When I first mentioned to someone I was going indoor skydiving, he responded,”You’re brave to go diving without a pool at the bottom.” Jokes aside, his quip offers a helpful distinction between outdoor (or, the jumping from a plane type) skydiving versus indoor skydiving. Rather than falling from a significant height, as with jumping from a diving board or out of a plane, indoor skydiving is like flying.
The scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where Charlie and Grandpa Joe begin floating into the “fizzy lifting room” and are nearly sucked into an exhaust fan offers a helpful image of what indoor skydiving looks like – though ideally, without that horrifying outcome.
I’ve been fascinated with the idea of indoor skydiving ever since I was introduced to the term, though my renewed interest in ticking this item off my list arrived with 2015. While the end of 2014 was filled with shamefully few attempts at blogging about crossing off various bucket list goals, I hope I can say something different by the end of 2015, thanks in part to one of my favorite gifts that my parents got me for Christmas this year:
While looking over my activities and adventures list and writing down some of the items I hope to complete this year, I decided to research options I could pursue in North Carolina and was thrilled when I discovered an indoor skydiving location about an hour and a half away from Raleigh called Paraclete XP SkyVenture.
My friend taking his turn!
To provide a better definition of indoor skydiving and what it involves, I’ll cite some of SkyVenture’s responses to FAQ:
When asked “what is body flight?”: “Indoor body flight is the development of a skill, allowing you to fly your body in a controlled manner in a wind tunnel. SkyVenture wind tunnels are the perfect environment for the quickest development of this skill due to the professional instruction and quality of the airflow.” Before flying, my friend and I watched an instructional video, then were asked to demonstrate the proper body position.
When asked whether it is safe: “SkyVenture’s unique design, with its wall to wall air column and professionally trained instructors, allows flyers to safely enjoy their flight session. Your flight instructor is with you through your entire flight experience.” As I mentioned to my friend, our instructor had a calming manner, something that for me, who fails at most activities involving motor skills others describe as “extremely easy,” was largely reassuring.
When asked whether it is scary: “SkyVenture is not scary; there is no jumping, no falling and there is no experience needed, you are simply floating on a column of air. There is no sensation of falling or anything that would make you feel sick from motion sickness.” One of the most relieving things SkyVenture does is offer images of children participating in the sport on their website. This technique provides a similar feeling to that of noticing a large number of children in line for the roller coaster you are about to go on and fosters thoughts such as, “If they can do it, so can I!”
If curious about the price: 2 flights of 1 minute each (the equivalent of doing two skydives from 13,000 feet), a flash drive video, and a t-shirt are $64, though there is significant discount if you go back! If you do the “buddy plan,” you get 3 flights of one-minute, a flash drive video, and two t-shirts for $89 each.
If you’re looking for a fun gift for someone or to use some Christmas/holiday money on a fun experience, I’d definitely suggest looking into indoor skydiving.
We made it!
If you are still nervous about going, I hope to offer some reassurance by reminding you that as someone who often shocks friends and family members with my extreme clumsiness and lack of motor skill (two recent examples include breaking a glass mug, as well as knocking over an entire container of red sauce that spilled onto my parents’ white tile floor), even I was able to grasp this sport and had a blast doing it! In other words, you will be fine 🙂
Has anyone gone indoor skydiving before or hopes to go? I’d love to hear about your experiences or any additional questions you have!