For the record, I have jumped (or rather was pushed) out of a real plane. An amazingly frightening experience that I am so grateful to have done when I was young, naive and trying to impress a boy with my “fearless” nature. Being older and what I am claiming to be wiser, I wanted to experience weightlessness in an entirely safer manner. Enter…indoor skydiving, a vertical wind tunnel that reduces the risk of plummeting 10,000 feet to the ground. I’m sure you will agree that a few dozen feet pales in comparison.
We arrived at IFly in Union City 45 minutes before our scheduled “flight” for the typical briefing, which included a meet & greet with our instuctor along with a 3-minute instructional video. Yep, all you need to know fits into tres minutos, not sure how comforting that is.
Indoor skydiving does not cater to vanity…at all. We were fitted with a flight suit (a not so form fitting unitard), space goggles, logo helmet and ear plugs. Feeling uber-sexy, I headed to the flight observation deck which consisted of a loooonnnng bench right outside of the wind tunnel. We were each, one at a time, escorted into the tunnel by our trusty guide. He led us with the limited 3-minute sign language we were taught in the classroom. Turns out that was enough. We were each given two 1-minute sessions for $50, though there were options for lengthier and more intimate experiences.
Entering the tunnel for the first time proved to be tad harder than it appeared on video. What the heck happened to the triple flips and Spiderman climbs up the wall that seemed so easy? Keeping your body horizontal proved to be a feat within itself, though the 120 MPH winds made you feel like you were floating in the air. Aside from the fear of banging into the plexi-glass wall head first, each sixty seconds was pure, simple fun fitting for almost any age. The couple in their 70s in our group appeared to be having more fun than anyone else and that inspired me to vow to return on my 70th birthday, but maybe at that point I’ll be ready for the real thing again.
Even though we had left wishing the trips were longer, everyone agreed that having an amazing new experience was well worth the fifty bucks (plus $4 for the must-have photo)!