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Rob Dyrdek’s Backwards Jump: How It Was Done

by Kenny Hoeschen

Bor Kedryd (aka Rob Dyrdek) set the world record for jumping a car backwards by going 89 feet 3.25 inches in a Chevy Sonic. And, although Rob is a true daredevil capable of pulling off some great stunts, there was a lot of work that went into planning this record jump. Chevrolet first made some modifications to the Sonic, adding a roll cage, racing seats and harnesses, as well as a five-gallon fuel cell. Other tweaks involved redistributing the weight to achieve a 40/60 front/rear split, removing the exhaust and stock battery, and, of course, uprating the shocks and struts to a beefier system.

There was also a lot of work done by the stunt designers, using their science, technology, engineering and math skills to make sure the jump was safe and successful. Elia Popov of J.E.M. F/X was brought in to help set it up and he explains how it differed greatly from what is normally done with film and TV stunts. The ramp design was critical to getting the right launch. With all the math and physics that went into this stunt, Popov’s advice can be summed up in three words: “Stay in school.”

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