group of indoor skydivers

Does zero gravity exist? No, but indoor skydiving is close.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Have you ever been on a circular carnival ride that spins so fast the centrifugal force makes you feel weightless? That’s the zero gravity ride, and one common misconception of indoor skydiving is that it replicates a zero gravity experience. Although they’re similar, the wind tunnel experience doesn’t give you that weird feeling like after the carnival ride. Instead, it combines elements of weightlessness and flying!


Zero gravity is a state where there’s no apparent force of gravity felt on the physical body — the surroundings are freely and equally accelerating. There are more sophisticated rides you can opt for, other than the zero gravity ride at a carnival, including the 30-second, $5,000 ride in Newark, New Jersey.


A wind tunnel is the large tube of wind used during indoor skydiving, which generally is a freefall skydiving simulator in a circular chamber creating a column of air. The wind tunnel simulates the freefall portion of a traditional skydive, and it’s a great way to experience skydiving without jumping out of an actual plane.


The Zero G ride in New Jersey looks totally cool, but it isn’t accessible for most people. So how is our wind tunnel the closest thing to replicating a zero gravity ride? First, our wind tunnel chamber is very similar to a space-like environment. Second, zero gravity is a feeling of weightlessness. Although with the wind tunnel you’re stepping into a blast of air, you hover in the air once you orient yourself to the wind — essentially feeling weightless!

Indoor skydivers flying in the tunnel at Paraclete XP.


We’re probably biased, so we asked a few friends and non-flying folks what they thought the differences between zero gravity experiences and wind tunnel flying were. We compiled a list comparing all the experiences:


Indoor Skydiving Zero G Experience Carnival Zero Gravity Ride
Weightless Feeling Yes Yes Sort Of
Nausea Rating Low Medium High
Time of Experience 2 Minutes* 6 times, approximately 20-30 seconds for 1 flight Approximately 2 minutes
Cost $64* $5,400 + 5% tax Minimal, but varies
Ages that Can Fly Minimum 3 years old Minimum 8 years old Must be 42” tall
Availability Open 7 Days A Week by Reservation Currently Not Operating Only When Carnivals Come to Town

*You can purchase more flying time the same day if availability allows 


Indoor skydiving offers the best zero gravity replication at an affordable price. If you’re looking for a wind tunnel near you, Paraclete XP Indoor is located in Raeford, NC and serves Fayetteville, Fort Bragg, Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte, and the Atlanta areas. If you’re visiting, or if one of those cities is your home, we welcome you to check us out!

Men and women clapping and smiling while watching coworkers skydive indoors at Paraclete XP.

The entire staff is extraordinarily professional and gracious. They are extremely safety conscious while at the same time giving everyone as much freedom as they can safely manage. A rare combination. While we (adults) were there, our instructor also suited up and trained a 2-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl.

Jack Berry