THE HEIGHT OF FUN

In­door sky­div­ing cen­ters have been pop­ping up na­tion­wide—so of course we had to give one a whirl!

FamilyFun - - EXPLORE - BY MARY GILES PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY SAB­RINA HELAS

HOW IT WORKS

With an in­struc­tor at your side, adults and kids as young as 3 (yes, 3!) can step into a ver­ti­cal wind tun­nel and ex­pe­ri­ence the thrill of free fall by bal­anc­ing on a 70 to 150 mph stream of air.

WHAT TO EX­PECT

When you ar­rive, you’ll get your equip­ment: wind suit, gog­gles, earplugs, and hel­met. Then it’s time for ba­sic train­ing. You’ll watch a short video, and your in­struc­tor will teach you the four hand sig­nals he’ll use once you’re in­side the wind tun­nel (it’s very loud, so signs are the only way to com­mu­ni­cate). Two fingers straight up means “straighten your legs”; two bent fingers means “bend your knees.” These leg po­si­tions will help you move for­ward or back. You’ll even prac­tice on a mat to make sure you’ve got the move­ments and signs down.

WHEN IT’S GO TIME

You’ll suit up in all your gear, and then you and the in­struc­tor will lean into the tun­nel’s door­way belly-first. The fans will rev, your legs will lift, and you’ll be fly­ing! Each flight lasts one to three min­utes. That may seem short, but it ac­tu­ally feels much longer. The wind pres­sure en­gages ev­ery mus­cle in your body, so it’s hard to go much longer.

HOW MUCH IT COSTS

About $90 per per­son for two flights. While the ad­ven­ture is pricey (keep an eye out for promo deals), these thrills will def­i­nitely last!

We vis­ited two IFLY In­door Sky­div­ing Cen­ters—one in Austin and one in Yonkers, NY. There are 30 lo­ca­tions na­tion­wide (find one near you at ifly­world.com). Ja­son, 11, soared at IFLY Westch­ester, in Yonkers, NY.

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