Haven’t been indoor skydiving yet? Concerned that you’re going to be in over your head as far as physical activity is concerned? No worries. You’re certainly not the first! Especially in the last few years–since video footage of the top-level fliers in our cool little sport has made it into the public eye–folks have been routinely coming to us with this question. We want to present a realistic picture of how physically challenging indoor skydiving is to pull off. Here’s the straight story.
Coming to the indoor skydiving wind tunnel for the first time is like showing up to any intro-to-a-sport activity–like a taster session at a rock climbing gym; a beginner surf lesson; your first yoga class. You can expect to be challenged, but not overwhelmed. The instructors who will be guiding your experience are consummate professionals with badass skills, sure, but they’re there to give you the best possible start in the sport. If you listen to their instructions, we dare say it’s easy to master those first flights!
You can ask anyone who flies seriously in the tunnel how difficult it is to do the fancy stuff, and they’ll tell you: Yep. It’s hard. Those fancy flips and zoomy maneuvers take time and dedication to master because the smoothness and beauty of the movement–like dance; gymnastics; terrain-park snow sports; the list goes on–is predicated on very subtle details of body position.
Curious? We’ve been putting together some videos (shared on Facebook as #tiptuesday moves) to give newer fliers an insider peek into how to execute some of the maneuvers we most commonly do.
The difficulty of tunnel flying also, of course, depends on your athletic mindset and ability. Everyone learns at a different pace, but if you dedicate resources of time, money and focus to the cause you can progress steadily at your very own rate. Luckily, getting hooked on tunnel flying is an easy thing to do. (Heck–all of us over here are total unadulterated diehards.)
Sharing space with team members in the tunnel is a serious challenge, but it’s an enormous amount of fun. Be aware that flying in the tunnel with a group is certainly not in the “baby steps” category of tunnel skills; you have to start from the beginning, but if you dedicate time (and get quality coaching!) you can build your endurance and skills to the point where sharing the windytube with a team is no problem at all.
The tunnel has enormous benefits beyond being able to execute a perfect outfacing snake. The tunnel strengthens focus, proprioceptive capability, cardiovascular health, flexibility, muscular strength, and confidence. Even if you never decide to compete, you’ll be harder, better, faster and stronger for the time you put into your tunnel flying… and–dare we say it–quite a bit cooler, too.
What’s the upshot? Well: Indoor skydiving is as hard as you want to make it–but that’s part of the fun! Join us and accept the challenge. You’ll be glad you did.