‘Make it short & snappy’
I for Indoor skydiving, yep it exists!
It appears that everything’s a little too real outside; instead let’s try indoor skiing, indoor surfing, or indoor skydiving! Is it a great first date choice? Is it like the real thing? Was it scary? Your questions answered.
‘Just the facts please’
- Bodyflight Bedford
- Website: http://www.bodyflight.co.uk/
- Phone: 0845 200 2960
- Address: Twinwoods Business Park Thurleigh Road Milton Ernest Bedfordshire MK44 1FD
- Twitter: @Bodyflightuk
- Cost: different packages starting from £34.99 for 2 flights off peak.
‘I’ve got a cup of tea, tell me all about it…’
I remember as a child being impressed by my wild vivid tangerine haired cousin who used to sky dive as a hobby. From then on it was a goal to skydive and be as cool as her and her dyed hair – which I also copied! I was fortunate enough to get to sky dive for real not once but twice, once as a rebellious teenage tourist in New Zealand, and once for charity in England. I’ll write up about those experiences another time.
Willingly throwing myself out of a perfectly operational aircraft was a great experience but not one many really want to do or can necessarily afford (especially if you want a view a bit more exciting than the lovely Leicestershire landscape below!). Technology has advanced to such a stage that we can now recreate some of the experience of free fall. I wanted to share some of that exhillaration with my boyfriend who finds a ferris wheel stretching the limits of his fear of heights!
This is the tale of an adrenalin hub nestled in a quiet corner of Bedfordshire.
When we drove up to the Bodyflight tower, the first thing that came to mind was how simply humongous the tower was and how as I was expecting us to be using the majority of the height, my heart started pumping a little louder!
Luckily, it was a different matter inside. We were greeted and asked to sign the usual “if we die we won’t sue you” forms and given a stylish blue jumpsuit and helmet to don.
I was very relieved to see that they only used a fraction of the tower; that most of it was made up of the engines to power the high velocity winds which are so strong they can lift your whole body up. Kind of like on a really blustery day when you think for a second “wow I really could end up like Dorothy and get swept away to the Land of Oz!”… except this really does sweep you away tornado style!
These tunnels are used by professional sky divers to spend time honing their skills in a less expensive and less reliant on the unpredictable British weather type of way. In fact when we arrived some professionals were in there so during the wait we got to spy some pretty neat tricks.
A tough performance to match! We were given instructions on how best to hold ourselves and how to do simple moves to propel ourselves up, go left, go right, in circles and lower ourselves again amongst others. We went in for very short stints that mimic how fast time passes when you’re free falling through thin air up in the sky.
My format worked like this: your instructor throws you in, it feels like a giant Dyson airblade has caught you unawares and you’re off: a flailing stringless puppet dancing in mid-air. The instructor grabs an ankle or a hand, steadies you and using exaggerated hand movements tries to get your brain to engage and remember what you’ve just been shown so that you can maximise your time and do some nifty work.
I wasn’t amazing, but I did manage to get sucked upwards which was pretty breathtaking, and do a few turns.
To answer my initial questions:
Is it a great first date choice?
In one way it does get your heart pumping and you might mistake this for the first signs of sweaty palmed love. However, more likely than not he might be a little put off by the amount of saliva drooling from your mouth as you exit the tunnel having spent the whole time with your mouth wobbling in the wind like a bassett hound snapping the slipstream when its head hangs out the window of the car! Slobbery!
Is it like the real thing?
Obviously it can’t be anything close to the real experience: the real tangible fear, the aeroplane ride building your nerves, the open skies, the views… Having said that the fierce wind rush at Bodyflight was a good imitation, albeit a far tamer one. In real life it’s raw and savage. Also none of the gliding, swoops of the parachute or landing to get right is replicated. On the other hand, there’s no chance of your parachute failing and you falling to your death (although as a disclaimer I know this is very very very very rare nowadays) which is always good. J would never skydive for real, but he enjoyed this experience.
Was it scary?
The prospect of falling all the way down the length of the tower was the scariest bit, realising we weren’t going to drop a huge distance and had a large reassuring safety net beneath us meant I could focus on the fun not the fear.
Overall, it was great fun! Go and have a go, just maybe on the 2nd or 3rd date!