Ask me if I’m an adrenaline junkie and I’ll reply with a curt, “No”. Then again, it would be a waste if we were cowards and stopped ourselves from trying certain activities in life. Which brings me to the achievements of 14-year-old Kyra Poh.
Having made headlines for winning two gold medals and one silver medal at the 2017 Wind Games in Spain, the newly crowned “World’s Fastest Flyer” inspired me to defy gravity – I recently decided to skydive.
Baby steps of course, so I’m talking Asia’s Largest Indoor Skydiving Arena at iFly Singapore, people.
Located right beside Beachfront Station in Sentosa, iFly Singapore offers visitors the chance to experience the thrill of skydiving, without having to face the fear of jumping out of a plane.
Having zero experience in skydiving, this sounded right up my street.
For walk-ins, you’ll have to pay S$89 for The Teaser (one skydive), S$119 for The Challenge (two skydives) and S$199 for The Adventure (four skydives). Or you could purchase your tickets online and book two days in advance (at a cheaper rate only for certain dives).
The minimum age to fly is seven years old and participants cannot be pregnant, nor be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, nor have a history of shoulder dislocation, back or neck injury. Please check yourselves before you wreck yourselves.
At the registration counter, I was told that the entire experience would take about one and a half hours from check-in, training to the actual flight. I was then led into a small theatre to watch some introduction and training videos.
Soon after, I was instructed to proceed to the next room with a big screen and two training benches. This is where I was introduced to our flying instructor, Khairul. He briefed all the participants about the different hand signals, as well as the correct posture to adopt when “flying”.
Do take note that first-time flyers will only get to experience ‘Belly Flying’.
Khairul then led us to the flying chamber but before we were escorted inside the wind tunnel, we were dispatched to suit up. I looked pretty silly in my flight suit, helmet and goggles. But hey, it was going to be worth it.
It’s advisable not to have any loose items on any parts of your body, and shoes must be tightly laced lest they come off in the tunnel.
At a height of 56.5 feet and width of 16.5 feet, iFly Singapore is Asia’s largest themed indoor skydiving simulator. To date, iFly Singapore has attained a remarkable record haul of 10 Guinness World Records.
iFly Singapore also offers flyers a majestic view of the South China Sea and if you fly at night, you’ll be able to catch the fireworks display from the nearby Wings of Time.
I didn’t have to wait too long before it was my turn to fly. As I positioned myself at the edge, with winds slamming into my face, I was overwhelmed with a rush of adrenaline and fear. Joke was on me though; it was already too late to turn back.
My first flight went horribly. I struggled to stabilise myself inside the wind tunnel and ended up hitting the walls in arbitrary motion. Khairul saved me from greater embarrassment as he lent a helping hand.
What really hit me was the immense pressure exerted onto my back. It pays to listen during the pre-flight training. The key here is to adopt the right posture: Chin up, shoulders outstretched in a 90-degree angle at your eye level, and legs sprawled in a ‘frog-style’ position.
The second flight was better. Besides being more confident, I was able to respond to Khairul’s hand signals and managed to float around without much support.
A skydive from the height of 13,000 feet or less would last between 30 to 40 seconds before the parachute is deployed. At iFly, each session is 45 seconds long. You need not pay S$350 for a tandem skydive overseas when you can experience two skydives at less than half the price.
Khairul eventually wrapped up the session with a
show off performance — we watched in hopeless admiration as we witnessed a pro doing stunts we’ll probably never get to try. It was mesmerising to watch him surrender his body to the ferocity of the winds, which propelled him up the tunnel and allowed him to elegantly pirouette around.
What may be one small step for Khairul and Kyra, was one giant step for me. I left realising that this is something I’d pay to get better at.
If you’re still contemplating whether or not to participate, I’d suggest taking the leap of faith.
Prices: S$89 (1 skydive, walk-in), S$119 (2 skydives, walk-in), S$199 (4 skydives, walk-in)
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