Our Experience: Indoor Skydiving

by Hayley Cowburn on 02/02/2016

We’ve been at it again and decided to give one of our most popular activities another test run and report back to all you lovely stags and hens about the experience. To make sure we’re providing you with Manchester’s most exciting activities we’ve took the time to experience them ourselves (and its a great day out the office!).

This time we sent Jen and Hayley for some indoor skydiving at Airkix. Previously Jen has done the real deal and skydived from a plane, but for Hayley this was all new and a bit nerve-wracking.

airkix review
Above: Hayley learning to fly.

On Arrival

Airix is right next to Chill Factore – the indoor snow sports building that can’t be missed driving by on M60. Since there was only two of us we filled out our statement of risk in the main reception room on the touch screens. All very simple and easy to do and larger groups can complete their statement of risk online before visiting.

Next we met our gorgeous indoor skydiving instructor who was extremely friendly and reassuring for the nervous ones! The relaxed atmosphere that the staff create really make you feel at ease, which particularly appreciable with the intimidating sound of the 1,600 Horse Power wind tunnel in the centre of the building.


The Training

Thankfully there isn’t a lot to memorize from the training – the safety training is clearly designed to be as simple as possible for beginners and works very effectively. After watching a safety training video, our instructor reminded us about the important parts: body position and instructor hand signals. The basic body position is on your front, balancing your arms and legs correctly (which the instructor will demonstrate for you). It’s all very easy, just remember to keep your chin pointed up (apparently this is the bit most people forget). The hand signals you will learn allow the instructor to tell you how to correct your position in the wind tunnel, including: “Bend your legs”, “Straighten your legs”, “Chin Up” and “Relax you’re doing great!”


The Flight

After gearing up and feeling well protected in your jumpsuit, earplugs and helmet, you’re good to go. By now the nervous people are looking a little more relaxed, including Hayley who watched Jen go first!

You get two turns and the opportunity to watch a reply of your first flight to see where you can improve. On her first go, Jen was like a duck to water and managed to get a great smile in for the camera. Hayley was more like a duck to fire on the first go, wobbling all over the place but managed to find some balance with some practice.

On our second go we were much better at balancing on the wind and decided to go for the “high flight” – where the instructor flies you up in a spiral motion from the bottom to the top of the wind tunnel. It felt like that scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, (myself being the confused old man). You literally fly!

Afterwards

Everyone was buzzing. After watching a professional throw some impressive shapes and manoeuvres in the tunnel, its time to see the photos that were taken and see who looks the silliest in 180mph winds! After, you may be staying for the party room or decide to head out to one of the surrounding restaurants at the park. Given the choice, we would have gone for some cocktails but it was a workday after all.


Feeling Nervous?

Relax. There isn’t really much that can go wrong – even kids can do indoor skydiving! Your instructor is highly experienced and will be inside the wind tunnel with you for support – and will make sure you get that all important picture taken! Above all, being there with your mates and watching a couple of others for first will really encourage you.