News Culture

H2Oi And The Stanced Movement Point To The Future Of Car Culture

Love it or hate it, this most ridiculed, least understood automotive sub-culture is arguably the most important.

Ever wonder how kids these days spend a weekend in Ocean City, Maryland? Prepare to be astounded or offended. The annual convergence that is H2Oi attracts thousands of “stanced” tuner cars every October and offers a clear look into one of the most ridiculed and least understood automotive sub-cultures.

To the uninitiated, stancing is an extreme form of car modifying that places all emphasis on aesthetics over performance—or even drivability. A properly stanced car is equipped with coilovers or air suspension slammed to its lowest height, massive wheels that fill in the fender well, and a lip kit to further exaggerate the low ride height. 

Stanced VW

Stanced VW

, Krispy Media 

To be clear, H2Oi is a VW/Audi car show and festival that is held at the Ft. Whaley Campground over a weekend. However, the number of enthusiasts that H2Oi attracted over the years has ballooned, and now, only a fraction of vehicles are actually there for the show – the rest just want to come to Ocean City and do hoodrat stuff with their friends. 

Jalopnik’s Raphael Orlove called H2Oi the most ticketed car show in America and he’s probably correct. OCPD reportedly conducted 1,222 traffic stops and impounded almost 40 vehicles that particular week, the majority of which were due to car modifications to suspension ride height and tire camber that violate Maryland laws.

Videographer Chris Petruccio, who goes by “Krispy,” has documented the mayhem going down at H2Oi every year since 2013. This weekend, Krispy shared a special extended cut of last year’s shenanigans, simply titled the “H2Oi 2016 Official After Movie.” At a feature length of nearly 50-minutes, it’s a pretty overwhelming piece of video. But what better way to showcase this overwhelming event?

The video begins with a slammed Lexus IS300 that needs a push start to get going from a gas station. One look at that illogical wheel fitment, obnoxious body kit and general lack of roadworthiness will turn most readers away before the video even reaches the 2-minute mark. And if you suspect the Lexus isn’t the only car in the video rocking that stupid stance fitment, you’d be right. Later footage captured under torrential rain further demonstrate how ridiculous these cars really are (A rally-legend like the Evo X gets stanced, only to spin around in a puddle of water).

However, if you give this video a chance, you’ll also see a lot of kids that just want to enjoy a weekend with friends that share a mutual passion for a car culture that no one else “gets.” And that’s what young car culture has always been about. Like it or not, the future of car culture is molded by the rebellion and creativity of the youth. And like anything else, it’s better to recognize and understand it than to stubbornly oppose and deny its existence. 

On that note, check out Krispy Media’s H2Oi coverage below: