BJ Baldwin’s fourth installment of his popular offroad truck stunt video series “Recoil” dropped last week, and as of publication of this story, it’s already garnered nearly 1.5 million views on YouTube.
But what Block does in a rally car, Baldwin is doing in a trophy truck that weighs more than twice Block’s rally car — and he’s jumping over people, off giant ledges in cities and doing it all at top speed.
“I wanted to shoot like a 15-second video of me jumping this natural jump in the desert with my truck,” Baldwin told GrindTV. “I needed a good camera, so I asked Monster for enough to rent a RED and they said yes.”
“Later that night I talked to my buddy who’s a video guy and he said, ‘We need to make a bigger ask and make the project you’ve always wanted to do.’ Because I always wanted to do a spin-off of ‘Gymkhana’,” Baldwin continued. “So I went back the next day and asked for $50,000 and they said yeah ‘Sure, let’s do it.'”
With “Recoil 4” heading to Cuba for one of the first major American productions to go down in the country in decades, we decided to get Baldwin’s look at each of the four “Recoils” and what they all mean to him.
“Recoil 1” – Mojave Desert to Las Vegas (2013)
“The concept for ‘Recoil 1’ was fairly simple. It was a lot driving in the desert and little to no driving in the city, other than pulling up to the valet.
“[When you’re jumping over someone] they’re a little scared, but they don’t get really super scared until I’m over top because the truck is crazy, crazy loud when it’s up over top. But Janey Bolina was the only person that was truly truly brave. She didn’t really care. [The jump] was a long ways, she was right in the middle of the height of the jump.”
“Recoil 2” – Ensenada, Mexico (2014)
“The thing we tried to do with ‘Recoil 2’ was communicate to the viewer how capable our suspension is. In order for us to do that, we had to put the truck places people have taken them been before. Like staircases, big ledges, loading docks and stuff of that nature so that they can relate to it.
“That was the next step: putting the truck in an environment that they could relate to. Because my favorite part about Recoil is being able to translate how well our vehicle performs and how impressive it is to somebody that is never going to come to an offroad race.”
Recoil 3 – Pacific Northwest (2015)
“‘Recoil 3’ in Tacoma was kind of a blend of the previous two. A little bit in the forest, which nobody had ever seen a desert race truck in the forest before. And then a little bit in the city. We are constantly thinking of places we’d like to film, and not all of them are realistic.
“I’d like to go film in Russia, film in places in the Middle East, Hawaii would be cool, Costa Rica. Places like that that are really unique surface and terrain and we still have urban obstacles that we can do stunts on.”
“Recoil 4” – Cuba (2017)
“With ‘Recoil 4,’ we just wanted to do something that’s never been done before. It was the most difficult ‘Recoil’ to film. There’s a lot of red tape to cut through in Cuba. We had to fight for locations for several months.
“The first couple days were difficult and then they just became increasingly difficult with each day. We kept getting shut down by police — every single day that we filmed in Cuba we got shut down by police. It’s Cuba so you don’t want to challenge them too much or they’ll destroy your footage or just put you in jail. And I have zero interest in that.”