've got a ton more experience. But how am I going to build experience if I don't do it? So walk in line.
I might go out there and walk a course, drive it and then I'll see a video or maybe talk to somebody about it. And they're like, why don't you do this? Because it didn't even cross my mind. And that's where the experience is. It's but it's it's one of those where. I don't know, it's to me I would I just want to get out there, have fun, do the best I can against the best and learn from the best.
At the same time, whether they know it or not, they're teaching me something every day, whether it's I mean, it's kind of funny listening to Randall and Cody yell at each other on Facebook two days after. It's amazing because you know what? There's probably something in there that I can learn from, whether it's spotter communication. You know what? I've done that a thousand times. I've said that a thousand times. I'm sorry. It's like it's just the self reflecting or understanding of what's going on in the car, because sometimes emotions get in the way.
And you just because you are competitive, you want to do that. So to me, it was. It may not have been the brightest decision, but I've had a ton of fun.
[00:22:49.990] - Big Rich Klein
Good. I know that your spotter is not afraid to tell you what she feels. Some of the things I've heard come out of Jill's mouth. Yeah, girl, get it?
[00:23:03.700] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, there's there's times where I'm not the nicest or probably the most concise person on the microphone. Hey, it's it's funny because we I think at the early stages we would just not go at it. But yes, we were both frustrated because we're both competitive. But now it's like we can just get it out and say, this is what I need you to do. This is what I need you to do. And that's it. I mean, it's we've gotten very good about saying, you know what, that was a two.
We're on day three or whatever, like we can't go back in time. And that was one of those lessons you learned. It's like, do you let the first course of the day ruin your whole weekend? No. You know, you may be thinking about it. You may not. You just need to learn to let it go and move on to the next one.
And that has been a huge thing for us as
[00:23:58.190] - Big Rich Klein
Has Jill ever driven the car?
[00:24:01.420] - Jason Childs
I don't think so. Well, I mean, little things here. You'll never mind. She did. And yeah, she did for a little bit. But that's kind of a funny story. It's that she can't drive it the way she would because of the dimensions of the car. She literally has a hard time reaching the pedals and it's one of those where so she has to slouch more than normal, even though the car set up that way to be lower.
But it's so in some situations. It's like she's trying to hold the brake and do this and do that, and you see her shifting in her seat. And so it's not anything else but that. On top of that, it's we don't have a whole lot of runtime. We have been doing a lot of work to this thing or I should say I have been doing a ton of work to do this thing in between every competition, every chance I get is usually tore down and redone in some aspects.
So there hasn't been a whole lot of, hey, let's go wheel it kind of thing. And how about that?
[00:25:08.870] - Big Rich Klein
And if she doesn't fit in it, then it's not it's it's probably not a good, good idea to put her on anything really difficult so that she can get an idea how it feels for you inside the car. It's one of the things that I, I try to tell teams, especially new teams, is if the spotter can fit in the car, let the spotter drive the car, even in practice or whatever, so they get a feel for what is being what they're telling you and why why they need to tell you that.
Because if they don't, there's there are some spotters out there that have been around the sport for so long, they don't need to know what the car does from driving it because they've seen it so much like Cody and and Randall. They've become a better team because Randal drove the car. Oh, I agree. And so he knows what the car will do or what it's capable of doing. That's that's why I ask. Right.
[00:26:09.650] - Jason Childs
We've definitely talked about it.
It's just one of those where I think it boils down to a lot of times I'm working till the night before we leave or we just haven't had the time to go out and play to drive it to like not even me. It's not even that. It's just we've just been, I guess, handcuffed a little bit here and there with things that hasn't allowed us. So hopefully, hopefully soon we'll get to. But I, I would love to have her in the car, at least understand the different things.
Luckily we spot each other quite a bit when we wheeled our JK. So at least we understand each other a little more. But when you start heading that rear steer and that I mean just the dimensions of that car, the handling of that car is completely different. So it's definitely a good thing to do.
[00:26:58.250] - Big Rich Klein
Yes. What are your plans? I know you're going to compete as often as you can. I I understand that. But is there it's not like you can move up a class or do something different. I mean, you're in a in a state of the art vehicle. You're you're running in on the toughest courses in competition right now that are available to you. Is there things that you want to do? And I don't even know if this is a fair question because I don't know what else there is to do.
But the you know, I'm trying to get an idea of of what are future plans. Is it just to continue competing with us or do you want to go fast someday? What are the things what's what's in your interest bucket?
[00:27:44.100] - Jason Childs
I honestly don't have any desire to to go fast. I mean, I love it, but as a sport, it I mean, I've joked about it a few times, like maybe possibly if I picked up a UTV and try that a little bit here and there. But just for that, no, I have no desire to really go that direction. I have so much to learn. Going slow is it's one of those where I don't need to jump in and learn a whole nother thing.
It's I don't know. It's to me, I have so much to learn, even though I might be in, quote unquote, the unlimited class. I'm a beginner. I I'm trying to learn I ask questions. I'd rather focus on getting myself better there and doing better there and maybe someday, given those those guys up there at the top a hard time. That's kind of the fun part of it, is I like joking with them and giving them a hard time about this new guy's going to do this and that.
And, you know, it's all just me, like, that's just me. But it doesn't mean I don't want to. But I'm so far from it that. I just I have a lot to learn, so I just don't want to go jumping sports and doing doing more and trying to do more when there's a ceiling. Not even close to me. So it's I'm going to stick to it. I'm going to keep going, go to as many events as I can.
Maybe someday if I get myself in a position where I can join some of the the Midwest, the East Coast, whatever you want to call them, events, that would be great. But right now, I'm just going to stick to the West Coast stuff and see see where it goes.
[00:29:28.760] - Big Rich Klein
Excellent. Excellent. Anything that that you want to talk about that we haven't talked about or have you have you tried getting to the point where you can get marketing partners on board? Have you looked for four, quote unquote, sponsors or marketing partners yet?
[00:29:46.610] - Jason Childs
I haven't. I joke about it a lot. Like I'm kind of split. So I've kind of been in that arena in other sports. And I've talked to some guys that are in that in this sport now and. Luckily, I'm in a spot where I can make it to every event and still pay for it myself. I'm not saying it's easy, but it's one of those where but at the same time, I have the freedom. So it's like and I always hear we'll just be careful to do this.
Watch out for everybody is always on the. It's great if you can find the right one. So I'm kind of in that spot. Where am I opposed to know? Am I out there searching for it no kind of thing? So it's it's just one of those where. I'm not opposed to it, but it's not the top of my list like I know. Again, I knew I'd rather go out and have a good time and focus on driving and focus on, you know, possibly podiuming, kind of thing and maybe putting some pressure on the guys up there and.Just having fun. I don't know.
[00:30:56.550] - Big Rich Klein
Do you feel like you're starting to pick up the strategy because there's a lot more to it than just driving from the start gates to the finish gates and trying not to hit cones?
[00:31:07.440] - Jason Childs
Oh, yeah. That was the I'll tell you what, the first time we went through stuff, I was like, let's do that. Oh, let's do that. Let's try that. I want to do that. I'd spend eight minutes on one obstacle because that looked fun. That's a trail wheeler coming to a competition right there. And so it's that was the toughest thing.
Time management or the strategy piece of it is, you know, we've we've developed our own way of looking at stuff. OK, well, here's option A, B, whatever we want to do from if we make this gate, if we don't if we end up over here, what's our what's our angle over here? If we're not to this area by four minutes, let's do this or whatever it might be. Every course is a little different, but we still aren't even close to some of the other guys, like watching some of the stuff that they do.
And again, it comes with experience. And that's where I'm lacking because I am new. So it's it's one of those where we come up with our game plan. I would say nine times out of ten. We stick to all of it because we don't want to we don't want to see something else and go, oh, crap, let's change everything. Like as I'm getting in the car, like, that's just not good for either one of us.
But there are things that we see after the fact. And we're like, that was really smart because this is why he did that, or this is what they did kind of things. And we're just learning that's the whole thing is I think that's what makes it fun is there's still so much to learn. And and it's funny because I hear stories all the time. Oh, we did that in '06 we did that. And I'm like, I've never done that kind of thing or I've never tried that.
And it's just understanding things for the first time. It may be second nature to somebody, but to me it's not. And to go out and have fun and learn that it's great, I have a great time. As much as I may yell and probably scream and get frustrated thirty seconds later, I'm usually like, sweet. This is fun. It's just it's that emotion.
Like for that split second,
[00:33:08.430] - Big Rich Klein
I think you'll have fun with the next upcoming event for the West Coast because of this covid, of course, we had to eliminate sand hollow and then move Donner. We weren't sure if California was going to open up and allow us to use it. And I didn't want to make I didn't want to make that change two weeks before the event. So Cedar City said, come on out and everybody seems to really enjoy Cedar.
I'm going to open it up and use some terrain that we haven't used in the past or haven't used in a long time, I should say. So that that time when somebody goes especially that Donner, oh, we use that in 06 or we did this. We did that. You know, there's only so many lines you can do in a place, but you may have the same rock that you're on. But the cone placement really does make it a lot different.
And those those guys, Cody, will tell you that Jesse will tell you that it's like in the shootout there in Bagdad. When Cody was trying to get that last bonus on gate four, yeah, and he ended up rolling it and he was like, man, you don't ever have to put that gate in again, that that spot. And I said, why? It was the same as last year. And he goes, no, it was like 18 inches over.
I'm like, yeah, you're right. And you just said 18 inches made a huge difference.
[00:34:37.440] - Jason Childs
I was so looking forward to that was the only gate I wanted to run. And I made a stupid driving mistake and broke after gate two. But it was one of those where I was just happy to be close kind of thing, but I had a great time with that. But I have to say, that was the I almost was like, just leave it up, let me drive it. But obviously with three wheels, it wasn't going to work and three wheels would not have been good up there.
Well, that's what I asked. What I was still on the course. I said, is it just the hub? Is it or is it just the cage if it's still around? I said I'll try it in three. And they were just like, no, don't. It's just drive off the course. And I was like, fine.
So that's when I made the decision that it was probably the smart decision to drive off the course. Exactly.
[00:35:21.360] - Big Rich Klein
You know, getting getting into the shootout is a big step, you know, in in any in any of our competition. So congratulations on doing that. Anything else you want to discuss that you haven't discussed? I liked your perspective on why you jumped into the pro unlimited class instead of going into sportsman first. I understand why guys go into sportsmen. I'm always really surprised we get somebody that comes out for the first time and jumps right into an unlimited.
I had a couple of guys in Bagdad that first looked at the courses and like, well, I'm a sportsman. A, does that mean I get to run the big courses? I said, no, you have to you have to run unlimited get on those big courses. And they they made the decision not to, which was probably good, not that they couldn't drive it. I mean, they're used to driving the big stuff in Arizona and Utah and everywhere else.
They wheel. But it is a lot different when you put cones in a crowd out there than than it is trail wheeling when you get to pick your own line.
[00:36:22.770] - Jason Childs
Yeah, I agree with that. You know, it's one of those where I never been in front of a crowd. I've never been in front of any type of that. And then now you're going to put a time limit, cones, points, someone yelling cone. Well, I'm in there going, what's the help like? How did I think that? And I had to stop to not focus on what I just did and just keep moving forward and keep focusing.
And I don't feel like I would have had that pressure on myself, whether it's good or bad pressure in sportsmen, maybe I would have. Maybe I would. I just don't know. But to me. To learn from the best, to see the best, compete against the best. That's fun to me. Like you kind of remind me of skydiving, like that was there's very, very similar things that this is that was one of the only sports I'd ever experienced where I had a couple hundred jumps, but I was up competing against the best in the world.
It's because they they didn't care. It was just one of those where if you wanted to enter, if you met the requirements, you're good to go. So it was just that's just what it's always been. So it's to come over here and see this. And it was just like, sure, you can go straight to unlimited.
We don't recommend it. Sure, why not? What's the worst that could happen?
[00:37:42.320] - Big Rich Klein
OK, so help me out here. I did not know that. That skydiving was a competitive thing, except that you want to make sure you get to the ground with your chute open. I knew that they have like landing contests where you could try to hit the mark, you know, kind of like shooting for the bull's eye in darts. Is there some other aspect to it that I that I don't know about?
[00:38:06.350] - Jason Childs
Oh, yeah. They have competitions all over. Nationals is actually held in Eloy, Arizona, state of Arizona, and they have. I mean, so there's different formations, so you can have four way, so there's four people on a team plus a videographer, and they do a random draw of what they call a dive pool. So there's so many I don't know what it's up to now. I think it was like 18 different formations, four letters. So letters and numbers.
And they reach in and they randomly draw these and they give them to you the night before for that day. And you can go through for the next day's jumps and it's everybody goes out and does the same jump and it's the highest score. So you have to do it cleanly and by a certain time frame. So they bring you up a certain altitude and then you fall down to usually I think it's forty five seconds, which is 15 seconds longer than a normal skydive.
So you have plenty of time to get separation and then they add up the point and at the end the average home and the the highest average wins and they have what is it, intermediate, advanced and open. So those are all the levels. So you can do whatever you want as far as that. But then there's also eight way, 10 way. There's 16. There's then there's vertical. So basically head down or they call it free flying.
And you can do the same thing with two a four way, eight way kind of thing. They have all these different styles and some people compete multiple. Some people specialize. And but again, as long as you have two hundred skydives, you meet your safety requirements. You could join whatever you want and do whatever you want so you can compete against somebody with twenty five thousand skydives that does this for a living kind of thing.
[00:39:45.450] - Big Rich Klein
So, wow, that's not something I would do. First of all, I never really want to jump out of a of a perfectly good airplane that my time window to try that past. You know, years ago the when I had a kind of a death wish and then, you know, I've had a couple of friends pass away in smaller planes. So I'm not a real big fan of, you know, anything less than like a jet liner.
And so getting in. And if I got into a jetliner and they handed me a parachute, I'd probably turn around and go back out.
[00:40:24.900] - Jason Childs
I'll tell you what, that's the best stories ever right there, because when you travel, you keep your gear with you and because you can pass them through TSA and everything. And a lot of times we'll put them in these special they're called rigs. sleeves or a bag just because you don't want people to ask questions. But there's some times where you just don't have anything. So you just put out your back and walk in and you're in line and someone's like, this is a parachute.
Yeah. And they're like, why do you have that? Or you upgraded to first class. This is what I chose. You just start messing with people. It's you get so many questions. It's it's kind of it's kind of funny. But usually you try to conceal it because there actually are people that do when they see it, they're like, huh, why does he have that kind of thing?
So I'm just one of those. Maybe I need one. Yeah, it's it's like, wait a minute. Where did you get that?
Yeah. If I ever see one of those pilots that's like transferring from one spot to go get into another plane somewhere else. And if I ever see one of those guys carrying a parachute, I am definitely up.
Get that jetway back over here.
I don't even want to go downstairs and pull
[00:41:33.780] - Jason Childs
back in, I think. But even the 90s, Paris Valley and Southern California used to be able to jump out at seven thirty seven. They had a really I think it was at seven thirty seven. They had the rear exit where they could drop the cargo door, but from the cabin. So and it was just like getting sucked out of a vacuum. You just watched people disappear because they can't like they're slowing down.
It's basically stall to let people out. And it's just it's still way higher than you're used to in some of your other planes. It's kind of funny. So kind of like that.
The guy that that hijacked the airplane up in Washington or wherever it was that in Washington, they still DB Cooper.
There you go there. Every skydiver knows that story.
[00:42:19.620] - Big Rich Klein
There you go. Well, Jason, thank you very much for coming on and sharing your insights with us. Is there somebody that you want to see interviewed at some point? I've got a list of one hundred seventy four names right now. I'm going to be doing these for at least like three years now at least. I've already got like twenty five, twenty six interviews in and we've only released four. Is there anybody out there that you particularly would want to hear from about the history of rock crawling or four wheel drive off road trail wheeling or anything like that?
[00:42:58.550] - Jason Childs
I don't know if you have on your list, man, you probably have them on the list already. It's kind of funny because I've heard a lot from Jesse honestly, just from being over there asking questions about and it was kind of funny listening to you tell the story and just kind of comparing back and forth. Everybody's got their own viewpoint on different things. So it was kind of funny there because it was all new to me. I don't know as far as that.
I think a fun one would be Tacoma. I think I think listening to Tacoma would be pretty funny interviewing him, but I think just because he sees it from a different perspective, I know he's been part of it. I know he's wheeled in. But I think as of late, he sees it from a completely different perspective than than any competitor does kind of thing, which plus he gets the crowd and other stuff to battle. I think that would be interesting because I know he's been around for a little bit.
[00:43:52.310] - Big Rich Klein
And that's a good perspective because I don't have Tacoma on the list for this man out of one hundred.
[00:43:58.540] - Jason Childs
And I found somebody that was found something that wasn't on the list already.
[00:44:04.000] - Big Rich Klein
That's that's pretty good. All right. Well, thank you for taking the time. And we will see you hopefully in Cedar City. I don't know when this is going to air. So people might have said, hey, did you ever see him in Cedar City? But it is what it is. And thank you, Jason, for coming on board and spending some time with us.
Thank you very much. But bye. If you enjoy these podcasts, please give us a rating, share some feedback with us via Facebook or Instagram and share our link among your friends who might be like minded. Well, that brings this episode to an end. You enjoyed it. We'll catch you next week with conversations with Big Rich. Thank you very much.