If you’ve never watched people fly–in close-up–from the other side of a sheet of glass, then you’ll have to believe us when we tell you: It’s a real way to spend an afternoon, and it is one heck of an experience. Lucky for you, the ultimate opportunity to check out this one-of-a-kind sport is happening right in your backyard: at Paraclete XP, America’s largest indoor skydiving wind tunnel.
World-class flyers are coming to Raeford, North Carolina from all corners of the planet, where they’ve spent years honing Olympic-caliber ability in their home wind tunnels. They’re coming together at Paraclete XP on Feb 25th and 26th of 2017, bringing the 9th Annual Indoor Skydiving Championship to take center stage in freefall acrobatics–and to compete for over $10,000 in prizes!
Competitive indoor skydiving–or “bodyflight,” as its practitioners often refer to it–might seem too flat-out incredible to be a real thing, but make no mistake: there is an entire sport dedicated to the athletic, dancerly movements that these athletes perform in wind tunnels. This isn’t floating, by any stretch of the imagination. It’s super-tricky, muscularly exhausting and actually quite distinct from very similar moves as performed in the actual sky. Mostly, though, it looks–and feels–like magic. ‘But is it a sport?, you ask?
Yessirree. You can measure a sport’s bona fides by the metrics employed to evaluate its competitors, and by that measure competitive indoor skydiving is more of a sport than most. Competitors can throw down solo or join up into teams of 2 or more. There are a striking number of wildly varying subdisciplines to be judged, but all come down to the amount and complexity of the moves they can pull off in a super-strict time limit–which is controlled to the tenth of a second. Each of these performances is recorded, but teams and individual athletes are judged live by a panel of international experts.
Another point of great interest: indoor skydiving isn’t just for the X-games set. Kids compete at these events who are too young to sit at the gala dinner without a booster seat–and these kids are reimagining the skydiving world with every record they set. We’re immensely proud of our young flyers at Paraclete XP, and we welcome new ones every day.
It is with great pleasure, then, that we invite you to watch as new airsports history is made at the 9th Annual Indoor Skydiving Championship. Bring your family, bring your friends and bring a hand-on-heart sense of wonderment–you’re going to need it!