According to the owners of some of the facilities (who are parents of young children themselves!), it's not only safe, but children are typically better flyers than their parents! Read more about indoor skydiving and why your family should give it a try.
There's something about the term "skydiving" that makes people naturally cringe, so when you talk about kids going skydiving... yikes! While we obviously wouldn't recommend jumping out of a plane with your child — aka real skydiving — indoor skydiving is a very safe way to get the same sensation, but without the risk. Owners of iFLY Seattle, Bill and Lysa Adams, ensure parents that this is a controlled environment and that children are under the constant supervision with a skilled, trained instructor. In fact, Bill and Lysa are parents of young children themselves!
Although their website says that children as young as age 3 can fly — as is the age minimum at most indoor skydiving facilities — Bill recommends that the best age for children to start flying is when they can easily follow instructions. When they are in the tunnel, their instructor will be giving them hand signals — lift your chin, open your legs, straighten your knees — all of which are taught to you before you fly. You know your children best... use your own best judgment when deciding if they are old enough to give indoor skydiving a try.
It is common to see entire families participating in an indoor skydiving session together — from the kids all the way through the grandparents! As long as everyone is in good physical health and meets the requirements of the indoor skydiving facility, this can truly be a family activity that everyone can participate in.
From the moment you lean into the tunnel (with your arms crossed in front of your chest and your chin up, just like you've been taught), you are flying! Your instructor will keep his or her hands on you and bring you into the tunnel and guide you around a bit during your session, which lasts anywhere from one to two-minutes long. From the outside, it seems like the flyers are being pulled around in the tunnel by the instructors, but when you're flying, you don't even realize that they have their hands on you.
Once you seem to get the hang of it, they will let you go a bit more on your own — gently guiding you as necessary. But, this doesn't mean you're going to just fly away, up into the tunnel! There is another instructor at a control panel who is watching your every move as well and adjusting the speed of the wind to make sure you are flying at just the right height. Whew!
Bill also tells us that it's hard to tell who is having more fun... the kids who are skydiving, or their parents who are watching them!
Photo credit: iFLY Seattle
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