iFly hosted us for an indoor skydiving experience in their Frisco, Texas, location. I was too chicken to try it out (but I totally would next time), so I let my five-year-old experience it, instead (whaaaat! I’m a wimp like that). All opinions are my own (well, and Claire’s, since she’s the expert!).
Indoor skydiving, you guys…it looks SO FUN, right? But when I had the chance to try it myself, I totally chickened out. I imagined myself smashing into glass walls and spinning around uncontrollably and maybe even floating dangerously to the top of the air tunnel, kind of like Charlie and his grandpa in Willy Wonka, screaming “the fan is sucking me in!” as people from below watched helplessly.
So of course, I totally volunteered up my five-year-old to try it, instead.
All kidding aside, when I had the chance to try it, I was a total scaredy cat. I *knew* it was safe, but I didn’t think it was something my uncoordinated self could really manage. After watching Claire, though, I realized that I totally should have done this. If it weren’t for her having so much fun, I’d even regret my decision. But she did have fun. So much, fun, in fact, that she’s been writing stories about it, dreaming of becoming an “advanced indoor skydiver,” and telling everyone who listen about her time in the air tunnel.
So, if you’re on the fence or planning your first flight, here’s what you need to know!
iFly has locations all over the country. We went to the one in Frisco, Texas.
Once we arrived, the flyers had to attend a short class (five minutes or so). This was mostly a video, showing some rules and hand signals that the coach would use in the tunnel. Flyers will have a coach the whole time they are in the tunnel, and the tunnel is really loud, so there’s no talking once they’re inside!
After the video, everyone suited up. The flight suits, helmets, goggles and ear plugs are all provided by iFly. You can upgrade to a helmet with a full face mask for $10. Nobody in our group paid for the upgrade, and I can’t say if it’s worth it or not. The wind is pretty intense, but I didn’t hear anyone complain about having their mouth’s exposed.
The flyers then waited on a bench in a chamber of sorts. The coach brought them in one by one. Flyers had two turns each. Each turn lasts only a minute, although you can add 15 seconds (I think it was $10 to add the extra time). You can also add a high-flying experience with the coach. For $10, at the end of the session, the coach you will fly you up high into the tunnel. We chose to pay for this upgrade and it was worth it to see Claire’s face and hear her stories when she was done!
The experience isn’t cheap – two one-minute flights cost $69.95 (not counting any upgrades). The coach (his name was Nolan, and he was great) told us he has jumped out of 1100 airplanes, and this feels the same. So if you think about it that way – it’s like skydiving, but without the jumping out the airplane part – it’s a good deal (skydiving, from my quick Google search, costs about $160 and lasts for about 7-8 minutes, which is obviously longer than 2 minutes, but there’s the whole “jumping out of an airplane” part that many of us aren’t comfortable with).
Everyone came out of the experience exilharated and wanting more. Claire, especially, has been wanting more. I’m not kidding when I say she hasn’t stopped talking about this! I shouldn’t be surprised…I can’t tell you how many times she tells me her one wish is to be able to actually fly. Which is kind of awesome, actually. She was a natural at this, too…it didn’t take her long at all to get the hang of it.
When it was all said and done, I was so, so glad I’d let her take my turn…but I would encourage anyone on the fence to try it, because I *don’t* think it’s as scary as I imagined. In fact, I’m pretty darn sure I wouldn’t have crashed into any glass or been sucked into any fans. 😉
You can learn more about indoor skydiving at iFly and book your flight experience here. They also host parties! This is a super unique party idea and I’m going to look into it for Claire’s upcoming birthday (at her request).
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