A ride on the wild side

Excitement among these Saudi men was at full tilt on Sunday as a group performed a stunt known as "sidewall skiing" - or driving a vehicle on two wheels - in Tabuk, in the north-western part of the kingdom.

And capturing the action was another adrenaline junkie, who had no qualms about lying on the road to take a selfie, even as the four-wheeler whizzed by.

To lift a vehicle onto its side, performers either rely on a ramp or turn the car very sharply.

Once the vehicle is balanced on two wheels, the driver has to keep the moving car upright. And if that is not extreme enough, the stunt often involves performers hanging out of car windows - with some even high-fiving spectators on the kerb.

The sport has become a popular subculture among Saudi youth, despite the dangers involved, and the stiff penalties imposed by the authorities. Popular social media sites host thousands of videos of these stunts, with some drivers attracting a mass following.

But others have not been as impressed, after hearing of drivers getting killed when such stunts go wrong. Many have voiced their concern over how this poses a danger to pedestrians and other drivers on the road.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 13, 2018, with the headline 'A ride on the wild side'. Print Edition | Subscribe