Felix jumps from the edge of space.
Last week the world breathlessly watched Felix Baumgartner plummet back to Earth , breaking the sound barrier after


Shut Up and Take My Money: Top Three Extreme Ways to Fly Without a Space Program

Felix jumps from the edge of space.
Last week the world breathlessly watched Felix Baumgartner plummet back to Earth, breaking the sound barrier after his 24 mile high jump from the stratosphere. While most of us let out a collective sigh of relief when the daredevil skydiver safely landed on his feet in the New Mexico desert, envious adrenaline-junkies foamed at the mouth for more. Lucky for them, there are other ways to fly, and they don't require your own Red Bull space program. Here are three contraptions to get you started.

1. The Wingsuit

Strapping on a wingsuit and jumping off a cliff or airplane is probably the closest our doughy, mammal bodies will ever come to avian flight. The suit increases the body's surface area with panels stretched between the arms and torso and between the legs, allowing the human daredevil to glide and maneuver much like a flying squirrel--except faster (100 mph), longer (3 to 9 minutes of flight) and generally with more rave colors. Landing is achieved by releasing a parachute at a certain altitude and floating down to (hopefully solid) ground. Before you can drop $1,700 on a suit and some lessons, most everyone requires proof of 200 regular, unassisted skydives. That kind of prerequisite adds up to a big chunk of change, but watching death-defying pro Jeb Corliss soar over stunning mountains and valleys makes it seem well worth it.

2. Speed Flying

Speed flying is an adrenaline cocktail of paragliding, skiing and huge cajones. The fliers start off at the top of a mountain with an already inflated parachute, resembling a smaller, streamlined paraglider and referred to as a Speed Wing. Instead of running off a ramp in a seated harness, speed fliers launch standing, on foot or ski or snowboard, riding down the mountain until the acceleration lifts them in the air. From here on out, the journey becomes a precarious balancing act between flight and landing, with pilots hoping to glide over the mountain's dangerous crags and crevices and grind down on safe, fluffy snow when the lift runs out. Fly, land, repeat. Expert skills in both skiing and paragliding are required before taking on the danger and maneuvering challenges of speed flying. Luckily, Seattle is perfectly positioned to practice both. Head to Snoqualmie Pass to hone your winter sport and to Issaquah for a taste of regular paragliding. When you're good and ready to combine the two, there are Speed Wing and harness combo packages starting at $1,900.

3. The FlyBoard

If hurling yourself off a mountain is a little too scary, you can swap out flying like a bird for hovering like Ironman with the newly invented FlyBoard. Thanks to French jet ski champion Franky Zapata, anyone with a jet ski and $6,700 can experience the lift of a jet pack without the hard landing of solid ground. Zapata essentially created an aquatic hover board by running a hose between a jet ski and a booted foot stand. The hose directs the motor's jet stream beneath the board. Add in two stabilizers in the form of smaller hand streams and you can propel yourself in and around the water like a bonafide superhero. With proper alignment of the feet and hands, the jet streams can elevate the rider up to 30 feet above the water while the jet ski bounces around unmanned behind him. But the real fun starts with mid-air flips and arched dives, turning any coordinated hobbyist into a rocket powered dolphin.

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