by Tamara Koyn
with assistance from Russell Calkins, Patrick de Gayardon,
Jerry Loftis, Bryan Burke and many others
|DISCLAIMER: THE AUTHORS MAKE NO WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS AND ASSUMES NO LIABILITY CONCERNING THE VALIDITY OF ANY ADVICE, OPINION, OR RECOMMENDATION EXPRESSED IN THE MATERIAL. ALL INDIVIDUALS RELYING UPON THE MATERIAL DO SO AT THEIR OWN RISK.|
I. Recommended Experience:
--Hold stable stand-up from 9,500ft to 3,500ft with ease and have good control of stand-up freestyle. This may take up to 50 stand-up freestyle jumps.
--Be able to start and stop 360 degree flat spins in the back to wind orientation.
--Be able to perform the following sequences:
1) 360 degree Pirouette to the right and one 360 degree Pirouette to the left while standing up
2) Stand-up, Single Layout BL to the Stand-up;
3) Stand-up, Single Layout FL to Stand-up
--Be able to recover any instability into the standup position
--Optional but recommended sequences for learning advanced sky surfing:
1) Stand-up, Single Layout Cartwheel to Stand-up
2) Stand-up, Single Layout Half Twist BL to Stand-up
3) Stand-up, Single Layout Half Twist FL to Stand-up
4) Stand-up, Single Layout Full Twist BL to Stand-up
5) Stand-up, Single Layout Full Twist FL to Stand-up
6) Stand-up, Single Layout Half Twist Cartwheel to Stand-up
7) Stand-up, Single Layout Full Twist Cartwheel to Stand-up
--Experience with freestyle movements with accelerating rotational effect: (With a sky board, one may experience unexpected rapidly accelerating rotational effects depending on how the board catches the windflow.)
1) Front Reversal into Tucked Backloops
2) Flip Throughs into Side Tucked Backloops
3) Pinwheel into Side Double Stag Backloops
4) Pinwheel into Top Spinner
--FreeFlying is a good way to add entertainment, skill, and challenge to stand-up flying. Also, a skydiver who can mount the belly of another in free flying becomes familiar with the feeling associated with standing on a sky board.
II. The sky surfing student must obtain his/her own equipment and board system, with proper release system with recovery chute. The student should observe the instructional video if one is included with the sky board.
A. Recommended Equipment for Sky Surfing
--A hard helmet for the first sky surfing jumps and for the first sky surfing relative work jumps.
--Proper shoes for use with the foot bindings on the board. The shoes must not distort the bindings otherwise one foot or both feet can come loose, or the release system could lock up.
--Jumpsuit should have low drag, skin tight legs and a high drag cloth on the arms. (The jumpsuit must not have grips as it is too easy to mistake a grip for the release handle of the sky board.)
--RSL, LOR, and/or STEVENS devices are not recommended.
--It is recommended to not use a high performance main canopy, especially for the first jumps with a sky board, because line twists can involve a higher descent rate and high speed spinning. Line twists are difficult to undo with a sky board bound to the feet.
--AADs recommended. (If a sky board hits the camera flyer, it can cause serious injury and possibly knock the camera flyer unconscious. Collisions are also possible during RW sky surfing.)
--A main deployment handle located on the bottom of the main container decreases the chance that the pilot chute would pass in front of the arm while deploying in the stand-up position on the board. Many sky surfers prefer a pull out system because the pilot chute inside the container is already above the handle and is less likely to pass in front of the arm. With a pull-out deployment system, the container must fit the bag properly so the bag will not fall out onto the board when the standing sky surfer pulls the pin. The bag must leave the container when the pilot chute force pulls it.
B. Sky Board
--The sky board should have a smooth surface to avoid catching or braking other objects.
--Rubber edges are recommended on the board to prevent damage to aircraft on exit, damage to environment in case of cut-away, to provide extra protection in case of collision of two sky surfers during a sky surfing RW dive, etc.
--Lighter boards are easier to control.
--The recommended width for all sky boards is 11 inches. (Wider board widths can cause the deploying pilot chute to be sucked into the board's burble. With exceptionally wide sky boards, the sky surfer must be sure to release the pilot chute at full arm extension and perpendicular to the board's length to prevent the pilot chute from being caught in the burble of the board.)
--To find the surface area of the sky board, lay it on a large sheet of graph paper, trace around the sky board and count the number of squares you board covered. Multiply the size of each square by the number of squares counted to determine the surface area of the sky board.
Surface Area. Greater accuracy is possible while using metric measurements. For a quick reference estimate, measure the surf and multiply length by width. To make a more accurate measurement accounting for the curved edges of the sky board, use a large sheet of graph paper or other form of grid using square centimeters. Lay the sky board flat on the grid. Trace around the outline of the sky board with a pen held 90 degrees to the drawing surface. Count the total number of scquare cm that fall at least halfway into the drawn outline. The total number of squares is the surface area of the sky board in square centimeters. (Rolls of graph paper are available through architectural drafting supply outlets.)
Surface to Height Ratio. To determine the surface area to height ratio of the sky board with respect to the sky surfer using the board, calculate the surface area as previously described. Divide the surface area by the sky surfer's height measured in cm. The result is the ratio of the surface area to each cm of height.
Example: 4169 square cm/180 cm of body height=3D23:1
Surface to Weight Ratio. To determine the surface area to weight ratio of the sky board, calculate the surface area as previously described and weigh the sky board (completely configured for jumping but excluding recovery system) to the nearest gram. Divide the total weight measured in grams by the surface area of the sky board measured in square centimeters. The resulting figure is the ratio of surface area to each gram of weight.
Example: 2920 grams/4160 square cm=3D0.7
C. Release System
The release handle that activites the release system of the sky board should be located near the hip. (A release handle located near the feet can be impossible to reach due to the centrifugal force of high speed spins.) The release handle should be at arm's reach on the leg so that the pillow of the handle is level with the palm of the hand and on the opposite leg from the side of the main deployment device. Typically, the main deployment device is on the right side with the sky board release handle on the left side. During ground training, the student sky surfer should be able to operate the release systems while suspended in the hanging harness.
Preparing the jumpsuit for use with the sky board's release system...
Cut a hole and affix the soft part of the Velcro to the suit just above the hole. Place the hooks of the Velcro of the release handle into the two lips of the soft Velcro and feed the cable into the hole down the leg of the jumpsuit to the board. Most of the release cable should be inside the jumpsuit, i.e., not flapping loose in the relative wind; hanging loose to catch on the door of the plane, other protrusions, other aerial teammates, etc. The release handle should be mounted so that it is facing forward.
D. Binding Systems for the Feet
The binding system for the feet on a beginner's sky board is positioned at an angle so that it is possible for the sky surfer to deploy from a face to wind position without spinning. (The sky surfer will spin if he/she attempts the face to wind position while using a sky board on which the binding system for the feet is positioned with the toes pointing straight forward in-line with the length of the board.)
The binding system for the feet should be designed to ensure a reliable, easy, and quick attachment. The student sky surfer should practice to profeciency on the ground, in an aircraft model, or in the aircraft, so that he/she can fasten his/her feet to the sky board in a timely manner and perform this procedure such that he will not interfere with other jumpers during the climb to altitude.
Ankle support devices and shoes that provide good ankle support are recommend. (If one foot comes loose, strain to the ankle of the foot still attached to the sky board may occur.) If the sky surfer is wearing low top shoes, it is important that the ankle straps are securely fastened about the ankle above the shoe (and not fastened to the shoe). If the ankle straps are fastened about the shoe itself, one of the sky surfer's feet may come free (risking injury to the opposite leg).
E. Recovery System.
A recovery pilot chute released by a static line when the board is released may be used. This slows the descent rate of a freely falling board. A recovery parachute is recommended. However, extremely light sky boards will flutter slowly to the ground without a recovery pilot chute. If the sky board weighs more than 6 or 7 grams per centimeter, it should have a recovery pilot chute.
An experienced sky surfer should follow his/her sky board down if he/she has released it. Most likely, it will land off the DZ. The sky surfer should be polite to the DZ's neighbors and avoid damage to their fences, crops, etc.
The Federal Aviation Administration does not approve of debris falling from the sky: the pertinent rule, FAR 91.15, states "No pilot in command of a civil aircraft may allow any object to be dropped from that aircraft in flight that creates a hazard to persons or property. However, this section does not prohibit the dropping of any object if reasonable precautions are taken to avoid injury or damage to persons or property." In other words, if the DZ or the pilot in command of the aircraft feel that sky surfers are not taking "reasonable precautions" they can justifiably refuse to fly them. The third party liability that comes with USPA membership is void when the jumper violates FARs or BSRs.
F. Experimental Sky Board Designs.
Note: If a sky surfer designs a release, binding, and/or recovery system for a prototype board that is different from that described here, he/she should discuss his/her design with an experienced board manufacturer using drawings and photographs of the design as appropriate.
III. Aerodynamics of sky surfing and the principles of flight standing on the sky board and flying with the sky board overhead...
When the body is inverted, both the body and the sky board catches the relative wind. The asymmetrical foot position causes a spinning action, often referred to as a helicopter spin. While standing on the board, the board catches most of the relative wind. A similar effect can be experienced while standing on a partner's belly.
To bring the sky board under you from the inverted orientation, your goal is to "knife" the edge of the sky board into the wind. The sky board presents much less drag when its edge is presented into the windflow. (The sky board catches much more wind if one if its flat sides is presented to the windflow.) It is easier to knife the sky board under yourself with a sideways rotation. While trying to bring it forward or backward while knifing it into the wind, the sky surfer must accomedate the long length of the board. You will be fighting the tail of the sky board if you are bringing it under yourself from a rocking front loop action and you will be fighting the nose of the sky board if your are bringing it under yourself from a rocking back loop action. A cartwheel action is the best rotational movement for bringing the sky board back under yourself. If it is a left cartwheel with the left foot forward, your chest will twist to the right as you stand up again. Relaxing the legs as you pass side into the wind position will allow the sky board to find the optimum knife edge presentation to the wind.
IV. The Ride to Altitude, Exiting, and Jump Run.
Sky boards should be placed in a storage compartment or other area of the aircraft designated by the pilot and DZ management for take-off and initial climb. Consult with your DZ about procedures for sky surfing.
Several minutes before exit, place the sky board next to the door and attach the bindings. Politely let the other jumpers know your space requirements and do your best to use as little space as possible. Remind them to keep their feet clear of the area you need to move around in as you may hop around a bit to get in the door for your exit. Most likely, you will be the first person to leave the airplane. Immediately exit when the spotter tells you. If necessary, request an early spot. If other jumpers experience a bad spot because of your sky surfing activities, you damage the reputation of your discipline. You may be requested to exit the airplane last because of your higher deployment altitude. In this case, stand aft of the door, out of the way of other jumpers. (It is recommended that you leave the airplane first if you are sky surfing from a Cessna or other small jump plane.)
During your skydive, do not track along the aircraft's line of flight. The group following you out will be approximately 1/4 mile from you and you need to preserve this distance.
V. Freefall Training
On the ground, prior to freefall training, the sky surfing student should demonstrate the basics of board attachments, release system, and equipment safety checks (including rig and jumpsuit). He/she should practice putting on and taking off the board. He should also practice balancing and hopping about with the board attached. The sky surfing student should review emergencies and become proficient with the given emergency procedures.
Initial Training Jumps with Sky Board
This course is described for surfing with the left foot forward. (Right foot forward is referred to as "goofy footed.") The lowest recommended exit altitude is 10,500ft. Final deployment should be initiated at 6,000ft and 5,000ft. Ideally, the aircraft should have no outside hardware.
There are several reasons for initiating the deployment sequence at a high altitude. Firstly, because your lower body is in a fixed position, your body is aerodynamically different from dives without the sky board. You will feel the tendency to roll during the motion of your pull. If you do roll, it is easy to end up in a spin with the sky board over your head. If this is experienced on the first two training jumps, immediately release the sky board. Secondly, your emergency procedures are more complicated and you will need more time and altitude for them. Thirdly, higher opening altitudes will keep sky surfers away from other jumpers in freefall or under canopy. Higher deployment altitudes keep the sky surfers clear of other canopy traffic. (At any major boogie, sky surfers should not deploy any higher than 4,000ft as there may be an airplane on jump run as little as three minutes behind.)
These first training dives should be performed while using a beginner's sky board. If the surfer weighs 100-180 lbs, the board length should be 77-90 CM and the width should be 11 inches. If the surfer weighs over 180 lbs, the board length should be 102-115 CM and the width should be 11 inches. The foot bindings should be position at an angle on the board enabling the student sky surfer to fall prone and deploy from the prone position.
With a beginner's sky board, it is more difficult to stand up on exit, i.e., "surf out the door," because the foot hardware position the feet is at an angle and your presentation to the wind is asymmetrical.
With a beginner sky board, you should avoid opening in the standing position because you will be falling at 150-160 mph increasing the chances of blowing-up your canopy on deployment. Practicing PRCPs while standing on the beginner's sky board encourages you to twist at your waist. While deploying on an intermediate board this twisting will cause a pirouetting action to the right and the pilot chute may go in front of you and under your arm. (Clear this malfunction by raising BOTH arms overhead. Raising one arm is asymmetrical and will worsen the spin.) However, before moving to an intermediate board, you may wish to practice the standing deployment on the beginner board on one or two jumps while minimizing the disadvantages. Keep the disadvantages in mind and pack for a very slow opening. Remember that a sky board too little for the surfer's weight can cause serious damage to the parachute system and/or the surfer, while performing a standing deployment.
Jump Number 1: Use a beginner's sky board and fly in the prone position. To perform the exit, dive out the door with the sky board. Practice PRCPs to the sky board's release handle. Also practice PRCPs to the main canopy deployment handle. It may be a throwout, pullout, or ripcord. For the pull, position the left arm overhead to counteract the natural head low orientation. The knees should be positioned lower than your chest with the sky board's edge presented directly into the wind flow. (Straightening the legs/knees and pointing your toes will cause the board to catch air and causing a head-low attitude. Also, do not position the sky board on your seat by bending your knees. Both of these positions can cause the pilot chute to go in between your legs when you deploy. If the pilot deploys in-between the legs, immediately release the board.) First jump deployment should be initiated at 6,000ft. If by 4,000ft, you can not comfortably prepare to pull, release the sky board.
Jump Number 2: Perform a diving exit and establish stability in the prone position. Perform one practice pull for the sky board's release handle to insure that you know location of the handle. (During this dive, there is greater chance for out of control fall and you may need to release the sky board.) Pull knees toward the chest and sit-up, pushing the sky board into the wind to assume the standing position on top the sky board. As you stand, use your arms in the same manner as you would for balancing a Stand-up. (You may be surprised to find it easier to balance while standing on the sky board than to balance in a Stand-up.) Fall forward into the prone position and establish stability. Repeat this exercise until 7,000ft. Be stable by 6,000ft and initiate deployment. If enable to initiate deployment safely by 6,000ft, release the sky board.
Repeat the second training jump several times until comfortable.
Jump Number 3: Perform a diving exit and establish stability in the prone position. Do one practice pull to the release handle of the sky board. Pull knees to chest and sit-up pushing the sky board into the standing position. Fall backwards and establish/maintain stability in the prone position. Stand up, fall forwards, and establish stability in the prone position. Repeat this exercise until to 7,000ft. Be stable by 6,000ft and initiate deployment. If enable to initiate deployment safely by 6,000ft, release the sky board.
Jump Number 4: Perform a diving exit and establish stability in the prone position. Pull knees to chest and sit-up pushing the sky board into the wind flow while assuming the standing position. Fall toward the right and establish/maintain stability in the prone position. Stand up, fall toward the left, and establish stability in the prone position. Repeat this excercise until 7,000ft. Be stable by 6,000ft and initiate deployment. If enable to initiate deployment safely by 6,000ft, release the sky board.
Additional Jumps: Practice entering the Helicoptor Spin and recovering. Practice basic sky surfing maneuvers. On last one or two jumps with beginner sky board, practice standing PRCPs and deployment. During these additional jumps you should learn the ability to stand-up on the sky board comfortably 80% of the freefall time, perform a 360 degree pirouette to the right and 360 degree pirouette to the left, and perform one single back loop.
Training Jumps with Intermediate Sky Board
25 jumps are recommended before transitioning to an intermediate sky board. If the surfer weighs 100-180 lbs, the intermediate sky board length should be 102-115 CM and the width should be 11 inches. If the surfer weighs over 180 lbs, the intermediate sky board length should be 127-130 CM and the width should be 11 inches. The foot bindings should be positioned so that they are facing forward on the board. Do not attempt to deploy from the face to wind position with an intermediate board.
Exit: With an intermediate sky board, get in the door with the sky board at an angle. The only thing keeping you in the plane is maintaining your weight on the back foot. The sky board is halfway out. Launch with your head toward the tail of the plane (and avoid launching out sideways). So that the back of sky board does not catch the door and you clear the aircraft, be forceful and aggressive during your launch. Front or back flips are common on exit. If you try to stand with respect to the ground, you will back loop. To recover from an accidental loss of balance, flow with the tumbling momentum using it to your advantage to knife the board into the wind and return to the standing position. Your goal is to present the sky board to the relative wind.
Deployment: Use a proper body position to deploy while standing on the intermediate sky board. Lean forward to insure that the pilot chute of a throw out system will launch behind you and your arm. Maintain equal drag on both sides of the body to avoid spinning problems. (Note the tendency to flip sideways is less because the wind strikes the forearm portion of your arm more than your upper arm area.) You should bring your left arm in next to your body as if you are going to make a left hand pull while you pull with your right arm. This deployment procedure should be practiced on the ground before the first jumps performing stand-up deployments. PRCPs should be practiced in freefall as well. If you can not control stability during these PRCPs, release the sky board.
Jump Number 1: Use an intermediate sky board and fly in the standing position. To perform the exit, surf out the door. Practice PRCPs to the sky board's release handle. Also practice PRCPs to the main canopy deployment handle. First jump deployment should be initiated between 6,000ft and 5,000ft. If by 5,000ft, you can not comfortably prepare to pull, release the sky board.
Jump Number 2: Surf out the door and establish stability in the standing position. Perform one practice pull for the sky board's release handle. Fall forward and re-establish stability. Fall backward and re-establish stability. Fall to one side and re-establish stability. Repeat these exercises until 7,000ft. Be stable by 6,000ft and initiate deployment at 5,000ft. If enable to initiate deployment safely by 5,000ft, release the sky board.
Repeat the second training jump several times until comfortable.
Training Jumps: Practice entering the Helicoptor Spin and recovering. Practice basic sky surfing maneuvers. The student sky surfer should become comfortable with tracking, terminating within 10 seconds any out of control move (which may be loss of stability, uncontrolled turn, etc.), performing single frontloop and single backloop, and performing stand-up deployments.
30 jumps with an intermediate sky board are recommended before transitioning to an advanced sky board. If the surfer weighs 100-180 lbs, the board length should be 127-150 CM and the width should be 11 inches. If the surfer weighs over 180 lbs, the board length should be 150-176 CM and the width should be 11 inches. The minimum standard for the surface area to height ratio of advanced sky boards is 20 cm for every cm of body height. The foot bindings should be positioned so that they are facing forward on the board.
During the training, the student sky surfer should become comfortable with performing right and left side flips (cartwheel-like motion), and hanging upside-down (Helicopter) with a one try recovery (a rock motion is allowed) into the standing position. (Falling out of the standing position or struggling with a series of attempts is not a satisfactory one try recovery from the inverted orientation.)
Minimum opening altitude is 4,000ft.
For the sky surfer making demonstration jumps, board releases should be very rare while using the sky board he intends to use during the demonstration jumps. Board releases make bad impressions during demo jumps and accidentally getting upside-down is the situation most likely to cause a sky surfer to release the sky board. The sky surfer should become proficient with canopy accuracy while jumping with his/her sky board. (If a sky surfer wishes to perform demonstration jumps with his/her board, he/she should be able earn the standard USPA Pro-Rating (see USPA part 118) performing all landings with the sky board.) Such precautions for demonstration jumps protect the sky surfer's reputation, the sport of sky surfing, and the viewing audience.
The skysurfer interested in RW skysurfing should be very proficient with the board he intends to use for the first RW sky surfing jumps.
40 jumps with an advanced sky board are recommended before transitioning to any experimental sky board.
Minimum Opening altitude may vary from 3,500ft to 2,500ft. The sky surfer should have sufficient experience to make his/her own judgments on safety. The sky surfer has become comfortable with performing the following move sequence within 15 seconds--left side flip, right side flip, forward loop, hang upside-down and recover.
To avoid any potentially dangerous situations, sky surfers must not loan their sky boards to others who have not been instructed on sky surfing. (In particular, a boogie is not the time for people to make their first sky surfing jump.)
VI. Freefall Emergencies
A. Inability to maintain control on "live" pull. First, invert with the sky board and release the sky board. Never release the sky board while standing because it can hit you causing severe injury to the head or other body part.
B. If either foot binding breaks, comes undone, or either foot comes loose from the stirrup, release the sky board immediately to avoid foot injury. (Your leg or knee could be severely injured or broken, if you don't release an advanced sky board if either foot comes loose.)
C. Sitting Spin. Because uncontroled spins can be rapidly accelerating, release the sky board immediately to avoid blacking out. During the course of any spin, if you begin to experience red spots, this indicates that blacking out is immenant and will occur in two seconds or less.
D. Helicopter Spin. (During a Helicopter Spin, the sky surfer is spinning while upside-down with the sky board over his head.) If experienced on the initial jumps with the sky board, release the board. More experienced sky surfers will find that arching the upper body will slow the spin and allow them to "knife" the sky board into the wind back into the stand up position. To return to the upright position, a rocking motion with a reversal can be used.
VII. Parachute Malfunction Procedures
A. For a canopy malfunction, keep your board and perform your canopy emergency procedures. (Do not release the sky board because it can fly up into your face.) You might cut-away the main then release the board and then deploy the reserve parachute. Be aware that this uses up much more time and altitude.
B. Horseshoe malfunction involving the main and the sky board. Release the sky board and then cut-away the main canopy. Deploy reserve.
C. If the pilot chute deploys between legs, cutaway the sky board immediately to avoid serious injury to your back/legs.
D. If you have severe line twists on a high performance canopy, release the sky board because the sky board's presence will not permit you to untwist your lines.
E. High performance canopies may open hard with smaller sky boards; broken lines or blown cells have resulted from some hard openings while using small sky boards.
F. Pilot Chute in Tow. From standing, lean forward slowly. If no deployment, pull main cutaway, regain stability and balance, pull reserve handle. (Releasing the board increases the risk--especially if the pilot chute takes off.)
G. Bag Lock. Cutaway main parachute. Regain stability (standing on intermediate sky board and prone with the beginner sky board). Pull reserve. (To invert for releasing the sky board takes too much time.)
H. Avoid accidental deployments. Check that your pilot chute is stowed prior and after exit (at top of the dive). If an accidental deployment occurs, cutaway the sky board immediately. (Do not invert to release the board.)
I. Pilot Chute deploys in front of your arm. Raise BOTH arms overhead. (Raising one arm is asymmetrical and can cause a spin.)
VIII. Procedures under canopy and landing.
When you get under canopy, disconnect the recovery system after your canopy controllability check. At 1,500ft, release the foot straps either by undoing the straps at your feet or pulling the release handle. Performing this operation higher while allow you to be alert for canopy traffic at lower altitudes when everyone is converging on the target area. Performing this operation lower can be distracting and cause you to have a canopy collision as everyone is converging on the target. You may decide to choose an alternate target away from everyone else or use the student landing area at DZs that have them. Hold the sky board with your feet by flexing your ankles. Concentrate on landing and flaring. Ignore the presence of the sky board. After you initiate the flare, point the toes and step your feet from the sky board. (With higher winds causing your turf surf action to be too short, you may wish to drop the board just prior to your flare.)
When you land, take care not to overfly the crowd especially during demonstration jumps. Sky surfers must avoid accidentally dropping their sky boards after opening.
IX. Landing Emergencies
A. High Wind--Use your regular procedures.
B. Power Lines--When you know you can not avoid the power lines, drop the board by pointing your feet and prepare for a power line landing.
C. Water Landing--Drop the sky board by pointing your feet just prior to landing in the water.
X. DZ Operations
Excessive sky board releases are a sign of inadequate training, canopy choice, body position during opening (a potentially common problem with novice sky surfers), and/or packing technique (to avoid line twists). Without adequate training, student sky surfers get into situations they can't resolve without releasing the sky board.
Some DZs are surrounded by uninhabited land so that the probability of a released sky board hurting something or someone is very remote. DZs where the exit or opening points are often over a populated area, have greater concerns with released boards and recovery systems. With or without a pilot chute, a released sky board has the same descent rate as an open canopy. However, if one of these landed on someone, injury can result. It is unknown whether or not the FAA would consider the training minimums or current recovery systems to be "reasonable precautions," however, no DZ will last long in a community where the citizens have any reason to believe that falling debris could land on their property.
The best solution is to insure that skydivers receive quality training for becoming sky surfers.
(Note that released sky boards can be bad for the DZ's business, skydiving's public reputation, etc., so great caution and care to the quality of training is extremely important.)
XI. Dealing with other Jumpers
Many skydivers are unfamiliar with sky surfing and it is important that you, as a sky surfer, present a good image and ease the doubts that "normal" jumpers, pilots, and DZ operators have about your activities.
The following is a sample notice to other jumpers...
Several minutes before exit, sky surfers will place the board next to the door and attach the bindings. They need a little space for this; please assist them as you would a tandem. On the exit, they may hop around a bit on the board. Keep your toes out of the way! Once they have gone, the first group should have at least ten seconds of separation on the exit, just like any other skydive. The pilots are aware of spotting considerations with sky surfers aboard and your spot should not be affected by their presence on your load as long as the sky surfer is ready to go on time.
Sky surfers don't fall significantly faster or slower than other skydivers, and although the videos make it appear they cover a lot of horizontal area, in reality their trajectory is much like yours: straight down. Freefalling observers/Camera Flyers should have a C License/equivalent experience or greater and should be limited to one at a time, i.e., no crowds. Generally speaking, small boards fall faster than normal freefall, while large ones fall slower.
Conclusion: Sky surfing is an aspect of our sport still in its infancy. The pioneers of this sport are still learning much about this sport.
Sherry L Schrimsher--President of the USPA
1315 Cheyenne Dr.
Richardson, TX 75080 USA
Tel: (214) 783-8947 Fax: (214) 783-8555
1754 Sprucedale Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63146 USA
(314) 878-9125 phone/fax