If you live for exhilarating experiences but aren’t quite ready to jump out of a plane, indoor skydiving may be a great vacation activity for you.
What is Indoor Skydiving?
Indoor skydiving facilities employ large wind tunnels to simulate the thrilling excitement of traditional skydiving.
Basically, the tunnel blows air upward to give participants the experience of jumping out of a plane. Indoor skydiving is a safer and less complicated way for tourists and other thrill-seekers to experience flight.
History of Indoor Skydiving
While traditional skydiving has existed in some form since at least the 1600s, indoor skydiving is a much newer concept. The modern indoor skydiving tunnel evolved from the vertical wind tunnels used to test new military theories and inventions during World War II. In the 1970s, Jean St. Germain modified the military wind tunnel for his children’s amusement. His wind tunnel became the earliest version of today’s indoor skydiving tunnel. SkyVenture Orlando premiered the first wind tunnel as a tourist attraction in 1999.
Indoor Skydiving Equipment and Safety
Like traditional skydiving, indoor skydiving requires certain safety equipment. You don’t need to bring your own equipment, however. When you arrive, you will be given a nylon jumpsuit that fits over your clothes. The suit will help you weather the intense blasts of air more easily. You will also be given protective goggles, earplugs, and a helmet. Be sure to remove any jewelry or other items that may present a safety hazard to you.
Unlike Jean St. Germain’s model, which leveraged a relatively small column of air, today’s indoor skydiving locations provide wall-to-wall air motion. This greatly increases the enjoyment of indoor skydiving.
Indoor skydiving is safe for most individuals, regardless of age. However, like any attraction that involves motion, it may be unsafe in certain circumstances. You should not participate in indoor skydiving if you are pregnant, weigh over 300 pounds, or have certain back, neck, or heart conditions. All participants (or their parents) are required to sign a waiver before participating in indoor skydiving activities.
Indoor Skydiving Locations
Indoor skydiving can be found in many major cities. One popular choice is iFly Orlando. iFly Orlando (formerly SkyVenture Orlando) was America’s first indoor skydiving location. iFly is also one of the world’s largest indoor skydiving companies, with nearly fifty locations throughout the United States and around the world.
Indoor Skydiving Pros
Want to learn new tricks? Watch how some indoor skydiving enthusiasts like Maja Kuczynska and Kyra Poh take the activity to new heights. While most indoor skydivers participate for the occasional feeling of excitement, these young athletes devote hours to perfecting the aerial acrobatic moves you find in professional-level indoor skydiving sports. Many iFly locations also host indoor skydiving competitions throughout the year, so you can show off your new skills when you’re ready.
What People Are Saying About Indoor Skydiving
According to Trip Advisor, indoor skydiving allows you to “experienc[e] skydiving without having to jump from a perfectly good airplane.” iFly Orlando boasts an average rating of 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor and Yelp. Other iFly locations have similar ratings, as well.
If you’re searching for something exciting to do that the whole family will enjoy, indoor skydiving may be an excellent choice. The activity gives participants a similar adrenaline rush to traditional skydiving. However, you get to experience that rush in a safer and more accessible environment. Between the thrill of flying and the excitement of participating in an innovative activity, it’s easy to see why indoor skydiving has earned a spot on many people’s bucket lists!