What's the deal?
Experience the sensation of skydiving without actually jumping out of an aircraft.
Where's it at?
Western Canada's first vertical wind tunnel, located in Delta, B.C., a 30-minute drive from downtown Vancouver, opens this weekend. After a short lesson on safety and body positioning, you're fitted with a flight suit, helmet, goggles and earplugs, and led into a giant Plexiglas cylinder with your instructor. From a prone position on the bouncy mesh floor, the propeller below you is sped up until you levitate, at first knee-high and then, as the operator revs up the rotor, two metres or more off the ground. Your instructor will give you hand signals, telling you how to improve your body position, and will stay close to save you from ricocheting off the walls.
The sensation is a bit like sticking your head out the window of a car while speeding down the freeway, but way stronger and more enjoyable. The tiniest movements can have big effects. Have fun watching your friend's face deform as cheeks and chins ripple in the 200-kilometre-an-hour wind.
Who's it for?
Skydivers who want to practise free-falling, or anyone else who wants the experience without actually falling.
Special to The Globe and Mail