Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a bloke jumping out of a plane at 13,000 feet in a kayak.
Daredevil Miles Daisher looks a bizarre sight, ‘paddling’ across the sky in a kayak.
Skyaking – 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. 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,’ he said. ‘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. ‘That way, I have time to sort things out, get out of the boat and then pull the chute for the kayak.’ The 40-year-old, of Idaho, dreamt up skyaking while looking for ways to make his hobby even more extreme. ‘It took us almost a year before we could [take the first jump], as no one was really looking to throw a kayak out of an aeroplane,’ said Miles. ‘To begin with, we did it off a 600ft bridge and landed in Feather River, California. ‘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.’ The father-of-two’s antics are now to feature in a 3D film on skydiving, base jumping, wing-suit flying and, of course, skyaking. Miles has completed more base jumps – from buildings and cliffs – than anyone in the world, with 2,570. He has also done 3,000 skydives.