X-treme: High and dry

There are countless sports that consider themselves extreme activities, and there are others which seem to go beyond common sense. Sky-surfing comprehensively proves that there is nothing on this earth, (or above it) that cannot be surfed. In addition to highlighting the thin line between sanity and madness, travelling at 120mph, with a board strapped to your legs, must score highly on the extreme barometer.

"It's totally awesome," says Mike Frost who, as a skydiver, has been throwing himself out of flying objects for years, and sky-surfing for five. "Sky-surfing is one of the most extreme sports in the world. There's virtually nothing that can touch it. People talk about extreme sports, but this is really out there on the limit."

Like a fantastic plot from a DC comic, 25-year-old Frost is a suit-wearing city financier on the ground. When in free-fall mode, he's the current British Sky-Surfing Champion, the extrovert guy who's pictured sky-surfing in the Extreme Polo Sport advertising campaign, and the last person that you'd expect to be frightened of heights (but maybe he just said that to make me feel better after I hastily turned down his offer to jump with him).

"I saw sky surfing on television and thought it looked incredible," he reveals. "They were `carving' at speeds of over 120 miles an hour. When you're up there getting thrown around the sky, it's the best feeling that you can have."

Frost first jumped with a snowboard, before progressing to a specially designed board made for sky-surfing. Costing around pounds 600, these weigh a mere three pounds and offer greater rigidity than a flexible snowboard. The former "feels like standing on concrete," according to Frost.

Most sky-surfers will have at least 100 skydiving jumps behind them before they take up the sport and know exactly how the human body can be manoeuvred in such conditions. Safety can never be compromised and sky-surfing is essentially a sport of discipline.

"Imagine spinning at five revs a second. The blood pools in your arms because you're spinning so fast," Frost claims. "It's faster than a jet pilot will experience. It's very demanding on the body and I train a lot to stay fit. When you're doing lots of jumps in one day you become physically shattered and you're in bed by 6pm."

One of the highlights of his career was finishing fifth in last year's World Air Games. Frost and his partner Andy Ford (who films the action), are sponsored by Sony Playstation, and were the only amateur team to beat professional pairs from around the world.

Twenty three teams competed over 10 rounds, with points being awarded for artistic merit and camera work. As both men fly through the air, Ford's camera work is just as important as the aeriel manoeuvres that Frost performs for the 50-second duration of the routine. The judges award high marks for camera shots that are aesthetically innovative and difficult to execute. The best teams meticulously choreograph their routines and always work as a unit.

"Andy films about three feet away from me, so we have to know how close we are to each other," Frost says. "I can accelerate and spin at incredible speeds, so we both know the routines inside out. A lot of trust is involved. When he dives over the top of me, we pass within a foot of each other. He flies at my head and I drop to an inverted position. At the same time, Andy inverts his position as he passes over me. In the viewfinder, (and the picture on the screen that the judges see), it looks like I'm standing still on the board but the world goes upside-down

"We didn't expect to place that high," he continues, "and we were really pleased with our performance. But the work we did then isn't a patch on the routines that we can do now."

Ford and Frost are the only British sky-surfers invited to this summer's X Games (extreme sports' equivalent of the Olympics) in California this June. For once, British competitors will be head and shoulders above the competition.

Mike Frost runs the School of Modern Skydiving at RAF Western. Courses include eight lessons with qualified instructors, for around pounds 1,500, plus a skydiving qualification on completion. Telephone 01869 343 343 for an information pack on skydiving

COMPETITION

Extreme Polo Sport is designed for all extremists of action or attitude with a passionate need to be different. We have 10 bottles of this new fragrance to give away. For a chance to win "Adrenaline in a Bottle", send a postcard to: Extreme Polo Sport Comp, c/o Alister Morgan on X-treme, The Independent, 1 Canada Sq, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL by 18 April

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
    Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

    The end of an era across the continent

    It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
    Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

    'Focus on killing American people'

    Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
    Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

    Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

    The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
    Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

    Same-sex marriage

    As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
    The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

    The Mafia is going freelance

    Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable