07 April 2016

Indoor Skydiving with Airkix

A couple of weeks ago I tagged along on a friends birthday pressie to try out indoor skydiving. Having jumped out of a plane a few years ago, I was interested to see how this compared. Eliminating the fear factor of jumping out of a plane, with a prayer that the parachute would open, would pure free fall be fun?

Source: Airkix Gallery

We signed away or lives, packed every bit of belongings, accessories and tidbits into a locker, watched the mandatory instruction video and then got into our gloriously flattering jumpsuits. Blue baggy jumpsuits, goggles on as tight as you could bear, helmet (soft toy on top optional) and headed for the wind tunnel.

Arriving at the tunnel early, we watched the previous group learning to fly, their instructor helping out with encouragement or physical adjustments where needed. At the end he wrapped things up showing off his skills and what he could do in the tunnel. I wish I'd had my camera. It was amazing! He shot up the tunnel, did flips and spins, dropped to the windows and sailed out as calm and as precise as can be. I would LOVE to be able to do that. Like a ballet in mid air.

The acrobatic display done, it's was our groups turn in the tunnel. I confess, I was a bit nervous so I made sure I was last in line. Logic and emotion don't always see eye to eye - I knew there was nothing to be afraid of but still, my heart was racing and I watched everyone eagerly to convince myself to relax and be calm. My friend went first and with a couple of tips from the instructor, did well.

My turn. I gave myself a pep talk 'Alright Sam, you've jumped out of a plane, everyone else here has done it, nothing to worry about, just relax and go with the flow. Oh and don't forget to keep your head up!' I stepped up to the edge of the tunnel, got ready and leaned forward letting the wind and my instructor catch me...and I floated in.

It. Was. AWESOME!!!

It was a minute of free fall without anything to worry about except keeping your position so you could float high enough. It was great. Floating on a cloud great. It was a true in-the-moment experience.

I did keep bumping into the windows because, as a first timer, they don't show you how to control your flight, they just want to make sure you get the basic position to fly, but other than that, I was told I did pretty well and hardly needed any adjustment from the instructor - yeah, I'm totally bragging about that ;)

I did two flights of a minute each, it doesn't sound like much but it is plenty. The first flight is just to get used to the idea - everyone improves on the second especially as they have a video on two minute delay showing previous flights so you can watch yourself and see how you did. Anyone can do this - if you get vertigo though...you might not be able to handle the mesh floor...

An instructor adjusting a flyer - they aren't always like this, sometimes its just a hand signal.

The guys at Airkix warned us that flying was like an intense workout hidden in a bit of fun, but my friend and I were sceptical. They weren't kidding, we did feel a little sleepy on the train ride home and the next day I was sore, my legs, arms and shoulders felt like I'd done a weights session at the gym!

Our instructor, Ryan, was great, really approachable and patient. It really was so much fun and quite the unique experience. I can see myself going back to learn about controlling my flight a bit more. My friend already bought a repeat visit so, who knows, I might join him and be back there sooner than you'd expect. Am I crazy? Would you try this?


  1. In a word - nope. That mesh floor *shudder*