Sky Surfing

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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First there was surfboarding at the beach, known as surfing. Then came skateboarding on pavement. Then came snowboarding on the ski slopes. Now we have skyboarding, or sky surfing. One is bound only to gravity. One dances with air when sky surfing. Sky surfing has been described as "a good way to add excitement, skill, and challenge." This observation came from someone who has tried it and gone back for more. It can be done safely.

Sky Surfing = Cloud Dancing

You jump out of an airplane with a board strapped to your feet. As you freefall, you work against the slipstream to perform acrobatics using the board. Timing is important. You don't have much to work with--the entire process is rather quick, after all. Playing with that time and timing is what goes into the craft of sky surfing.

Remember the purported finding that a cat flung out a window will right itself every seven stories? Remember, also, the rejoinder question: how many cats did it take them to figure that out? That's what you're doing with yourself.

It doesn't take much time to travel 10,000 feet at 110 miles an hour. Remember, 10,000 feet is not quite two miles. Of that, you need perhaps 4,000 feet with the canopy so that when you land, you land in one piece. That leaves 6,000 feet for your pirouettes in the air. The factor to convert miles per hour to feet per second is 1.467. That's less than 40 seconds. Every one of them counts.

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