Article was written by Greg DiFortuna, PussFoot Athlete, IBA Rated Instructor, and USPA Coach
If you live in an area that gets too cold for skydiving in the winter and don’t have the vacation days to take a sunny trip somewhere to jump, you should consider flying in the tunnel as regularly as you can to keep yourself current. Now I know tunnel flying can’t prepare you for canopy flight, however, it can keep your mind and body fresh for the next time you jump.
Though skydiving and tunnel flying are two different beasts staying in the wind can keep you smiling and your muscle memory refreshed for when you get back in the sky reducing some of the jitters and fear you may have due to un-currency. Flying in the tunnel keeps you fit and your reaction time quick as well as keeping you satiated for wind in your face rush we all love and miss during time off.
But isn’t the tunnel really expensive?
Sure but so is skydiving. If you break it down tunnel time is astronomically cheaper per minute than skydiving and can improve your skills 10 fold. However, if money is an issue there are a multitude of camps and discounted nights that can help alleviate cost and keep your wallet happy. Here are a few tips:
Events / Camps / Competitions
There are usually weekly events that provide cheap rates for skydivers and people post them regularly to Facebook pages dedicated to your specific tunnel of choice. Groups like Collective Pitch, based in Florida work with tunnels national across the US to host monthly tunnel competitions allowing people to fly with their peers at a fraction of the cost.
Other privately owned tunnels such as Paraclete XP or Skyventure NH have membership programs that allow time to be flown consistently for much cheaper than normal.
For those with families that don’t jump it's a great way to spend quality time with our non-skyfamily members and get them interested in flying in a safe way environment over the holiday season.
All and all the tunnel is a great way to keep you in the wind during the cold season and keep those muscles and instincts in tune. Finding a group of friends or other skydivers to fly with consistently not only cuts the cost of flying but also increases your skills and creates community within the sport.
To learn more about Greg, check out his athlete profile page