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Indoor vs. Outdoor Skydiving: What's Right for You?

July 7, 2022
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Skydiving is an extreme sport, no matter how you slice it. Within this world there are 2 major categories, indoor and outdoor skydiving. So, what’s the difference and which one may be right for you? 

As an outdoor skydiving coach and an indoor skydiving instructor, I would never have my cake without icing!

Outdoor skydiving

Let’s talk about the thrill seekers playground, outdoor skydiving. The sky is never truly the limit! Outdoor skydiving allows you the benefit of both freefall and canopy time and requires proficiency in both to at least a degree. You can not outdoor skydive solo without completing tandem(s), the AFF course, and getting your “A” license. 

However, the benefit of jumping with large groups, amazing views, flying around clouds, down time at the drop zone, and $25 dollar lift tickets are something you will never regret! Having the ability to specialize your skydiving skillset to include not just body-flight, but also canopy work such as swooping or CRW, is not something you would have the ability to do indoors. Becoming a full-fledged skydiver is also a “1-up” in any bar conversation. Though there is some time, scheduling, and money involved in outdoor skydiving; you truly get the best of both worlds with both free fall and canopy time.

Indoor skydiving

Now for the most basic introduction to skydiving with highest degree of body-flight skill; indoor skydiving.

Indoor skydiving allows newcomers an easy and less stressful environment to introduce the idea of free fall. You are continuously accompanied by an instructor in a controlled environment where wind speed is changed to fit the flyer. Whereas outdoor skydiving requires you to be at least 18 years old, indoor skydivers can start as young 3! 

You are contained in a glass cylinder and kept aloft via recirculating air currents pushing you from below with an instructor at your side. There is no majestic view, only experienced tunnel flyers may fly with friends, and no canopy ride. However, you are given the luxury of time, with each “flight” lasting a minimum of 1 minute, you experience more free fall time than most outdoor skydiving locations. You also have an extremely skilled instructor there to coach you through how to control your body in the wind, which you will need to know to pass the AFF program or advance your skydiving career after getting your “A” license. You can walk in and fly the same day, with 2 flights costing approximately as much as 1 outdoor tandem.

I find both forms of skydiving to be extremely beneficial, and when used in conjunction, create a very well balanced, confident, and proficient skydiver. Whether you choose outdoor or indoor, please be aware that each has inherent risks, safety measures, and instructor guidelines. Whichever you decide is right for you, I would like to be the first to welcome you to this exciting new view of the world! Blue skies!

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