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Tidlof

why did skysurfing die?

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Sure, It's hard and dangerous, but so is a lot of other skydiving disciplines.

when & where was the last skysurf jump you saw?

Kind of curious: made about 80 myself 20 years ago and have a couple of boards I'd give to anyone who'd want them. See Misc. classifieds
Ted
D6691 SCR 3975 SCS 2242 NSCR 698
On the road to wrack and ruin…………
but making damn good time.

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Tidlof

Sure, It's hard and dangerous, but so is a lot of other skydiving disciplines.

when & where was the last skysurf jump you saw?

Kind of curious: made about 80 myself 20 years ago and have a couple of boards I'd give to anyone who'd want them. See Misc. classifieds



Link to classifieds? I'm interested.

Nermind, found it. I'll drive there right now and scoop them up if you're available

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Skysurfing did not die. All the skysurfers did.



My skysurfing buddy knocked up his girlfriend and now he's married in an Oklahoma suburb somewhere doing Church stuff for his wife on Sunday and Gardening on Saturday. He didn't die on the outside, but he never was the same...
=========Shaun ==========


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Kebe is a very active sky-surfer. He has several thousand skysurfing jumps. He travels all over the U.S., following his whim. I'm Eloy-local and he's usually out here in the winter, but I ran into him at SDC at the beginning of July. There are a lot of pictures out there of him that Raymond Adams has taken at various boogies.

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when & where was the last skysurf jump you saw?



Had one out at the DZ about six weeks ago. Youngsters were all like, "WTF?"

Asked him the same question. He said he had been doing a lot of them out at Perris. Quien sabe?

Got his exit at the very end of this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnEliONPshM

Biggest question we had was where should he go in the exit lineup?
Shit happens. And it usually happens because of physics.

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From an outsider's perspective, it seemed like it was just too much specialized gimmickry, that wasn't easy to get started with, combined with the lure of advances in freeflying. Plenty of fun stuff to do not on one's belly, that didn't need a board or the restrictions that came with it.

Although I wasn't into skysurfing, it also seemed that the skill level had gotten so high that there wasn't much more to be accomplished. (Usually that isn't technically true in most things though.) The best guys could for example do controllable spins at a ridiculously high speed. Hats off for their great skill, but they still looked like spinning idiots.

Certainly the loss of the X-games was part of the reasons. In the 90s whuffos would ask "Do you do the thing on the board?" whereas nowadays they might ask "Do you do the thing with the squirrel suit?"

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Patrick, dead
Rob Harris, Dead
That other lady, dead
That guy at Quincy, dead
etc

pretty much all the great skysurfers died skysurfing. hence my comment

It could just be that going 150MPH with a long piece of rigid material strapped to your feet is in fact....dangerous.

I mean we are debating handcams fer chrissake as if people are going in left and right because of them, which they are not.

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I have a few skysurf jumps, actually some jumping boards owned by the OP, tidlof. I enjoyed those jumps but made a personal risk management decision to not pursue the activity and jump bigger boards after about a dozen jumps. It's a complicated discipline with a lot of risk.

Frankly, I'm glad skysurfing never caught on like wingsuiting has. Were skysurfing to become very popular, and attract many low time jumpers like wingsuits have, there would likely be a significant level of carnage.

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tkhayes

Patrick, dead
Rob Harris, Dead
That other lady, dead
That guy at Quincy, dead
etc

pretty much all the great skysurfers died skysurfing. hence my comment



Don't know about 'that other lady' or 'that guy at Quincy', but Patrick and Rob did not die skysurfing. Patrick died as a result of a rigging error where he sewed his d-bag to his wingsuit, and Rob died doing an intentional cutaway stunt for a commercial.

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It was a solo sport. You went to the DZ and pretty much only jumped by yourself or with a camera person. Kinda like Style and ACC.

Very gear intensive. Like Wing suits

Dangerous, more so than just about any other discipline. I'd compare it to Tandem jumping... Where the student/board is there to make things more difficult.

Take wingsuits, yes gear intensive but you can fly with others. Wingsuits are less dangerous because you can fold them up.

And I don't really think skysurf was ever really *big*. There were some big names, there was the XGames, but it was not like you could go to the DZ and see several skysurf folks.

So take a small group, with a higher level of danger, remove the flash of the XGames, and you end up with something that does not last.

For example, I have been jumping since the 90's and never really was interested in it. Never felt like buying a board just to see if I liked it.... Maybe if one had been laying around the DZ, I would have tried it, but I don't honestly think so, because people offered to bring one to the DZ fr me to try.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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Yeah, that's Kebe in your video. He put that skin on his board himself, a bit over a year ago. I watched him exit like that for a night jump once. He put a red light on one end of his board and a blue one on the other end, and it made for an sight awesome picture as he spiraled away from the plane into the dark. That was my first night jump so getting that visual right before my own exit was even more of a treat.

At Eloy he always goes out first, and if he's flying with others they go out first with him. I can ask Burke the rationale for that, as he falls faster than the belly flyers especially when he's spiraling, which puts him in the freefly category. But it's probably because he still has a significant horizontal component to his flight, and as we can put the trackers/angle flyers out either first or last-before-wingsuits, and Kebe can only get hooked up when he's on the end of the bench or on the camera bench and that has to be done before the light goes on, it makes sense to put him out first; otherwise he'd need a go-around every time. I'm not sure what he did at SDC, where the planes don't have benches.

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pms07

I have a few skysurf jumps, actually some jumping boards owned by the OP, tidlof. I enjoyed those jumps but made a personal risk management decision to not pursue the activity and jump bigger boards after about a dozen jumps. It's a complicated discipline with a lot of risk.



Goodness, the things you learn about your fellow jumpers on dropzone.com!

I too, have skysurfed. 12 jumps, with 2 different boards (and their release systems) designed by me. I might have the distinction of having been the first/only person to have skysurfed from an AN-2. Anyone else done that?

I gave it up because it was such a hassle. No one likes a big guy with a large board strapped to him hopping around in a plane and stepping on people's feet while they get out.

I did all these jumps with a double wing sit-suit and Spandex pants for low drag on my legs. I'm not sure I could have done it otherwise. I'm not that balanced or athletic or flexible.

Just imagine me in something that looks like yoga pants. ... or perhaps not.

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Ron is correct when he said "And I don't really think skysurf was ever really *big*."

The reality is there were very few that really pursued skysurfing, and many that gave it a try but quickly decided it was not their jam. That was reflected at the U.S. Nationals where there were only a few teams...which was the impetus for USPA dropping this as a competition event.

And who knew that Gary Peek was a skysurfer once upon a time?

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Having made a few hundred skysurfs myself in the early to mid 90s through 2007, my opinion is it's just too difficult, which turns most jumpers off. Skysurfing is the most difficult of all disciplines. You have to be a very very good flyer on all axis. Wingsuiting by comparison, is very easy and does not take much experience to learn, 200 jumps and your wingsuiting, they are both very dangerous, however, it takes much more skill and experience to skysurf, yes there are exceptions, some are just natural flyers.

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