Toyota Land Cruiser is Badass Even on Two Wheels

By - Toyota Sidewall Skiing

In Saudi Arabia, the J70 Toyota Land Cruiser is the perfect vehicle for ‘sidewall skiing.’

The Toyota Land Cruiser is a legendary vehicle, particularly off-road. You can do pretty much anything in it. Need to carry a bunch of friends with you on a trip? It’s got the room. Is there a stream or creek in your way? Run through it. Has the pavement ended and nature begun? Throw it into four-wheel drive. While you’re at it, use the Land Cruiser to crawl over some rocks just for fun. The Land Cruiser can take them. Here’s the catch: You’re supposed to do everything the Land Cruiser is capable of doing with all four of its tires touching the ground.

That didn’t stop these young men in Saudi Arabia from using only half of the J70 Land Cruiser’s rubber in a sort of sport called “sideway skiing.” It involves airing down the tires on one side of a vehicle with a high center of gravity – such as a 4WD SUV – to help it balance and using either a ramp or sharp turn to upset the stunt machine’s equilibrium. Then it’s up to the driver to keep the rig rolling down the road on only two tires (and their underwear spotless).

According to Daily Mail, “The first recorded sidewall skiing was in Denmark back in 1964, and since then, it has been used in a number of movies including Knight Rider, The Dukes of Hazzard, Transformers and in two James Bond films.”

As if sidewall skiing weren’t crazy enough already, participants can get even more of an adrenaline rush by crawling out one of the side windows while the vehicle is on two wheels and standing on the high side of the rig. You know – just in case risking a deadly rollover gets boring.

Photos via Daily Mail

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Derek also contributes to other outlets. He started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to get even more automotive content out to fellow enthusiasts.

He can be reached at [email protected]

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