The competitor with the lowest total time at the end of the 5 rounds of competition is the winner. The performance is recorded using a very high powered camera on the ground, the competitor leaving the aircraft at 2200 mts and after a few seconds to build up speed commence their sequence. The world record time is currently 5.18 sec (Male) and 6.10 sec (Female). In skysurfing, a jumper attaches a board, similar to a snowboard or wakeboard but made specifically for skydiving, to his feet and performs aerial acrobatics in freefall, including flips and spins. Lew Sanborn and Jacques Istel started the first commercial drop zone and training center in 1959. While skysurfing is visually appealing and has been included in events like ESPN’s X Games, few jumpers still pursue this challenging discipline.
When leaving an aircraft, for a few seconds a skydiver continues to travel forward as well as down, due to the momentum created by the aircraft's speed (known as "forward throw"). The perception of a change from horizontal to vertical flight is known as the "relative wind", or informally as "being on the hill". Each event has a “working time” within which to repeat the sequence as many times as possible. During the tandem jump the instructor is responsible for emergency procedures in the unlikely event that they will be needed, therefore freeing the student to concentrate on learning to skydive. Skydivers reach terminal velocity (around 120 mph (190 km/h) for belly to Earth orientations, 150–200 mph (240–320 km/h) for head down orientations) and are no longer accelerating towards the ground. In freefall, skydivers generally do not experience a "falling" sensation because the resistance of the air to their body at speeds above about 50 mph (80 km/h) provides some feeling of weight and direction. Other training methods include static line, IAD (Instructor Assisted Deployment), and AFF (Accelerated Free fall) also known as Progressive Free-Fall (PFF) in Canada.
A demanding freefall exercise of specified turns and loops executed very precisely at speed, and under tight control. At normal exit speeds for aircraft (approx 90 mph (140 km/h)) there is little feeling of falling just after exit, but jumping from a balloon or helicopter can create this sensation. The panel of judges judge from the recording media.
The first three concern teams of either 8 or 4 plus their camera flyer performing a series of pre-determined patterns (formations) in a repetitive sequence whilst flying in a face to earth configuration. Style and Accuracy remained the primary discipline throughout the 1960s, and Relative Work continued to develop with the first 6 and 8 man formations being completed.
Many people make their first jump with an experienced and trained instructor – this type of skydive may be in the form of a tandem skydive. All of their work is recorded by the camera-flyer, and the panel of judges sit in front of a screen and make their individual decisions. Each competitor is timed from the start of the “series” to the end and time points are added for penalties such as a turn completed off heading or a loop deviating from the axis. At this point the sensation is as of a forceful wind.
The 1960s saw the beginnings of the first non-military drop zones, and non-military training methods. They developed a civilian training method with the belief that any intelligent person could be taught the basics of a parachute jump and jump the same day. They are judged on the number of correctly completed figures they make, and the team with the highest number at the end of 10 rounds of competition will be declared the winner.