Stunt driver

Craig Sobotker, Cape Town. Years on the job: 4. Image credit: Sean Woods
Date:31 October 2007 Tags:,

On Sobotker’s office wall, a photo sequence shows a minivan, with him at the wheel, rolling six times after a pipe-ramp jump.

He’s also flipped an 8-wheeled tank at 55 km/h for the upcoming movie Doomsday and handbrake-turned a bus across a road. When we caught him at his panelshop in Woodstock, near Cape Town, he was preparing to roll a Samil truck for a US TV series.

His petrolhead status was evident in his high school years, when he produced a kit car as an end-of-year project. He dabbled in stock and racing cars while running a body shop that handled cars, boats, helicopters – “and plastic balls I sprayed 6 000 in three days”. That led into prepping cars for commercials, movies and stunts.

Typical equipment used by a Stunt driver:
Body armour for:

(1) Lower arms

(2) Shoulders

(3) Knee and lower legs

(4) Chest

(5) Back

(6) Crash helmet

(7) Leatt Brace – Invented by South African doctor Chris Leatt, the brace prevents injury by restricting extreme ranges of movement.

(8) Heavy-duty biker boots – “These aren’t just for looks. Your lower limbs take a beating.”

(9) Custom-made pants – Looks like conventional biker leathers, but has extra padding for bony areas.