About three years ago, my mom gave my dad (and I) vouchers to go indoor skydiving. We procrastinated so much - we were both busy, and it just slipped our minds. But this Father's Day, I re-gifted him the present he already had and we finally picked a date to go! I was nervous leading up to it, but we had such a blast my nerves were totally gone.
At iFly, you get to have the feeling of skydiving without the "oh my god is the parachute going to work/am I going to die/there is no way I'm jumping out of a plane" part. They have a huge wind tunnel, and you float above a net with an instructor guiding you as you go.
Our instructor made sure that we were as prepared as possible before it was our turn to fly. In a group with two other families (including kids!), we went to "flight school," which was a short video explaining the body position we needed to be in to fly most effectively. Hands out in front of us, arms slightly bent, hips forward. and legs shoulder width apart with a slight bend. We showed him our position, and he adjusted each of us. For example, if you're shorter you need to put your hands further away from you, and if you're taller you need to bend your legs more.
Then we got into our flight suits. It's basically a onesie made of parachute material, clear goggles, earplugs, and a helmet. We had to test putting our arms up in the air to see if our suits fit - it would be so awkward to have a major wedgie the second we put your arms out and started flying!
Once we tied our shoes super tight (double knots!) and made sure our helmets were secure, it was time to enter the air tunnel holding area and sit on the bench. There were two entrances to the air tunnel, so the first person would enter through one door and exit the other, joining the end of the line on the bench. We'd file through twice - each person got two one-minute flights - and then the instructors would go in and do some tricks in the air for us!
My dad and I were last. I was so excited to go, that when it was my turn I got in position and totally forgot to fall forward into the air. The instructor had to give me a thumbs up three times before I remembered what I had to do!
It was spectacular. The first round was a lot of him making adjustments, so I could see what I needed to change to make the second flight as good as possible. The wind is so loud, even with the earplugs and helmet. I was riding winds over 100mph! I couldn't stop smiling. There were literal handles on my suit, so the teacher could hold on to them and guide me if I got too close to the walls of the tunnel. Then, it was my dad's turn. He was a little nervous, I think, but I could tell as soon as he got up in the air that he was having the most amazing time. The helmets have holes in them so the air doesn't get caught inside, and his hair was sticking up through them in tufts!
Then it was time for the second round. It's another minute in the air, and you have the option to spend the last thirty seconds with a second instructor taking you for a spin up and down 30 feet of the tunnel. My dad initially didn't want that part, but once he'd done his first flight he said "oh I WANT one of those." It was even crazier than just riding the wind - the guy holds on to your arm and leg and suddenly you're spiraling up into the tunnel! The wind is somehow even louder when he takes you up. I think I was shouting and laughing, but I couldn't hear myself! It was the most insane roller coaster type feeling, but with so much freedom because it's just you, the instructor, and the wind.
We can't wait to go back sometime soon! I definitely want to bring Ali, too. iFly has locations all over the US , so if you're in the country you can try it out for yourself! 15/10, would TOTALLY recommend.