Skydiving is an activity that is not always family friendly. In addition to having a reputation as a dangerous sport, most places, if not all, do not allow skydivers under 18. Folks who still want to experience the thrill of skydiving can do so at indoor skydiving centers.
Skydiving centers in the United States typically operate under the iFly label. Like other sports, there are inherent risks. Typical risks involve shoulder dislocation and other similar impact injuries. Before you enter the tube, all divers are outfitted with the proper equipment, including a helmet and foam ear plugs.
Upon arrival, the entire family will sign up. A child as young as 4 is able to fly, so this is one experience really open to the entire family. After signing in and getting weighed, fliers meet with their coach, who will run through all of the pertinent details before bringing the family into a training room to watch a video on the correct posture and the hand signals they will use during flight. After they are satisfied the entire family is up to speed, it is time to get dressed.
After all the dressing and safety talks, it is time to actually fly. Typically, coaches will take each flier for four one-minute flights. These give new fliers a chance to get the hang of it and the way it feels to sit inside the wind tube. During your final flight, there is a good chance your instructor might fly with you, taking you higher in the air.
Upon arriving at the center, the entire scene can be intimidating, especially for small children. The results I witnessed, however, were akin to when kids are convinced to ride a rollercoaster. Though scared at first, they become thrilled by the end. That was my group’s reaction, at any rate.
Indoor skydiving is an excellent gateway to true skydiving, especially for people not yet 18. This controlled environment gives first-timers a chance to learn the proper techniques important in a real dive, while also lacking the gravity of literally jumping from a plane.
iFly is the company that produces the flight facilities, and, depending on where you are located, they might have different names. In Montréal and Laval, the center is called Skyventure.
Take a look on iFly’s website to find the nearest indoor skydiving facility and let loose with the family on a daytrip like no other.