Before most accidents there is that last moment when you’re skirting the edge, floating over the precipice, one step ahead of calamity, and then that moment disappears like Kate Hudson’s film career. This is the nature of life. What was once fine and fun is now disaster. Time moves quick like a lawyer’s tongue. Of course, this is often hard to remember when you’re in the middle of a beautiful day.
Like, let’s say, you’re racing along in your BMW M3, chasing another sports car, both of you feet from the edge of a cliff-face road, driving on a strip of highway carved out of the side of a mountain. In that moment, you feel the wind of speed whipping past your open window, you hear the roar of the engine pounding the air against your eardrums, and that distinctive sound of the rubber meeting the road as it sings its song of traction. All of these wonderful sensations will combine to provide you that exhilarating feeling of splitting the air with a sports car. It’s joyful.
A great paradox of joy: you will feel totally in control and totally free at the same time.
…And then, suddenly, you don’t feel any of that. You just feel gravity doing mean things to you. This guy knows what I mean.
1. Man Finds Out the Hard Way that He Is Not James Bond
If you wanna drive like a badass, the most important thing to remember is: you want to be casually in control. Not too tense, not too loose. A zen monk behind the wheel. You and the car and the road should be flowing together through curves and over elevations. You want to feel totally relaxed. Just not this relaxed…
Why do we like to watch things and people crash?
It’s something the Germans call schadenfreude, or “taking pleasure from watching things go badly for someone else.” In traffic, we rubberneck. At work and school, we gossip. In movies and tv, we live for secondhand embarrassment of characters. What the fuck is wrong with us? Nothing. Nothing’s wrong with us. It’s perfectly natural and healthy to wanna treat life like a NASCAR race. It’s how we learn. And it’s gotten us this far.
2. Hey, On-coming Car, Way to Be a Total Buzzkill!
“I was going round the corner and I was going wider and wider and wider. When I saw the first bit of the car I knew I was in trouble.”
Just like this British lad, Jack Sanderson, I like to go fast. Often, those of us who love speed, in our haste, we make frightfully bad decisions. Well, dear readers, don’t miss the opportunity to learn from our arrogance.
Savor the schadenfreude.
“It was either hit them and possibly kill them or swerve off the ridge possibly killing myself. It is amazing how much time you actually have in those situations, or how slow time goes by.”
For the first two minutes of the video, you can see that he’s just itching to pass the two bikers in front of him. And then you see what it looks like when our man, Jack, gets his wish and he can finally race along as fast as he wants.
I am Jack’s burning desire to meet barbed wire.
3. Watch My Son Crash His Motorcycle!
That title says it all. This is a lesson in parenting, one way or another. After the boy rides along with traffic for awhile, the kid revvs his throttle and the bike sorta shoots out from underneath him and leaves the poor kid in mid-air like Wile E. Coyote, while his motorbike does an impression of the Roadrunner and disappears down the country road. Check out how far his bike slides down the road after he bails. Thanks for posting it, Dad!
4. Sewer Surfing With Poopsies
What is sewer surfing? I’m glad you asked. It’s everything you’re afraid it is. A guy in a helmet, appropriately emblazoned with Red Bull stickers, hops on a surfboard and surfs down a steep cement sewer spillway. Sewer surfing safari! There’s some cool surfing and wipe-outs at the beginning of the video, but if you’re all about the sewer surfing, then you skip ahead and enjoy the stupidity of what surfers do when there are no waves. At 5:00 in, our reckless hero drops-in. And then he slides forever … and a day!
5. Did Someone Say Kite-surfer Disaster?
Here is the answer to the question many people ask when they first hear of kite-surfing. What happens when the wind suddenly changes direction?
This incident took place at a lake beach. I have a hard time calling the water’s edge of a lake, a beach, but that’s what the locals call it, so be it. At this “beach” a kite-surfer makes it look like the most difficult sport ever invented. The apparently angry wind uses the kite-surfer to do a one-person marionette show. And then, eventually, gets bored of that and makes the kite-surfer come in to shore like a wrecking ball. (It gets pretty redundant after a 1:30)
6. Motorcycle Crashes Between Two Big Rig Trucks
Again, the title says it all. Don’t worry, you can enjoy this one. It’s not bloody. I didn’t pick any clips where heads come off or the road gets painted red with blood. That’s not cool. No one wants to see anyone seriously get hurt. These are people after all.
“Shit, shit, shit…”
7. But These Crash Compilations … I Don’t Recommend You Watch These
There are plenty of crash compilation videos online, which is just further proof of our love of watching wipeouts. But a lot of crash compilations are highlight reels of horrific crashes. People get hurt. People die. I don’t recommend watching any of these if you are easily affected by the sight of a person reduced to a human meat-bag.
One of the worst crashes I have ever seen is at :33
If anything ever makes you think twice about a motorcycle it’s a video like this.
This one has the sort of title that compels you to watch out of sheer scientific curiosity:
Dude Hits A Deer With A Motorcycle at 85 mph
The dude’s just leaning into a turn at roughly 85 mph and outta nowhere Bambi’s uncle takes a walk out into traffic. I hope that guy isn’t the sort of a person who hates surprises.
“You’re lucky you’re not fucking dead, man. You cut him in half.”
8. The Badass 1%
There is a race called “The Erzberg Rodeo” and it’s for motocross bikes and riders. It’s crazy. I know you hear that a lot; everyone hypes everything, but I’ve got nothing to sell you. This shit is crazy.
In this GoPro footage, we splash across a shallow quarry reservoir, then roar up a massive incline of ore. We pass racers fallen to the ground like Viking dead — their bikes angrily whining, the wheels still spinning, and the rider lying on his side. Our rider summits, barely. A tiny victory. Then he’s back to racing until he takes the road less traveled and it makes all the difference. You can really hear our racer scream as he goes over the edge.
9. “I Hit My Head But I Think I’m Okay”
The guy behind the wheel looks like a cop. I don’t know if he is a cop or not, I’m just saying he looks like one. Whatever. So dude takes his girl for a ride in his Polaris RZR 900, which is basically a nice way of saying a golf cart had a baby with a dune buggy. This pretend-a-cop pilots it like a good ol’ boy; (at about :23 secs in) you’ll notice he checks his shirt for god knows what reason. This mistake is the beginning of the end of their fun drive. I feel badly for her head. When the dude rolls his bastard buggy about eighteen times, her brain bucket gets tossed around like a running shoe in a dryer.
10. Skier Falls Off the Side of The Alps
Two skiers wait at the pinnacle point of a mountain peak. There’s barely enough room for them to monkey around, but boys being boys, they do. However, this isn’t their doom. Instead, it’s carelessness. The skier snaps on one ski. He clears snow from the binding of the second ski and is about to snap down his boot when he completely forgets about Newtonian physics. Every action requires an equal and opposite reaction. He pushes in one direction and… then he tries to re-invent skiing using his face, head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes … all the way down the mountain. It’s brutal but not bloody.
11. This Man Rides on Tires of Air on a Rocky Ridgeline … Inches From Death
For like 4 1/2 minutes, this dude is killing it, riding rough and tough, as the video title clearly indicates, “Inches From Death.” It’s worth watching just to see the dude’s sick-ass ride. And then, right towards the end, he loses his cool and after executing this dirty descent, making flawless decision after flawless decision, he bails hard and gravity brings him home to mama earth’s loving embrace. Face-first.
12. Red Bull Rampage Top 5 Downhill MTBike Crashes
These aren’t GoPro shots but all the slow-mo is super-nice. It’s a fine collection of some sweet bails filmed in those unforgiving red hills near Moab.
13. Lucky Number 13! …Let’s Go Tubing!
For our last clip, this one’s to remind you: Be not afraid of bailing.
This a bunch of GoPro footage that’ll help get you in the mood for summer. For nearly five minutes you’re behind a boat, tubing on a lake, and it’s all set to a dubstep soundtrack… because, why not?! Lean into this one and feel like you’re getting dragged across the skin of a lake on a warm summer day while (cheesy) big booty bass drops in your speakers.
We all crash. We all fall down. It’s best if you can learn from your bails and don’t fear your wipe-outs because crashing can also be totally fun! Trust me, I do it all the time!