Is the Traxxas Summit a rock crawler? It’s a simple enough question, and the answer is just as simple. It is not. The Traxxas Summit was released when rock crawling was solidly and essentially alone in the RC spotlight. That is certainly why so many people assume that the Summit is Traxxas’ entry into the crawler segment. Traxxas, however, has always dubbed the Summit as an “extreme terrain monster.” And, it is indeed a monster truck and not a single-purpose rock crawler. It can also take on some amazing terrain, so I’d say Traxxas’ one-liner is right on the money. Again, to be perfectly clear, Traxxas has never marketed the Summit as a rock crawler.
While I’m not a Traxxas fanboy or of any other brand, I do readily proclaim that I have a soft spot in my heart for the Summit. While I am first and foremost a racer, I am also a basher and a rock crawler. That is why I think the Summit is the cat’s…paw. The Summit is the best of both worlds. It has go-fast bashing covered and, with the flip of a couple of switches, it can crawl on the rocks. Oh my, did I just say it was a rock crawler? Depends how you define “rock crawler.” If you define a rock crawler as something that would be competitive at a rock crawling comp then no, it’s clearly not a crawler. If, however, you define a rock crawler as something that can crawl on rocks, it’s a rock crawler.
Now, as far as I can recall, I’ve never called the Summit a rock crawler. This is because I define a rock crawler as a vehicle that is specifically designed to crawl on rocks–and the Summit isn’t. As I previously described, it’s more of a hybrid. I think of it as a really versatile monster truck. That said, it can crawl. Will it win a comp? No, but so what? It can crawl. So, am I saying it is a crawler? No. Confused yet? Think of it this way. I can bake a cake…but that doesn’t make me a baker. And, conversely, just because I’m not a baker, it doesn’t mean I can’t bake. Ahhh!
So, is the Summit a rock crawler? No…or yes…or maybe a little bit. I’d suggest not worrying too much about what box it’s supposed to fit in. What it is is a pretty amazing off-roader. My point is to not think in black and white. It’s not about absolutes. One of favorite sayings is people who only think in absolutes are often absolutely wrong. My second point is that there is no need for “hardcore” crawlers to hate on the Traxxas Summit and that brings me to the last part of this commentary piece is for the haters. It’s titled: “Can Your Crawler do This?” In the name of good fun, I took my Summit LT (a Summit monster truck converted into a 2.2-esque machine) and put it through its paces to show its versatility. Will my Summit LT win a comp? This is the #1 and essentially only argument the haters have against the Summit and the answer is nope. But, it can do all of this…