We have walked past this place in Sentosa countless times since she was much younger and the iFly Indoor Skydiving building has always caught her imagination and fancy. But because she was below the age limit then, we told her to wait…until now.
As part of her 8th birthday, we have arranged for our daughter, Dana to experience iFLY. To make it more meaningful and memorable, we invited two of her best friends along. As it was gonna be a new experience for us all, I wasn’t too sure how the three girls will take to it although it looked really fun from the adverts. After all, being swiped off your feet by gale-force winds and free flying in the air isn’t something we experience on a daily basis.
But their eagerness were palpable, effectively masking any form of nervousness even if there were.
After gathering at the iFly lobby at the pre-determined ‘flight time’, we were given indemnity forms to fill in. Thereafter, we were ushered into an orientation room which roughly resembled a cross-section of a plane where we were shown video clips of what to expect in a flight as well as footage of others flying. The video heightened the girls’ sense of anticipation. Among the interesting things we learnt about iFLY include:
- iFly Singapore’s centrifugal wind tunnel is the largest in the world with a height of about 5 stories.
- iFly Singapore made it into the list of TripAdvisor’s 50 iconic places to visit in Singapore and was awarded the 2015 Certificate of Excellence.
- The oldest person to ‘fly’ is over 70 years old!
- Children as young as 7 years old can fly.
- Since opening in 2011, iFly Singapore has hosted over 180,000 visitors and held the world’s first Indoor Skydiving World Championships in 2012.
- The Red Lions, those daredevil free-fallers who have been a fixture at every National Day Parade since 1996, practice their leaps indoors at iFly Singapore.
- ‘Team Firefly Singapore‘ (comprising of two Singapore teens, 13 and 14 year old) was recently awarded 1st place in the Artistic Round at the 2016 Bodyflight World Challenge held in the UK.
Next we went into a small theater where we met our flight instructor, Josh who patiently went through some basic pointers and training with us. Josh was also very relaxed and jovial, making us relaxed as well. We were oriented on the simple hand signs used to communicate in the wind-tunnel as the wind would be very strong (it can be as strong as a Category 5 Hurricane). Josh even got us to lie face down on a training table to simulate actual flying and how we would respond to his hand signals. Josh patiently made sure everyone understood his instructions.
Next , it was time to suit up and you can really sense the girls’ anticipation rising as we all made our way to the suiting room.
There I was impressed to discover that:
- There are iFly flight suits for pint sized kids.
- There is no need to change clothes. You can wear the flight suit over your own clothes. However for girls / ladies, wearing pants will be more convenient.
- You need to wear covered or sports shoes for the flight so there are shoes for loan (FOC) there but subject to size availability.
- There are kid-sized flight helmets and goggles.
- For those who wear spectacles, there are broader goggles to help them see clearly throughout the flight. How thoughtful!
- Sanitized 3M ear plugs are available for all, even for the kids. We need to put on ear plugs as the gale force winds can be quite loud.
Our instructor Josh patiently helped each of us, especially the girls to suit up, wear their goggles and put on their ear plugs. Once suited up, it’s the time we’ve been waiting for!
The girls were ushered into the pre-flight chamber that has an opening to the wind tunnel. Naturally, those who are not joining the flight will have to wait out at the waiting area but can still see the flight unfold through the transparent glass. Photography and videography are permitted. However, you will be outside two layers of glass wall so the quality of the photos and videos may be compromised. iFly have its own videos and photos of the flight which are available for browsing and purchase after the flights.
So, very quickly, the girls took turns one by one to fly. Just like the orientation video, they entered the wind tunnel and under the close supervision of Josh, they folded their arms across their chest, leaned forward and within seconds, started flying!
Who would imagine: Flying is easier than swimming, roller-blading and cycling! Wow! It’s an unforgettable experience that’s simply out of this world. Everyone should try this at least once in your lifetime.
Once they flew, the smiles came on. Josh was there to guide them and to hold on to them as he flew high and low with them. They loved every bit of it that the girls asked for rounds after rounds. In total, our time there allowed us 3 rounds for each girl and they savoured every moment flying in the air. We even topped up SGD40 per person for Josh to bring them higher up to the top of the wind-tunnel.
While flying, they were already all smiles. After the flight, they were beaming all the way, that sense of satisfaction at trying something new and unique just overwhelms! Every iFLY participant goes home with a certificate which records what skills they have mastered during their inaugural flight. According to Josh, keep the cert and the next time they return they need not go through the basics again!
All Good Things:
On the way home, the girls can’t stop talking about their experience. How they floated, turned around, flew high, flew low and of course…why did it have to end. Our friends were also relating to us that their daughters can’t stop talking about their iFLY experiences even till the next day and Dana even tried convincing us to sign her up for iFLY’s regular courses. She even harboured dreams of being trained as a junior Red Lion! These are testament to the level of thrill and the precious memories which iFly Singapore create.
Alas, all good things come to an end but with every end another new beginning awaits. We can’t wait to return to iFLY again!
Special Promotion (till 27 May 2016)
iFly Singapore and Singapore Cable Car have come together to share the joy of flight and an experience you will never forget.
Book this special iFLY flight here.
Address: iFly Singapore, 43 Siloso Beach Walk #01-01 Singapore 099010
(Beside the Beach Station, down at Siloso Beachfront in Sentosa, Singapore. The Beach Station is a focal point for all transports including Sentosa buses, trams, trains and taxis. Should you wish to drive, there are over 600 parking lots located at the basement of the station).
Opening Hours: Mon, Tue, & Thu- Sun 9:00am – 9:30pm; Wed 11:00am – 9:30pm
Skydiving Rates: Please visit iFLY’s website for the most updated rates and packages available as seasonal promotions may apply. Tip: It’s cheaper to book your iFLY flights online at least two days in advance.
Disclaimer: We were invited to try iFLY Singapore for the purposes of this review. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions and photos are, as usual, ours. We topped up for extended flights because the girls couldn’t bear to leave.