We asked Nico what people should keep in mind on their first visit to an indoor skydiving spot and this was his response:
Whether you have been jumping out of (sort of) perfectly good airplanes forever or are flying for the first time at your local wind tunnel there are a few things that we should all keep in mind. Here are some tips for your first tunnel visit.
- Obey the safety measures. When you get in the building, you will see a few warnings for those who have had certain injuries or current conditions. These include heart, neck, back problems, and shoulder dislocations. If you have any of these it is imperative that you tell your instructor. They are there for your safety and will recommend the best course of action depending on your situation.
- Check your gear! Anything broken or faulty in your helmet or suit will come loose during your session and it’ll make a mess. Make sure you empty your pockets, take your audible altimeter out (if you skydive), check your visor/goggles, stash your jewelry (in a locker), and tighten your shoes.
- Be on time. The wind tunnel works through reservations that are minute by minute, that means that someone being late is going to throw everything off for the reservations following it. That also means that if you get there super early, you might have to wait a while before your session starts. Be right on time.
- Pay attention to the class/brief. If you jump, you will probably have heard that the tunnel is a great tool for cleaning up your freefall skills. While this is completely true, it doesn’t mean that you can just hop in and shred head down right away. We fly a bit differently in a 14-foot circle then we do in the big open sky, so listen to your instructor. If you don’t jump, then listen closely to the first timer class and you will be fine.
- Relax! It’s ok to be nervous or concentrated on what you’re training, but you’re here because it’s fun! So try to take it easy.
Bonus: While we never expect it, if you feel like your instructor killed it show them some love by tipping them or writing them a good review. It makes our day :)
Nico has been an indoor skydiving coach and instructor since 2014. He placed first in open freestyle at the Woodlands IBA Competition in 2016 and competes year round. He also runs an amazing podcast dedicated to indoor skydiving: ostrichflight.com