Skysurfing is a part of skydiving which has a governing body called the FAI. It officially authorizes six different competition "styles". Free-fall style and accuracy landing are the most well known categories. The most popular competitions are formation skydiving and canopy formation events. The newest events are freestyle and skysurfing.
Freefall - Free-fall style and accuracy events are called classics because they are the oldest forms of competition. Free-falling contestants perform a series of prearranged acrobatic maneuvers before reaching a set altitude for opening the parachute. Judges on the ground watch each jumper with binoculars and award points based on the style of each jump.
Accuracy - During accuracy events, participants attempt to land on a clearly marked ground target that is 3 cm (1 in) in diameter. Judges measure the distance between the jumper's landing spot and the center of the target. The jumper with the lowest combined distance after a series of jumps wins the event.
Team Events - Team events are the most popular form of skydiving competition. Groups of free-falling skydivers form predetermined geometric patterns by holding on to one another. In teams of 2 to 100 individuals, jumpers race to build the greatest number of patterns in the allowed time. In Canopy Formation skydiving, jumpers build formations after they have opened their parachutes. During both events, teams receive points for style, difficulty of formation, and the number of formations completed during a single jump.
Freestyle - The newest skydiving competitions are individual events called freestyle skydiving and skysurfing. Like free-fall style, freestyle jumpers perform acrobatic maneuvers while in free fall. Freestyle skydivers, however, do not perform prearranged sequences. Instead, they create their own routines. The specific movements of these routines are often more difficult than those of free-fall style jumpers.
Skysurfing - Skysurfing involves the use of a skyboard (much like a snowboard) to surf through the air. Competitors are judged by the difficulty and style of their maneuvers, which include loops, 360-degree turns, and twists.
Championship & World Cup - Skydiving world championships are held every two years. In years when the world championships are not held, an international competition called the World Cup is held. Traditionally, the United States and France have dominated formation skydiving and canopy formation events. European jumpers dominate the classic events for the men. American skydiver Cheryl Stearns, who has won more world skydiving championships than any other competitor in the history of the sport, has dominated classic events for women.