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