New Year’s Eve is often a big night for extreme athletes: a time of the year for whipping out death-defying tricks that make viewers think, “Ah, I hope I never ever ever have to do anything like that.” As 2013 kicks off, we are thankful for the adrenaline-fueled stuntmen who have the guts to rise to the challenge before the clock strikes 12.
Here are some of the craziest, most impressive stunts ever performed at New Year’s.
Extreme Motorcycle Arc Jump
Have you ever ridden a motorcycle? If so, you know how difficult it is to do basically anything and how much practice it takes to become a safe, capable rider. One thing you probably haven’t done is powered that motorcycle up a huge ramp and then on to the top of an enormous arc. It’s hard to determine the most impressive part of the stunt above, but our money’s on the fact that the rider manages to land the motorcycle flat on top of the arc and not fall. That’s some hardcore precision and timing.
269-Foot Car Jump
One of the most tried-and-true types of stunts, particularly on New Year’s Eve, is to take a car, drive it really fast and then make it hurtle through the air as far as it can go. This is pulled off to a T in the video above with Travis Pastrana jumping 269 feet in a nicely souped-up vehicle. This kind of stunt actually looks pretty easy – just go as fast as you can before you hit the ramp, right? In fact, it is not that simple: jumping such a distance involves a huge amount of timing and calibration as to how you’re going to hit the ramp, what you’re going to do with the car in the air and how you’ll angle to land on the other side. Mistime any of this, and you could end up not making it or crashing on the other end.
412-Foot Snowmobile Jump
People often use the expression, “If you looked up ‘awesome’ in the dictionary, you’d see my face there,” or some variation of that. But let’s say you actually had to make a dictionary that used visual representations of words to explain them. Let’s say you had to explain the word awesome, but you couldn’t use any words or language to do it — you had to use a video. We’d highly reccommend you use the one above of a guy jumping a snowmobile 412 feet with a helicopter flying next to him. That would do pretty nicely.
Huge Motorcycle Ramp Jump
If you’re going to take a guy, put him on a motorcycle and make him jump between two impossibly-far-apart ramps, there’s only one way to do it. When he’s in the air, hoping for dear life that he calculated the jump correctly, you need to fill the sky with fire and light. Then, when he lands, he’ll feel even better about having just completed that horrifying, unbelievable stunt. Plus, the audience will think, “Wow – he just did something I can’t imagine myself or anyone I know doing, and he did it while a distracting explosion was happening all around him.” They will be very impressed.
2007 World Record Motorcycle Jump
At some point, as you continue to increase the distance crazy motorcyclists like Robbie Maddison jump, the audience eventually realizes that they’re basically watching superheroes. How else can you explain the type of constitution and mind you need to be able to stay calm and collected as you spend so much time in the air, suspended above absolutely nothing, clinging to your bike and waiting for the very difficult and precarious landing on the other side? To us, the most impressive part of these jumps isn’t the beginning, where they have to get off the ramp perfectly, or end, where they have to make sure the bike is exactly aligned – it’s the middle, when they’re hanging in the air, waiting to see what happens.