120mph wind and why I jumped into it- iFly Houston
Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, want something new to try or looking for a new place to hold your board meetings, iFly is where it’s at.
I stopped by iFly The Woodlands a little while back to check it out and see what they are all about. Having skydived several times and I wasn’t quit sure what to expect when I walked in the door. I went in with the mindset that this couldn’t live up to the thrill of sky diving. I was quickly proven wrong, and added something to my bucket-list and quickly checked it off.
When I arrived I met with Jen, the manager over this iFly location. The conference room we met in is used for business meetings. A cool feature they have at iFly is that they can cater almost anything you want, from sandwiches to Crème Brulee. Dell, Exxon and many other large companies have had conferences there and at the end of the meeting, everyone gets to fly. They have hosted bachelor and bachelorette parties and have even had some engagements in the tunnel before.
The tunnel is like something out of a sci-fi movie and is massive, you don’t exactly step into it, you more or less fall in while the air picks you up. While I was there Jen gave me an opportunity to jump in. They took me to the opening of the tunnel and gave me a thumbs up and guided me in. I fell into the 120mph wind and was immediately picked up into the air. The whole time I was in the tunnel the instructor Eric stayed right there with me and guided me the whole way through. The deafening sound of the wind is cut by the ear protection they give you, the instructors become masters of nonverbal communication.
Eric gave me hand signals and directed me on how to move and position myself. If I needed to flatten out he would direct me on how to hold my head and move my feet. If I needed to move forward he would raise my legs up slightly and move me forward. Your time spent in the tunnel is broken into two sections. The first time jumping in is, more or less, to get you over the shock and adrenaline of being in the tunnel, the second time is the more engaging part.
When you jump in the next time you are more aware of what to do and how small movements can cause you to fly around the tunnel. This is when the instructors also let go a little more and give you some freedom to move around. Eric stayed by my side the whole time and caught me a few times before I crashed into the sides.
Everyone can fly, there are no height or weight restrictions. The wind speed reaches up to 175 miles an hour and can go low enough for them to have a 3-year-old fly. All instructors are trained and go through a flight instructor school and are constantly learning and growing within iFly. After every flight it becomes less expensive to fly, for the first flight it starts at $80 per flyer and goes down from there.
The iFly company holds competitions all over the U.S. and has international competitions. There are iFlys located all over the world including, Canada, China and Australia to name a few. The aerial acrobatics the instructors can perform, as well the excitement of being in the tunnel, makes iFly one of the coolest places to add to your bucket list.