Video: When Surfing the Fence in Saint Maarten Goes Terribly Wrong
In addition to the promise of thrilling arrivals, as far as we know, Maho is the only publicly accessible place in the world where one can stand 50 yards behind a jet at full takeoff thrust. In a practice that has been colloquially named “surfing the fence” or “riding the fence,” thrill seekers will grab onto the airport fence behind a departing jet and hold on for dear life.
The goal, I think, is to get your legs blown out from under you while maintaining grip on the fence to achieve a brief, horizontal “flight.” This rarely happens. The first problem: It’s difficult to breathe and see with 50,000 to 100,000 lbs of hot air and dust being blown in your face. Second problem: Few people have enough hand strength to accomplish this goal.
Most of the failed attempts safely end with the fence surfer bailing and running a few yards out of the blast zone. In the video below, however, one surfer appears to suffer a head injury. If anyone has details about what happened to this woman, please let us know in the comments.