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This belongs with other generators of excessive adrenaline (I speak as a sedentary older person fond of a quiet life and intact body) such as zorbing, bungee-jumping, street-luging, and base-jumping. It’s a cross between skateboarding and sky-diving in which you jump out of an aircraft with a board strapped to your feet. You use the board during free fall to execute acrobatics by working against the slipstream, so you really are surfing, but on air rather than water. Some of these acrobatics look spectacular, but they can be extremely dangerous if they’re not done just right, because you can get into a spin that’s impossible to recover from. This is regarded as just about the most dangerous — but also the most exhilarating — of all the extreme sports, and requires a lot of training. At one time known as skyboarding, the sport has been around for about a decade, but it has only become more widely known in the past five years. Those taking part are often called sky-surfers.

In my sky surfing, I have centrifugal force, so it gives me much more a sense of speed. That’s pretty cool.

Dallas Morning News, Mar. 1998

Skysurfers compete in pairs with one member of the duo filming the other as he executes a series of incredible aerial manoeuvres.

Independent on Sunday, Dec. 1998

Page created 5 Feb. 2000

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World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–2014. All rights reserved.
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Last modified: 5 February 2000.