Real Skydiving vs. Indoor Skydiving

tandem skydiving

With the announcement that iFly -- the corporate giant of the indoor skydiving experience -- are building an indoor skydiving wind tunnel in Concord (which is, like, right next door!), we got super excited. At Piedmont Skydiving, there’s nothing we love more than flying in every which way we can. We’re stoked!

At the same moment, we also realized that people might not necessarily recognize the difference between flying inside and flying outside. Sure, at first glance it’s obvious that one happens out of a plane and one happens in a glass tube. Even beside that obvious difference, however, differences abound. “Indoor skydiving,” as much as we love it, is definitely something that one has to put quotes around. The two sports (and believe you-me, these are both sports) use very different equipment, require different age limits, cost a different amount of money and generate a totally different bunch of feels.

It’s really important to know that the thrill of jumping from an actual airplane can't be experienced without actually doing it, no matter how close a “skydiving simulator” tries to come. It’s just not that much of a simulator, to be honest. Curious to dig a little deeper? Let’s! Here’s a quick guide to your skydiving experience near Concord: indoor vs. outdoor.

Here’s how to know if skydiving from a plane is for you:

  • You really want to experience a mind-blowing, heart-pounding, once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Let’s make no bones about it: there’s a long list of reasons that tandem skydiving remains the most popular adventure sports experience on the planet, right up there at the top of every single bucket list out there. There ain’t a single other thing you can do in your life that comes close to matching these feels.

Ask anybody who’s done it: making that first skydive is bound to be one of your life’s landmark experiences, from the incomparable thrill of freefall to the grace of the parachute ride to the ground (which is conspicuously absent from the wind tunnel, of course). We’ve heard people describe indoor skydiving as a “skydiving simulator,” but it’s far from that. An actual skydive isn’t just on a plane -- it’s on a whole other plane of existence.

  • You want to see your entire world from a perspective you’ve never seen before.

From way up there in the aircraft door, everything looks completely different. And we’re not just talking about the landscape. We’re talking about all the problems, challenges, frustrations, anxieties and nagging questions that you’ve collected in your daily life. From a couple miles up, those troubles look teeny and easily handled. It’s a bit of simple logic: if you can jump out of this plane, what’s stopping you from inviting that cute barista out to a movie, demanding that raise, or losing that last ten pounds? Skydiving is a giver of great superpowers of confidence. Take ‘em.

Here’s how to know if “indoor skydiving” is for you:

  • You’re underage.

To make a skydive in the USA, you’ll need to prove that you’re at least 18 years of age with a government-issued, photo ID. No exceptions. Whether you turn 18 next week or next year, you won’t be able to jump from a plane until you blow out all 18 candles. Why not take the opportunity of doing some indoor skydiving near Concord to prepare -- and get excited for the big day you board our plane?

  • You have a health problem that has to do with altitude.

Skydiving is a surprisingly accessible sport, even if serious mobility issues are part of your everyday life. (If that’s you, give us a call and we’ll discuss it!) We know several skydivers -- our friend Jarrett Martin, for example, and rockstar combat veteran Todd Love, and Carl Roland, sponsored skydiving athlete Alex Feretos -- that prove what’s possible. That said: there are some health problems, especially those that become a problem at high altitudes in an unpressurized cabin, that can ground you. If you can’t do altitude, you can still do indoor. So do it.

What’s the straight dope? Simple. Indoor skydiving vs. outdoor skydiving is a silly competition. Doing BOTH is best!

If you’re near Charlotte, you’re going to discover how super lucky you are when the Concord wind tunnel opens. The very best of both worlds -- indoor and outdoor! -- are going to be just a short drive from your front door. We invite you to come on out and join both entwined branches of the human flight community, and we hope you take to the skies here with us at Piedmont Skydiving. We’re looking so forward to showing you the thrill of a real-live skydive! You’re going to love it.

Something I wanted to do for myself and my kids for our birthdays.  Went with a group of eight (all family) and honestly could not have had a better time.  The facility was nice, and the people were honestly fantastic.  Made the entire experience that much better.  Sincerely appreciate the attention to fun and safety from all of the instructors, and absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for a unique thrill.

Oh...pay the money for the pictures and videos.  It's worth it...but hold the camera yourself.  Makes for interesting viewing later on.

» Randy Clark