Extreme sports trick guide - "Tricktionary" (Realtime Unity3D)

This is a a project I am working on for my degree in computer science.

The idea is to create an interactive library of tricks to both inform and help people learn how to do them.

A rig is animated in blender, then the blend file imported into Unity3D. A user controllable camera is attached to the rider, and the file is packaged with the Unity web player.
When the user loads the page, the animation plays. Ideally the user will be able to control time in a video-like manner as well as the camera angle.

At key points in the animation, instructions may appear (Such as “Look over your shoulder and spot your landing now”) in a text panel on the web page.

I have a proof of concept here: http://www.evilc.com/tmp/unitytest
(Arrow keys to move camera).
Its pretty bugged, things fly off in all directions at the start, I am finding the rigging a pretty steep learning curve.
I started out with the biped rig, but there was too much stuff attached to it that unity wasnt too happy about, so I stripped it out and did my own.
I can get the rig and IK working no problem, it’s animating (particularly rotations) over a jump that causes problems.
If the root of an armature is parented to an object, unity seems to ignore animations for it, but in order to get a body I can move around by a handle whilst also being able to pose the board position is proving problematic.

My latest rig is here: http://www.evilc.com/tmp/rig080.blend
Any advice welcomed.