Walk on the Wild Side: Indoor Skydiving Thrills, Rattles Nerves

Photo courtesy of Franklin Family | Andrew Brown ’18 gets a hand signal lesson in the wind tunnel at SkyVenture Arizona Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015.

By Hunter Franklin ’19

Have you ever felt crazy enough to want to experience what it is like to jump out of an airplane?

In Eloy, Ariz. at SkyVenture you can do just that. You can feel the G-force toss your body as you are shot up through a wind tunnel at a 150 miles an hour.

You can see the giant six story tubular building from miles away. The large structure is 14 feet in diameter and 20 stories tall containing top mounted 400 horsepower fans.

As we arrived on site it was exciting to see the real daredevils and professional skydivers jumping out planes and parachuting on to the nearby fields.

There were literally dozens of them falling out of the sky, landing all around us.

We headed toward the flight tube where our indoor skydiving lessons were to take place.

When we got there we were warmly greeted and quickly suited up in jumpsuits, goggles and helmets.

My friends Andrew Brown ’18 and his younger brother were excited as well while we watched the tutorial video and waited for our group of a dozen or so to take our introductory lesson.

Meanwhile, I sat nervously staring at the gaping cylinder as both instructor and student floated in the air.

I can’t even remember how my friends managed to get me into doing this, as a matter of fact.

One at a time we all went with two instructors into the wind-rushing tube.

The first time I went in, I paused at the entrance door to the wind tunnel, maybe for a little too long, really unsure what to do next. Then I slowly leaned forward until the two instructors tossed me into position and gave me hand signals for hand, arm and leg movements and positions.

The slightest overcorrection could send me flying out of control.

At that moment my confidence level for skydiving was pretty good.

They went pretty easy on all of us the first time we went into the chamber keeping hands on a leg or a arm.

Then the person in charge of the wind power, cranked up the speed. It was like a tornado was unleashed.

A rather large man in front of us went into the noise-deafening cylinder with his instructor and not a second later was shot up 50 feet in the air.

At that moment I felt my breakfast crawl up my throat. In contrast, some skydivers were cheering at the sight.

When it was my turn to be thrown into the air, I can’t exactly remember what happened next. I was floating and spinning around when my eyes sort of rolled back into my head.

Everything became blurry and next thing I knew I was walking out of the wind tunnel and back to my bench. I think I was finding my happy place.

After walking out of the tube I realized that I had slobbered on myself. It was the incredible G-force causing this.

It was all over in the blink of an eye.

Looking back the time seemed to lose meaning.

The wind seemed to blow all around me, and through me at times. Up,up,up, spinning around and around. Then down again.

As a matter of fact, all 12 of the people who were in our group came out of the experience with drool on their face and jumpsuits.

As much as my insides might have been turned inside out, taking skydiving lessons indoors is a fun and unique experience.

So, for those thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies, drive down to Eloy and have an experience of a lifetime.

For more information visit SkyVenture Arizona Indoor Skydiving at the following link http://www.skyventureaz.com.

They are located at 4900 N Taylor St, Eloy, AZ 8513. Here is basic information on pricing of their activities from their website.


Every minute in the tunnel is equal to one skydive from 13,000 ft.

The whole experience from classroom time, gearing up time, and flight time may take up to 2 hours.
First time skydivers rates and packages at SkyVenture Arizona
Basic Flight Package
Adults: $50.00 Kids: $40.00

Flight Training Class
2 One Minute Flights
One on One Coaching with an Instructor
All the gear you will need to fly
A Souvenir T-Shirt
*Kids Rates are for Children ages 12 and under.
Deluxe Flight Package
Adults: $80.00 Kids: $70.00

Flight Training Class
2 Two Minute Flights
One on One Coaching with an Instructor
All the gear you will need to fly
A Souvenir T-Shirt
*Kids Rates are for Children ages 12 and under.