of the most visually stimulating skydiving disciplines, the
skysurf team comprises of the ‘board flyer’ and
‘cameraman’. Do you remember the skysurfing Pepsi
TV commercials- this discipline has also brought skydiving
as a whole into the eye of the general public.
researching this article, a skysurfer remarked to me that
he first became interested in skysurfing because of the diversity
and different ways of flying that attracted him. He pointed
out that in skysurfing you are using the whole sky to work
The skysurfer moves around the sky by presenting the edges
of the board to the wind in different ways. This allows him
to rapidly track around the sky, change his speed and direction.
Fun for the skysurfer, and also for his cameraman who is trying
to follow the skysurfers movements as he explores his playground.
Due to the capabilities of the skysurfer to radically change
his speed and direction, the cameraman will instinctively
know what will be next as a fellow team member who is familiar
with the sequence of the skydive.
the skysurf board
the boarder will deploy their canopy standing straight up
on the board. This technique ensures that there is no possibility
of catching the canopy on the board during the deployment
sequence. However, as a safety back up, the skysurf board
can be released by the skysurfer with a special release system-
he can ‘cut away’ (release) the board by using
the release cable and the board can simply fall away.
The skysurfer may also want to cut away their board when he
comes in to land his canopy if he has excess forward speed
and wants to run off his landing. In this case, he cuts away
the skysurf board just before landing, only a few feet above
you want to learn to skysurf?
the British Parachute Association you are required to have
a FAI or BPA C Certificate to learn to skysurf. You also need
to have at least 200 skydives and at least another ‘Grade
1’ before you can start working on your SS1 (Skysurfing
certificate). Skysurfing is a very physical skydiving discipline,
so a certain degree of strength, health and flexibility will
really help whilst learning. Due to the different dimensional
planes that a skysurfer works in, it is also important that
you are a good freeflyer before starting to learn to skysurf.
As with all skydiving, it is always important to gain advice
and training from someone experienced in the field. Speak
with your dropzone CCI who will be able to put you in contact
with a suitable coach.
size skysurf board should I start on?
like a snowboard, you will probably start on a 32 inch board
with your feet facing perpendicular to the board. As with
learning to skydive on the AFF system, you will firstly focus
on your body position, safety, and deployment. Skydivers are
used to deploying their parachute in the standard belly to
earth body position, and this will be the case as you start
to learn to skysurf. As you progress, the size of the skysurf
board will get bigger, and you will start to learn how to
deploy standing up. There is always lots of time to get ready
for landing your canopy, as when you are learning to skysurf,
canopy deployment is around 6000ft. Finally, the progression
will change your feet position from having your feet square
to the board, to having them facing the length of the board,
similar to a skateboarder.
- International and National
is judged by a panel of judges who score the team on their
technical presentation of the specified manoeuvres and the
teams interaction with each other and the audience. The skysurfer
and cameraman are also scored on style and control whilst
they complete ‘free’ and ‘predetermined’
- This site has nice pictures and videos of skysurfers
further information on sky sport try www.freefalladdicts.com