Sky surfing is a type of skydiving in which the skydiver wears a board attached to his or her feet and performs surfing-style aerobatics during freefall.
The boards used are generally smaller than actual surfboards, and look more like snowboards or large skateboards. The attachment to the feet is normally made removable, so that if the skydiver loses control or has difficulty opening their parachute, the board can be jettisoned. Surf Flite was the first sky board company, copyrighted by Jerry Loftis (January 1, 1969 – August 12, 1998).
Skysurfing is a skill requiring considerable practice. The simplest skysurfing technique is to stand upright on the board during freefall, and tilt the nose of the board down to generate forward movement. However even this basic technique is a balancing act which experienced skydivers find tricky to learn. The extra drag of the board tends to upset the balance and make the skydiver flip over. The jumper must also learn to control the board and their body position so as to open the parachute in a stable configuration. More advanced aerobatics such as loops, rolls and helicopter spins, are more difficult still and are tackled once the basics have been mastered. Since some techniques require constant spinning at a high speed, one technique some skysurfers take to is tightly wrapping ace bandages all the way up the arms and legs to keep the blood from pooling at the end of your limbs. Even with the bandage technique, however, many techniques in skysurfing can be extremely painful.
Because of the possibility of dropping the board, not every skydiving club permits skysurfing, and only a minority of skydivers have attempted this recent specialisation in the sport.
When a skysurfer is filmed by another skydiver falling alongside them, the resulting film gives the appearance that the skysurfer is riding on the air in the same way a surfer rides on a wave.