What is indoor skydiving?
Going indoor skydiving offers you the same thrilling free-fall feeling you get with a normal skydive, without having to get on a plane. But what is indoor skydiving and how does it work? Into The Blue takes the leap to find out!
What exactly is indoor skydiving?
Indoor skydiving uses something called a ‘vertical wind tunnel’. This creates a wind flow that is strong enough to keep you ‘floating’ in that fast-moving air. The result is a similar sensation to that of a skydive by jumping out of a plane, but you don’t actually fall anywhere!
One of the main advantages of indoor skydiving is that you can practice it whenever you want, whereas normal skydiving is subject to seasonal weather, such as extreme winds, rains or snow. No worrying about the weather ruining your free-fall plans!
So how does the wind tunnel work?
As some of you might have guessed already, wind tunnels work by pushing air from the bottom to the top, allowing you to be lifted (and held) in the air, whilst being able to move around.
Without getting too technical, a vertical wind tunnel uses fans at the top of the ceiling to extract the air from the flight chamber, then pushes it all back down the sides through massive, rectangular tubes into the bottom floor. The air then goes back up again through the flight chamber. In other words, it’s a constant, moving air cycle.
How long does an indoor skydiving flight last?
Actual flight time is usually around one to two minutes. It’s an intense experience, so for those trying wind tunnel skydiving for the first time, it’s better to take a couple of short flights.
When you’re not flying, you’ll be spectating from the sidelines, as the wind tunnel tube is transparent, so you can see all the flyers who go before and after you in your group.
How much does session in the wind tunnel cost?
In general terms, a solo indoor skydiving session with two x flights lasting one minute each is around £60. There are family package deals available too, as the minimum age is just four years old.
You can go for extended flight times, with two x two minute flights for around £90. This package gives you the equivalent in freefall time as six parachute jumps out of a plane!
Compared to normal skydiving, where prices can go up to £200-250 per jump, indoor skydiving is the perfect choice for those of you who want to enjoy a similar thrilling experience, without putting a strain on your wallet.
Does indoor skydiving burn calories?
You might think this is an odd question, but it is one that is being asked! And the answer is yes, going indoor skydiving for an hour will burn around 700 calories. It’d be a full workout, using all your muscles at once and excellent for core strength too. Not to mention the amounts of the feel-good hormone serotonin that are released!
Is indoor skydiving considered a sport?
Yes, indoor skydiving is actually practiced as a sport! The technical name for it is bodyflight and it’s one of the fastest growing sports. Bodyflight allows both solo and team competitions and it’s really impressive to watch.
If you’re looking to become a professional bodyflight athlete, the best option would be to join an already established club, that can offer you both all the knowledge and training that you need. You can also check the International Bodyflight Association (IBA) for some extra information and tips!
So where can I go indoor skydiving in the UK?
There are indoor skydiving centres at places like Milton Keynes, Basingstoke, Manchester and Birmingham. Fire up the wind tunnel fans, we’re ready for that freefall fun!