Foreward: You may remember my Mother’s Day post in which I listed all of the things I don’t want. I expressed the desire to have an adventure for Mother’s Day rather than another gift I don’t want nor need. Well, my family didn’t disappoint.
IFly Indoor Skydiving offers a unique opportunity to set sail in an enclosed, vertical wind tunnel. We decided to just show up without an appointment; I highly recommend pre-buying your tickets online so you arrive on time and don’t have to wait. Even if you have to wait, you will get a kick out of viewing flyers in the class before you. This should help settle any nerves.
Every participant is forced to join a 5-minute class in which they go over hand signals. When your indoor skydiving within the vertical wind tunnel at iFly, hand signals are the only way your instructor can communicate with you. The “Peace” sign means straighten out your legs, “rabbit” ears for bend your legs, “hang loose” for relax, and “thumbs up” for good job.
After that it’s gear time. IFly will give you a jumpsuit, helmet, goggles, ear plugs, and hair tie for those with long hair. You will need to bring your own sneakers, and make sure you have on comfortable clothing that can easily fit underneath the jumpsuit. I wore leggings and a T-shirt.
Then its fly time! Every participant gets at least 2-1 minute flights. One minute doesn’t sound like much time, but when you have strong winds hitting you in the face for the first time, you’ll wonder when that one minute will be over. It can feel like torture. My first flight left much to be desired– what the hell did I sign up for. I couldn’t pay attention to my body position, so my instructor kept trying to signal me to straighten out my legs. I of course was so busy worrying about all the wind hitting my face, that it has hard to pay attention to him.
My second flight, I felt more comfortable and I signed up for the high flight (a $10 extra) in which your instructor holds on to you and spins you up high into the vertical wind tunnel. This gives you a true, flying sensation. Then it’s over!
Be ultra-aware of your facial expressions when indoor skydiving. With so much uncomfortable wind hitting you in your face, you will undoubtedly get the ugly face (as pictured above). A camera is there to capture every moment, so make sure you smile.
Unfortunately, due to the reflection on the glass, your family and friends will not be able to snap very good pictures of you. This is probably on purpose. IFly will capture several pictures of you to purchase at $2.95 a piece. They will also create a video of your experience if you pre-order. In the IFly Union City location, there is only 2 computers available to see and select your pictures. So either bum-rush the computers as soon as your done so your the first one, or just download the photos from Iflyworld.com when you get home.
My last warning is about saliva. Yes, I meant saliva also known as spit. Your face will be covered in it. The spit just oozes out of your mouth and slaps you back in the face. When I got out of the tunnel and sat down on the bench I realized that my face was covered in my own sweet juices.
Kids at iFly & Other Requirements:
Kids can join the fun too! My son is a bit too cautious and had no desire to join in, but kids as young as 3 can join the fun. Although I wouldn’t recommend indoor skydiving for any child under 8 because of the ferocity of the wind that hits your face inside the tunnel. IFly also has group and party packages if you’re looking for an interesting place to throw a birthday party.
In addition to age, participants should be in good health. This is definitely a horrible idea for those suffering from back and neck pain. You would think floating in mid-air would relieve pressure on joints and muscles, but it does the opposite. Participants must also weigh under 230 lbs. if under 6-feet-tall, and those over can weigh up to 250 lbs.
Indoor Skydiving Locations:
IFly’s only San Francisco Bay Area location is in Union City, but they offer other locations all over the United States including:
Australia (not sure what city)
IFly Indoor Skydiving Cost:
The introductory package is: $69.95 – 2 – 1 minute flights. One minute may not seem like enough time, but it’s plenty for the beginner. Discounts for this package used to be available through Costco for a mere $39.95, but they discontinued this offer.