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Sky Surfing

A form of Not Quite Flight in which the flyer stands on top of the object with the relative propulsion mechanisms and control surfaces. While the rider is usually the one in control, all the work is done by whatever he's standing on. The difference between riding a Hover Board and Sky Surfing is that a Hover Board (whatever its shape) is limited in how high above the ground it can go.

Despite the name, the flying vehicle in question is not necessarily surfboard-shaped.

Sky surfing is Truth in Television, albeit unpowered.

Compare Ride the Lightning. When done with a plane or similar, it's also an Outside Ride.

Also compare Magic Carpet, Flying Broomstick, Hover Board.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • This 1991 Australian ad for Coca-Cola.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Tekkaman Blade often rode on the back of his robot Pegus. In Tekkaman Blade II, Vesna, Sommer, and Hiver had dedicated ships (with their own pilots) to ride on, and Aki, once but an angsty love interest, has her own Pegas II (for the same reason - she's an artificial Tekkaman and needs a Pegas to transform).
  • Eureka Seven has lifting, a form of Sky Surfing using special boards to ride strange atmospheric particles called trapars, which are really the thought energy of the intelligent coral covering the planet. Anyways, Lifting is also used as a flight mechanism for their Humongous Mecha.
    • If it's not awesome enough, their surfboards leave energy trails that can slice through armor, luminescent green/yellow and look like splashing waves.
  • Negi Springfield has done this a few times flying on his staff.
    • Jack Rakan managed to pull off surfing on a thrown BFS.
    • Most mages in the Akamatsuverse who use brooms or staves to fly stand on them when engaged in aerial combat.
  • Lutecia of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha often does this on a Type 2 Gadget Drone to get around. There's also Wendi and her Riding Board.
  • The Gundam metaseries have sub-flight systems, planes specifically designed to allow mobile suits to ride on them. The Justice Gundam from Gundam SEED even has its own dedicated flight lifter mounted on its back.
  • In FLCL, Haruko uses her guitar this way, as a shoutout to one of Gainax' earlier work, the Daicon IV opening animation.
  • In Shaman King, the Ainu shaman and snowboarder Horohoro uses his magic to create an ever-present avalance of snow and ice under his snowboard to fly. Might be closer to a Hover Board in that there presumably is a limit to how high he can make the snow go.
    • This is very similar to how Iceman of the X-Men often travels, though he just stands on the ice he creates. Neither of them seems to worry about what happens with all that frozen water after they've been passing through...
  • In Dragon Ball, Tao Pai Pai's preferred method of travel was to hurl a log towards his destination, leap on top of it, and ride it into the horizon.
    • And predating that is Goku's Kinto'un, a golden cloud which only the pure of heart can ride. Given to him by Mutenroshi, replaced by Karin after it got blown up for good, then inherited by his sons after his second death, he used it extensively until he learned to fly faster than it could. Mutenroshi also used baby Gamera this way, but all that spinning made him puke.
  • The titular character of Mahou Shoujo Tai Alice combines this with the standard Flying Broomstick.
  • In the second episode of Mobile Fighter G Gundam, Neo-America Gundam master Chibodee Crocket uses his Gundam's shield like this to catch up to Domon Kasshu so that they can start their fight.
  • In Final Battle of Macross Frontier: Wings Of Goodbye it goes up to eleven, since the Macross Quarter itself does this. An aircraft carrier sized transforming mecha.
  • Digimon Tamers has Gallantmon with Grani.
  • Maken-ki! has the Big Bad Yamato Ouken ride on a rock he threw in one of the recent chapters.
  • The end of Space Dandy episode 6 ends with Dandy and Meow escaping from an exploding planet on Dandy's surfboard.
  • In Tweeny Witches, Arusu is unable to ride a Flying Broomstick the regular way. However, she finds she can do it by standing on the broom like a skateboard.

    Comicbooks 
  • Mister Miracle uses a pair of discs under his feet that allow him to fly.
    • So did Eppy Thatcher, the fourth Grendel, until he developed a more advanced (and grisly) method: micro-levitation devices he surgically implanted in the soles of his feet. Not sure if those also count as this trope or not...
    • If that counts, then so do the Trickster's "air-walker shoes".
  • The Silver Surfer just might be the Trope Maker.
    • Another Jack Kirby creation, The Black Racer of the New Gods, flew through the cosmos on skis.
      • As the combination of both of the above, Amalgam Comic's Silver Racer also skis.
  • Spider-Man villains Green Goblin and Hobgoblin with their Goblin Glider.
    • Plus female Goblin Fury in Spider-Girl... and Spider-Girl herself, for a while.
    • Not to mention Jack O' Lantern, aka Jack Macendale, on a disk-shaped glider.
  • Judge Dredd has had several storylines based around sky-surfing, mostly centered around the (highly illegal) Supersurf tournaments.
  • During the Keith Giffen era of the Justice League of America, the JL fought the Scarlet Skier; the herald of the cosmic decorator Mr Nebula (a parody of the Silver Surfer and Galactus).
  • A cartoon by Charles Addams, Gahan Wilson, or somebody along the same line showed some witches arriving at a coven meeting riding their broomsticks this way. They're described by another witch as "the beach crowd" or "the Malibu crowd."

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Though most of them were skydiving, Tommy Oliver did this in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
  • Happened in one of the more ridiculous scenes of Batman & Robin where Batman and Robin ride the doors of a rocket ship after Mr. Freeze.
    Robin: Cowabunga!
  • Harry Osborn flies around on a special glider in Spider-Man 3.
  • The film Dark Star ends with Lt. Doolittle attempting an atmospheric entry riding a surfboard shaped piece of wreckage from his destroyed spaceship. The film ends before we find out how well that worked for him.

    Live-Action TV 

    Pinball 

    Tabletop Games 

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE's Toa Lhikan had two fire-swords which could unite to form a shield, and that shield in turn doubled as an instrument well-suited for sky surfing.

    Video Games 
  • In Devil May Cry 3, Dante surfs on a missile.
  • Temjin in the Virtual-ON series gained this as a special attack in the second game. It becomes his most powerful attack in Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 and Super Robot Wars K.
  • At the climax of Metal Wolf Chaos, Michael surfs an exploding space station to Earth while wearing a Humongous Mecha Powered Armour. For this game, it's pretty much par for the course.
  • Kirby sometimes rides upon his Warp Star like this, especially in the anime.
  • Rush Jet allows Mega Man to skysurf on the back of his dog.
    • The Balloon Adapter in Rockman 4 Minus Infinity lets him do the same thing and it is based on the Rush Jet from Mega Man 3, but with a very high weapon energy cost.
  • The "boards" in Fly FF. They're the main method of transport alongside Flying Broomsticks. Less common rideable items include clouds and magic carpets.
  • Rikako Asakura has some sort of rocket jet ski, because she can't fly. Presumably, she built it herself.
  • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, all three protagonists can turn their Keyblade into a vehicle, but Ven's is the only one that really fits this.
  • In several Sonic the Hedgehog games (and several adaptations), Tails will fly a biplane and Sonic will stand on the wings. Sonic also does this with certain objects, such as the tops in Marble Garden Zone.
  • Exploiting physics glitches allows you to pull this off with ordinary wooden pallets and... small, plastic buckets in Half-Life 2, which is used big time in the speedrun.
  • Champions Online has more than one such power. One summons chunks of earth (or cloud, if you do it while falling), another summons a chunk of ice, and yet another summons an actual technological glider disk. The newest ones include a magic carpet and a cloud with a rainbow trail.
  • While not technically flying, the Anchoring ability in S4 League allows you to shoot a grappling chain to any surface and then zip their on a board. Since this can be done in midair, arenas with enough tall buildings will let you zoom from one end to the other without touching the ground.
  • Layle of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Crystal Bearers does this during the final battle.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Used in The Wolf's Will for the Wind Surfers
  • Riptide's cloud-board in the Whateley Universe. Built especially to use her powers by Bugs, it's a flight board that uses Riptide's aquakineitc powers to fly, and it generates a tint cloud around itself while Riptide 'surfs' on it.

    Western Animation 
  • Manic uses one in Sonic Underground.
  • Kit Cloudkicker in TaleSpin uses a collapsible crescent-shaped board to surf over clouds, usually while being pulled by the Sea Duck (so it's essentially sky wakeboarding). He's also skilled enough to surf unassisted, such as after bailing out of aircraft, but he rarely does it unless he's near a town, a dock, or another populated place he can land in.
  • Then there's the long-forgotten Skysurfer Strike Force.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender : When witnessing his mentor doing just this with a glider in a Pensieve Flashback, Aang exclaims: "He's air-surfing! I can't believe I never thought of that." We never see him copying the technique afterward, though.
  • Valerie of Danny Phantom.
  • Static from Static Shock surfs using a disc.
    • Early in the original comic (and the cartoon), Static would fly by magnetically levitating a convenient piece of metal. He preferred manhole covers and hubcaps, but he would set aside his embarrassment and ride a garbage can in a pinch.
  • Kim Possible : Finished as a villain tutor, Shego calls up a flying rocket-powered skyboard in her signature colors and dives onto it from a helicopter. That's how to leave your job in style...
  • The zipboards from ReBoot are a textbook example of this trope.
    • Taken to the logical end with Ray Tracer, who uses an actual surfboard ala Silver Surfer.
  • In Transformers Animated, Jetfire transforms and rides Jetstorm when making their initial attack on Prowl and Bulkhead.
    • In Beast Wars, Optimus Primal's Transmetal form is an ape on a hoverboard, so he did this more than a few times in the show.
  • In Batman Beyond, the "Royal Flush" villain group flies on giant playing cards. Spellbinder, another villain, has his own mechanical device to fly on as well, although it's more spherical than board-shaped.
  • In WordGirl, the villainess Ms Question rides a giant question mark.

    Other 
  • This can be used as a technique for flying in lucid dreams (where you know you're dreaming) if just flying by yourself doesn't work; making an object float and even move very fast while standing or sitting on it might work better. It could be that it works because traveling in a vehicle is a more familiar sensation. Of course, it might not work. These tricks are individual and never wholly reliable.


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