The first person to jump with a board was a French person in 1986. 4 years later, Laurent bouquet was skysurfing and Jerry Loftis started skysurfing in the US. Jerry Loftis developed teaching methods.
What can you do to get ready for taking the skysurfing course? In order to get on top of the board, you need to front flip to get on top of it. If you know how to do this front flip to standing without the board, you will be more prepared. You should be proficient in the sit and standing positions. In other words, you need to be able to control your heading. You should also learn some back flying. Learning to fly head-down will help your awareness level in general.
The beginner (short) board introduces you to flying with a platform. You can catch an edge, dig in and steer just like on the ground.
On the short board, learn how to fly in the recovery position. This is a face-down box position with the board tucked to the seat. You can push down with the hands and arms to pitch head higher. The board should not be perfectly vertical nor flat to the relative wind. When the board is vertical, nearly touching the seat, it is dangerous. This is a bad position because the pilot chute can get caught in burble and then get sucked between the legs. If this happens, you will die. Do practice pulls in this basic recovery position. A videographer accustomed to a camera suit with wings pulls by bringing both hands to the sides (i.e., the left hand does not go over the head. Videographers also tuck the legs. Don't carry these habits over to the surf recovery position. BTW, if the pilot chute launches properly into clean air, the bag will not go between the legs.
The deployment position is the most difficult to instruct, since each individual has such a personal style that works for them.
After learning the recovery position, you will learn front flips, back flips, and sit spins. A skysurfer's weakness is when blood starts rushing to the head, resulting in vertigo. Then, you will pass out and, consequently, relax and then your Cypres will save you. If you get into spinning, don't fight the spinning. Relax (allowing the magnitude of the spinning to reduce) and then you can roll over to the stomach into the recovery position. Tension and fighting promotes faster spinning. Next, learn to fly without one hand. Now, you are ready for next size larger board.
Jason reviews video of a skysurfing student making their first board jumps at Rantoul during the 2002 WFFC.
First Jump: Face-down recovery position. Practice pulls. 360 degree turns while face-down. Temporarily extend the legs to see how the board feels. Deliberately put out the pilot chute to deploy.
Second Jump: Frontloop to standup. Get back on the belly and frontloop to a standup. Do it again.
Third Jump: Standup, Frontloop to Standup. Jason finds the fallrate to be around 160 to 170 mph, but with students it instantaneously gets as slow as 120 mph.
Fourth Jump: Sit Spins.
It will take about a 100 skysurf jumps to be able to plan and execute a routine.
You can graduate to an intermediate board in one week. At Skydive Arizona, you can do 100 jumps in a week. This is a lot of jumping, but this is typical when training.
Obtaining sponsorship. You represent your sponsors in a manner that will sell their gear. There are those who really prefer the gear that they are sponsored and there are those who can make a good sales pitch for the sponsored gear that they jump, even though they may like something else better. Keith and Jason are sponsored by Skydive Arizona, Rigging Innovations (VooDoo), and Icarus.
The public likes to see you land with a board on your feet.