Indoor skydiving at iFly in Union City - 510 Families
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Indoor skydiving at iFly in Union City

Thanks to iFly in Union City for hosting the {510} Families crew on this adventure. During the Covid-19 pandemic, masks are required for participants.

Indoor skydiving at iFly in Union City

When iFly invited us to come down and try out the indoor skydiving facility in Union City with our families, Heather and I, your trusted co-founders wondered if we could really bring a 5-year old and his 70-something grandparents to an activity so physically intense. The management assured us that everyone can fly, as long as they are in good health, and we put it to the test with a group of nine people: four adults and five grade-schoolers.

If you don’t have time or inclination to read all my words, you can just watch the video.

My kids and I loved the experience so much that we bought a session for our family of four as a Father’s Day gift to my husband, who couldn’t attend our maiden skydiving voyage.

Here’s what to expect at iFly indoor skydiving

After checking in at the cash register, where you’ll buy your admission or redeem a gift certificate (here’s a way to gift this experience from Cloud 9 living), you’ll be routed to “flight school”. In this 15-minute orientation, a combination of video and a live instructor will teach you about proper body positions for flying.

Indoor skydiving at iFly in Union City

Next, you’ll place your valuables in a locker and get fitted for a flight suit, helmet, and goggles. And, of course, earplugs.

Ideal clothing is comfortable and secure. No dresses or skirts or slip-on shoes, so if you’re reading this as you cruise down 880 considering a spontaneous skydiving pitstop, make sure everyone in your party has solid footwear.

family of adults and children in skydiving gear
All ages loved our indoor skydiving experience | Photo: iFly with our camera

The flight chamber itself has an inner circle with clear walls where customers and instructors actually do the flying. An outer perimeter allows friends and family to watch up close. Turn-taking is worked out among the group, with each flight session lasting about 90-seconds and each person getting two turns. The specifics depend on what package you purchase.

Everyone flies with an instructor coaching them into position inside a wind tunnel that enables one to balance on their bellies in mid-air. The instructor is touching the flyer or within arm’s reach for the entire session. The person behind the wind tunnel control adjusts the force according to the size and skill of the flyer. Another team member is video recording the whole thing, which they will happily sell you at the end of the session. The staff was friendly and supportive and reminded me of staffers at a ski resort.

Indoor skydiving at iFly in Union City

Because this is a splurgey activity, it would be ideal for someone who has chosen a special experience rather than a birthday party or gift, kid, teen, or adults included!

Who should try indoor skydiving?

We think everyone should try it! Heather’s in-laws, a pair of fit seniors, thoroughly enjoyed the thrill (even bought the souvenir t-shirts at the end), and the kids had a blast. We forty-somethings loved it, too. The youngest sibling, a 5-year old, was hot and cold on whether he was having fun or fearful and kept his eyes squeezed shut the whole time. Kids who are sensitive to sound may not be able to relax.

How much does it cost?

There is a complicated price matrix that I will not replicate here, but will try to estimate for you.

First-time flyers – 2 flights (turns) for $85 or less if you have weekday flexibility.

Group rates – Going with 6 or more people will bring the price down to $80 per person for two turns and includes some photos and videos

There are plenty of upsells, like adding flights at the end (once you’re hooked and want another chance), but there’s one that is worth the money. Called a “high flight”, it is the grand finale of a flying session. The instructor positions you in the center of the wind tunnel and then the wind blasts harder, such that you fly about 20 feet up toward the top of the wind chamber. This huge thrill is worth every penny.

Plan your visit to iFly

iFly is located at 31310 Alvarado-Niles Rd, Union City. Call ahead: (510) 489-4359

Book online >

And finally, Heather will definitely want me to mention that this iFly is next to an In N Out burger.

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