The writer on her fourth tandem skydive // © 2014 Skye Mayring
iFly is a safe, fun activity for kids and adults alike. // © 2014 iFly Utah
When skydiving comes up in conversation, someone always seems to quip, “Why would I want to jump out of a perfectly good plane?” The answer is simple: Freefalling at 120 mph will likely be the most exhilarating experience of your life. With nothing but the sky above and civilization below, you are forced to live in the moment and appreciate this magnificent, absurd world we call home.
This was my experience at Skydive Elsinore, the closest skydiving center to Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange and Riverside counties. It prides itself on its longstanding safety record, as well as the fact that it holds the record for being the longest running civilian skydiving operation in North America, established in 1959.
Those who are afraid of heights can still feel the rush at an iFly Indoor Skydiving facility, where participants experience free- falling in a vertical wind tunnel traditionally used by the military to train skydivers.
The experience is safe for kids and is incredibly easy for first-timers. I signed up for the introductory session at Salomon Center’s iFly facility in Odgen, Utah, which included two flights that last about one minute each. On my second round, the instructor wanted to have a little fun. He spun me around rapidly, and then propelled both of us up the wind tunnel like Charlie and his grandfather in the famous scene from “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” Luckily, we didn’t have to burp our way back down.