CityBeat sent our Arts & Culture editor to try out Liberty Township’s newly opened iFly Indoor Skydiving
Facebook.com/IFlyUsI want to premise this review by noting that I knew nothing about iFLY Indoor Skydiving before strolling in. I just rolled with the assignment to review it. I’m an Aries, people. It’s on brand. I impulsively respond yes in emails, leading me to jump inside wind tunnels so you don’t have to. (iFLY offered us free flights and other staffers were less enthusiastic about trying it.)
iFly recently opened a facility in Liberty Township. (The next closest location is in Chicago, making the Greater Cincinnati spot the first to call Ohio home.) If you can’t wrap your head around what “indoor skydiving” is — as opposed to its outside jumping-out-of-an-airplane counterpart — it’s not as complicated as you might think. Basically, the facility uses a vertical wind tunnel fly chamber with wind speeds high enough to keep participants afloat.
After signing in at iFly, you’ll be greeted by a flight instructor who will set you up with gear — a suit, helmet and earplugs (which are optional but recommended. The wind is loud!). There are lockers onsite to store your belongings for no extra fee. After you’re suited up, you’ll be led to a room and be given the lowdown on what to expect. My instructor was excellent and walked me and a friend who tagged along through the process. He was also super chill, so kudos to a job well done.
Because the tunnel is loud, the instructor will also teach you basic hand signals, which they’ll show you throughout your time in the tunnel.
It’s not scary. In fact, I’d say it’s actually kind of relaxing — it’s akin to trying to stay afloat on top of waves in the ocean or in a pool. After trust-falling into the tunnel, you have to be aware of your body’s position (which they’ll teach you beforehand). To actually take off, there’s an optimum way to hold yourself: chin up, elbows out and hands forward, legs straight and muscles untensed. Don’t fret: Your instructor will be inside the tunnel with you to help out.
This isn’t the fizzy drink scene from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. You won’t fly to the ceiling and be unable to return to the ground. Promise.
I’d have to experience it a few more times to fully grasp how I feel, but it was fun for sure. My friend agreed. Both of us were a little sore afterward, but on the same level as riding a roller coaster or working out after a week of lazing around.
The more you go, the more tricks you can learn. Before our session ended — both of us were able to have a few rounds in the tunnel — our instructor showed off his own skills. All the flips and soars and swooshing were impressive. 10/10. Round of applause.
A few other things to note: Wear lace-up, closed-toe shoes. (I wore checkered slip-on Vans, which also worked.) If you wear glasses, like me, you’ll have to take them off for the tunnel. (Or you can opt to wear larger goggles over your glasses.) Flyers can be as young as 3 years old and anyone under the age of 17 will need a parent or guardian to sign their waiver. Packages range from $70-$300. More info: iflyworld.com/cincinnati.
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