MINNETONKA — If you ask anyone at iFly, they’ll tell you indoor skydiving isn’t a ride. It’s a sport.
“It is a sport. It’s not a ride. I think a lot of people come in thinking you can float around and just do whatever you want. That’s not quite the case; there’s a learning process to this,” Adam Fultz, who has been an instructor with iFly for eight years, told Lakeshore Weekly News.
iFly — the first indoor skydiving facility in the state of Minnesota — opened in Minnetonka in December. Participants fly in a vertical wind tunnel with wind speeds that can reach 150-plus mph in order to create the sensation that they are floating on a cushion of air. It’s described as being similar to a free fall you’d experience while skydiving — just without the airplane.
First-time flyers will go through a training class with their instructor to learn the basics of flying prior to entering the wind tunnel. To enter the tunnel, beginners do a trust fall into the wind, with the instructor by their side the entire time to help the flyer learn correct body positioning and balance.
Beginners will start on their belly as they learn how to fly. Eventually, with hours of time in the tunnel, they will progress to doing tricks, spins and turns like the instructors do.
iFly plans to start leagues for kids and adults so people can hone their skills and advance in the sport, General Manager Luis Nebel told the Lakeshore Weekly News. There is also conference room space to host corporate events, birthday parties and STEM classes to teach students about all the math and technology that goes into making indoor skydiving possible.
iFly has a variety of flight packages available for first-time and experienced flyers. For beginners, flight packages start at $69.95 for two flights — each flight is about one minute long, but can be extended depending on the package to give the flyer a little more time to play in the air, Nebel said.
Flight packages include pre-flight training, gear rental, one-on-one flight instruction and a personalized flight certificate. There are also various add-ons available, such as pre-purchasing photos and video of your flight or adding a high flyer flight, where the instructor takes you up high into the vertical tube.
Who can fly?
Anyone ages 3 to 103 can fly, but Fultz says if there is someone who is 104 who is physically able, “We’d definitely love to have them come in and fly as well.”
The weight limit is 300 pounds. Those who have had shoulder dislocations or who are pregnant should not fly, Fultz notes.
Texas-based iFly’s website says it has “pioneered” the sport of body flight. It opened its first tunnel in Orlando, Florida, in 1998, and now it has grown to 70 locations across the world.
iFly is in the northwest corner of the Ridgedale Center parking lot, 12415 Wayzata Blvd., Suite 15. For more information and to book your flight, visit www.iflyworld.com.
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