In other words, he sent it too hard

An absolutely gnarly jump turned from epic to nightmare earlier this weekend (Jan, 16,2021) when Sand Buggy enthusiast Chris Vaca (who goes by @Vacadelic on Instagram) turned up the wick, and launched his UTV off the Glamis Swing Set jump, a feat he’s done, apparently, several times before.

According to commenters in the video below, Vaca overshot the landing by just a hair, causing that much more energy to compress and collapse his suspension, sending all that energy from the springs to the frame and ultimately into Vaca himself.

Check out the video for yourself below.

And here’s video of Vaca performing a similar jump just a few weeks ago before the year kicked off.

If you didn’t already know, Glamis is an area of desert near Brawly, Calif, just a hop, skip, and jump away from the Mexican border. With the natural desert environment full of huge sandy dunes, it’s a mecca for off-road enthusiasts to test their mettle against mother nature. People have been going to Glamis for decades.

According to a piece by the NY Times back in 1999 on this special place,

Too many off-roaders believe that falling in the dunes will be like landing in several feet of new snow. Instead, the sand might as well be marble. When people fall, lips split, arms and legs break, ribs snap and skulls crack. Each year, several people die, and several hundred others are seriously injured on the dunes. 

That’s unfortunately what happened here. Vaca took to Instagram to thank his supporters and inform them what happened, mainly that he broke two broken vertebrae and has a lot of recovery in the near future.

Off-roading at these high-speeds introduces that much more energy into the equation that regular off-roaders rarely venture into. Even with the most sophisticated suspension setup, roll cage, and protective gear, physics can be a mother.

Stay safe out there, off-roaders. Know your limits and consider turning it down a notch before you really send it.

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