A free-falling parachuter, strapped onto a snowboard with a Cheshire grin and arms spread wide, graces the book's cover (as does his recently departed airplane, pitched at a rather precarious angle). Don't be misled: only a few pages of The Skydiver's Handbook are dedicated to skysurfing, one of the more radical aspects of parachuting. Instead, Dan Poynter and Mike Turoff's parachuting guide is exhaustive, addressing all levels and styles of skydiving, and providing a glut of like resources. The guide opens with a why-do-this analogy: "If riding in an airplane is flying, then riding in a boat is swimming. If you want to experience the element, get out of the vehicle." Novice skydivers will learn the basics, from tarmac preparation to the first static line jump. And yes, experienced jumpmasters will find enough advanced material to hold their interest: free fall and canopy progression, equipment updates, and emergency procedures. All readers will appreciate the glossary and the lists of skydiving centers, parachute equipment dealers, and literary material. --Rob McDonald
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