Learning in the wind tunnel: A beginners guide to indoor skydiving

Meet Nico Gonzalez
Instructor & Coach at iFly Westchester and Indoor Skydiving Ninja Extraordinaire.


We asked Nico what people should keep in mind when they decide that they want to start learning indoor skydiving in the wind tunnel.   

Here is what he had to say:


Now that you have done your first session in the tunnel, you might be wondering what the next step is. Go fly some more! The learning process never stops in the wind, it is very important to know a few things before continuing indoor skydiving though.

The first aspect you want to think about is what are your flying goals. Do you want to just get good enough to fly with other people? Do you want to ace your A license right away? Are you shooting for the stars and want to compete? Or maybe something else. Whatever your goals are you want to be able to quantify how much progress you’re making towards them after every session. Tunnel flying / indoor skydiving is really challenging sometimes, and without some good motivation, it is easy to get discouraged.

Next up is your coach. I always recommend learning the basics with the same person and here’s why: Everyone has a different style of teaching. If a student jumps from coach to coach every few sessions, they’re going to have to learn the new technique for a move that they might be very close to mastering. That’s lost wind time. So to avoid that problem, stick to one teacher until the basics are settled in, then if you feel like you want to try some other coaches go for it! You won’t be hurting anyone’s feelings ;)

Watch your videos!! It’s hard to know what you’re doing wrong in there. You can’t see your body and sometimes we have less control over our limbs than we thought. For this reason, you should always watch your tunnel sessions after you fly. This will help you understand what your coach was talking about and where you need to improve.

Practice practice practice and more practice. The fundamentals are ridiculously important. If you move through everything too quickly you’ll pay for it later when you have to re-learn basic moves. Nail down the basics and you’ll thank yourself later.

Let’s wrap this up, learning to fly is simple. Get your goals aligned, get a good coach, watch yourself, and keep coming back!


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


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