Forums: Skydiving: Wind Tunnels:
Some outrageous comments on tunnel flying ;-)


xavenger  (A 1)

Nov 16, 2005, 9:30 AM
Post #1 of 6 (901 views)
Some outrageous comments on tunnel flying ;-) Can't Post


As more and more tunnels open around the world, we're going to see more and more pure tunnel flyers, that is people who like tunnel flying - but have no interest in leaping out of a plane whatsoever .. or skydivers who have "twigged" that the tunnel is cool BECAUSE it's different to skydiving.

Also, as tunnel flying becomes established as a sport in its own right I think the skydiving community will come to see it as something quite different to how many perceive it at the moment. Most skydivers perceive tunnel flying as a training tool for skydiving .. instead of an incredible, fun and potentially extremely athletic environment in its own right.

I've done a shed load of tunnel (erm .. not by some of your standards maybe) and a lot of my skydiving friends just don't "get it" .. they think it's a waste of money. When I explain to them that I tunnel fly because I enjoy it in its own right.. a lot of them don't really get it. Them suggesting to me that I am doing too much .. is like me suggesting to them they should cap the number of skydives they do, yeah right. If you've found something that puts a smile on your face in life .. you should keep doing it. (well .. you know .. within reason .. and this doesn't apply to Michael Jackson)..

Ofcourse .. once these same skydivers have been in the tunnel a few times.. the penny starts to drop .. but it's slow going with a lot of them. The tunnel is different to skydiving .. sure there are parallels and cross overs but it is different and that is actually a GOOD thing. We have new things to try and learn, we can have new competition formats eg - stamina events etc.

There aren't that many pure tunnel flyers here in the UK yet and by pure tunnel flyer, I mean someone who only uses a tunnel to fly .. or a skydiver who has "got" it and isn't convinced that what we do in the tunnel should be a replica of what we do in the sky... I think I know personally all these pure tunnel flyers in the UK .. this is going to change soon though .. we have 2 very different but incredible tunnels .. yeee haaa!

How many pure tunnel flyers do you know? Or .. are we all here in this forum?

I think is a brilliant web site .. but that in its current format it will not be well suited to the up and coming wave of tunnel flyers. There are people I know who tunnel fly who don't get what it is to do with skydiving .. they don't make the connection, this is a good thing for the sport because - personally I think the connection with skydiving - is damaging to it's growth. Very few people want to do something even remotely associated with plane jumping.

Anyway .. How many pure tunnel flyers .. tunnel junkies .. tunnel rats do you know .. what's your guess as to how many there are right now?


The discussion site for tunnel flyers

shropshire  (C License)

Nov 16, 2005, 10:16 AM
Post #2 of 6 (869 views)
Re: [xavenger] Some outrageous comments on tunnel flying ;-) [In reply to] Can't Post

Well after my 2 visits, I'm convinced.
Also, the weather in the UK is so temprementalCrazy I'll be making more visits to the tunnel than the DZ this winter.
I'm also taking some non-jumping mates to have a go and they would never have considered skydiving...


Nov 16, 2005, 11:36 AM
Post #3 of 6 (840 views)
Re: [xavenger] Some outrageous comments on tunnel flying ;-) [In reply to] Can't Post

There are probably a couple of thousand of us world wide, MAYBE.. and that's with 23+ years of exposure!
if you count active online people that number drops to under 1000 I think, from my experience.
Over the last 8 years since I started Bodyflight Network, we've tried a wide variety of formats, and although I have had forums and discussion groups active on there in the past, they are just not active enough to become an asset and were mostly filled with adverts, and so have been removed in favor of less active ways of participation. We now provide links to's wind tunnel form for discussion on every wind tunnel page. You can see here that the activity in this forum is pretty slow and is a great deal of adverts, which is inevitable at this stage of the industry, as more promotion is needed!

Today we see & hear from as many people overseas as we do in the states, that certainly has been a recent trend in the last 3 years. So while business is picking up, I think it will still be a few years before I at least see the growth that I'm looking for.

I'm a 'pure' tunnelflyer, as you called it and I love the sport... I have dedicated myself to promoting it and everything about it.Smile


Nov 17, 2005, 5:54 AM
Post #4 of 6 (739 views)
Re: [Bodyflight.Net] Some outrageous comments on tunnel flying ;-) [In reply to] Can't Post

Nothing outrageous about the comment, and as someone who will probably be the type of person you refer to I'm happy to share my thoughts.

I've lurked around here for a long time and enjoyed reading the comments and learning more about the sport, however, I'm 41, with two little kids, a wife and a demanding job and therefore taking up skydiving now is not really a sensible option for me. I've done one tandem and loved it. However, the reality of my situation is that skydiving is too risky to take-up now. However, last Sunday I flew at Airkix, which is around 30 mins from where I live, and was absolutely amazed at how good that felt. This is something that only has financial barriers, my wife tried it and was impressed and when my eldest son is 5 in February he can also join in.

I'm sure there's an element of the skydiving community that will resent the (perceived) erosion of 'their' territory, but I guess the reality is, the tunnels could generate a lot of business for DZ Operators.

I've got many colleagues and friends who are very keen to try the tunnel, but think I was mad to do the tandem. To qualify this, they think the tunnel sounds expensive, 38 for 2 or 2.5 minutes is a lot, and as they never intend to jump out of an aircraft the comparison costs mean nothing. It will be interesting to see what happens to pricing in the UK once the novelty wears off. With apologies to Bodyflight at Bedford, the guys at Airkix have done a brilliant job in generating publicity for their tunnel and their location will generate tremendous interest from other people visiting Xscape to ski, but generating business 7 days a week, 364 days a year will require a lot of creative thinking - and I'm sure 'deals' will arise.

So, will there be a whole generation of flyers who will probably never skydive? Yes, most definately, and I hope to be one of them!

Paulipod  (B 1234)

Nov 17, 2005, 7:31 AM
Post #5 of 6 (723 views)
Re: [Boddington] Some outrageous comments on tunnel flying ;-) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
With apologies to Bodyflight at Bedford

No need to apologise!WinkLaugh

Our intention for startup was not to go overboard with advertising etc. As a new business we want time to increase and round our processes etc. Too much too soon generally causes problems in the beginning.

The reality has been however that we have all been run of our feet with the amount of people wanting to fly.

Over the next few months we may start to publicise more and we are planning some events etc. Our members scheme will launch soon too.

Overall there are alot of people that can be introduced to bodyflying and as a sport in its own right I am sure there will be large progressions over the next few years.



Nov 17, 2005, 1:55 PM
Post #6 of 6 (676 views)
Re: [Paulipod] Some outrageous comments on tunnel flying ;-) [In reply to] Can't Post

And I look forward to visiting you at some point soon. Two tunnels within one hour of home (and for that matter, two DZ's within 15 mins!), I just need to win the lottery..........

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