Want to try skydiving but get weak in the knees at the thought of leaping out of a plane? Then the new indoor skydiving facility in Delta may be just the thing for you.
Fly Zone is the first and only vertical wind tunnel in all of Western Canada. Giant rotors inside the Plexiglas chamber blast air upward at more than 200 kilometers per hour, lifting you right off the ground and simulating the experience of skydiving.
You start off with a training session explaining the ins and outs of controlling your body and staying aloft. Then you’re fitted with a space-age flightsuit, helmets, goggles and even ear plugs to protect your ear drums from the rushing air. After you enter the tunnel, you lie on your belly on the floor. Then, they let the rotors rip and you begin your flight.
I’ve heard from friends that it’s actually a lot harder than it looks. Beginners need to be accompanied by expert instructors, who keep your body in position and prevent you from flying off and banging into one of the walls. And it’s a real workout, too. Tremendous upper body strength is required to keep your arms and head in the flying position. To imagine the experience, think of sticking your whole body outside the car window, as you’re going down the highway at 200 kilometers per hour!
Here’s a video of Fly Zone’s wind tunnel, set to some Eminem music:
Fly Zone’s website lists many benefits that go along with the experience, apart from just the adrenalin rush. You work all of your major muscle groups at once. There’s no real risk, as there would be if you jumped out of a plane. For the pro skydiver, it’s a really quick way to get some extra experience freefalling. Plus, if you’re just watching from the sidelines, it’s really fun to see people’s faces get stretched out and distorted by the jets of air.
Not surprisingly, the experience isn’t exactly cheap. The beginner package is $62.50 for adults. You get all the safety training plus two, one-minute flights with an instructor. It may not sound like a ton of time, but one minute in the vertical wind tunnel is apparently the equivalent of one jump from a plane.
Fly Zone is located at 7150 Tilbury Road, Delta, B.C. (about a 30-minute drive from downtown Vancouver). They are open Wednesday-Sunday, from 10am-6pm. Be sure to call ahead to make reservations: 604-940-0100.
Has anyone tried out the indoor skydiving at Fly Zone? What was it like?