Indoor Skydiving: Frequently Asked Questions

Posted in Knowledge on July 14, 2015

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Never flown in the wind tunnel before? You came to the right place! Check out our list of frequently asked questions designed to help answer common questions. If you can't find the question or answer you're looking for below. Please contact us with your question and we will answer it for you.

Table of Contents:

What is Indoor Skydiving?
How much does it cost?
How long do we fly?
Would two minutes of flight time be long enough?
How long does the whole experience take?
Why does it take two hours for only a few minutes of flight time?
What is the age requirement?
Is there a weight limit/minimum?
Are there any health restrictions?
Is it safe?
Is there an instructor with us the whole time?
Can we do flips and tricks?
Do you provide us with equipment?
What should we wear?
How similar is it to the real thing?
Can my group and I fly at the same time?
Do you jump off of anything?
How high do we fly?
Are we attached to someone?
Can people in my group who are not flying, watch?
How do you communicate when you’re in there?
Is it hard to breathe?
How can the instructor stand while the student is flying?
Do we need to make a reservation or can we walk in?
Is indoor skydiving a sport?
Are there fans that lift us up?
How long does it take to fly like the instructors/professionals?
Once I fly in the indoor tunnel, can I jump by myself outside?
I have done a tandem before, doesn’t that mean I can go indoor skydiving by myself?
What else is there to do at each facility?
Will there ever be a wind tunnel near me?
Do you offer birthday parties/corporate events?
Do you have to be a skydiver to work for a tunnel?
How much would it cost to purchase/build my own tunnel? Are there franchise options?

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers:

Q: What is Indoor Skydiving?

A: Check out our article What is Indoor Skydiving? covering that exact topic!

Q: How much does it cost?

A: Each location differs, prices will range anywhere from $40-$80 per person. Check with each location for pricing. For more information, read this article covering indoor skydiving prices.

Q: How long do we fly?

A: Flight time per person will vary location to location. Most tunnels offer first time flight packages ranging from 2-10 minutes per person.

Q: Would two minutes of flight time be long enough?

A: Traditional free fall time for a real skydive is roughly 60 seconds long. Flight packages normally begin with two minutes of flight time and go up from there.  For those is average or above physical shape, more flight time will make for a better experience. Like any other sport, the more you fly, the more you will learn.

Q: How long does the whole experience take?

A: The time it takes for the entire experience will vary based on a number factors, including the day of the week, time of the day, the number of people in your group. A safe bet is to plan a full two hours for your entire group's experience.

Q: Why does it take two hours for only a few minutes of flight time?

A: Indoor skydiving can be dangerous without the proper training. Each location will include a safety and training briefing before your flight. This orientation will explain the proper body position, and how to communicate with the instructor once you are in there. There is time allotted to get suited up in all the necessary equipment, and afterward, you will rotate with other flyers who have also purchased flying time.

Q: What is the age requirement?

A: Each location will offer different requirements on age. Some locations welcome ages as young as 3 years old while others may start at a later age. Age limits aren’t typically in place, as long as the flyer meets all of the physical requirements, they can fly!

Q: Is there a weight limit/minimum?

A: Limits: Weight limits are set in place for the safety of the flyer and the instructor. The flight instructor’s main job is to keep everyone safe, which at times, could require spotting and catching. Depending on the location, weight limits will vary. Other factors may apply such as the size of the suits that are offered, and strength of the fans/wind. Minimums: Wind speeds are manually controlled by each facility. Therefore, there is not a weight minimum. Smaller flyers are not in danger of receiving too much wind for their body size.

Q: Are there any health restrictions?

A: Flyers should be in decent physical shape to fly. There will be a significant amount of wind on your shoulders, participants with weak shoulders or prior shoulder dislocations are recommended to not fly. Your body will be in an arched position with your hips forwards. Back issues that prevent this body position should avoid flying. Any other serious health issues should be cleared by a physician prior to flying. Check with specific locations for their restriction before booking a flight.

For more information, see our article that covers who can go indoor skydiving.

Q: Is it safe?

A: Indoor skydiving is operated in a controlled setting that provides a safe experience for everyone. With any activity, there will always be potential risks involved. However, because all the variables are controlled, the risk of injury is minimal.

Q: Is there an instructor with us the whole time?

A: There will always be an instructor inside the flight chamber for safety purposes. Once you become an experienced flyer and are able to perform movements safely on your own, you will be given more freedom. Until you reach a professional status, there will always be an instructor in the door for spotting purposes.

Q: Can we do flips and tricks?

A: In time you can learn how to do flips and tricks on your own. For the first time, you will remain in a belly to earth body position. If you are doing well on your own, some instructors may assist you in certain maneuvers however, you will not have the control your first time to safely perform advanced tricks and flips.

Q: Do you provide us with equipment?

A: All tunnels will provide students with equipment. Jumpsuits, helmets, goggles, and earplugs are the primary tools needed to fly. Suits will usually be baggy, creating drag and lift for the beginner flyer, and most helmets provided will be an open face model that requires goggles to protect the eyes.

Q: What should we wear?

A: Jumpsuits will be worn over your street clothing. Comfortable, non-restrictive clothing should be worn with secure, lace-up shoes that cover your toes. Flyers with long hair should secure it back.

Q: How similar is it to the real thing?

A: Indoor Skydiving facilities are recreating the freefall portion of a skydive with their wind flow. Skydivers from around the world use wind tunnels as training facilities for the real thing because the feeling of freefall is so similar.

Q: Can my group and I fly at the same time?

A: For safety purposes, all new flyers will fly one at a time with a qualified instructor. Each tunnel will offer programs that teach you the proper body position so that you can eventually fly with other people, friends, and family.

Q: Do you jump off of anything?

A: With indoor skydiving, flyers can experience the fun of a skydive without jumping off of, or into anything. You will simply lean onto a column of air from a side door or an outside standing area, and begin to fly.

Q: How high do we fly?

A: First-time flight experiences are typically flown within arms reach of the instructor. This will allow them to communicate with you, ensure safety, and teach you how to fly your body in the proper position. Once you learn how to maneuver on your own, you can go as far as the flight chamber allows. At some locations, the instructor will also fly with students, allowing you to fly higher than normal. For more information read our article on high flights.

Q: Are we attached to someone?

A: There will be an instructor there to guide you in and out of the tunnel. This is not a tandem, you will not be attached to anyone or anything. The whole goal is to teach each person how to fly their own body. Once the instructor feels that you are in a safe and stable body position, they will let go and you will be flying one your own.

Q: Can people in my group who are not flying, watch?

A: Spectator areas are set-up in almost every indoor facility. Some consist of bleachers, while others offer couches, chairs, or even lounging areas. Glass chamber or open air models allow spectators to view the entire flying session.

Q: How do you communicate when you’re in there?

A: Once you enter into the wind, you will not be able to speak or communicate with the instructor using words. Therefore, the instructors will use a series of hand signals that indicate different corrections to your body position. Instructors will also be communicating with the person who is controlling the wind speed, requesting certain speeds for different purposes.

Q: Is it hard to breathe?

A: Flying should not impair your breathing abilities. However, there will be a significant amount of wind blowing in your face. Some flyers claim it is hard to breathe, but are often times holding their breath. Relaxing and remembering to breathe will eliminate any discomfort.

Q: How can the instructor stand while the student is flying?

A: Lift involves surface area. The more surface area you present to the wind, the slower you will fall. The less surface area you have, the faster you will fall. Beginners are in a belly to earth body position, presenting more surface area allows them to fall slower off of the net.Instructors will typically stand allowing them to fall faster, so they can guide the student.

Q: Do we need to make a reservation or can we walk in?

A: The availability of each location will greatly vary. It is always a safe bet to make a reservation in advance to ensure that you will be able to fly. To make a reservation, please find the closest location to you using our wind tunnel location database.

Q: Is indoor skydiving a sport?

A: Yes! Indoor skydiving has become it’s own entity outside of traditional skydiving. There are numerous disciplines to choose from that are judged based on different criteria. Browse the list of upcoming competitions here.

Q: Are there fans that lift us up?

A: Yes, each wind tunnel varies. For more information on how wind tunnels work, read our technical information articles found in our knowledge section.

Q: How long does it take to fly like the instructors/professionals?

A: Everyone will progress at different rates. Learning how to fly is a long journey that requires practice, consistency, time, and coaching.

Q: Once I fly in the indoor tunnel, can I jump by myself outside?

A: Although indoor skydiving can help progress your skills for the sky, outdoor skydiving facilities have separate programs in place. These programs typically require a certain amount of jumps with a certified skydiving instructor before you are able to jump solo.

Q: I have done a tandem before, doesn’t that mean I can go indoor skydiving by myself?

A: When participating in a tandem skydive, the instructor who is attached to you is doing most, if not all of the work. While indoor skydiving, you are flying your body 100% on your own. You will need to learn the proper body positions and skills before you are able to fly on your own.

Q: What else is there to do at each facility?

A: Locations offer a variety of other activities. Some wind tunnels are apart of entertainment complexes that offer additional features. Surfing simulator, bars and restaurants are just a few examples. Locations may also be located near or on skydiving facilities that offer spectator opportunities, while others may only offer the indoor flying experience. Check with each location for additional offered services.

Q: Will there ever be a wind tunnel near me?

A: Tunnels are popping up everywhere. Most tunnels will be built near big cities. Indoor skydiving Source keeps you up to date on all of the current and upcoming tunnel constructions. See the full wind tunnel location database.

Q: Do you offer birthday parties/corporate events?

A: Most locations offer birthday party and event options.

Q: Do you have to be a skydiver to work for a tunnel?

A: No, in fact, many instructors start without any skydiving experience. If you are interested in a job, apply! Tunnels offer programs that will train and teach you how to be an instructor without any prior training, or knowledge. Some restrictions such as age, or physical requirements may apply.

Q: How much would it cost to purchase/build my own tunnel? Are there franchise options?

A: We cover this topic in depth. Visit the Build a Tunnel resource page.


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28 Responses to “Indoor Skydiving: Frequently Asked Questions”

  1. Hi
    I am handicap can't walk but can stand on my own
    I am healthy otherwise have upper body strength
    Can I still try sky diving at Yonkers N Y

    • Hey Nick,
      Based on your description and what I know from past experience, my guess would be that you can fly - yes.
      However, the final decision has to be made by the staff at the wind tunnel you want to fly at. Contact them and let them know your condition and they can help you make the final call. Sincerely hoping you get to enjoy bodyflight!
      This video about Jarrett Martin is a sample of what's possible! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps7QKWAW-N8

    • Lots of tunnels have female instructors on staff although they are much less common than male instructors. Call and ask the tunnel you plan to fly at as you may have to do some special scheduling in order to be flown by a female instructor.

  2. I had my right lung removed for cancer last year & do not have any restrictions such as needing oxygen tank or asisstive device for walking, etc. I play golf, ride horses, and hike without difficulty. Can I fly without getting doctor's permission note? Thanks!

    • Susan,
      If you're doing all those other activities, indoor skydiving shouldn't be a problem. I'd recommend mentioning your condition to the location you plan to fly at directly so they know. Ultimately it is their waiver you will sign so they are the ones who make the final call. Good luck!

  3. What is the weight maximum for adults?
    Is removing hearing aids, glasses, or processors for cochlear implants advised?

    • The weight limit for tunnels varies by location. That information can be found on most tunnel pages on ISS. You would likely remove your hearing aids. Glasses can be worn under larger goggles specifically designed to fit over them.

  4. What is the normal progression where one can fly by oneself? If I have prior skydiving experience, is there an "accelerated" program?

    • The instructors are there to keep you safe and help you learn. No matter the package, the simple answer is the normal progression is just to fly more! Usually flyers buy a first time package and then start getting tunnel coaching to begin their personal progression. Since you already have skydiving experience you might opt to fly more right out of the gate.

    • Normally both. Spectators (not flying at all) can sit outside in the observation area and take photos. Most tunnels also have camera systems that take photos and videos of all flights.

  5. Hi,
    My husband has sky diving on his bucket list -- he has terminal pancreatic cancer. Can he still try sky diving? He's still strong enough to care for himself unassisted, drive to the office twice per week (telecommute three days), and has a lot of heart and hope. Let me know please.,

    • It is going to vary from tunnel to tunnel, but average is 30 mins - 1 hour before your scheduled time. Check with the tunnel you're flying at for an exact answer for them.

    • Linda,
      When a tunnel looses power, the fans continue to spin 'coasting' to a stop. They don't come to an abrupt stop, but a slow gradual one. The wind speed slowly dies. During over 5 years of being in a tunnel 5+ days a week or more, I only experienced one power outage. It simply felt as though the wind was slowly turned down. I was flying, felt the speed dropping, stood up, and looked around confused why the tunnel shut off. It was uneventful other than being bummed that the flight was over.
      Hope that helps!

  6. When asked about the weight limit all that was said is that they are there for saftey. It was not asked why they have them but rather in pounds what is the maximum and minimum. So? What are they please.

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