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Skysurfing vs. Skydiving — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Updated on March 30, 2024
Skysurfing is a type of skydiving where the participant performs acrobatics on a small board attached to their feet, while skydiving primarily involves free-falling and deploying a parachute to land safely.
Skysurfing vs. Skydiving — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Skysurfing and Skydiving


Key Differences

Skysurfing is an adventurous variant of skydiving, where participants add the thrill of surfing on a board while in free fall. This adds a layer of complexity and skill to the basic skydiving experience, as it requires controlling one's movement and orientation with the board. On the other hand, skydiving is the act of jumping from an aircraft and free-falling before opening a parachute to slow the descent, focusing more on the sensations of free fall and controlled descent rather than performing stunts.
While skysurfing offers a unique blend of skydiving and surfing, presenting opportunities for performing tricks and stunts in the air, traditional skydiving is often pursued for the exhilarating experience of free fall and the serene descent once the parachute is deployed. Skysurfing participants need to have experience in skydiving and must master additional skills to manage the board's dynamics during free fall, whereas skydiving is accessible to beginners, often starting with tandem jumps where the novice is attached to an instructor.
The equipment used in skysurfing includes a specially designed board in addition to the standard skydiving gear, making it crucial for skysurfers to be adept in handling both their body movements and the board. Skydiving, in contrast, requires less specialized equipment, mainly a jumpsuit, helmet, goggles, and the parachute system, making it a more straightforward activity in terms of gear.
Both sports offer thrilling experiences but cater to different interests within the aerial sports community. Skysurfing, with its added complexity and need for precision, appeals to those looking for an extreme sport that combines elements of surfing, skateboarding, and skydiving. Skydiving itself, being more accessible and focused on the free-fall experience, attracts a wider audience seeking the thrill of jumping from an aircraft.
While both skysurfing and skydiving share the fundamental aspect of jumping from an aircraft and experiencing free fall, skysurfing introduces an additional element of aerial acrobatics with a board, targeting those who seek an extra challenge and wish to perform stunts in the sky. In contrast, skydiving focuses on the pure joy and adrenaline rush of free falling and parachuting to the ground.

Comparison Chart


Skydiving with a board for performing stunts.
Jumping from an aircraft and free-falling.


Skydiving gear + board.
Jumpsuit, helmet, goggles, parachute.

Skill Level

Requires skydiving experience + board control.
Beginners to advanced.


Performing aerial acrobatics and stunts.
Experience of free fall and parachute descent.


More niche, requiring additional training.
Widely accessible, with options for beginners.

Compare with Definitions


Aerial surfing.
He executed a series of spins while skysurfing, captivating the onlookers below.


Parachuting sport.
Skydiving involves the strategic deployment of a parachute for a safe landing.


Extreme skydiving.
Skysurfing added an extreme twist to her skydiving adventure with complex acrobatics.


Tandem jumps.
They opted for a tandem skydiving jump, where beginners are attached to instructors.


Skydiving variant.
She transitioned from traditional skydiving to skysurfing for a new thrill.


Free fall activity.
His first skydiving experience was exhilarating, feeling the rush of the free fall.


Board control.
Mastering skysurfing required him to perfect his board control in free fall.


Aerial adventure.
Skydiving offered her an unmatched sense of freedom and adrenaline.


Stunt performance.
The skysurfing routine included breathtaking flips and rolls against the backdrop of the sky.


Basic jump.
The skydiving school taught the basics of jumping, free falling, and landing safely.


Sky surfing is a type of skydiving and extreme sport in which the skydiver wears a custom skysurf board attached to the 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.


To jump and fall freely from an airplane, often performing various maneuvers, before deploying a parachute.


The sport of performing maneuvers or stunts during free fall while riding on a skyboard.


The practice of performing acrobatic movements during the freefall phase of a parachute jump.


A kind of skydiving where the skydiver has a surfboard attached to the feet, and performs surfing-like stunts in midair.


Present participle of skydive


Performing acrobatics in free fall before pulling the ripcord of a parachute

Common Curiosities

How does skydiving differ from skysurfing?

Skydiving focuses on the act of jumping and parachuting from an aircraft, while skysurfing adds the complexity of performing stunts on a board during free fall.

Can beginners try skysurfing?

Beginners need to gain experience in traditional skydiving before progressing to skysurfing due to its added complexity.

Is skydiving safer than skysurfing?

Both activities involve risks, but skysurfing requires additional skills and control, potentially increasing the challenge and risk.

What makes skysurfing thrilling?

The thrill of skysurfing comes from combining the free-fall experience of skydiving with the excitement of performing stunts on a board.

How do I start skysurfing?

Start with mastering basic skydiving skills, then seek specialized training for skysurfing, including board control and aerial stunts.

Can you skydive without an instructor?

Yes, after completing required training and certifications, individuals can skydive solo.

Are there competitions for skysurfing?

Yes, there are competitions for skysurfing, focusing on the complexity and execution of aerial stunts.

What equipment is unique to skysurfing?

The main unique equipment for skysurfing is the board used to perform aerial maneuvers.

What is skysurfing?

Skysurfing is a skydiving discipline where the jumper performs acrobatics on a board attached to their feet during free fall.

How high do skysurfers jump from?

Skysurfers jump from similar altitudes as skydivers, typically between 10,000 to 15,000 feet.

What are the basic requirements for skydiving?

Basic requirements include being of legal age, meeting health and fitness criteria, and completing a training course.

What's the learning curve like for skysurfing?

The learning curve for skysurfing is steep, requiring proficiency in skydiving and additional training for board control and aerial maneuvers.

Why is skydiving popular?

Skydiving is popular for the adrenaline rush, sense of freedom, and unique experience of free falling and parachuting.

What's the first step in learning to skydive?

The first step is completing a tandem jump or a ground training course, depending on the skydiving school's program.

How do you train for skysurfing?

Training involves skydiving courses, specialized board control lessons, and practice jumps to master stunts.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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