BY SARA SASILA
The moment I stepped into the glass wind tunnel, I felt my heart sink into my stomach.
If you are anything like me, living on the dangerous and wild side isn’t something that comes easily. Despite this, I’ve always wanted to try skydiving. I feel like all adults need to be able to say, ‘I jumped off a plane and it was awesome,’ at least once in their life. For me, the closest I ever came to conquering the fear of skydiving was going to iFly.
Most people don’t really know what I mean when I say I went indoor skydiving. It’s really no different than going real skydiving, except instead of jumping out of a plane, you’re walking into a vertical glass tunnel in which an airstream flows through at a speed of 175 km/h.
Just like real skydiving, you always have an instructor with you to make sure everything goes according to plan. The first time you fly, you have an instructor clutching onto your hands to make sure you are getting the positioning right, but don’t worry, they teach you everything you need to know.
Before flying, it is mandatory that you take a beginner’s class, just so you can get a feel of how it works and know what body position you should be in.
While I was watching the movie that the instructor played for us, explaining what to do, I was in shock. I wanted to walk out and never return. It looked painful. When you are in the air, your body is supposed to be in the “banana” position you learned in gym class. You had to keep your arms and legs shoulder width apart. Your hands had to be facing down and your head had to be looking up so you wouldn’t fall like paper. The instructor also taught us the basic hand signals while flying, because there is no way that you could talk. If he gave you a thumbs up, that meant you were doing everything perfectly, and if you are anything like me, I got the ‘Spread your legs more’ and ‘Lift your arms up’ and never saw a thumbs up once. Sounds easy, right? Wrong.
After what seemed like forever, the class was finally over and it was time to fly. I got in my flyers suit, put a helmet, earplugs and protective glasses on and everything got real.
One-by-one we lined up and entered the glass tube.
Once you are standing at the entrance of the tunnel, you are supposed to just ‘fall’ frontwards so that the air could lift you up right away – and when I did that, I felt my heart drop.
While in the tube, my mouth got so dry, all I could think about the entire time was ‘breathe’ and then I’d somehow end up with my face against the glass wall. My instructor kept signaling me to do things but I could barely look up or move my body because the pressure of the air was too much. Overall, it was amusing and fun. My instructor told me afterwards that he had never seen someone smile that much. Little did he know, I was just smiling through the pain.
The iFly centre is located in Oakville. The introductory package, that includes two flights, which is equivalent to two minutes of flying, is $81. The introductory package for four flights, which means four minutes, is $119.
Although it was expensive, especially for only two minutes of flying, it was totally worth it.
It was a great experience, but instead of going back, I’ve decided that in the near future, I should endure real skydiving.