You start to brace your arms and legs tight, and precariously fall towards the unknown. A slight feeling of doom engulfs you … but almost immediately you’re grasped by the air and you find yourself suspended mid-air amongst the ferocity of the air tunnelling below. Every micro-movement influences the way you glide through the air … but you’re free as a bird, gliding and guiding yourself through the winds.
… Oh but did I mention you’ve barely left the ground? In fact, you’re still indoors, barely metres off ground level, with an audience of keen onlookers watching you from eye level. Like … what??!!
Let me introduce you to the magic of iFly Indoor Sky Diving, an indoor sky diving experience brought to life via a vast, vertical glass tunnel containing a massive wind generator that propels you effortlessly into flight. Indeed, each indoor skydiving flight lasting 50secs emulates a real-life free fall of an outdoor skydive from 14,000 feet! Indoor skydiving was originally developed to allow experienced skydivers to train and develop their skill sets, but its soaring worldwide popularity has led to its commercial development for all ages (3yo and up) and skill levels to try it out.
iFly offers a few different priced packages:
- iFly Intro package (1hr 45min) – most suitable for first time flyers, this package provides pre-flight training, all flying gear and equipment (skydiving jumpsuit, helmet, goggles and ear plugs), one-on-one qualified instructor, minimum 2 x 50sec flights (each 50sec flight is equivalent to a 14,000ft free fall skydive) and an optional $10 ‘high fly’ (lightning fast flight to top of air tunnel with instructor)
- iFly Plus – individual receives 4 x 50sec flights
- iFly Family and Friends – shared package of 10 flights shared amongst group of 2-5 people
iFly is also a perfect location for birthday parties, corporate groups, team excursions or school education programs
Brandon and I had the absolute pleasure of experiencing the iFly Intro package, since were both walking into this ‘blind as a bat’ with zero skydiving experience! All individuals require check-in 1hr prior to your scheduled flight time, which involves signing an online waiver. Upon completing the waiver, you walk into a huge lounge area abundant with couches, tables and chairs that gives an all-round view of the skydiving tunnel, which is perfect for participants to know just what they’re in for by observing others tackle the air tunnel. What truly amazed me was that size and age were not determinants in how well you executed your flight; some of the best flights I witnessed were tiny kids around 5-6yo who effortlessly glided around the tunnel unlike some adults who’d bump into the sides!
Once it hit our scheduled 3:00pm flight slot, our group of approximately 15 participants were escorted into a room to watch a safety demonstration. This 10min instruction video gave a general overview of how indoor skydiving works, what equipment you’re provided with and basic hand signals during flight. The intensity of air tunnel is quite loud, hence skydiving communication relies upon 4 basic hand signals – relax body, chin up, legs bent or legs straight. Important to mention to your flight instructor is if you have a prior shoulder or back/ neck problems, are pregnant or have heart problems. All participants were then escorted to the equipment area where we changed into an attractive blue jumpsuit (#smurf-tastic), helmet, goggles (can wear over top of glasses if necessary) and ear plugs (highly recommend).
And now, it was showtime! The flight chamber is separated via glass walls into the central flying area containing the air tunnel & a seating area around its periphery. Each person took it in turns to have their flight time as the rest of us eagerly watched on. It was eventually my time to go 1v1 with the air tunnel – as I precariously leaned into the flight chamber (and internally praying I wouldn’t facepalm to the floor), the air tunnel immediately gravitated my body to become suspended mid-air … and holy smokes I was flying! I found the ability to suspend mid-air is incredibly sensitive to any micromovements your body makes (not a huge shock considering you’re facing giant wind generators capable of hitting 250km/hr). Thankfully, your helpful instructor gives you hand signal directions to alter your body positions for mid-air suspension, moving back and forth, turning right and left, flying up and down and even sliding side-to-side! Much to the amusement of the audience, I lacked in flying finesse and my face managed to kiss the glass wall far too many times. The highlight of the flight was the ‘high fly’ – a mere $10 gets your instructor to rapidly fly you to the top of the tunnel twice … you haven’t felt an adrenaline rush as overwhelming as that!
Indoor skydiving has so many selling points. Firstly, your flight time in the air is actually longer than what you receive with outdoor skydiving, and it avoids planes, heights or leaping out of a plane from 14,000ft. It also avoids environmental disruptions such as bad weather, plane delays and long travel time to and from the outdoor location. Secondly, it is welcoming to individuals of all ages, sizes and abilities, especially to those wheelchair bound, paraplegic or amputee, or have vision or hearing impairments. Thirdly, safety is hugely prioritised by flying inside a confined air tunnel with one-on-one supervision by a qualified instructor. Fourthly, it’s a much cheaper option compared to the exuberant fees of outdoor skydiving, being at least 75% cheaper. Lastly, the all-round viewing platform allows your family, friends and loved ones to watch on and even take close-up photographs/ videos of your flight unlike your ‘ant-sized’ presence with outdoor skydiving; iFly also takes professional photos and videos for purchase as permanent memento.
iFly indoor skydiving is perfect for anyone who has dreamed of skydiving but has been inhibited by body restrictions, financial issues, fear of heights or is time poor. It’s an awesome activity to do with family or friends that requires little organisation and can guarantee you’ll be going back for more!
What: iFly Indoor Skydiving
When: 364 days per year – Mon to Fri (12:00pm – 8:30pm), Sat (9:30am – 8:30pm), Sun and Public holidays (9:30am – 6:30pm)
Where: 3084 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, QLD, 4217 (other centres include Sydney and Perth)
Wear: casual clothes (skydiving jumpsuit goes on top, so preferably t-shirt and shorts), well-fitting laced-up shoes (so you don’t lose them in the air tunnel!)
Provided: Skydiving jumpsuit, helmet, ear plugs, eye goggles
Contact: 1300 366 364, https://downunder.iflyworld.com
My UQU Rewards Deal: 20% off iFly beginner packages