Indoor Skydiving – Gravity Wind Tunnel, Zallaq, Bahrain

Gravity Wind Tunnel

We flew to Bahrain this weekend for indoor skydiving at Gravity wind tunnel. This was a total first for me.  I have never jumped out of a perfectly good airplane in this crazy sport called sky diving or have I ever simulated free falling in a vertical wind tunnel.  Michael, on the other hand, has been jumping out of perfectly good airplanes for over 40 years and has been free falling in wind tunnels in Arizona, Florida, Dubai and California.

My options as an absolute beginner were from 2 minutes all the way up to 10 minutes.  I chose the 10 minutes option, perfectly called the Top Gun package!!  First, I had to watch an instructional video and spend time going over the basics with our instructor – Vasile.  He was instructing me on the very basics. His instruction to Michael was advanced with maintaining the sitting position and flying on his back.

I was told the hardest skill to learn is being able to stay still in one spot.  To relax, hold the posture and then slowly go from movement to movement.  As I was a beginner – the goal was to not founder like a fish and bounce all over the place.  I was to be able to have enough relaxed control to stay in one spot.  Much easier said than done!!!

There were three of us sharing time in the wind tunnel.  Michael, newbie me and Stig, a wind tunnel instructor from Kuwait. I had 5, 2 minute sessions.  Michael and Stig went for 15 minutes – seven, two minute sessions and one, one minute session.  Each of us rotating timed turns until our time was up.

Seems I did okay at this…… by my last session I was learning to turn, go up and down, forward and back!!! I was feeling tired after my third, two minute session.  By my fifth session, I was EXHAUSTED.   At that point I was starting to get sloppy, not relaxed and focusing too hard to compensate for muscle fatigue.  But…I LOVED it!!!!  It was such a rush, physically demanding with the challenge of learning to relax to get it right!!!!

Michael worked hard on turning on his back and sitting.  Stig was impressed with Michael’s flying skills!  Michael’s newest objective is redoing muscle memory with leg position.

Stig was amazing!!  He was spinning on his head and doing all kinds of head down fun!!  Here he is having fun with the instructor from Gravity!!

Today Michael flew for 40 minutes, me 10 minutes!!  Tomorrow we return for more flying!!  I do have a cold and I hope I’m a bit better tomorrow because it isn’t pretty when snot starts running and drips up!!  LOL!!!  I guess that is why the instructors wear helmets with face shields!!  

S, 🇧🇭

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Vince Quest says:

    Stephanie, love the post! So many great images and video. I’ve been indoor skydiving for many years (6 now!) and LOVE when people get a kick out of something so obscure that I am crazy passionate about. Thanks for the great post – also cool site design 🙂

  2. Hey Vince!!!! WOW!! Thanks!!!!! I just loved it!! During my second session on Saturday I started learning how to side slide – in a box formation!! It was so AMAZING!!!!! I was making lots of mistakes – mainly forgetting to extend my other arm and coordinating the knee and elbow bend at the same time! But eventually I was able to slide with some grace and make a box!!!!! We’re planning to return to Bahrain in a few weeks to continue our learning!!!

    After our sessions on Saturday we were amazed to watch an 8 year old boy enter the tunnel with his coach (they’re from iFLY Dubai) and an instructor from Gravity. This young boy was sit flying and free flying like a pro!

    Do you live near a wind tunnel or do you travel to different wind tunnels in the world?

    And thanks for the compliment on my site design!!! 🙂

    ~Stephanie 🙂

  3. Vince Quest says:

    Hey Stephanie,
    Awesome progress! It’s a REALLY cool feeling when you can move freely in there – the mental energy it takes slowly decreases and flying just becomes natural. Can’t wait for you to experience that!

    I’ve worked in these machines and traveled to many facilities around the world to fly. Most of my time is in tunnels in the USA – Arizona and Chicago.

  4. Gary mentioned that a wind tunnel is currently being built in Abu Dhabi that will be 32 feet in diameter – the largest in the world!! Maybe someday we will see you there…..and MAYBE by that time my mental energy will have decreased and my flying will be natural!! 😉

    It is very nice to meet you!!

    ~Stephanie 🙂

  5. Shirley Trottier says:

    My goodness, what an experience. No one can say that either of you are not good sports about trying new outdoor things … ( in this case Indoor ). Love the pictures, and I can only imagine you both will have aches & pains tomorrow. mama xoxo

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