5 differences between indoor skydiving and skydiving

Indoor Skydiving vs. Real Skydiving: Similarities & Differences

Monday, March 4, 2024

Have you been experiencing the urge to defy gravity? The world of skydiving offers two distinct avenues to experience this rush: indoor skydiving and the real deal. So, what exactly are the differences between indoor skydiving vs real skydiving? Let’s delve into the intricacies of each, exploring the exhilarating thrill of flight from both perspectives.  

group of indoor skydivers belly flying

Indoor Skydiving vs Real Skydiving

Is indoor skydiving like the real thing? As far as the sensation of flight is concerned, indoor skydiving closely mimics freefall because – just like outdoor skydiving – you’ll float on a cushion of air. It’s so close to the real thing, in fact, that students and licensed skydivers use time in the wind tunnel to practice proper body positioning and master specific flight techniques. As a controlled setting, it allows ample time for skill refinement. If you are looking for things similar to skydiving, this is as close as it gets! 

More Than Just a Hobby  

What’s the point of indoor skydiving? Indoor skydiving isn’t just a super-fun recreational activity or training tool – it’s a sport in its own right. With competitions and events held regularly, participants can showcase their skills and push the boundaries of what’s possible in the tunnel. Beyond the thrill of flight, it offers a canvas for creativity and expression. In the wind tunnel, you can create new ways of flying and sequences nobody’s ever seen before. 

Whether you aspire to become a competitive flyer, pushing the limits of human flight, or simply seek the pure joy of soaring through the air, indoor skydiving offers endless opportunities for growth and exploration.  

Safety Considerations  

Is indoor skydiving safer than skydiving? While there are inherent risks associated with both, with indoor skydiving they tend to be relatively mild; bumps and bruises are the primary injuries. As you progress to higher wind speeds and engage with other flyers, there’s a heightened risk of collision.  

At indoor skydiving facilities like Paraclete XP, experienced instructors provide you with guidance and teach you specific techniques to maintain stability and confidence in the air. Participants undergo safety briefings to understand what to expect and how to keep a proper body position in the tunnel. Through comprehensive training and progression, we are able to minimize risks. 

Accessibility and Requirements 

One of the most appealing aspects of indoor skydiving is accessibility. Unlike traditional skydiving, which typically requires you to be at least 18 years or older, indoor skydiving often welcomes flyers of all ages, provided you meet health and safety criteria

At Paraclete XP, participants as young as 3 years old can experience the joy of flight! You must be in good physical health to participate and weigh less than 250 lbs. Some exceptions may be made, please contact us if you have questions.

Another way indoor skydiving is more accessible is cost. Indoor skydive prices are considerably less than outdoor skydive prices because there is a whole lot less that goes into executing an indoor skydive – a plane and fuel for starters! Consider our Spread Your Wings package, for example. You get four minutes in the tunnel, which is equivalent to four skydives, for $140. In contrast, one tandem skydive is more than $200

top skydiving questions

Translating to Outdoor Skydiving 

Does indoor skydiving count as skydiving? Well, unfortunately, no. But the skills you will learn in the tunnel are totally transferable! Many people think skydiving is simply falling to the earth followed by the deployment of a parachute and landing. This is not the case! What you do during freefall is what makes skydiving so much fun and challenging. In the tunnel, an experienced instructor can help you learn how to manipulate the wind to make yourself stable, confident, and comfortable in the sky.

The amazing thing about indoor skydiving is you get the time to work on skills in a controlled environment, without any added pressure, or having to take breaks (airplane rides) between each freefall. 

Is it hard to breathe while indoor skydiving? Not at all! Most indoor skydiving students begin with an open-face helmet, and this will actually help you prepare for breathing in real deal freefall. So, is it hard to breathe while outdoor skydiving? We do hear tandem skydivers sometimes say that skydiving takes your breath away, but that’s more from the body’s natural inclination to hold your breath when doing something new or scary – it’s not actually hard to breathe while skydiving. (If you find yourself inadvertently holding your breath when you jump, scream! You’ll have to take a big ol’ breath first, and then you’ll keep on breathing!)

Outdoor Skydiving: The Ultimate Thrill

Let’s be honest, nothing compares to the thrill of sky-high freefall or the accomplishment of learning new skills and translating them to the sky! Outdoor skydiving provides an unparalleled experience, with breathtaking views and adrenaline-pumping moments that linger long after the parachute deploys. And don’t even get us started on the amazing community who will greet you with open arms. While indoor skydiving offers valuable training opportunities, the real magic happens when you take to the skies and embrace the freedom of flight. 

Tandem skydiving pair and their instructor at Skydive Paraclete

Incorporating Indoor Skydiving into Training 

If you’re considering becoming a licensed or competitive skydiver, you cannot go wrong with adding indoor skydiving to your training regimen. In fact, at Skydive Paraclete XP, indoor skydiving is an integral part of our Paraclete Student Program. Years of experience have taught us how valuable wind tunnel training is and we use this tool to accelerate your progression! 

Hot tip: If you spend time in the tunnel before starting your skydiving training, you’ll likely find that you are lightyears beyond the students who haven’t! 

Experience the Thrill 

It’s natural to feel a little nervous about indoor skydiving because it’s an experience that’s totally different than anything you’ve ever done before. Fighting the laws of gravity will feel foreign at first, but we will prepare you properly! 

At Paraclete XP and Skydive Paraclete XP, we offer it all: indoor skydiving, tandem skydiving, a comprehensive learn to skydive program, and sick events for experienced skydivers. Whether you decide to jump indoors, outdoors, or both, we’ve got you covered, and we can’t wait to introduce you to the amazing world of skydiving! 

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

We have been twice now and absolutely love it and are already planning our next family flight! Andy, Derek, and all of the staff have been amazing. They are excellent with both kids and adults, and our 4 year old daughter can't get enough! The facility is top notch, and they ensure you have a safe and REALLY fun time. You can tell everyone loves what they do, and it more than their job - it is their passion. I would HIGHLY recommend this for kids and families, and they even offer birthday party packages.

Bobbie Jean Fraley