Skydiving VS Indoor Skydiving

Friday, June 18, 2021

At the core, indoor skydiving is a freefall simulator while skydiving (aka “real skydiving”) is jumping out of an airplane. Both are incredible experiences, but they are also very different. So what are the differences between skydiving and indoor skydiving? Let’s explore! 

How Does Indoor Skydiving Work 

Indoor skydiving is a circular chamber that uses recirculating wind that can vary in speed. This chamber, or wind tunnel, is a technology that simulates freefall. So what is indoor skydiving like?  Once you step inside guided by an instructor, you float on air! Every indoor skydiving center is a little bit different, as they may have different chamber sizes, wind speeds, and shapes – but all serve the same purpose. 

Skydiving vs Indoor Skydiving | WNY Skydiving

How Does Real Skydiving Work

Skydiving is the act of jumping from a plane with a dual parachute system. The journey begins with tandem skydiving. A tandem jump only requires a brief training session and is where a student is paired with an instructor and harnessed together. Solo skydiving can commence after two training tandem skydives and requires a day-long course. Then you will jump with two instructors in the Accelerated Freefall Program (AFF). 

Is Skydiving Worth it?

Okay, we’ll be honest here because we are biased. We are sky flyers through and through. Although we love indoor skydiving, it just isn’t the same as jumping from a plane. Real skydiving is outdoors, has a rich history, and you can float above the earth under a parachute – all things which we love and add to the thrilling experience and all things you cannot do indoors. However, everyone is different and not everyone likes the same things. 

The Great Debate – Which is Better? 

Both indoor skydiving and real skydiving are all about the freefall experience and are both recognized sports with competitions, but essentially, they are very different. So which is better? We created this snapshot on the differences because, ultimately, it’s up to you! 

Indoor SkydivingReal Skydiving
Can You Go Solo?Yes! On your first flight with an instructor by your sideYes! After two training tandem skydives!
Can You Wear a Gopro?No, due to safety concerns, but offers video packagesNot until you have 200+ skydives or tandem skydives offers photo/video packages
Exit From a Plane?NoYes! Every time!
Freefall?Depending on the package you can get freefall time from 1-2 minutes in a row!Yes, we freefall for approximately 45-60 seconds each skydive
Canopy Flight?NoYes! From around 5-7 minutes each flight.
Weather Delays?Never!Sometimes, since skydiving is a weather dependent sport
What Age Can Participate?From 3 to 93+!At all USPA Group Member skydiving centers, the age requirement is 18+

The Community

Both sports have a unique culture and an eclectic community. The community at Skydive WNY is inclusive and welcomes each of our guests like an old friend. It doesn’t take much to create an everlasting bond with those that skydive because there’s truly nothing else like it, and only others who’ve done it will ever understand! 

But don’t just take our word for it! Check out our REVIEWS!

Skydiving vs. Indoor Skydiving | WNY Skydiving

Career Opportunities

Say what? A career in skydiving? That’s right! There are even career opportunities in indoor skydiving; however, the possibilities aren’t as plentiful as in the sport of skydiving. In the sport of skydiving, there are so many creative opportunities as well as established roles such as skydiving instructor, parachute packer, event organizer, pilot, sponsored athlete, office manager, and so much more! 


The kind of experience you are seeking will determine if indoor skydiving or real skydiving is right for you. Both sports are really fun and captivating. However, if you’re the type that loves all things adrenaline, outdoors, and/or adventure, then real skydiving just may be for you! 

Ready to check us out and try the real thing? Then, give us a call or click, and discover for yourself which is really better! 

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