The Rush Off-Road Hill Climb is an extreme motor sport event that’s designed for off-road vehicle drivers. During this event, drivers compete with each other to get through (or drive into) various boulder-ridden roads. Hot off the press from Rush, Kentucky, is that a 16-year-old girl named Sydney Rockwell not only competed in a recent Rush Off-Road Climb, but she also took home the win!
While the news of Sydney Rockwell beating out her much older and more experienced competition in the extreme sport is shocking, what is most fascinating about the story is the sport itself. Rock bouncing is probably one of the most alarmingly dangerous sports out there—yet as automotive fanatics, we can’t help but have an intense fascination with it and the vehicles these drivers use.
If you’re an auto-lover, a mechanic or an aspiring automotive service technician, you’ve probably already heard of this trending YouTube sensation. However, if it has managed to get past your auto-radar, you’ll definitely want to keep reading to learn all about rock bouncing, rock bouncers and the brave souls that take part in this dangerous extreme off-roading sport.
What Exactly is Rock Bouncing?
Rock bouncing is a term that’s used to describe the act of going off-road and driving across a series of boulder-enriched trails. What started out as someone’s dangerous hobby approximately two years ago has since become a YouTube-famous movement.
Rock bouncing is all about huge intimidating tires, the reaching of crazy horsepower levels, and of course, tons of persistence from the brave drivers who refuse to stop until their rock bouncer vehicle has finally reached its limit and has broken.
Here’s the original video that has popularized the sport. In it, you’ll get a glimpse of the rock bouncer vehicle in action, as well as a sense of what this trend is really all about:
The Auto Mechanics of Rock Bouncers
Individuals pursuing auto careers might be interested in taking a closer look at what goes into actually making a rock bouncer—the custom made four wheel drive buggy that can do virtually anything off-road.
Generally, a rock bouncer is made from a variety of hardened steel bars that have been bent to fit some very specific criteria. The steel bars are purposely angled to provide strength, rigidity, safety, protection, and of course a very sleek and eye-catching look. Students enrolled in mechanic programs likely understand that while every rock bouncer is similar in look and style, each is actually quite unique, as they are made to suit their drivers. While some drivers prefer a longer or lower body, others like their rock bouncers to be much shorter in length to allow for quick and easy manoeuvrability.
Most rock bouncers are powered by GM crate motors combined with custom transmissions and transfer cases, and these vehicles generally boast approximately 650 to 750hp. The buggies normally consist of a single spring coil over with a piggy back reservoir suspension, which is quite important as it allows the vehicle to absorb the hard hits it will likely encounter on a rocky trail. The tires that sit beneath a rock bouncer can vary, as these are chosen based on the driver’s preference. While some feature massive ones, other rock bouncers work just as well with smaller tires (which are still very big in comparison to the average car).
Would you be interested in building a rock bouncer once you earn your auto mechanic diploma?