So many Sunday afternoon’s come and go, full of guilt and regret. Too much alcohol, too much food, too much Netflix, not enough excitement. Sending you straight back to work wondering how feasible a 4 day working week would actually be.
Well I think I’ve found a cure for the tame Sunday afternoon blues – indoor skydiving.
We rocked up to airkix in Basingstoke on a Sunday evening a few weekends ago. The wind tunnel you do the indoor skydiving in is on the first floor, surrounded by sofas for those who just want to spectate. We were called in group by group to the video prep area and despite having visions of embarrassing myself in front of a birthday group of 7 year olds, luckily it turned out our group was made up of the 6 of us and a professional sky diving troupe (who obviously did not need to watch the video and spent the time practicing their formations instead.)
Fully briefed and kitted up, the instructor explained a few hand signals and took us one by one into the air tunnel.
I was feeling incredibly nervous. The sound of the wind was overwhelming, so much so, you’re given ear plugs for safety. I just had no idea what it would feel like.
Entry into the wind tunnel is simple and you find yourself in the neutral flying position with ease. You simply lean into the wind with your feet on the door frame and the instructor helps lift your legs up behind you. Legs out straight, back arched a little, chest up high, looking straight or as far upwards as you can and you’re flying!
It’s an indescribable feeling. Weightless, as if you are swimming, but still aware that there is a pillow of air holding you up. The air buffets against your shoulders and did feel a little uncomfortable at some points.
The air speed is controlled so that you cannot fly any higher than head/shoulder height of the instructor, but believe me, for your first go, that is certainly high enough! If your instructor is trained for tandem flights, you can pay extra and request to fly right to the top of the wind tunnel.
We each had two turns and in between had the chance to watch the professionals do their thing, which was very impressive. It also made me question the claim Airkix make that their indoor skydives, between one and two minutes long, are longer than a normal skydive, as the professional group took up the whole time available rehearsing a routine they would do in the air. Don’t get me wrong – for a first few tries at indoor skydiving, one minute is plenty. None of us had a clue what we were doing so we all bobbed around, trying not to bash into the windows, and one minute is more than enough time to do that.