Indoor Skydiving at iFLY Basingstoke – review and reccomendation!

As someone who really enjoys thrills (think theme parks, rollercoasters, track days, etc), and also my love of aviation, I’m often asked if I’d go skydiving….

Well that’s a hard NO from me!

I’m generally ok with heights, and I do love flying, but I’d rather not jump out of a plane!
The idea of skydiving (and even worse, bungee jumping) sets me on edge!

So when I received this Christmas present, I was relieved to find out that the skydive I was being sent on would only be a few meters above the ground, an indoor skydiving experience at iFLY Basingstoke.

Here’s my review on the experience!

⬆ Me trying my best! Not too bad for a first try!

What is indoor skydiving?

Indoor skydiving basically involves entering a vertical wind tunnel and experiencing a simulated freefall, in windspeeds of 100+mph.

The iFLY experience – what happens on the day?

The first step is arrival and check in, which needs to be done 45 minutes before your booked slot.

Once checked in and weighed at reception (you must be less than 18 stone) you proceed upstairs to the very impressive indoor skydiving viewing area.

The viewing area has several seats surrounding the wind tunnel, allowing family and friends to watch the skydiving take place.

While waiting for our slot, it was clear how impressive the setup was. The fans to power the wind tunnel must be enormous, and they were incredibly loud as you’d imagine!

After a while, watching others going up and down the wind tunnel, it was time for our briefing. We followed our instructor and got kitted out with a skydiving suit, helmet, earplugs and goggles, and put our loose belongings in to a locker. We were then taught the correct positions for free falling, how to enter and exit the chamber, and the hand signals required (as it’s impossible to speak or hear anything in the wind tunnel).

There were 6 people in our group, each of us having 2 flights booked.

Once we’d geared up and listened to the briefing, in went the ear plugs – the instructor opened the door in to the waiting area next to the wind tunnel, the the wind and noise hit you like a truck. There was no chance now of hearing anything anyone would say, so it’s hand signals only from this point onwards.

One by one we each approached the doorway and leaned forward in to the wind – and experienced the very weird sensation of falling upwards and not flat on the floor!

Free falling in 100mph winds is surprisingly smooth – and not at all chaotic or choppy like I thought it would be. It’s like you’re led on a cushion of air.

Each slight movement you make with your arms and legs has quite an impact on your aerodynamics, meaning you do tend to move around the chamber quite a bit if you move even a little bit….. waving to your friends and family in the waiting area is doable but a little fraught!

The instructor stays with you throughout your flight, and positions your limbs to help you stay away from the walls – they won’t let you come to any harm.

One piece of advice I’d give to anyone trying this for the first time is to try to keep your mouth closed if you can – I must admit that the second I entered the wind tunnel I did my usual ‘shouting’ as if on a rollercoaster – big mistake! I felt like my entire insides, let alone my mouth, had been completely sucked of all moisture within about 1 second 😂 it’s rather windy in there!

An optional upcharge is the “high fly” experience, in which your instructor will use the last 10 seconds or your flight to take you flying and spinning up the chamber and back down again a couple of times – great to experience and I’d recommend the upgrade!

Each of your flights lasts for 1 minute, so you do only get a total of 2 minutes flight time unless you purchase more on the day.

When everyone in the group had had their 2 flights, our instructor took to the chamber and showed us what a professional skydiver can do – he put on a 30 second or so display of him walking the walls of the chamber and some of the “aerobatics” you can achieve when you know what you’re doing! All very impressive.

After the experience you return all the equipment, try to regain a bit of dignity, then head downstairs and have the option to view and purchase the photos and videos that were taken or you during your flights, and you’re issued a certificate as well as discounted rates if you’d like to return.

I’d really recommend indoor skydiving as a great day out to anyone up for trying something different! iFLY is a great place and the staff were brilliant.

Thank you so much for reading! If you’re going indoor skydiving soon or you have anything to share, please leave a comment!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s