Elevator Surfing

elevator surfing by Leonardo Da Brick

Elevator surfing is an activity involving moving around on top of elevators, or jumping between moving elevators where possible. The activity is illegal in most locations and several people have died or been injured attempting it. Surfers can be crushed between the elevator and the top, sides, or bottom of the shaft, be struck by the counterweight, or simply slip or be knocked off and fall to their deaths. Elevator surfing typically occurs in skyscrapers or on college campuses, especially those with tall buildings. Most large buildings have groups of elevators close together, which are most commonly used.

To begin, participants will usually go into such a building early in the morning, before too many people arrive to use the elevators. Once in an elevator, they hold the elevator between floors and open the safety hatch. They then climb on top, release the emergency switch, and pull the last person out. Another method of entry involves opening the exterior doors on the floor above the elevator, and jumping on from there. Doors are either forced or opened with an elevator key. While easier to execute, this is uncommon unless no others are nearby. Accomplices will sometimes press buttons on the inside of the elevators to provide the movement. Movement can also be provided by means of service controls located on top of the elevator car.


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