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Home News Indoor Skydiving to Open In Laval

Indoor Skydiving to Open In Laval

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March 30, 2009

A new tourist attraction in the Montreal area is planning to open around April 15; it’s SkyVenture Montreal, an indoor skydiving (simulated parachute jumping) centre. Participants enter a 60 foot (18 metre) vertical wind tunnel where winds of 200 miles per hour (320 kmh) slowly push them upwards like an anti-gravity machine. The experience is very similar to a real parachute jump, but is more like flying than jumping. Although this is not exclusively a family-oriented site, kids are welcome here if they are at least four years old. The maximum age limit is 104.

A “flight” lasts about one minute, but expect some 75 minutes of training, briefing, and debriefing on your first visit here that will incorporate two “flights.” All necessary equipment is provided, but participants should come wearing comfortable clotting and running shoes.  Up to eight people can fly at once.

“Girls and women generally have an easier time with the ‘flights’ because of their greater hip flexibility,” explains Alain Guerin, owner of the installation. Guerin is a chartered accountant by training, but chanced upon a similar indoor skydiving centre in Florida once while on vacation. He fell in love with the concept and then bought the franchise for Quebec.

Skyventure Laval, which cost some $6 million to build and set up, is one of only sixteen such centres in the world. The two closest similar centres are in Boston and Niagara Falls. Flaunting the latest technology of his new centre, Guerin explains that “if the Niagara centre is like a Honda Civic, the Laval centre is like a Ferrari!” And because the air is re-circulated, this might even be a “green” Ferrari that we are talking about.

Personnel at Skyventure are highly trained. They recently completed intensive training at the International Bodyflight Association (I.B.A.) centre in San Francisco.

A few health conditions preclude flying: these include pregnancy, excessive weight (over 250 lbs/113 kg), and dislocated shoulder problems. But because of the weightlessness of the experience, back problems might not necessarily prevent participants from making the flight.

Skyventure may seem pricy, with the first two flights costing $58, but this includes training and all necessary equipment. The cost can go down to about $18 for future flights. And even $58 is a bargain compared to a real parachute jump at about $300. “The experience is almost identical to a real parachute jump,” adds Pierre-André Gauthier, VP of corporate and touristic development, “but it’s much safer.” Gauthier should know what he is talking about; he is also a parachute instructor.


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 September 2011 16:37  


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