04 March 2010

Skyaking: When You Must Be First in the Water

When the need to kayak the whitewater or the surf hits, you really do not want to suffer the long ride in the car, or taking the time to tie the boat down to the rack then take it back off again. You want to be the first to hit the water when the surf's up or when the river flow hits optimum.

Miles Daisher is a 40 year old adventurer from Twin Falls, Idaho, who is polishing the fine art of skyaking on the free falling slipstream.

Over the years father-of-two Miles and his team have slowly perfected the art of skyaking.

‘There are a lot of things that can go wrong in skyaking and so you have to be prepared,’ he said.

‘In skyaking I usually put the chute quite high. With skydives I will pull at 2,000 ft above the ground whereas with skyaking I will pull at 5,000 ft above the ground incase anything starts to go a little crazy.

‘That way I have a time to sort things out, get out of the boat and then pull the chute for the kayak.’ And he has noted some strong differences in regular skydiving. ‘The rate at which you fall is a lot different,’ he said.

‘Instead of falling flat on your belly you are sitting up right in an L position. I liken it to sitting on a space hopper, balancing front to back and side to side.

‘It does take some decent balance skills. And because the boat has such a big surface area your fall rate is a lot slower.

‘If you are lying on your belly, a normal sized human will fall at 120 mph.

‘If you go into a stand up or a head down then you can build the speed up to 160-180 mph.

‘But with this boat, that has so much surface area and weighs 35 lbs, meaning that I fall at only 98 mph. _ImpactLab

You can see Miles "ditching" his craft next to the runway.  Notice the beginning of wing stall as the kayak transfers energy to the water rather smoothly, but abruptly.

Next, Miles needs to put an engine on his craft in order to add range and time aloft.   At that point, he should be able to take off from water as long as he can keep his wing inflated while picking up speed.

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