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Indoor Skydiving

What does indoor skydiving have in common with jumbo shrimp? Well, at first glance they both seem to be one of those self-contradictory phrases that often generate a deafening silence but they're both positively delicious experiences, too.

Indoor skydiving is an experience quite similar to the more traditional jump-out-of-a-plane skydiving but it's done indoors without a plane or parachute in a vertical wind tunnel. Many people practice in a vertical wind tunnel for their first jump from a plane while more experienced skydivers use them to practice acrobatic techniques and formation routines before trying them at an altitude of 10,000 feet or so.

Indoor Skydiving
Flyaway Indoor Skydiving - Las Vegas NV

The vertical wind tunnel used for indoor skydiving uses air forced upward at a rate of about 120 miles per hour to closely simulate an outdoor skydive. The tunnels are often as wide as 16 feet in diameter with padded walls to prevent injury in case someone flies off course. The tunnel rat, as indoor skydivers affectionately refer to themselves, floats just a few feet in the air so this is a good way to overcome a fear of heights before jumping from a plane.

There are very few physical limitations involved with indoor skydiving. Anyone between 40 and 230 pounds can do it at any age as long as they are in relatively healthy condition. Even though the indoor jump isn't as physically demanding as jumping from a plane, there is still a considerable amount of exertion required. The velocity of the wind blasting through the tunnel can be adjusted for weight and skill level so it's a highly adaptable experience enjoying rapidly growing popularity.

Using a vertical wind tunnel for indoor skydiving is a relatively new endeavor. The first human to accomplish this feat was Jack Tiffany who did so in training experiments at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in 1964. The acrobats flying wildly through the air of a vertical wind tunnel used in the closing ceremonies of the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics dazzled audiences around the globe.

As popularity is growing, the number of indoor skydiving facilities is increasing. The sport can be enjoyed throughout the country. But remember, a day spent enjoying indoor skydiving is sure to work up a fierce appetite.

Shrimp, anyone?

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