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The thrill of skydiving without jumping out of an airplane at iFLY Portland Indoor Skydiving.
Floating free miles above the ground, the air whipping around my legs. That excites me.
One of my bucket list items is skydiving. I got a little taste of what it would be like when I visited the Tualatin Valley.
Disclosure: My trip to the Tualatin Valley was provided courtesy of the Washington County Visitors Association. All opinions are 100% mine.
iFLY Portland Indoor Skydiving
At iFLY Portland Indoor Skydiving (or any of their locations in the US and several countries), you can try skydiving without the risk. No jumping or plane required. All you need is a willing attitude.
And I was definitely willing. I was totally stoked and could not wait to get into that wind tunnel. But before you suit up, you have to sign a waiver, watch the training video, and learn the secret hand signals.
Okay, they aren’t secret. But you need to know the hand signals so you can communicate with your instructor. Because no one can hear you against the wind noise.
I got lucky when I went to iFLY Portland, I was the only person flying that afternoon. I had the entire tunnel to myself!
It’s not safe to bring loose objects into the wind tunnel. As the only person there, I left my purse and iPhone on a bench instead of in a locker. And they let me mount my GoPro on the outside of the tunnel.
My instructor was Cole Fehr. He was totally chill, funny, and clearly explained things.
Fun tip: Cole and the other members of Team Prana Vayu, the US National Skydiving Champions, work at iFLY Portland.
Cole also trained the staff at iFLY Oceanside in North County San Diego.
Your price includes the use of a flight suit, goggles, earplugs, shoes (if you need them), and a helmet. The full face helmet is extra.
Pro-tip: Pay extra for the full face helmet. You’ll look better in the photos and won’t drool.
By the end of my flights, I was a drooling mess. When you smile and the air is hitting you at 120 mph, you’re going to drool. I couldn’t stop smiling so I left a nice trail of drool. Kinda like a slug…
Before my flight, I noticed a bunch of Cheetos at the bottom of the tunnel. My immediate thought was “They must have had a school group this morning.”
But those “Cheetos” were orange earplugs that fell out and ended up on the floor of the tunnel.
I was flying right after lunch. LOL, yeah, visions of vomiting all over the place from getting airsick did come to mind. But there wasn’t any of that.
You don’t feel airsick or queasy while indoor skydiving. It’s a gentle pressure, like wind resistance. The same type of feeling you get when you put your arm out the car window.
When it’s your turn to fly, you stand in the doorway with your hands at the top of the frame and lean in, chest first. Kinda like freefalling or bellyflopping.
Your instructor holds onto you so you don’t splat face first into the net. Not that you would. But to help guide you into the tunnel, avoid smacking your legs against the door frame, and make sure your body stays flat.
And just like that, I was indoor skydiving.
Each flight is 60 seconds, it sounds and is short. But when you’re in the wind tunnel, a minute is a long time.
So many thoughts run through your head. “OMG, I’m flying. This is so cool. Yuck, I’m totally drooling, I wish I could wipe off my chin. Am I positioned right? This is awesome! Oh, wait I need to spread my legs. Are my arms positioned right? I’m leaning too far to the left.” and on and on.
You take a short break after your first flight so other people can get a turn. Since I was the only one, Cole asked how I liked it.
Duh, did he not see that giant grin plastered on my face the entire team? Maybe he hadn’t gotten hit bit a drool wad?
But maybe some people aren’t as enamored. That wasn’t the case for me. I was ready for my next flight. And this time, we were flying up the tunnel!
Pro-tip: The high flight is an add-on option ($10 extra) and totally worth it!
What to Know Before You Go
So that you have a great experience, here’s what to know before you go:
- Wear comfortable clothes and collarless shirts
- Wear shoes with laces
- Tie or braid long hair. I used a scrunchy and tucked it under my helmet.
- If you buy the pictures and videos, remember to download them (I was traveling and didn’t get a chance so I only have my own photos and videos)
iFLY is open to everyone but there are some exceptions:
- You have to weigh less than 300 pounds
- If you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t fly
- Check with your doctor first, ff have recent back, neck, or heart problems
- If you have a prior shoulder dislocation, you shouldn’t fly
How to Save Money at iFLY
You can buy a package of three $50 gift cards for $99.99.
Be sure to check Groupon for discounts of up to 56% percent.
Return Flyer Discount
iFLY offers discounted packages for return flyers. You can save $10 off a 2 flight package and $20 off a 4 flight package.
Whether you’re 3 or 103, you can cross off a bucket list item at iFLY Portland Indoor Skydiving or any iFLY location. There are 31 locations in the US (soon to be 32), two locations in Brazil, three in Australia, and three in the UK.
You can enjoy all the thrill of skydiving without jumping off a plane or having to wait for good weather. Indoor skydiving is more exciting than you realize.
Flights are 60 seconds so it’s not a huge time commitment.
I had such a great time at iFly Portland, I can’t wait to continue indoor skydiving closer to home.
10645 SW Greenburg Road
Monday to Thursday: 9 am to 8 pm
Friday: 9 am to 9 pm
Saturday: 8 am to 10 pm
Sunday: 8 am to 8 pm
Looking for more things to do in the Tualatin Valley? Check out my post, Tualatin Valley: Portland Close, Willamette Valley’s Secret Gem.
Have you or would you go indoor skydiving?
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Traveling Well For Less has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling Well For Less and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.