The opening credits of “Gymkhana 2022: Vacation Shred” introduce the high-octane stunt driving film’s set as the “Home of the Florida Man.”

The 10 minutes of vehicular insanity that follow live up to that name.

Eleven months after world-renowned stunt driver and motorsports legend Travis Pastrana first visited the Keys to film shots for the viral motorsports movie, Hoonigan Industries premiered the final cut of the newest Gymkhana film on Dec. 6. 

The 12th installment in the wildly popular series, begun by professional rally racer Ken Block in 2008, opens with Pastrana’s highly-publicized base jumping accident in Fort Lauderdale in January. Just days after leaving the Keys for his first set of shoots, the action sports aficionado suffered multiple pelvic and vertebral fractures that delayed the film’s final days on scene in the Florida Keys.

From there, cameras, drones and helicopters follow Pastrana’s journey through the streets of Fort Lauderdale and several well-known Keys locations in a heavily modified 862-horsepower 1983 Subaru GL wagon known as the “Family Huckster.” 

With a top speed of about 165 mph, the retro wagon is equipped with “active aero” flaps that move and allow the driver to adjust the car’s flight in midair – a feature that’s put to good use as Pastrana takes flight over not one, but two Keys bridges in Marathon and Sugarloaf Key.

Other stunts include donuts around a monster truck standing on its front two wheels, tandem donuts with a helicopter, a race with a jet along the Seven Mile Bridge and a 100-foot skim across a 6-foot-deep pond. 

“Gymkhana 2022 is the wildest film I have done on four wheels. Period,” said Pastrana. 

Multiple extreme drifts throughout neighborhoods in South Florida and Tavernier bring the Huckster’s rear bumper within inches of smashing into guard rails and other obstacles, something Pastrana said was made possible by the car’s shorter wheelbase in comparison to his last Gymkhana vehicle – a more modern (looking) Subaru STI.

“Travis stepped up big time for this film, really improving his driving style and proximity control,” said Gymkhana director and Hoonigan co-founder Brian Scotto. “But what makes Gymkhana 2022 stand apart is Travis’ flat-out, just-ain’t-care approach that created some truly unforgettable, and downright sketchy, moments.”

“For me, to have fun, I’ve gotta be just absolutely sending it,” Pastrana told Keys Weekly in July. 

One of the “downright sketchy” moments, a jump over the gap in the decommissioned Boot Key Harbor bridge with a helicopter hovering below, became a subject of contention when the Marathon City Council initially denied the event permit in January. 

Revisiting the subject in June, the council eventually approved the jump with a 3-2 vote – as long as Hoonigan could satisfy an extensive to-do list including, among other items, a load test on the landing side of the decommissioned bridge, inclusion of the city in the company’s $10 million insurance policy, and an operational plan with a contract in place to immediately remove debris dislodged by the jump from the waterway. In addition, the city received a $30,000 donation from production company People First Media to be used for youth programs.

“The Gymkhana series is the most viewed motorsport film on the internet,” producer David Wells told the council in June. “The true hero is the location and its community. … The film is a postcard of the city, one that will be seen by millions.”

Within 24 hours of its debut, the film had amassed nearly 2.3 million views.

Helicopters, monster trucks, fighter jets, modified jet skis and unmistakable Florida Keys scenery – it’s all on the table in Travis Pastrana’s ‘Gymkhana 2022.’ HOONIGAN INDUSTRIES/Contributed

Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.