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safety : Disciplines : Skysurfing


Photo by Andy Boshi.

Skysurfing is a team parachuting discipline, with each team consisting of two athletes: a Skysurfer and a Cameraflyer. The Skysurfer rides a specially designed skyboard during freefall, sliding, spinning, twisting and yes, surfing through the sky. The Cameraflyer records the performance with a helmet-mounted camcorder but also contributes to the performance interactively --and the team's overall score--through his or her own creative and athletic skills.

All Skysurfing performances take place in the four dimensional stadium in the sky called freefall. This is the only place where you can fly your body in all three regular dimensions, up/down, left/right, forward/backward, plus the fourth dimension of relative speed. Not even NASA astronauts get to play in four dimensions. In free fall, you can cheat the boundaries of time and space, but only a minute at a time.

Comparing Skysurfing to other board sports such as snow boarding and skate boarding is a common mistake. About the only shared trait is that all involve some kind of board. The Skysurfer's skills are much more closely related to freestyle skydiving, whose devotees perform gymnastic- and/or ballet-style maneuvers utilizing the aerodynamics created by the "relative wind" the athlete moves through during freefall. Adding a board to the equation, though, is not just a whole other ball game--it's a whole other sport.

By on 2004-04-28 | Last Modified on 2017-02-03

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