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Skysurfing

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Haha I know you will mate. Douva, thanks for the information and thanks to ltdiver for that great website link.

I would like to give it a try in the future. Looks like fun and a challenge to fly a board. Be awesome to have a few more people get into it. Everyone freeflies or does RW so it be nice to get some specialist instruction and do something a bit different.

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1) In 1998 Valery Rozov lost his cameraflyer, Alexi Krishtopa, on a (training or competition) jump. He was without a teammate and found one, Clif Burch, just in time for the X-Games. They won GOLD! In 2000 the same team won silver!



Spent the training weeks before the 99 world meet rooming next door to Clif and Valery. While Valery struggled to understand the Aussie sense of humour, Clif keyed into it straight away. He was a gent who was always ready to share a beer and look through videos to help us improve, and share some of the secrets of extracting points from judges. Seeing he and Valery win Gold that year was fabulous!

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2) 2001, the year that Tanya Garcia-O'Brien won the Women's Division of the "World Air Games", she had enough points to actually win the entire event. More points than even the men! B|


The scores in Granada were pretty interesting. This is just my opinion, but having seen the tapes, you cant compare the two competitions. Tanya and Craig were well ahead of both Judith and Mayumi. But they were in a 6 team competition, and were streets ahead. Eric and Alex won in a field of 17, and the standard at the top was a level above the standard of the competition Tanya and Craig were in. I think it's reasonable to content that Mens and Womens Artistics are sometimes scored a little differently...

YMMV

C.

Brother Wayward's rule of the day...
"Never ever ever go skydiving without going parachuting immediately afterwards."
100% PURE ADRENALENS

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Kim is correct; Jerry Loftis was definitely not "first in the USA". As there was no source for "skysurfing boards", those of us wanting to do it had to figure out what would work with the least potential for killing us in the process. I do credit Jerry with doing a great job of redesigning existing parts, outsourcing, and putting together some really nice, marketable boards. Two of his boards sit dusty in our school at Raeford next to mine.

Some observations from back then:

-what people were most concerned about was getting into a spin on your back. The fact of the matter is that this was only a problem if you mounted your bindings sideways, like you would ride a skateboard. It's hard to straighten the board out in front of you if your feet are cocked. If your feet are straight on the board (like on a slalom waterski, just offset a bit), then you can get flat on your back and rotate left, right, or fall straight down without fear of "spinning up." As I am "regular footed", my left foot is just forward of center and offset to the left side of the board facing straight forward. The drogue pouch (a modified BOC pocket) was just right of my forward binding. The drogue deployed out the back of the pocket, not out the top like Jerry's stuff. My right (rear) foot was just behind the drogue pouch, offset to the right of the board and facing straight forward. This setup was perfect for me. I know people who cock the rear binding and like that, but the asymetry of the stance in freefall bugged me so I never did that.

-what made most sense for me as a suitable board, as an avid waterskier/barefooter, was a trick ski. A bit heavy, but the perfect shape and available in sizes ranging from about 36" up to 44". I had a 42" Connelly trick laying in my shop and went straight to work. All of Jerry Loftis' Surf Flight boards were/are simply trick ski blanks with plastic bottoms and a lighter honeycomb core to make them lighter. The problem with the "new" boards with the plastic bottoms was that you tore them up if you ripped downwind landings and slid to a stop on the board like I always did. Kicking off your board is very pussified in my opinion.

-I swooped to a stop on ever single board jump. After opening I just reached down and pushed my rear heel loop off so that I could pull my foot out and catch my balance at the end of my long slide. You can go a tremendous distance across the grass on a board, particularly when you bust downwinders! (Raeford is perfectly manicured and flat green grass). I swooped the entirety of the main landing area once and ran straight into the fence. As the base of my board was fibreglass, it never even once got nicked. Landings were, seriously, half the fun of those jumps.

-what I first used for bindings were extra large rear toe bindings off of cheap slalom skis mated to heel straps off the original Hyperlite wakeboard. I rigged a two ring release for the heel straps. My last board had complete Hyperlite toe-strap/heel loop bindings with the same two-ring release.

-since I was very concerned about having to chop a pretty heavy board and the damage it might do, I rigged a drogue (an old pilot chute and bridle) that released if I ever pulled my binding release/cutaway (a cutaway cable nicopressed together at the bottom to hook both bindings and the droge together). I never had to chop either of my boards, but the damn thing slipped off my feet on the second jump. As I was barefooted (actually wearing socks) due to having waterski toe loop bindings (shoes wouldn't fit in that first setup), it sucked landing in the biggest briar patch in NC to pick up my un-damaged board off the DZ. My second set of bindings allowed me to wear shoes (thank god).

-I had over 100 jumps on my board before I ever heard of Jerry Loftis. I called him on the phone and we talked for a long time about bindings and such. I would have loved to have gotten a set of his binding plates (they ARE light), but my stuff worked fine.

-my second board was smashed up fairly badly when Rodney Cruce (the four-way guy) jumped it down at my dad's DZ in Alabama in around 1993. The front binding failed when he was doing a back flip and he spun up so bad that he could not locate the cutaway handle on the inside of his front thigh. He shucked the heel loop off the other bound foot and the board went flying without the aid of the drogue. He took like 15 seconds to stop his spin, pulled, and landed dazed and out of breath. The board fluttered out of the sky, rolling like a leaf and landed on the ramp literally five feet in front of a taxiing Cessna 310's left engine! The board smashed in and the pilot slammed on the brakes. I was as horrified as the pilot I think! Anway, I still have that board in it's semi-smashed state and another one that I have not jumped in a very long time.

-I built and sold four 42" and 44" boards using H.O. trick skis and modified Hyperlite bindings with my own drogue/cutaway system. I have no idea if any of them are in circulation anymore.

-I didn't pull standing up until my third board jump. Even with a 42" board and my "inline" binding configuration I never had any problem pulling from a flat and stable belly position with the board tucked up behind my butt. The tail never interfered with the opening in that configuration.

-When I was training people, I never even talked to anyone with under 200 jumps. Also, I went with my trainees (without a board) and videoed them (VHS-C baby!). If anyone ever got out of control it was my intention to fly over, tackle them and stop the spin. Very naive of me maybe, but it was what I had every intention of doing.

Nice memories from what seems a lifetime ago,

Chuck

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Back in the day I put about 100 jumps on a board.
While it was a good challenge and fun for a while... there are a few reasons I ventured elsewhere.

First, while most of my friends were jumping with each other, I was out doing lots and lots of solos trying to figure it out. It got to be lonely and boring at times unless my cameraman was present.

Secondly it was frustrating. Since there aren't many surfers out there its unlikely you'll have an experienced 'mentor' at the local dz. Basically I taught myself most of the moves just watching videos and trying to figure it out. When Tim (forgot his last name) was at Skydive Houston for a few months it greatly improved my skills since I was able to learn from one of the best.

You also have to be very very current to skysurf well. Unless you're a crazy man with thousands upon thousands of jumps and the air is like walking to you, mastering the art takes mad dedication. Bout every jump has to be a board jump especially if you're a weekend jumper.

Those are the top reasons I stopped jumping with the board, but I still have my intermediate one, just in case :)

_______________________
aerialkinetics.com

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-what made most sense for me as a suitable board, as an avid waterskier/barefooter, was a trick ski ... I had a 42" Connelly trick laying in my shop and went straight to work.

-I swooped to a stop on ever single board jump ... You can go a tremendous distance across the grass on a board, particularly when you bust downwinders! ... Landings were, seriously, half the fun of those jumps.



Ever thought about taking one across a swoop pond? It opens up a whole new set of freestyle tricks.

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Ever thought about taking one across a swoop pond? It opens up a whole new set of freestyle tricks.



At the Ranch we had Lou Marra do it five or six years ago. A few years ago - 2001? 2002? Tim Bernard did it in the pond swoop nationals. He even donated his name to a rule - as in what is no longer allowed.
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Tim Bernard did it in the pond swoop nationals. He even donated his name to a rule - as in what is no longer allowed.



I have video of him swooping the length of the Ranch pond with his board and making it to shore and standing it up at the end, board still attached. (Very cool)

Wasn't the "Tim Bernard Rule" that you couldn't cutaway your canopy while swooping over the pond? Didn't he cutaway while on the pond with a water ski?

--
My other ride is a RESERVE.

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Lots of people have taken boards across ponds. Tim Bernard planned to cutaway from his main and finish out the run just on his board (or was it a slalom ski?) in the freestyle/canopy expression round of the Pond Swoop Nationals in 2000. He did it perfectly in practice and then, in the actual competition round, neglected to drop his right toggle before cutting away. He veered sharply right and had a tremendous wreck, right into the judges. Ugly. That was the last year that people were allowed to cutaway their mains for any reason at the meet.

Edited to add that yes, it was a slalom waterski he jumped in that meet.

Chuck

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At the moment skysurfing is definately high on my agenda along with speed skydiving. Im kind of attracted to them because they're a little less popular, i mean thats partly waht got me into skydiving in the first place, wanting to do something different. That said tho i know by the time i have the experience to try them i may well have changed my mind, guess ill wait and see...!

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Dang, Chuck...is there anything in skydiving that you haven't done and done well?



I have just been around a long time and, more importantly, I get bored easilly. If you stagnate in one discipline you will definitely get burned out and quit the sport. Keep mixing it up when you get good at one thing though and you will stay entertained and with us. It's that simple. I think it's great that there are young jumpers who aspire to such disciplines as skysurfing and speed skydiving!B|

Chuck

edited to fix typo

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(edited)
11 minutes ago, HSpence21190 said:

I'm sorry to revive this 14 year old thread,  but does anyone know where I can get a skyboard these days?

A ) Don't be sorry. You did the right thing.

B ) Sorry, I can't help you with that!

Edited by gowlerk

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 I think Patrick DeGuaridon (sp) mde it look  like a fun or desirable thing in videos. I always considered it to be kinda silly.  The board doesn't actually do anything except move you along laterally.  OK - it does that.  But what is the attraction?  Make a video?  Try to look cool?  No RW, no ...well...no nothing.  A fad that never caught on for a good reason.  A comic book (silver Surfer) character made into a discipline?  Danger without a reward.  That is how I view it.  Feel free to think otherwise.

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9 hours ago, dpreguy said:

 ...But what is the attraction?  Make a video?  Try to look cool?  No RW, no ...well...no nothing....  Danger without a reward.  That is how I view it.  Feel free to think otherwise.

if you condense your comment down as i have above, it mirrors my feelings on swooping.  the only difference is that you get some rw time if you're not just doing hop and pops.

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On 4/5/2020 at 4:58 AM, HSpence21190 said:

I'm sorry to revive this 14 year old thread,  but does anyone know where I can get a skyboard these days?

Try to get in touch with Sean McCormack of Red Bull Air Force. He might be able to get you an answer. 

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On 4/8/2020 at 6:55 AM, piisfish said:

Try to get in touch with Sean McCormack of Red Bull Air Force. He might be able to get you an answer. 

I contacted Sean already through Instagram and he sent me here, I am going to try and make a post through all the facebook groups and see what happens.

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On 4/17/2020 at 2:58 AM, HSpence21190 said:

I contacted Sean already through Instagram and he sent me here, I am going to try and make a post through all the facebook groups and see what happens.

Then try to PM Eric Fradet here on the forum, he might have an idea

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