So here we are. Already half way through February and not quite half way through my bucket list. Knowing time was of the essence and that it was going to fly by at nobody’s mercy, I made the big call to smash 3 ticks in February, with every intention of doing the same in March! That’ll send me over the half way mark and on the downhill towards my thirties!
All of that being said, I skimmed over the list and realised there are only a few left that require minimal effort and I’ve got to just grit my teeth and smash some of the big hitters already! Without hesitation, I upped and booked an indoor sky diving session: flying solo.
The item of “Skydiving” had found its way to the list by my brother. He used to skydive solo and do it almost every weekend. When I put the word out to my nearest and dearest about them contributing to the list, he was, not surprisingly, the first to reply with his addition. Skydiving it is.
Putting my own personal spin on it, I went for indoor skydiving. No, not because I am a chicken shit and scared of heights, but because I completed this feat at my last milestone birthday of 21! Not saying I’ll never skydive again, but ya know, I can see it feeling a hell of a lot more romantic somewhere like the Swiss Alps, or the Canadian Rockies. Indoor it is. It’s new to me, a hell of a lot cheaper, and accessible every day of the week only 15 minutes from my own doorstep.
I drag my mum and Aunty down to watch (read: video it and take photos) and suit up for my faux free fall experience. I’m not going to lie, I am pretty damn nervous. Yes, you have an instructor in the cylinder with you, but what if I end up skyrocketing to the roof because the wind is too strong? And then they counteract that with dropping the wind too much and I come crashing in to the net below me? Still gotta hurt right? OK, maybe my fears are a little unwarranted, but it’s a pretty out there experience.
I end up 3rd to last in the line of us sitting on the bench to ‘fly’. We get run through a quick safety video, which literally shows us the 3 or so hand signals the instructors will use to manipulate our body position, and help us have an optimum flight. We suit up, helmet up and get ready to go. I enquire about their ‘high fly’ options and they aren’t sure if it is available. ’Fly high’ is when an instructor will take you right to the top of the cylinder and bring you back down a couple times. Only certain time slots in the day guarantee it and I was hoping my luck would pay off today and we’d get to go up. May as well do it when you’re already here!
As I watch a few young guys, an older man, a 5 year old kid (maybe he was 9 but he was tiny, alright) and a teenage girl ascend the cylinder, my nerves are pretty on edge. You stand in a door way, arms in the air, and basically jump into air and your instructor helps you out from there. There I am, arms go up, and my instructor is playing around with my zip… Erm… OK dude, I guess this isn’t a ‘hands to yourself’ establishment. Turns out my zip is broken. Out I go. Typical. Always me. Very rarely do I get the straight forward adventure. A quick costume change and off I am again, now, at the end of the queue.
What an odd feeling. It may sound weird when you read about it being called flying, but there is no other way to describe it. The pictures sum up pretty damn well how it feels.
Every little movement you make affects how you fly, which is why you’re not in there solo. It takes a training program to get yourself in there by yourself. Tiny movements of the hands and arms, even your legs, send you side to side, spinning around. You’re grabbed every now and then by your instructor and given the up finger (put your head back), peace sign (straighten your legs) or the thumbs up (yup, good good). It takes a lot of concentration to hold yourself still, and you’re only in there for 50 seconds!
The whole experience includes 2 flights (this is the standard) and luck prevailed, we were flying high today!
If I thought that the float above a ginormous fan was pretty damn out of this world, when you’re in there, and the instructor gets you spinning and takes you right up to the top of the wind tunnel. Once you’re up and back down again a couple times, you really get to experience that sensation of just floating. The sound of me screaming in delight is lost in the noise of the fan, but not the smiles. I love looking at the pictures just because the look of sheer delight on my face is priceless.
Fellow Perthians, get in the tank. Simulated 14,000ft free fall with no planes or jumping involved! It’s a bloody good time, only takes a couple of hours of your time and doesn’t really cost all that much! A midweek special gets you 2 flights for only $90 and an extra $10 per flight if you fly high. It’s a nice casual atmosphere and there’s plenty of space for spectators, and you can take you kids or your nanna! Anyone can do it.