Guest Author - Lynn Newcomb Gaziano
Indoor skydiving is a deceiving title for this new and growing wind tunnel sport. It’s more like being a gymnast in zero gravity. Well, my instructor at SkyVenture in Nashua New Hampshire was a gymnast, I was more like a large, out of control, helium filled balloon. It doesn’t require courage to do this sport, it really isn’t scary, unless you find that having people watch as you look a little foolish, is scary to you. I definitely did not look good while doing this. The sheer velocity of the wind inside the tunnel literally gives you a temporary g-force face lift, or in the case of someone my age, it causes your looser, less toned facial skin to “flap”. Imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger’s face when he landed outside the protected dome in the movie Total Recall. Of course, you won’t know that you look like this while you are doing it, and if no one video tapes you, you won’t have to know. I guess what I am saying is, that this is not a good activity if you are going on a first date. But who cares, this is great fun!
At $48 for two minutes of flight, and $85 for four minutes, it is pricey, but two minutes is longer than it sounds when doing this. I went for the four minutes, which they break down into two, two-minute flights, and it was more than enough to satisfy me on my first trip. It makes a great gift for special occasions, and of course the kids love it.
If you decide to go indoor skydiving wear well-secured sneakers and comfortable, snug fitting clothing. Loose clothes will flop around in all that wind and your shoes could literally be blown right off your feet if they aren’t tightly fastened.
It’s not a particularly dangerous sport but there are limitations and not everyone can do it.
You cannot weigh more than 250 pounds.
You cannot do it if you are pregnant or are wearing a hard cast.
You must be at least 3 years old and fit properly in the available equipment.
If you have ever suffered a shoulder injury you cannot do this, and I personally would not recommend it to people with back problems, although the staff would not disqualify you for that, so it’s your call.
That’s pretty much it for restrictions, everyone else qualifies. They do not of course, allow people who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol into the tunnel and you will be required to sign a waiver before flying.
I have one caveat to offer on the topic of indoor skydiving. Don’t open your mouth while in the tunnel. Not even to lick your lips or as I foolishly did, to yell “WOOHOO”. Trust me on this, it won’t be pretty. Any saliva in your mouth will instantly be flown skyward. They don’t warn you about this in the 10-minute training class that you attend before going in. I wish they had. I was not pleased to see my spit hurling through the air.
Other than that, go, bring a video or still image camera if you have one, and have a blast. There is an on site photographer there shooting everyone’s flight so you can purchase your photos from them if you like. You can also purchase a video of yourself on DVD. It's a memory worth taking home with you. If the extras won't fit into your budget, then bring your own photographer because they do allow it.
The instructor for my flight was a charming young man named Matt. He is working his way through college by working at SkyVenture. What a cool job! The staff there is great.
You can see videos of both Matt and I by going to the New England Travel forums and clicking on the Indoor Skydiving link there.