What Is Indoor Skydiving (and Is It Scary)?

Indoor skydiving is a simulation of freefall made possible by powerful fans. These fans are strong enough that the upward wind it generates can make a person float in mid-air. Indoor skydiving is a generally safe sport that is not at all dangerous nor scary.
What Is Indoor Skydiving

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Indoor skydiving is gaining popularity around the world. So popular in fact that we might see it as an Olympic sport soon. Due to the accessibility of the sport, it has gained the attention of many people in the world who dream of flying.

How Does the Indoor Skydiving Work?

If you want to try skydiving but are deathly afraid of height, then maybe it’s time to try the next best thing—indoor skydiving. In indoor skydiving, vertical wind tunnels simulate the feeling of freefall, much like the same sensation you get when you jumped off of an airplane.

The simulation of freefall is made possible by several powerful fans which generate upward wind. As the air push you off your feet and up, the feeling is often described as being cushioned on a bed of air.

Is Indoor Skydiving a Sport?

Indoor skydiving is considered to be a flying sport. No, you may not be flying, as in hang gliding or skydiving, but it is definitely a sport that is highly physical. Indoor skydiving also has many disciplines including speed, solo and team battles, and flying to music.

While it is not a major sport as of yet, indoor skydiving has been significantly gaining popularity all over the world. This is mainly due to the development of many indoor skydiving facilities which makes the sport accessible to participants as young as 2 to 3 years old.

It has become so popular that there has been an on-going petition for indoor skydiving to be an Olympic sport!

Who Invented Indoor Skydiving?

The invention of indoor skydiving is closely related to that of the invention of vertical wind tunnels. The first vertical wind tunnel was built in 1940 at Langley during the war to aid military scientists. However, the wind generated by this tunnel was not strong enough to support an actual human flyer.

It wasn’t until the 1970s when a father and inventor, Jean St-Germain, developed an indoor wind chamber for his children to experience freefall in a controlled and safe environment. This is known to be the foundation of the modern vertical wind tunnels, and in turn, indoor skydiving itself.

St-Germain sold the concept to Tennessee entrepreneur and inventor, Les Thompson, and businessman Marvin Kratter.

What Does Indoor Skydiving Feel Like?

Clients who have experienced indoor skydiving have a hard time explaining the feeling when indoor skydiving. It would be best described as somewhere between flying and floating once you are inside the wind tunnel and are suspended in the air.

The vertical wind tunnel is powered by strong fans which means the chamber can be noisy. The high speed airflow can also be very sensitive to the tiniest movements of your body.

Indoor skydiving gives you the feeling of freefall when you jumped off an airplane, but the thrill of actually jumping off one can only be experienced by skydiving.

Is Indoor Skydiving Scary?

Indoor skydiving may be very fun for some people, while it can be scary for others—it’s all very relative and the experience varies from person to person. Many people who have experienced the sport described it to be extremely fun and enjoyable, however, this may not be the same for everybody.

But one thing is for sure, your fear of indoor skydiving is much, much less than your fear of actual skydiving. With indoor skydiving, there are no leaps a thousand feet above the ground, no landing required, and there will be a professional instructor to guide your every step of the way.

Does Indoor Skydiving Make Your Stomach Drop?

You won’t have the dropping feeling in your stomach when you go indoor skydiving. The sport also promises no feeling of motion sickness or even nausea. This is because when you are indoor skydiving, your body moves in the tiniest possible movements.

Indoor skydiving companies are even so confident that their clients won’t be experiencing any of these ill feelings that they allow their clients to eat a few hours before a scheduled flying activity.

What Should I Wear to Indoor Skydiving?

While you will be wearing a flight suit above your street clothes, indoor skydiving companies still prefer that you attend your scheduled sessions in these attires.

  • Clothes: Nothing fancy, you can just opt to wear casual clothes that you are comfortable in. Wear jeans, pants, or shorts that are not too tight or too restrictive. Collar-free shirts (with short or long sleeves) are preferred.
  • Shoes: It’s better to wear lace-up running shoes and sneakers. One that is well-fitted on your feet and won’t fly around on the wind tunnel. Sandals, flip-flops, open-toed shoes, and heels are not suitable

If you wear glasses, don’t worry because companies provide goggles that are big enough to go in front of your glasses. If you have long hair, it is advisable to tie them up in a low bun or to braid your hair.

Prior to flying, you are required to remove everything from your pockets. You are also required to remove loose accessories including rings, necklaces, watches, earrings, and bracelets.