When you decide skydiving is your next adventure, it isn’t always as easy as booking a flight and hopping out of the plane the next day. As a newbie to skydiving, you’ve been knee-deep in new information. As you enter into this exciting world, you’ve likely been seeing a lot about indoor skydiving in your research. “Indoor skydiving? I didn’t even know that was possible,” you may have said to yourself as you scrolled through YouTube videos, articles, and even ads that have been thrown your way. But what is the different between tandem skydiving?
But what is indoor skydiving? Is it comparable to tandem skydiving? Are there any benefits to one over the other? We think that indoor skydiving has its place, but it’s nothing compared to the real thing.
What Is Indoor Skydiving?
Indoor skydiving is skydiving within a wind tunnel. An incredibly high powered fan will be activated within an acrylic column. You will usually don a special flight suit with a helmet and goggles to enable the fan to pick you up as safely as possible. Earplugs and other safety gear can be expected. To get a better idea of what you would expect, think of it as a ‘skydiving simulator.’ It’s a pretty good experience. You get the wind in your hair, the weightlessness of free fall … but that’s about it.
There is no use of a parachute, no plane, no heights. Just you, the wind, and instructors located off to the side to wrangle you in. Indoor skydiving can often feel like being a weighted-down balloon. You are free to float and bob in the air, but you can’t go too far. You’ll likely feel a bit like Charlie in Willy Wonka’s factory as bystanders giggle and gawk, waiting eagerly for their turn.
Are There any Advantages to Indoor Skydiving?
Indoor skydiving has a market no doubt. The sport has a lot to offer for a calmer experience that can still give you a little thrill. In regards to control of your experience, it can be hard to beat. Climate control means no weather holds, so if you are a stickler for schedules, that is something to take into consideration. Indoor skydiving is also a great answer for families with younger children. Many indoor skydiving centers will allow children as young as 5 to participate. This comes back to the easily controlled atmosphere of an indoor skydiving center vs. 12,000 feet up in a plane. Plus, larger groups have more time to hang out together and watch each other at an indoor skydiving facility, whereas planes can only take a limited number of people up at a time.
Indoor skydiving can also be an important stepping stone to the real deal. Are you scared of heights? Does the altitude of a usual skydiving experience make you a little more queasy than you’d like to admit? Wind tunnel skydiving may be the best answer for you. Instead of a big jump, simply lean in and ride!
Another surprising customer base for indoor skydiving centers can be more experienced skydivers! Those you will see enjoying the indoor centers are typically looking to maximize their free-fall time in the air. Since the indoor experience is nothing but air time, experienced sportsmen may practice tricks before unleashing them in the sky.
Can Indoor Skydiving Compare to Tandem Skydiving?
Nothing can replace the feeling of a tandem dive, though. Nothing beats real experience in the skies. Tandem skydiving is the way to learn the art of skydiving and have a completely authentic experience. The wind tunnel experience gives you control; but with that control, you are sacrificing the freedom of flight.
Indoor skydiving is all free fall without the best parts of free fall. No clouds rushing past you, no warm sun on your face or the smell of the sky filling your nose. Traditionally, you will get around a minute of free fall in the air, and during that time all of your senses come alive before you are rewarded with a breathtaking canopy flight. Flying in tandem is great for your first canopy flight. Your instructor will ensure you follow all the right steps for a safe landing while you take in the sights.
How Do I Know Which Experience Is Right for Me?
Without question, we will always recommend tandem skydiving for anyone who wants to experience the sport. Frankly, we find it hard to fully enjoy skydiving without the ‘sky’. That said, the simulation that is indoor skydiving can be good for a select few. Indoor skydiving may be the best option if you:
- Are underage
- Suffer from conditions that can be affected by altitude
- Need a warm-up before committing
- Are an experienced skydiver wanting to practice your flips
If you happen to be like our thousands of other customers, though, you are looking for the real deal. You want the ground rushing up at you as you conquer the sky! You want to go home after and tell everyone ‘I did that! I flew over the earth, I saw it all!’ That feeling can’t be replaced, and the bragging rights are plentiful when you’ve actually been up in the plane. Nothing can replace the real thing. The hands-on experience will keep you coming back for more.
Don’t hesitate! If you’re ready to step up and jump out, we’re ready to guide you. Our friendly staff is ready and waiting to make your memories lasting ones. If you’d like to share your skydiving experience with loved ones, we offer handcam footage that is easy to access and share!