JC Explores: Going indoor skydiving with Red Letter Days
As most people will know, both in real life and if you read this blog. I’m not a big fan of heights. I’m also not the biggest fan of any kind of adventure sport. I wish I was one of those daredevils who could just jump out of planes or bungy jump off a bridge, but alas, I am not wired that way! So when Red Letter Days proposed going indoor skydiving, the first question was an obvious one, uh how high up is it?! Luckily, the guys reassured me and I decided that it was about time I did something a bit outside of my comfort zone, so indoor skydiving, here I come!
So on Thursday, I headed off from work in Southampton and made my way North to Milton Keynes. I was super impressed at how speedy that train was – it’s only like 25 minutes from Euston! Then made my way to I-Fly, about a 5 minute drive from the station. I met the Red Letter Days team and other members of our group before getting ready for our safety briefing.
This may be a surprise, but going indoor skydiving is a bit more complicated than it looks! It’s not so much you just get in the tube and instantly understand how to move around in the air, more that you have to acclimatized. So we got taken through the different body positions we need to be in, in order to float in the most efficient way. We then got suited up!! Note to anyone going, make sure you braid your hair as I ended up not bringing a hair tie, improvising with a low pony tail and a elastic band aaaaaand, I ended up with a giant dreadlock. So you know, sort that before you go.
We headed over to the wind tunnel and entered as a group, basically you form a little queue on the outside with one person going in each time. Our instructor, Ted, was always in the tube with you to help correct your body position and make sure you don’t whack into the sides or you know, float away. You pop in for one minute by belly flopping through the door. Then once you pop out, the next person goes, we did a couple of rounds.
One minute doesn’t sound like long, but trust me, I think it was enough! It’s actually reeeally hard to try and stay balanced and I have to say, I’m not a natural indoor flyer. There is just so much to take in (not to mention you’re flying over a giant hole) but I definitely enjoyed it, it’s a sensation like I’ve never felt before. I think in the full experience you get 120 seconds for each flight too!
Once I popped in, Ted helped me straighten my legs and go up and down within the tube. I think by the end I finally had it down to just stay floating in the middle of the tube. You then have the option to go for the ‘high flyer’ which is an extra £6, but basically involves being taken up to the top of the tube. As you know, high flying is not my thing, so I politely declined, but the others in the group really enjoyed it! They turn up the fan really strong, then Ted grabs your flying suit and navigates you up and down at quite some speed.
After the whole group had been a couple of times, we then got a little show from Ted about all the awesome things that you can actually do in the tube! After finding it hard just to float in one position, I thought this was even more impressive. If you do really enjoy it then you can do further coaching and sessions to start doing all of the fancy moves in the tube!
I have to say that I was quite proud of actually doing it. I was a little nervous before, but was determined to actually go through with it. I thoughtfully didn’t tell anyone about it before I went (in case I did chicken out) and when I sent the photos to my parents they were totally shocked. They actually thought it could be my sister (who obviously got all of the brave genes which skipped me).
Overall, I really recommend giving it a try. It would be an ideal gift to give someone if they like the more adventurous side of life (or even if they don’t and you want to get someone out of their comfort zone!). I’m definitely keen to take Paul and my sister to try it as I think they would totally love it. You can find more about the Red Letter Days experience here, and check out their blog post of the experience where I also did a little interview with the owner of I-Fly!
Have you been indoor skydiving?! Or outdoor skydiving? Does this look like something up your street?
*My flight was complimentary, but all opinions are my own!