Tuesday, 13 May 2014

I went skydiving for SGD22!

Well, not exactly, but the SkyVenture at Genting Highlands Resort is the closest thing to skydiving that I have done. It basically consists of a vertical wind tunnel that a person can literally float inside. The experience at Genting, at RM38 (SGD15) is way, way cheaper than the $79 price-tag for Singapore's I-Fly. I visited on 16 December 2013 as part of my family's annual retreat to Malaysia to visit relatives.

The entrance to this attraction is beside the fake Petronas Twin Towers

After payment, I was ushered into a room upstairs where I kit up for the flight. This included an outer jacket like flightsuit, helmet and goggles. I was actually quite surprised that I did not have to change shoes. The flightsuit is a full body suit so it was quite awkward trying to put it on. We were also taught some of the basic hand signals.

I am suited up and ready to go!

The moment before the flight was the most tense. As the propeller started up, the whole sitting area started to vibrate really violently. It was like as though the whole structure would be torn apart. The noise level was also quite intimidating. For me, the anticipation was worse as I was the last person of my group to participate, so I had to see everyone else struggle before me.

Pictures can't show how nervous I actually was

Just seconds before my turn, I could feel my heart beat faster. Something at the back of my mind tells me it may not be a good idea to go for it. However, I came so far and already paid for it, so there was no turning back. The instructor shouted at me (the propeller is that loud) to lean forward as I stepped at the edge of the wind tunnel. As my face was exposed to the column of rising air, it felt like as though I hit a brick wall; I mean, the wind was really that powerful. In fact, without any effort, my feet came up and I was flying.

I honestly regretted getting distracted during the briefing. During the flight, the instructor gave me a few signals that I could only guess what he meant. I also had quite a lot of difficulty maintaining steady as the tunnel is quite small and I constantly hit against the wall. Being clumsy did not improve the situation a bit, for even the slightest movement in my body resulted in a dramatic movement.

.I am somewhere. Look for me!

Each participant is entitled to 2 flights, but I did not think I fared any much better in the second. The whole activity was over long before I knew it. As I awaited the debrief, I really could not believe what I have just completed. The whole experience was completely surreal, as I was floating and not supported by any visible medium.

A participant can also choose to pay RM18 (SGD7) for a video recording of his flight, and this is exactly what I did. Also, at the end of the flight, all participants are awarded a certificate. This really gave me a sense of accomplishment.

A personalised certificate for all participants

I will recommend this attraction to anyone seeking a unique and exciting thrill. This is definitely a step above conventional roller coasters and the sensation of freedom one can get makes it absolutely worth the cost. You will not want to visit Genting just for this attraction, but if you are going there, it is worth it to have a go. Maybe I might go for a longer flight next time.

However, if you want to take part, I strongly recommend you to head straight there to reserve a slot even before checking into the hotel or entering the casino. The slots are taken up quite quickly. I went on a weekday but even so there was only 1 slot left when my family arrived at 3pm. If you are coming on a weekend, you better reserve beforehand.

Note: SkyVenture is now closed to make way for new developments