Literally. I tried this yesterday, thinking it’d be a way to see what skydiving felt like without the splat risk. Turns out it doesn’t really feel like you’re falling through the air at all, because rather than dropping from a height, you float up from the bottom on air that’s blowing upwards at 150mph in a vertical wind tunnel. But it’s still pretty cool.
The biggest challenge for me was body position. During the classroom bit beforehand that prepares you for leaping into the air flow, the instructor talked about how important it is to maintain a U shape so the air flows evenly around your body and keeps you stable. Think cobra pose. My body, however, is really only happy in a ∩ shape, and my version of cobra looks like most people’s plank position. So I knew I wasn’t exactly going to be a skydiving natural.
Still, I managed to stay up there for short bursts, I didn’t crash face-first into the wall, and I didn’t plummet to the floor or flail pathetically, which I guess is pretty good considering how little I’m built for this sport.
What I did do is drool. The instructor kept saying we should remember to smile and try not to drool on ourselves; it turns out that was not a joke. When you open your mouth to smile and wind rushes into it at 150mph, major drooling is exactly what happens.
The photos are fortunately taken at a discreet distance.
If you’re interested in trying this out (assuming you have a back that bends in the right direction), look for iFly in your area. It’s lots of fun. Just try not to drool.