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So, Apparently It's Cool to Hang Out of Moving, Tilted Cars in Saudi Arabia Now

With long, desert roads and a robust car culture, Saudi Arabia's stunt-loving drivers are well-documented and famously insane. But things like drifting, or "Hagwalah," the more dangerous Saudi version which involves using cars with front instead of back wheel drives, can only keep people busy for so long.

"Sidewall Skiing" is what's hot right now. The stunt involves incredibly good drivers balancing a moving car on one side (usually by driving one pair of wheels up on a ramp) while the passengers get out on the other. Once up on two wheels, the driver keeps the car balanced by steering. Sometimes the human cargo on board change some tires in the process.

If you're having a hard time imagining just how this looks, Reuters photographer Mohamed Al Hwaity recently snapped a few shots of "Sidwall Skiing" in action:

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as "sidewall skiing" (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia March 30, 2013. (REUTERS/Mohamed Al Hwaity)

High five!(REUTERS/Mohamed Al Hwaity) 

(REUTERS/Mohamed Al Hwaity) 

The Guardian has taken note as well, sending a video team to capture sidewall skiiers in action. One of the drivers claims "it's not dangerous," adding that "with the public present and safety measures in place, everything is fine." Yeah, okay:

Skiing has been around as a stunt performed on various TV shows and movies for a long time. But it doesn't normally include passengers hanging out the elevated side of the car. 

While we'll never condone such activities, we must admit MIA's music video for "Bad Girls" makes the whole thing a little more seductive. Just not nearly enough to think it's worth trying:

Congrats, Saudi Arabia. You've managed to make the guy sitting on the hood of a moving car, a fleet of drifters chasing away a cop, and the dudes shooting rifles out a vehicle while drifting look almost tame.

Keywords: Saudi Arabia, Driving, Cars

Mark Byrnes is an associate editor at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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