I was hosting some friends for a New Years Eve gathering, and we happened to watch an extreme sports program on the TV, when one sport elicited a heated conversation among us. As we watched the aerial antics of the brave man, hurtling towards the ground, we all marvelled at the sport. “Awesome!” was all that anybody could comment on the vision unfolding before our eyes. Sky Surfing is definitely an amazing add-on to the sport of sky diving.
In Sky Surfing, the jumper wears a board on his or her feet, and literally rides the air. The sport started in the 1980’s and has developed a popular following ever since. Thrill-seekers from all over the globe, and enthralled onlookers, come to Sky Surfing events to take part in, and watch, incredible aerial feats. The sport became so popular, that between the year 1995 and 2000, various Sky Surfing teams participated in ESPN X games, and some went home with six figure winnings.
As with all other aerial sports, sky diving is the ultimate pursuit for most adrenaline junkies. Hurtling towards the ground, with the wind rushing past you at incredible speeds, is an inconceivably, exhilarating experience. However, traditional sky diving offers very little control over the lateral motion, and aerial antics that you can do during free fall. In Sky Surfing, the board gives you the ability to realize more lateral motion, allowing you to actually skate across the sky. Just as you can move across a wave when surfing in the ocean, you can move across the sky, change direction, and do incredible stunts, when Sky Surfing.
Sky Surfing, like all other extreme sports, requires training, training, and more training. The men and women who do the enthralling antics in the air are well-trained. The easiest maneuver, that you can do on the board, is to stand upright on the board and lean forward to track across the sky. However, even this basic technique requires plenty of skill to support the upright position. Firstly, if you are not well-trained, you could end up hurtling head-down, towards the ground with your legs, and board, trailing behind. It takes a lot of strength, and agility, to control the drag produced by the board. Secondly, you must adopt the correct upright position necessary to open the parachute correctly. One can only marvel at the skill that you would have to acquire, before effortlessly performing some stunning aerobatics, such as helicopter spins, loops and rolls.
Sky Surfing is more popular in Europe than in the United States of America. It is challenging to learn, and not many sky diving schools teach this particular discipline. The British Parachute association (BPA) requires that you have a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) C certificate, a further Grade 1, and at least 200 jumps, before you can get a Senior Sky diving Instructor (SSI) certificate. By law, you should not put on a Sky Surfing board, before you are awarded this accreditation. An experienced boarder or coach is your best bet, when training to be a Sky Surfer.