Cloud Dancer
SkySports International
1995 Pro Skysurfing Rules and Guidelines
August 1, 1995

Attention: The current Pro Skysurfing Rules and Guidelines are different from these rules. The 1995 rules are included here only for those interested in reviewing the rules that were used at the 1995 Xtreme Games.

The SSI Pro Tour web site:

Note: This information is included here for archival purposes only.


The competition will be conducted under the authority of these rules. All participants accept these rules as binding by registering in the competition.


-Skysurfing: Any three-dimensional free flight by a performer using a rigid item or surface attached to the feet.

-Team: One performer (Skysurfer) and one video camera operator (Camera Flyer) in a competition.

-Performance: A recording or live transmission of a Team's freefall routine using a video camera in a subjective manner.

-Jump: A single skydive by a team.

-Round: When all teams have made one jump.

-Heading: is the direction in which the Skysurfer's shoulders face at the start of a move.

-Pose: any position of the body where there is no movement of the body or about the axes.

-Move: described as either a translation of the performer's body and/or one of more of their body parts, or as rotation around one or more of the three axes of the performer's body (a more common reference point for general observers) and a fourth axis that is the direction of fall. These axes are:

-Twist axis: an axis through the performer's body from head to toe. (HT axis)
-Barrel axis: an axis through the performer's body from front to back. (FB axis)
-Loop axis: an axis through the performer's body from left to right. (LR axis)

-Wind axis: an axis through the performer's relative wind axis or direction of fall. (RW axis)

-Routine: A sequence of Skysurf moves and poses performed during the working time.

-Basic Body Positions:

-Layout: the body straight and in line.
-Pike: body bent forward at waist, legs straight at knees.

-Tuck: body bent forward at waist, knees bent.

-Working Time: is the period of time during which teams may perform a routine on a jump. Working time starts the first moment any Team Member separates from the aircraft, as determined by the Judges.


-Objective: The objective of the event is to subjectively portray a sequence of skysurfing moves in freefall as Artistically and as Technically correct as possible.
-The competition is an invitational event comprised of Skysurf Teams.
-The competition consists of five jumps total. All scores count.
-All teams will make four jumps. After four completed rounds, the field is cut to the top five teams, who make a fifth jump. The fifth jump total is added to the overall total again, making the jump worth double points.
-The competitors are free to perform any moves or poses they wish and in any order on any jump.

-There are no re-jumps.


-Jump Operations: Exit Altitude is 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) AGL.
-There are no limitations on the exiting positions other than those imposed by the Chief Pilot for safety reasons or the Event Director for TV or other reasons.
-Jump Order: For the first jump, the jump order will be determined by reverse order of placing, based on standings from the previous Extreme Games. Jump order between Teams with tied places will be determined by draw. After each round, jump order will be in reverse order of the then current standings.
-Jump Procedure: If a live air to ground system is used, each team shall receive their own exit pass, in which no team shall exit the aircraft until they have received an 'EXIT' signal from the Jumpmaster. Otherwise, the exit procedure will be conducted under the normal ops for the event site.
- Upon receiving an exit signal from the Jumpmaster, each team will have thirty seconds in which to exit the aircraft, taking into account that each team is responsible for making it back to the officially designated landing zone.
-Once the ruling is made by the Jumpmaster that conditions are acceptable for jumping, it is the ultimate responsibility of each team member whether to jump or not.
-Working time is 60 seconds from the moment the first team member leaves the aircraft.
-Once either Team Member has left the aircraft after the EXIT command has been given, the jump shall be evaluated and scored.
-When the event utilizes live air to ground video links, opening altitude for all team members shall be between 2,000 and 3,000' AGL, taking into account accepted standard safety considerations.
-Any competitor who, in the opinion of the Event Director, cuts away the surf due to lack of control is subject to immediate dis-qualification from the competition.
-Jump Abortion: Once the EXIT signal has been given by the Jumpmaster, the Team may choose to abort a jump for any pertinent reason and elect to let their Team land with the aircraft, forfeiting the scores for that jump.
-Weather Conditions: Weather conditions will be monitored by the Landing Zone Director at the official landing zone. The LZ Director will be in radio contact with the Pilot in command and the Jumpmaster to advise on the weather conditions for each and every jump.
-Air-to-Air Video Recording: All jumps may be simultaneously recorded and transmitted live by each Team Camera Flyer either using the official video camcorder and transmission system provided by the event organizers or the Team's system provided it meets the event's published technical specifications. A back-up or secondary video system may used at the Team's discretion. Any secondary system will be provided by the Team.
-Prior to using any freefall video equipment for official Training Jumps or Competition Jumps, the video system must be presented to the Video Controller for inspection. If any freefall video equipment does not meet the requirements as determined by the Event Director and the Video Controller, this equipment will be deemed to be unusable for the competition.
-After the initial inspection, the Video Controller may re-inspect any freefall video equipment at any time which does not interfere with a Team's performance, as determined by the Event Director.
-After recording each jump, the Camera Flyer must immediately deliver the freefall video equipment(used to record that jump) to the Video Controller for dubbing.
-Each Camera Flyer is required to make their video system available at least 24 hours in advance of the start of competition for the temporary mounting of the transmitters, antenna and/or related cabling.

-Superimposed data, shutter speeds faster than normal (1/60 in NTSC) and wide angle adaptors that cause a "vignette" effect are prohibited. Auto-focus, if used, may not be noticeable or distracting. Electronic or other forms of stabilization devices may not be noticeable or distracting.


-Scoring: Each jump shall be evaluated by a minimum of three judges. Two sub-scores will be given by each judge in a range of 0-50 for
i. Technical Merit
ii. Artistic Impression
The two sub-scores will be added together to reach a total score of 0-100 for each Team's jump.
-The scores of all judges shall be totalled for a cumulative total of each team's jump.
-The scores for the fifth jump will be totalled, then added again to increase the weighting of the final jump to count for one third the total of the event.
-The sum of the combined cumulative scores after all completed jumps will be the final score for each Team. The Team with the highest cumulative score is the winner.
-Posting Score Averages: After each jump, each Team's sub-total/total for Technical, Artistic, Round and Overall Total may be averaged to the nearest tenth of a point on a 0-100 scale and posted for reference purposes. Individual Judge's scores may not be posted, only the total points for the round.
-Judgement Criteria:
-Technical Merit; The following criteria shall be taken into account to evaluate the Technical Merit of the Team's routine:
A. Difficulty of the moves undertaken.
B. Precision of Performance to include
i. Correctness of orientation, heading and body form
ii. Clarity of presentation of the skill. Clarity and stability of the image.

C. Team work - The effective combination of the technical skills of Skysurfer and Camera Flyer.

-Artistic Impression; The following criteria shall be taken into account to evaluate the Artistic Impression of the Team's routine:

A. Originality - creative choreography in the variety, velocity changes and combination of moves.
B. Virtuosity - overall appeal and visual excitement produced by the performance.

C. Team work - The effective combination of the artistic skills of Skysurfer and Camera Flyer.


-Observing the Sequences: The jumps may be judged using a live transmission or recorded air-to-ground video, or in the absence of air-to-ground video, the air-to-air video recording.
-If a live system is used, the Judges will watch each jump as it happens live while recording the air to ground signal. All or portions of the jump may be reviewed once via 'instant re-play' if requested by two or more judges in the available scoring time.
-Should the live transmission be insufficient for judging of the complete jump or a live system not be available, judging will take place using the dubbed tape as soon as possible after all teams have completed the round. Jumps judged from videotape will be scored from a maximum of two viewings.
-A video assistant will start a chronometer when one of the Team Members leaves the aircraft and will announce the end of working time (or activate some other agreed upon cut-off procedure such as switching the viewing monitors to black or freezing the frame.)
-Scoring Procedure: The score sheets or electronic total of all Judges must be collected immediately after the Judges have scored the jump for evaluation by the scoring section. The results of the collation will be checked by at least one Judge.
-If a live system is used, scores are to be posted by the time each team lands (unless the transmission is deemed insufficient for judging by at least two judges.)
-Minimum Rounds: If it is not possible to complete the competition as planned, winners shall be declared after all teams have completed an equal number of jumps. The competition will be ruled void if two jumps have not been completed by all teams.

-Determining Standings: The Champions are the Team with the highest scores in the completed rounds. If two or more Teams have equal scores, the ranking will be decided by the highest number of points for a single round, progressing until standings are determined.


-Safety: Each team member is responsible for outfitting themselves and being fully trained in the safe operation of all appropriate equipment and clothing including:
-A ram-air reserve outfitted with a functioning, armed, automatic activation device.
-A real hook knife is required to be carried by all participants.
-All athletes are required to use at least one audible or visual altimeter on their person. Both are recommended.
-All Skysurfers are required to utilize a surf cutaway system that can be activated by the surfer without bending at the waist. The cutaway system must be designed to ensure reliable, easy and fast cutaways, in addition to serving as an efficient fastener. Bindings will be inspected prior to the competition and may be required to be demonstrated on the ground. Shoes must suit the practice and should not cause distortion of the binding. Any binding system deemed unsafe by the Competition Director will not be allowed.
-Camera Flyers are required to use a full-face, hard-shell helmet covering the jaw, chin (and preferably the mouth.)
-Carried items which may be accidentally dropped, or deemed unsafe by the Competition Director are prohibited.
-Recovery Systems: Surfs with a S/W Ratio (surface to weight) of more than 0.7 gram must be equipped with their own parachute recovery system that is automatically activated upon cutaway of the surf.
-Calculations: All measurements are metric for greater accuracy.
-Surface Area: For a quick estimate, measure the surf and multiply length by width in centimeters. (To calculate the actual official surface area, a more accurate measurement that takes into account curved shapes, trace the surf on a large sheet of graph paper or other form of grid using square centimeters. Total the number of square cm that fall at least halfway into the resulting outline. The total number of squares is the surface area of the surf in square centimeters.
-S/W Ratio: To determine the surface area to weight (S/W ratio) of the surf; weigh the surf (as it is jumped including binding systems, but not a recovery system) to the nearest gram, then divide the total weight by the surface area (sq cm). The resulting number is the ratio of surface area to each gram of weight, expressed as 0.7 g.

Example: Total weight/Surface area = Surface/Weight Ratio
Example: 2.90 kg (2900 g)/4160 sq. cm. = 0.69 g


-The Competition Director and the Chief Pilot will designate a standardized range of exit speed for all jumps, practice and competition.


-Conduct: All participants will conduct themselves in a professional manner both on and off the DZ throughout the course of the event. Conduct deemed by the Event, Competition or Meet Director to be unprofessional, inappropriate or causing a negative reflection upon the event shall result in the immediate expulsion of the parties from the competition and site and denial of all privileges associated with the event and/or any future events. All decisions are final.
-Sponsorships: As determined by the Event Participant Registration Form.
-Images and Rights: As determined by the Event Participant Registration Form and Rights to Images Recorded by Participants Release.
-TV Production Camera Flyers: Any Team may be followed by a secondary Official Camera Flyer shooting for an official television production of the event. At least one team member will be notified that they will be taped by a TV CF no later than the 15 minute boarding call. The TV CF will exit the same aircraft. The team shall be responsible for coordinating the exit with the TV CF before boarding.
-Non-Jumping TV Production Personnel: While the non-jumping TV production crew members on the aircraft will make every effort not to interfere with the competitors, the TV crew may or may not be experienced skydivers and should be accorded the consideration and extra safety concerns normally given to non-jumping observers.)
-Master Tapes: Original recordings are to be treated as film negative and not to be reviewed by the team until dubbed.
-Any team found viewing the original recording before dubbing will be penalized by the deduction of 25 points from their total score.

-At the end of the event, all original tapes may be retained by the organizers for the TV production use.


-Upon the medical incapacitation or dis-qualification of a registered team member within 48 hours of the scheduled start of competition, an officially designated Alternate Team may compete in place of the affected team.

-Upon the medical incapacitation or dis-qualification of a registered team member after the start of the competition, that team is removed from the competition with final placement based on the completed points up to that time. The Alternate Team may then compete in the available slot and be placed in the standings with full rights to any award earned based on their scores.


-Descriptions and Axes: In the following guidelines, all moves are described as they are related to the Skysurfer's body, which is what most observers pay the greatest attention to. All moves relate either to one or more of three axes passing through the performer's body, to rotations along the direction of the relative wind or to movements of the performer in space, such as horizontal movement (tracking.) The axes are:
-Loop axis: (LR axis) an axis through the performers body from left to right. Movements about this axis are forward or back loops.
-Barrel axis: (FB axis) an axis through the performers body from front to back. Movements about this axis are side loops or barrel rolls.
-Twist axis: (HT axis) a longitudinal axis through the performers body from head to toe. Movements about this axis are twists or spins.

-Wind axis: is an axis along the direction of the relative wind or fall. This axis may coincide with any of the three body axes. (Rotations about this axis are frequently called turns and may also coincide with the Twist axis (HT) as in an "inverted spin." - or - if the body is parallel to the ground and a rotation is made about the Barrel axis (FB), this would coincide with as a turn on the Wind axis, as in a "body spin." Adding twists - rotations about the (HT) axis - generates Fall axis moves as in a "triple twisting body spin."

-Determining Difficulty
-Movements involving more than one axis simultaneously are generally more difficult than movements about a single axis.
-Multiple spins within loops are harder than a single spin.
-A series of multiple movements is more difficult than a single movement.
-Movements initiated without the push of the arms or hands are more difficult. (e.g. Hands crossed behind the neck or at the side.)
-Stopping moves abruptly is difficult, especially in pre-determined positions or headings.
-Rapid reversal of moves is difficult.
-A move in which the body position (H-T axis) starts in a vertically head up plane (perpendicular to the ground) is generally easier than a start in any other position. Vertically head down is more difficult.
-Control and team coordination during rapid changes of descent rate is more difficult if the Camera Flyer maintains the same relative distance.
-Maintaining an ideal body position throughout a move is difficult, especially keeping the legs straight.
-Rotations about axes which do not pass through the Skysurfer's center of gravity are harder than those that do. (e.g. A barrel roll where the Barrel axis of the roll is through the surf, is more difficult than a rotation that pivots through an axis centered in the stomach or chest.)
-It is more difficult to perform many different controlled moves during the allowed time than a few. (However speed should not be traded against quality.)
-Moves in which one portion of the Skysurfer's body remains relatively stationary (apart from the natural descent due to gravity) are more difficult.
-Moves in the framing made by the Camera Flyer while retaining a good stable image are more difficult. ( e.g. a twist about the HT axis or moving in a "boom" from beneath the performer to above the performer.)
-Inverted moves in the framing made by the Camera Flyer while retaining a good stable image are more difficult.
-Orbiting moves in the framing made by the Camera Flyer while retaining a good stable image from below looking up are more difficult than from above looking down (no horizon reference.)
-Moves in the framing made by the Camera Flyer while retaining a good stable image and passing through the Wind axis of the performer are difficult to very difficult. (e.g. rotating more than 270x directly over the top or bottom of the Skysurfer.)
-Precision of Performance: The judges will be looking for the following points.
-The surf should point in the same direction as the performer's torso, not at an angle
-Front, side and back loops should start and finish on the same heading or finish 180x to the original heading if a half twist id performed within the loop (1-1/2, 2-1/2 etc.)
-All loops, front, back or side, should be executed in a plane vertical to the ground (standing.)
-Twists within loops should start after the commencement of the loop and finish within 360x.
-Twists or spins should be executed with the body as straight a possible.
-Turns or rotation of the body in a plane parallel to the ground should be at least 360x.
-Rotations around the axes should stop after a set amount of degrees: 90x, 180x, 270x or 360x.
-Team Work

In general, gratuitous moves made by the Camera Flyer that do not enhance the overall image or interfere with the evaluation of the Skysurfer's performance are to be discouraged. Moves by the Camera Flyer that apparently (or not so apparently) correct minor technical deviations of the performer are credited. Being too close in proximity can be as unsatisfactory as being too far away, if overemphasized. Variety adds to the performance. Synchronization of movement between the team members that enhance the visual dynamics of moves are to be encouraged. In summary, if a combination works and looks good, it will be rewarded.

SkySports International
Official Skysurf Organizer of the ESPN Extreme Games - Fax 214-492-8293 - Tel 214-394-0472

Cloud Dancer