iFly Indoor Skydiving Review: What’s it like? How Does it Work?
Ever wondered what it was like to go indoor skydiving? Want to experience the thrill of floating on air without actually jumping out of a plane 10,000 feet in the air? Indoor skydiving is a fantastic way to do just that! I had the opportunity to give it a try at iFly Orlando when I was in Orlando for a conference. Find out how indoor skydiving works, what it’s like, things to know before you go, and my overall experience in this iFly indoor skydiving review!
- What is Indoor Skydiving?
- How Does Indoor Skydiving Work?
- iFly Indoor Skydiving Review: My Experience + What to Expect
- iFly Indoor Skydiving Prices
- iFly Indoor Skydiving Locations
- Other FAQ’s about Indoor Skydiving
What is Indoor Skydiving?
Indoor skydiving is what the name implies. Instead of typical skydiving where you jump out of an airplane equipped with a parachute, you’re indoors and only about a foot or two off the ground. There’s no plane and no parachute, just a wind tunnel designed to simulate the free fall portion of regular skydiving (before deploying the parachute).
How Does Indoor Skydiving Work?
For indoor skydiving, you’re inside what’s called a “wind tunnel.” This wind tunnel is a tall and narrow tube that has air pushed through it. A vent at the top of the tube (also referred to as the flight chamber), catches the air from the wind tunnel, and sends it back down to the bottom of the wind tunnel. The air is then compressed and shot into the flight chamber. It creates a smooth and steady airflow that allows persons within the chamber to “fly” if they have the correct body position and technique. The speed of the winds in the wind tunnel are calculated based on the person’s weight.
iFly Indoor Skydiving Review: My Experience + What to Expect
Why Did I Decide to Do Indoor Skydiving?
My boyfriend has been talking about taking his younger brother skydiving for his 18th birthday pretty much since we started dating. When he would ask me if I was going to go with them, my answer was always a firm, “Nope, definitely not.”
Heights had never been a problem for me. Actually the idea of cruising in the air with my parachute and admiring the surrounding views sounding like fun. The ability to have air rushing pass my face and feel what it really like to fly sounded incredible. However the idea willingly jumping out of a plane and plummeting to the ground uncontrollably… that terrified me.
When I was researching things to do in Orlando besides Disney World, I stumbled upon iFly Indoor Skydiving, and it got my attention. It wouldn’t exactly allow me to enjoy the breathtaking views (actually I could with Virtual Reality, but I’ll get to that later), but I would be able to enjoy the thrill of “flying” and “free falling” without the fear that came along with jumping out of a plane. So I figured, why not?
My Flight Package
After reading on the iFly website that indoor skydiving is a popular activity and often sells out in advance, I decided to reserve my flight in advance. They offered various packages with different numbers of flights, but I chose to do the lowest package, which only included 2 flights, because I had absolutely no idea what to expect and didn’t want to get in over my head.
Each “flight” in the wind tunnel lasts approximately 60 seconds. This may seem short, but if you were to do regular skydiving, the actual free fall portion of the skydive only lasts about 45-60 seconds.
If you choose to do more than 2 flights, you may be in the chamber for more than 60 seconds at a time. For example, so of the other participants with me chose the package with 4 flights. Instead of being in the chamber 4 different times for 60 seconds, they were in the flight chamber on 3 different occasions for 1 minute and 20 seconds each. So, each time you’re in the chamber may not be exactly 60 seconds long, but it will always add up to the amount you paid for.
You can see a full list of flight packages in the iFly Indoor Skydiving Prices section below.
Flight Package Add-Ons
iFly Indoor Skydiving offers some additional services that can be added to your flight package. This includes: high flight, photo package, video package, and a virtual reality experience.
High flight – for the last 20-30 seconds of your last flight, they’ll increase the winds speeds in the tunnel, taking you up even higher. I chose to add this to my flight package last minute after I had arrived at the iFly facility in Orlando. The guy at the counter told me that I definitely wouldn’t miss the additional $10 once I was up that high in the wind tunnel, and he was totally right. I would definitely recommend adding it to whatever flight package you choose.
Photo package – There is a camera built into the machine that operates the wind tunnel, and the controller will take your picture during each of your flights. Since I was traveling solo to Orlando and wouldn’t have any friends or family to take pictures of me while I was in the flight chamber, I chose to purchase this package as well. I was super thrilled after I was done with my flights to find that the camera built into the flight chamber is actually super good quality. The photo I got from my flight was probably my favorite picture from my entire Orlando trip.
Video package – Instead of getting just a picture of your indoor skydiving flight, you can actually get a video of the whole experience. I had originally decided against this package, but after arriving at iFly Orlando and seeing the whole thing in person, I quickly realized that a picture just wasn’t going to do the whole experience justice. When I returned from my Orlando trip, I was going to have to do a lot of explaining to friends and family to help them understand the whole indoor skydiving experience, and even then they probably wouldn’t get the full picture. Having a video of my flight allowed me to really show other people what it was like to do indoor skydiving.
Virtual Reality (VR) – Remember I mentioned before that with indoor skydiving, you can’t experience the same breathtaking views that comes with regular skydiving? Well, VR fills that gap. With iFly’s VR package, you can soar over some of the world’s most beautiful destinations.
Pre-Flight Prep and Training
At the time of my reservation, my flight instructor came to meet me. He took me and the other participants in my group into a back classroom where he went over the basics of indoor skydiving. He explained that our body position was imperative, but not to worry because he would be right there with us guiding us all the way.
In order to stay airborne in the flight chamber and not run into the side walls, we would need to keep out hips pointed toward the ground, our legs lifted into the air, and our chin held upwards. Ever done the superman exercise during a workout where you lay on your stomach and lift your hands into the air for 30 seconds to a mintue (or however long you choose to do the exercise)? The ideal position for indoor skydiving is a lot like that. It allows the wind to flow past your body in an equal and stable manner. However, the perfect position (where you are steady and not drifting around too much) will be different depending on your body build. The flight instructor will work with you to find that “perfect position” while you’re in the flight chamber.
The instructor also told us that it would be incredibly loud inside the flight chamber, meaning that he wouldn’t be able to verbally communicate with us. For that reason, there would be a few different hand positions that he would give us to tell us whether we needed to lift our chin more, push our hips down more, bend or straighten our legs, or simply just to relax.
Lastly, the instructor told us a little bit about our flight gear. We would need to remove anything loose, such as jewelry (necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings), watches, cell phones, etc. Once everything was safely put away in one of their complimentary storage lockers, you could put on your flight suit, grab a pair of disposable ear plugs, tighten your safety goggles, and put on your helmet. Once everybody had their gear on, we were ready to go.
Inside the Flight Chamber
Once it was time for our flight, we were led into a sealed glass box and asked to take a seat on the benches. When nobody volunteered to go first, the instructor decided to go first simply as a demonstration. He showed how we would stand at the doorway to the flight chamber, bend our knees, push our hips out, and more or less let ourselves fall forward into the wind tunnel. He floated around for a few seconds, once again demonstrating good indoor skydiving body position, before making his way back to the flight chamber door. After that, it was our turn.
The participants went one by one, until it was eventually my turn. At this point in time, the flight instructor was already standing inside the chamber (yes, you can actually stand upright in the chamber instead of floating in it. It all has to do with aerodynamics). I approached the wind tunnel door and did my best to stand with my knees bent and my hips pushed forward. As I let myself fall forward into the wind tunnel, the instructor took hold of my waist, helping lift my into the center of the chamber. He held onto until he was sure my hands, chin, hips, and feet were in the right position. If I seemed to be getting it, he would let go and take a step back, but the second I started struggling, he would step back in and help me readjust.
Spoiler alert… It’s really freaking hard. Like, I totally thought I was going to get into the flight chamber and just naturally float there. I was very wrong. Without the proper body position, I would struggle to stay airborne (and the instructor would have to sort of lift me back upwards into the center of the chamber) or I would drift to one side or the other and have my feet or hands bump into the side walls. Before I had begun my flight, I would see the instructors get into the flight chamber and do all sorts of flips and tricks. They made it look so easy, and here I was just struggling to stay airborne.
The High Flight
At the end of my last flight, I got to do the “high flight.” For this portion of my flight, the instructor actually let himself float as well and took hold of the handle bar on the back of my jumpsuit as well as my leg. As the wind speeds picked up, the instructor guided me up higher into the wind tunnel and even spun me around a bit. For a split second, it was really like I was flying. Definitely gave me quite the thrill.
Overall Thoughts of iFly Indoor Skydiving
Despite my struggles in the flight chamber, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The wind chamber was thrilling, exciting, and challenging, plus the staff was friendly and upbeat. I would definitely give it 5 stars and recommend it to friends and family. Some might think it expensive, but I think it was totally worth it. I even got a completion certificate that I can hang on my fridge!
iFly Indoor Skydiving Prices
Note: Prices are as of October 11th, 2018 and may vary by location
|2 flights: $69.95 USD||High Flight: $9.95 USD|
|3 flights: $89.95 USD||One Video: $7.95 USD|
|4 flights: $111.95 USD||One photo: $3.95 USD|
|5 flights: $131.95 USD||Virtual Reality: $39.95 USD|
You can choose to purchase photos and videos either before or after your flight. They typically take 2 or more photos and videos.
iFly Indoor Skydiving Locations
I was able to enjoy iFly Indoor Skydiving in Orlando, Florida, but they have many other locations as well. You’ll find that most major cities have an iFly Indoor Skydiving facility. There are a total of 34 different locations within the United States, two locations in Brazil, three in Australia, two in France, three in England, and one in New Zealand.
You can find a full list of iFly Indoor Skydiving locations on their website.
Other FAQ’s about Indoor Skydiving
What to wear indoor skydiving?
Keep in mind that you’ll be putting a jumpsuit on and going inside a wind tunnel. For that reason, I would wear loose and casual clothing. Don’t wear anything that would be hard to move in or uncomfortable to have under a jumpsuit. You’ll want to leave jewelry like necklaces, rings, and even earrings behind.
I also highly suggest wearing closed toe shoes. If you don’t, you’ll be given a pair of disposable socks and some tennis shoes to borrow.
Is there somewhere I can put my stuff?
Yes. There are lockers on premise with adjustable locks. However, depending on how busy it is, these lockers may go quickly.
While the locker is open, you’ll set the 4 digit code to whatever you would like it to be. When you close the locker, the combination will be set to the 4 digit code that was on it when you closed it. After the locker is closed, make sure to set the code back to 0 so nobody can get into the locker.
The lockers were decent sized, but not oversized. I was able to squeeze my half-full bookbag into the locker, but it likely wouldn’t have fit if I’d had much more than my DSLR camera and a few lenses in there. I wouldn’t plan on putting more than your phone and jewelry, and maybe a pair of shoes or small purse in the locker.
Is indoor skydiving fun?
Personally, I had a blast. It’s adventurous and admittedly a bit of a challenge. However, I think the challenge is what makes it even more fun. If it wasn’t a challenge, I think it would get pretty boring pretty fast.
Is indoor skydiving safe?
I felt very safe the entire time I participated in indoor skydiving. The instructor, who is certified and well-experienced, is with you the entire time. You’re only ever a few feet off the ground, and there is a net underneath you to catch you even if, by some freak accident, the wind were to stop and you were to fall.
The only thing to note is that you might be a little sore afterwards, like you just got done with a hard workout. It takes some body strength to hold yourself in the correct flight position, plus you’ve got a decent amount of wind hitting you.
I know my shoulders were a little sore afterwards, because you’re shoulder take the most strain when you’re in the flight chamber (but not too much strain of course). For this reason, they recommend that those with previous injuries such as a shoulder dislocation don’t fly.
How long does indoor skydiving last?
Each “flight” is about 60 seconds. If you pay for 2 flights, you’ll get 120 seconds in the flight chamber. If you pay for 4 flights, you get 240 seconds.
It’s worth noting that paying for 4 flights doesn’t necessarily equate to being in the flight chamber 4 different times. Instead, they might do three 80 second flights or two 120 second flights. It just depends on the flight instructor and the number of people in your flight group.
Is indoor skydiving worth it?
I totally think it’s worth it. However, the main complaint about indoor skydiving is usually the price. $69.99 USD is a lot of money to pay for just 2 minutes in the flight chamber. Plus, it’s an additional $9.95 if you want the high flight and an additional $3.95 or $3.95 for every professional photo or video that you would like. It can add up quickly. However, I don’t regret the money spent for a single moment.
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