Inspired by seeing some skydivers last weekend at the Pink Polo I took my mate Paul down to the recently opened Mirdiff City Center Mall to have a go on iFly. It is great that Malls in Dubai seek to have something that is a unique pull and the prospect of having some fun in a vertical wind tunnel was appealing. Sadly, I was unable to participate due to my history of shoulder dislocations which left Paul as the solo flyer.
As it was his first time flight he had to watch a short instructional video which outlines the basics of entry into the wind tunnel and how to position your body. Also the all important hand signals (relax, bend legs, straighten legs, head up). During the video there were lots of shots of tiny kids enjoying themselves on the wind tunnel and I would love to bring my tiny nephews to Dubai again to do this with them. Once the video was over the instructor came back in and gave Paul a final run through and what to expect from her during “the flight”. After this he was quickly suited up, ear defenders in, goggles and helmet tightly strapped on and he was ready. I liked the suit it had grab handles over it which the instructor can use to position you around, I used them to push and pull Paul around, jokingly.
With little ado they turned on the might wind tunnel fan and in no time Paul was in and flying!
It was a little hard to get photos through two sheets of perspex so I ended up getting a video of Paul’s second flight. He managed to get “stable” pretty quickly and then the instructor took him literally for a spin. Looked a real rush:
The introductory session costs 195aed ($53) – for this you get the initial tuition, suit and gear hire and two “flights” after this an additional two minute flight is 70aed ($19). Seemed reasonable value for a really exhilarating experience. During the rest between flights the instructor had the wind tunnel fan turned up to maximum and then proceeded to wow us both with some amazing stunts. I particularly liked the “spinning on the head” and “stop right at the bottom like mission impossible” tricks. I did my best to capture them on video:
Afterwards, we spoke to the instructor and she told us they could instruct Paul on how to gain more control and then on to tricks and stunts. It was all down to how long and how many sessions you wanted to invest. As we left iFly Paul commented to me:
“If I lived here, I would take this up and try and get some elite skills. It is a cool extreme sport.” – you couldn’t get much of a better recommendation than that.