A lot of people decide to try indoor skydiving because the outdoor version involves falling thousands of feet out the door of a plane, and they’re not entirely sure they’re up for it. We absolutely understand that perspective. If you’re feeling tentative about the idea of taking flight, you might be wondering, exactly, how scary indoor skydiving might be even in the absence of a plane. We’re here to help give you some context on what to expect to move forward with grace and confidence.
Accept The Learning Curve.
As a species, we human beings have trouble when we try new things. It’s no wonder, either–resistance to the new is an adaptive response that has served us well! Resisting new situations, especially high-pressure novelties like putting your body into an unfamiliar physical environment, is part of why your bloodline has survived to the point where you can contemplate walking into a great big tube full of high-speed wind.
What to do? Give yourself a break! You’re trying something new. There’s going to be a learning curve. You’ll feel awkward at first. Everyone does! You’ll need the guidance of your professional instructor to feel supported and safe. (That’s what they’re there for, after all.)
Learning to fly is like learning to ride a bike for the first time. While they’re not scary inherently and they certainly won’t always send you nail-biting, they’re reliably scary learning situations for first-timers in some way or another.
Take A Tailored Approach
The scariness of indoor skydiving is directly relative to the scariness you subject yourself to on a regular basis. The best way forward will be to take that into consideration and plan accordingly.
If you rarely step outside your physical comfort zone, you can expect that the experience will be very stimulating, and it could feel overwhelming if you don’t approach it with care. What we’ve found is that timid new flyers do best when they come to the tunnel about an hour early before their reservation and relax in the observation area. Watching other people fly can give you the sense of familiarity you need to relax and have a great time. After all, it’s hard to ignore the out-and-out joy in those faces, especially when the flyer makes the conscious choice to relax and have fun. That’ll be you in a little while!
If you’re already a daredevil, your experience will almost certainly be very different. What we notice most often is that über-adventurers try to carry over the tools they’ve picked up over years of pursuing other sports and apply them directly to tunnel flying. Indoor skydiving may get very scary, very fast when you realize that the stuff that generally works for you–making rapid, aggressive corrections; muscling through difficulty; getting tense–doesn’t work in the wind. If you think that might describe you, you should do yourself the kindness of entering the tunnel with a beginner’s mind. Listen to your instructor. They’ll help you find that delicate middle ground.
Worried About The Risks Of Indoor Skydiving? Here’s Some Real Talk.
While absolutely no sporting activity is without risk (heck, that’s what the waiver is for), the wind tunnel is gentler than it sounds. There’s no big leap required (or advised) to enter the tunnel. Unlike “outdoor” skydiving, there’s no heavy equipment to wear. There’s no landing. In fact, flying in the tunnel with a capable, professional instructor places less stress on the body than most weekend bicycle rides. (That’s why people from 3 to 103 are welcome–and happy–in there.)
That said: Let’s get real. Tunnel flying is not a totally risk-free, harmless environment. As with anything that’s worth doing, there’s the potential for injury. Your pro tunnel instructor is there to prevent the eventuality–but when they happen, tunnel injuries generally show up as bumps and scrapes. You can expect your instructor to be hands-on throughout the whole experience to keep you stable and safe in the airflow, and that whatever curveball you throw at them, they’ve seen before.
Here’s the final fact, though: First-timer anxiety is as real a thing in the windytube as it is in the sky or any other sporting pursuit, but you’ve got this! We can’t wait to share these high-fives with you when you come and join us. Don’t make us wait!