KOH For Beginners: What Can I Expect?

King Of The Hammers is quite the event, and even for myself, it was my first year attending. It was greater than I could have ever imagined. At PRP, we partnered with Draco Motorsports for their 2020 season, and we asked them to provide some information for those looking to attend KOH for their very first time! (Like myself)

What is King Of The Hammers, you ask? The King of the Hammers is a mecca for off-road enthusiasts. It brings desert-racers, rock-crawlers, and over-landers alike to the Johnson Valley lakebed in southern California. Individuals make the trek from all corners of the country to test their rigs as well as watch the attempts of others. The magnitude of this event, approximately 400 teams, and 60,000 spectators is unmatched by anything else. Words can’t exactly describe the magnificence of this attendance- it does transform this portion of uninhabited California into a small city.

Are you curious now? Should you attend? Absolutely! The King of the Hammers is a massive venue for new products, technology, and extreme entertainment. At the 2020 event, for instance, Polaris, Honda, Kawasaki, and even Ford Motors displayed entirely new vehicle models. Test rides were commonplace items and available to anybody with a driver’s license! This is also an incredible opportunity to determine if ‘off-roading’ is a hobby for you. While you’re here, be sure to swing by vendor booths for free apparel and advice on the best products around.

What can you expect? Loud engines, massive tires, and lots of carnage! Over the King of the Hammers week, several vehicle classes take to the track: the UTVs, the EMC Challenge (4500, 4600, and 4800 class vehicles), the 4400 unlimited trucks, and the dirt bikes! Each competitor has approximately 9 hours to complete the entire course- 143 miles for UTVs/EMC cars and 212 miles for 4400 trucks. The first lap is a massive desert loop, while the second lap consists of the hardest rock obstacles in the country. Several incredible viewing areas and helicopter-enabled live streaming exist for spectator convenience. Many spectators will bring their own UTVs or trucks to visit each viewing area: however, 7 jumbotron screens are strategically placed to optimize race coverage for all.

Below are the tips and tricks from the King Of The Hammers experts on what you’d need to bring and be aware of before you step foot onto the lake bed.

  1. Sunblock! Often times, people are fooled by the cooler temperatures, but the sun is unrelenting no matter how hot.
  2. Tie-Downs are often overlooked, but if you have anything that may fly away during a wind storm, secure it down! I know a guy that sells some! Here
  3. Water! RVs can only hold so much, and having potable drinking water is, you know, essential to surviving. Make sure to bring an extra pack or two of water when you head out to KOH.
  4. Radios are crucial to ensure you can talk to your loved ones and friends. Cell phone service is minimal out on the lakebed for all companies, but especially if you have AT&T.
  5. Warm Attire is a MUST! The event is a week-long, and the weather can change quickly. You can never be too cautious with extra jackets around the RV.
  6. Expect to bring extra gas when visiting KOH, as the roads can be very slow since it can be crowded if you want to prevent having to drive into town for some.
  7. Food! You know you can’t survive without enough food, so make sure you’re prepared for the whole duration you plan to be there. If you do decide to use the concessions stands out on the lakebed, be prepared to pay a premium price.
  8. Last but certainly not least, cash, green, bread, dough, paper, or whatever you call it, it’s vital to surviving KOH! Bringing cash is pivotal for purchasing goods from vendors, race teams, and concessions, as some may not be accepting cards.