This weekend I completed number 22 on my 50-before-50 bucket list which was to Do a Skydive. Since I feel a bit more risk-averse these days I decided to do a simulated skydive in a vertical wind tunnel instead of actually jumping out of a plane.
I had a great time although I don’t think it perhaps compares with real skydiving as much as I expected. Anyway you can read all about the experience I had here: But in this post, I’m going to let you know what to wear indoor skydiving if you’re thinking about doing this too.
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Technically Not an Indoor Experience in Athens
You’ll notice from my pictures that I did my first flight at SkyDive Attica where the flight chamber is actually outside. But the setup is the same as an indoor skydiving experience.
To be fair, I think you wear more or less the same thing for an outdoor/ indoor wind tunnel as you do for proper outdoor skydiving from a plane anyway.
The wind tunnel at SkyDive Attica
Clothes You’ll Be Given
Full Body Jumpsuit
Whichever type of flight package you choose for your first indoor skydive experience the centre will provide you with a full-body flight suit.
One of the reasons is so that the flight instructor has something to grab onto. First-time flyers usually need a bit of help manoeuvring into the right body position during the freefall. The suits have handles on them so the instructor can get a firm grip to steady you.
Another reason for the all-encompassing suit is to keep your clothes flying off apparently!
If you get hooked on the adrenaline rush and decide to regularly pursue the thrill of skydiving at your local indoor skydiving facility then you may well need to invest in your own jumpsuit / flight gear. But unless and until that happens you can borrow the suit as part of a standard package.
In terms of sizing, anyone participating should be able to get a suit that fits. You’ll find that centres impose a maximum weight limit so that should mean their suits fit everyone under that limit.
I had to try on three before we got one big enough. I think they’re made for men really because they were a bit the wrong shape. The one I ended up wearing was a bit big in the body but the extra material didn’t cause any problems.
For the real thing, skydiving centres are really strict about the weight limit. When I first enquired about indoor skydiving at Attica I was exactly the weight limit. I was worried that if they weighed me when I got there in the middle of the day I’d be over, even if I complied first thing that morning.
In the end, I was quite a bit under by the time I got around to booking. But it sounded like they were a bit less strict with the individual flight rather than with the tandem jumps from the sky.
Face / Head Protection
The most important thing you’re given is a helmet so your head is nice and safe.
The helmets we were given had a built-in visor. But in some places, you’re given eye protection in the form of goggles to protect your eyes from the very fast-moving air flow.
You might also be given ear plugs. The wind is LOUD and our instructor used earplugs. But our helmets had ear defenders in so we didn’t need any.
I’ll talk about shoes below but if you forget yours some flight centres have some they can lend if necessary.
What to Wear Under Your Jumpsuit
Although you’re given an overall you still need to consider what to wear underneath. Find comfortable clothing that’ll fit under the suit while allowing you to get into the proper body position.
I wore a pair of leggings and a fitted long-sleeved top. If you don’t have any leggings or you’re a guy who’s not into wearing skinny anything then I understand close-fitting athletic pants are absolutely fine.
Me in my flightsuit ready to go in the wind tunnel for the first time
What to Wear On Your Feet
I thought it might be stocking feet for the skydive. But closed-toe shoes are a must because of the tunnel’s protective mesh floor. Trainers / simple athletic shoes are perfect. You need something that will tie tightly and stay on your feet while you free fall.
What Not to Wear
In terms of things to avoid, jeans aren’t a good idea since they tend to be pretty restrictive. You need to wear comfortable clothes that also allow you to move a bit. Having said that, we were all told to keep our legs straight where I was expecting to have to bend them. So there’s not too much moving the first time.
Do avoid any loose-hanging items. That’s things like necklaces but also any dangly bits of clothing. They can still flap about under the jumpsuit because it’s not absolutely skin-tight.
We had to take off all jewellery and watches for our experience. Anything that could come off probably will come off.
On that note, you can’t wear any slip-on shoes and definitely no high heels. (Tell me that heels were obvious…?!) The air speed is pretty unforgiving. Any loose items will fly off and clunk or impale your accompanying instructor. Perhaps not the best experience to have in a wind tunnel..or anywhere.
A Note on Hair
Wind speeds get high so they’re going to mess with our hair if they have half a chance. To avoid impossible-to-undo knots tie up your long hair. My hair isn’t long but I tied back most of it and then used kirby grips/ bobby pins on the smaller bits.
Our helmets had material at the back that kept most of our hair inside.
Enjoy Your Flight Session
As you can see there’s a bit of prep involved for 3 minutes’ of flight time. You go through the rigmarole of putting on all these clothes and safety accessories. Then you go through a training class (and some places a video) before finally getting in the wind tunnel. And it’s all over in a few short minutes.
The whole experience is great fun though and totally worth the preparation. I recommend trying it. It’s a good way to tick this one off the list if you’re not sure whether you want to add a real skydive to your bucket list.
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