When I first got the email inviting me down to Milton Keynes to go indoor skydiving with Red Letter Days, I was really excited, I’d never done anything like that before and it looked like a lot of fun. I’ve always wanted to do something a bit more ‘extreme’ for a birthday or special occasion but have never got around to doing it, so of course I said yes and a couple of weeks ago, I made my way down to Milton Keynes to have a go.
The indoor skydiving actually takes place in a huge building in Milton Keynes called Xscape in which a lot of other activities including skiing, snowboarding and bowling take place. There’s also a cinema, a couple of restaurants and a few shops, so it’s a great place to spend a couple of hours. When I arrived at Xscape, I easily found my way to the iFly area and was greeted by the ladies from Red Letter Days. We were given a bit of a talk on what we were going to do and were introduced to our instructor Ted, then it was time to go and watch a safety video.
After we watched the video and new all about the correct safety procedures in and around the wind tunnel and the hand signals, we then went to get all kitted out in our jumpsuits, goggles, helmets and earplugs. I felt like I was going into outer space in my jumpsuit! We had to make sure we weren’t wearing anything that could fly off such as loose rings, watches or necklaces and if we needed to wear glasses then there was the option of a full face helmet. I opted to take my glasses off as I don’t actually need to wear them all the time.
There were twelve of us taking part in the activity and the youngest of us, Sebastian who was only 7 volunteered himself to go first – he was fearless! He went into the tunnel with Ted and was told to lie on the floor and then we got to watch the wind being turned on. Sebastian’s jumpsuit started to inflate a bit and then he was suddenly lifted up into the air. We each got two goes in the wind tunnel, sixty seconds each go. Once Sebastian was done, it was my turn!
As soon as you step into the wind tunnel, you’re advised to lean forward and you’re lifted up into the air in a horizontal position. You need to try to push your hips forward and keep your legs slightly bent but once you’re flying around it’s quite hard to remember to do these things which is why Ted was there with us to help us out. He was giving hand signals to tell me what to do with my legs and arms to help me to avoid sinking to the bottom of the tunnel. I thought that the sixty seconds would go really quickly but surprisingly, it didn’t, it felt like I was in the tunnel for a lot longer than that! I think it was because I was concentrating so hard on trying to keep myself in the right position.
I came out of my first flight feeling completely exhilarated and also a bit embarrassed as the wind pushes your face back so I had a permanent smile on my face and I’d noticed that I’d been dribbling a bit. Luckily, nobody else could tell and several others said that they experienced the same thing. On my second go, Ted asked if I wanted to experience the ‘High Fly’ which would usually cost an extra £6 and is where the instructor will spin you to the top of the tunnel and back down again. Of course, I said yes and it was so much fun but I dribbled a hell of a lot more whizzing up to the top of the tunnel and back down again twice and it was so fast!
Once we’d finished our skydiving and handed back our helmets, goggles and jumpsuits, we were all given a certificate each detailing our achievements. We were told that if we went back again, that we could bring the certificates and we could pick up where we left off. I’m definitely tempted to go back again and I know a few of my friends would enjoy it!
If you want to see my first flight, you can watch it in my vlog below!