Indoor Skydiving vs Real Skydiving

Published: May 17, 2020

Indoor Skydiving vs Real Skydiving

Hello, fellow adventurist! If you've landed on this page then you're probably doing some research about the differences between indoor and outdoor skydiving. Both activities are incredibly fun but very different! Selecting the right experience depends on what you're looking for! This article breaks down everything you'll want to know about the differences between these two skydiving adventures.

Major Differences Between Indoor and Outdoor

The differences between indoor and outdoor skydiving are pretty significant. Indoor skydiving allows people to fly in a column of wind within a controlled environment. Real skydiving involves exiting a plane from 10,000 feet and descending at speeds of 120mph in an uncontrolled environment! It's quite the adrenaline rush!

The world's best skydivers all use indoor skydiving simulators (known as vertical wind tunnels) because the technology has revolutionized the sport of skydiving outside of a plane. The production of high-speed wind in a controlled environment makes indoor skydiving a perfect training tool for skydivers to improve their free fall skills. Though indoor skydiving is a tech marvel and has its place, this skydiving experience just can't replicate the real thing. Below are some key differences to take into account.

The Fun Factor

Is Indoor Skydiving Fun?

Many people don't realize that skydiving is more than the act of falling. Skydivers manipulate their body position to deflect the wind allowing for movement forwards, backward, left, right, up, down or even turning! It's an amazing sensation and can be learned within an indoor skydiving simulator with time and patience. Learning how to maneuver is fun and addictive, but takes a lot of time to gain proficiency which makes flying in a vertical wind tunnel an expensive hobby!

Is Outdoor Skydiving Fun?

Jumpers who skydive for the first time tend to classify skydiving as more of an adventure experience. Individuals literally come head to head with the challenge of overcoming fear by exiting an aircraft and trusting in a parachute to deliver them safely back to earth. With this mental awareness and added risk comes a surge of adrenaline and endorphins that positions skydiving as a top-five life experience!

If you were to ask most people who have experienced both indoor skydiving and outdoor skydiving which activity is more fun, the answer is always the same - Outdoor skydiving is definitely more fun than indoor skydiving!


Is Indoor Skydiving Safe?

Nothing in the world is fully safe and that includes indoor skydiving. Often bumps and bruises are common when flying in the wind tunnel and some have even broken bones. Though injuries can and do occur, the risk quotient is small enough that kids as young as three years old are able to enjoy indoor skydiving.

Is Skydiving Safe?

Due to what's entailed in outdoor skydiving, it does have a higher risk quotient than indoor skydiving. The risk of death is a possibility but continues to remain acceptable as only about 1 in 500,000 tandem skydiving participants may be killed. According to the National Safety Council, a person is more likely to be killed by a lightning strike or via a bee sting! Skydiving is not perfectly safe but can be done safely.

While indoor skydiving isn't without risk, it's likely the majority of moms would prefer their kids fly in a wind tunnel than the open sky!

What It Feels Like

What Does Indoor Skydiving Feel Like?

Indoor skydiving feels like floating on a column of air - almost weightless. At first, feelings of being out of control can be overwhelming, but once an individual relaxes and becomes stable with a solid "arched" body position, the sensation of floating is very satisfying!

What Does Outdoor Skydiving Feel Like?

The free-fall experience of skydiving feels stable and is often described as a "weightless" or "floating" sensation. Though falling at 120mph, participants have little concept of speed or descent. Skydiving does not feel like going down the hill of a roller coaster. It's a difficult sensation to describe and is why it's often said it can't be described - it must be experienced!

The sensation of indoor skydiving and outdoor skydiving is very similar. The biggest difference is the emotional experience. The reward of a real skydive is the challenge of facing a fear and then conquering it. To willingly exit an airplane from 10,000 feet and love the experience is empowering! Feelings of accomplishment are much greater with real skydiving!

The Scary Factor

Is Indoor Skydiving Scary?

Indoor skydiving isn't scary as much as it is intimidating. Flying in a glass tube while others watch can be a little intimidating to some, but the act of being in the wind tunnel isn't scary at all. As in all things, best to relax and enjoy yourself!

Is Skydiving Scary?

The act of free falling is not nearly as scary as most would think. Because skydiving feels so stable (not out of control), most people find the experience to be incredibly fun and is why you see so many people smiling. The thought of skydiving is scarier than the act itself - it's the fear of the unknown that makes the event so intimidating!


Is Indoor Skydiving Hard?

Yes. It's not as easy as the pros make it look! Flying in a wind tunnel isn't easy, because the sensation of flying in a column of air is unfamiliar. Having spatial awareness is key to developing the skill to fly effortlessly. The more time spent in a wind tunnel, the more proficient one's skills become. Like anything else, to do anything well takes time!

Is Skydiving Hard?

Some people take to skydiving naturally while others have to work at it. The biggest challenge in skydiving is going through the learning phase (AFF is the most common learning program). Some of today's world champions struggled with their early training. Like most things, it's different for everyone!

Time Allotment

How long does indoor skydiving last?

Indoor skydiving usually lasts for two minutes. This may not sound like a lot, but it's very taxing on the body and fatiguing! Professional skydivers usually purchase about 30 minutes of time and split it two or three ways, with each individual flying for two minutes at a time and then switching out with another person.

How long does a skydive last?

Between paperwork, training, flying to altitude, landing, and having a video edited usually takes between two and three hours. The physical act of skydiving usually involves about one minute of free fall and five minutes under the parachute.

We hope this article has helped answer the common questions we often hear between indoor and outdoor skydiving. Should you be ready to take to the skies, we'd love for you to join us! Book your skydiving experience with Skydive Cincinnati today!

Book Online Now!

Purchase Gift Certificates

DVD & Stills

My son jumps here every weekend and loves it!

» Joe M.