Earth & Conservation

Watch a Snowmobile Rider Land the World's First Double Backflip

Swedish snowmobile freestyler Daniel Bodin just made history on his custom-built machine.

It's basically a wall. That's all I could think. Swedish snowmobile freestyler Daniel Bodin had powered up his custom-built vehicle and was speeding toward a slightly curved kicker that looked exactly like a wall.

The 31-year-old shot off through the backwoods of Malung in Sweden, attempting to pull off an elusive snowmobile trick: two full backflip rotations. Just think about that for a moment. That's hard enough on skis, but this guy wanted to do it on a snowmobile weighing around 450 pounds.

He wasn't alone in the quest. Fellow freestylers Colten Moore and Heath Frisby, both American, were also working on it. And the Winter X Games - the perfect venue for landing the trick in front of fans, during competition - are coming up soon in Aspen.

The whole thing happened so fast. Bodin's snowmobile sounded like a chainsaw. He hit the kicker and then tucked into the flips right away, soaring 45 feet into the air, according to his sponsor, Red Bull. Then he landed on the backside of an enormous snow mound. Barely. Although the angle is super awkward, Bodin manages to right his snowmobile at the last second.

Realizing he's done it, all hell breaks loose. He jumps off his vehicle, swears enthusiastically in Swedish (some words really are universal) and gets hug-tackled by members of his team. "I have always felt that this trick was mine and I simply couldn't let anybody else beat me to it," he told Red Bull afterward.

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The other feats Bodin has done on a snowmobile make my palms sweat. In 2008, he set a world record for the longest snowmobile backflip at nearly 147 feet. Then, in early 2013, he sailed off a towering ski jump in Sweden with his snowmobile and landed nearly 230 feet away. Unsurprisingly, Bodin has also racked up multiple gold medals at the Winter X Games.

For the past two years Bodin has been focused on the double backflip. The idea of making the attempt during competition didn't appeal to him, so he and his team created a lower-pressure setup in the forest.

"I promised myself, I promised my girlfriend never to do it again," Bodin said on video after landing the jump. Then he gave a devilish smile and added, "But who knows."