14 Stages of Simulated Skydiving in Hawai‘i

The Groove Hawai‘i’s new wind tunnel, which simulates the experience of skydiving, opens to the public May 23. Our senior editor took an early test flight, and laid out the basics.

Photos: David Thompson


  1. Sign waiver releasing Fly Zone Bodyflight Inc., the Canada-based operator of the new wind tunnel at The Groove Hawai‘ amusement park in Kaka‘ako, from all liability. Notice that by signing the waiver, you acknowledge your willing participation in an activity that could lead to your death.

  2. Remind yourself that this is going to be fun.

  3. Attend the safety briefing and training session.

  4. While standing in front of your chair, practice the basic flying pose: hips forward, knees slightly bent, chin up, and arms above your head in the I-am-a-cactus position.

  5. During the safety briefing and training session, try not to be distracted by the distracting videos showing experienced wind tunnel acrobats performing crazy tricks. Your craziest trick today will be assuming the I-am-a-cactus position.

  6. Practice I-am-a-cactus while lying on your stomach on a small padded table.

  7. Move to wardrobe and pick a flight suit. Do as the instructor says and remove from your person all “jewelry, guns, knives and small farm animals” (he’s from Tennessee). Put on your flight suit. Notice that you now have handles on your hips and back.

  8. Walk pass the go-cart track and the rock-climbing wall to the trailer outside the wind tunnel. Insert ear plugs, don safety goggles and put on crash helmet.

  9. Climb steps to platform outside wind tunnel. The tunnel is 10 feet wide, 12 feet tall and raised about 10 feet off the ground to make room for the giant, spinning blades beneath it. Do not dwell on the giant, spinning blades.

  10. Do not second guess yourself for signing the form acknowledging your willing participation in an activity that could lead to your death.

  11. Do not think about wood chippers.

  12. Enter the wind tunnel. Assume the I-am-a-cactus position. Lean into the 140-mile-per-hour wind. Keep leaning. A little more. Now you are now flying, like a cactus in a hurricane.

  13. Be glad that the instructor and his assistant have ahold of the handles on your hips and back so that you are not blown into the flimsy cargo netting at the top of the tunnel.

  14. After your one-minute flight is over, get back in line so you can go again.

The Groove Hawai‘i, 805 Ala Moana Blvd., groovehawaii.com.