Paddling across the sky, 13,000ft up in a kayak has become a new daredevil craze dubbed ‘Skyaking’.
Skyaking is the thrill-seeker’s new twist on skydiving, involves jumping out of a plane, plummeting 4,000m (13,000 feet) and then making a smooth landing on water at 50mph. So far, it’s got exactly one practitioner: Miles Daisher, a 40-year-old Idaho native and all-around daredevil— he’s also BASE jumped more than anyone else in the world.
Miles jumps in a short, wide kayak that gives extra stability in the air and freefalls at about 100mph, slower than the 120mph of a typical skydiver.
“There are a lot of things that can go wrong in skyaking so you have to be prepared,” Mr. Daisher tells the Telegraph. “I usually pull the chute quite high. With skydives, I will pull at 2,000 feet, whereas with skyaking I will pull at 5,000 feet – in case anything starts to go a little crazy.”
He dreamt up skyaking while looking for ways to make his hobby even more extreme. He says: “That way, I have time to sort things out, get out of the boat and then pull the chute for the kayak. A year later, I got permission to jump out of a plane and, since then, I have jumped out of four different aircraft, including a helicopter. I have been skyaking almost eight years now.”
Now, he’s skyaked everywhere from Mexico to Abu Dhabi. He has also completed more BASE jumps than anyone in the world with 2,570 and has completed a whopping 3,000 skydives since he quit his job and took up the sport in 1995.