I have been to a jump zone and watched my adrenalin mad family and friends leap from a moving plane that flies thousands of feet in the air. When you watch the video of their jump, you see the anticipation and nerves dissolve and turn into pure exhilaration as they experience an ultimate thrill that cannot be matched by any other. That is what I thought anyway until I heard of iFLY Indoor Skydiving Downunder!
WHAT IS iFLY INDOOR SKYDIVING?
Indoor Skydiving was developed to allow experienced skydivers to train. With three locations around Australia (and more opening in the future), it is now a popular sport that nearly anyone can participate in from an early age.
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO SKYDIVING FROM A PLANE?
Your experience is equivalent to the feeling you would receive if you were free falling from 14,000 feet. However, there is no waiting, no parachutes, no planes, no extreme heights and no hurtling to the ground at 200 km/hr. Plus it’s only a fraction of the cost of a real sky-diving flight.
HOW LONG DOES EACH SESSION LAST?
As a first-time flyer, we received 2 x 50-second indoor skydiving flights. Fifty seconds may not seem like very long, but this is equivalent to the freefall from 14,000 feet. With your senses in overdrive, you will be more alert – and you will be surprised at how the time will feel slower. The whole experience from when we arrived to the completion of our skydiving flight was approximately 1.5-2 hours.
WHO CAN TRY THIS ACTIVITY?
iFLY Downunder has flown wheelchair users, paraplegics, people with low vision and hearing loss. They pride themselves on offering facilities that cater to almost everyone from the age of three years old.
The first thing that draws your attention when you enter the observation room is the large round glass chamber towards the windows. It’s an all-round viewing platform with tables and chairs scattered throughout the room for comfort while you wait with eagerness for your turn.
While you are waiting, this is a great opportunity to watch and try to gain tips from the people who are partaking in the skydiving adventure before you. A huge highlight for us was when the group had completed their session we watched the instructor twist, somersault and fly throughout the chamber, showing us what is achievable with dedication and training.
Even though you aren’t jumping from a plane safety is still taken seriously, and this is why you have a pre-flight briefing before your scheduled time. You will be shown a 4-minute video on skydiving techniques and what the instructor’s various hand signals mean.
After the training is over, it’s time to dress in flight suits, goggles, and helmets that are all supplied.
We knew we were in capable hands as our instructor, Matt has just under 1000 jumps under his belt and has been skydiving around the country for over five years.
Once you are called for your turn, flying is as easy as falling into the glass chamber and letting the wind and your instructor help with the rest. Similarly, to skydiving from a plane, it is windy and noisy, and this is because the building has an enormous wind generator that’s circulating air into the chamber. The wind is controlled by a tunnel operator who slowly brings the speed up until you are airborne, which is why generally everyone can participate.
You receive two flights, which have the timeframe of approximately 50 seconds each. The instructor is right beside you for both flights assisting you where needed, cheering you on when you accomplished a turn or position and guiding you all the way.
As a beginner flyer, there is the option of an iFLY high package where you can fly towards the top of the 6-meter high tunnel with your instructor by your side. This thrill is well worth the additional $10 each.
Make sure you show your pearly whites when you are in flight as you can collect souvenirs in the forms of videos or photos at the end of your session.
Mia made it look easier than it was and surprisingly to us (not her) she seemed to float, and twist with ease. She said it felt very windy, and even though the helmets do act like earmuffs, it was quite noisy. It’s so powerful that it blows your face, thus the reason for some funny faces. Final verdict – It was more than fun it was amazing, and I loved it and could go back anytime.
As soon as you fall into the chamber, you are immediately pushed into the air, and once you are flying small body movements make a huge difference. Matt, the flight instructor, was great at giving quick, precise instructions to allow you to gain the most out of your iFLY experience. Final verdict – It was extremely enjoyable, and now after having experienced it first-hand, I appreciate the skill that it takes to perform some of the incredible magic we saw from the flight instructors when they took to the chamber by themselves.
Many people (and I would have to put my hand up to this) have the preconceived notion that when you jump from a plane, you will have a falling sensation. If that is your thought as well, a visit to iFLY indoor skydiving will help correct that notion. The only feeling you have at iFLY will be jubilation.
After speaking to the staff, iFLY Indoor Skydiving is a really popular sport, and competitions are run all around the country. The popularity has grown to the point they are hoping it will become an Olympic sport in the future. Now that would be great to see!
The above information is based on our experience. I recommend you view the iFLY Indoor Skydiving Downunder website for full details on the experience, including how to book, the restrictions, and much more.
If you want to try indoor skydiving for yourself, iFLY Gold Coast have released highly competitive special packages, including a midweek iFLY Family & Friends offer – 2 flights (for 2 to 5 people valid Monday-Friday) for $279* (previously $419). This special offer along with others can be purchased directly through their website HERE.
* rate subject to change and see website for full terms and conditions including exclusion dates.
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Disclosures: We were guests at iFLY Indoor Skydiving Gold Coast for the purpose of conducting a fair and impartial review. As always, our opinions are our own, and we only share what we believe you’ll find helpful.