Part mountain attraction, part Hollywood stunt - the AirBag at Whiteface Mountain is a training tool for freestyle athletes, on-film equipment for trained stunt professionals and an adrenaline pumping experience for the general public. I had to check it out!!!

I arrived at Whiteface Mountain and made my way to the base of the gondola where the AirBag was set up. It looked like I had just walked onto the movie set for an action film.  I was excited to see someone jump and a bit unsure if I was going to go or just spectate.


The guys who work at the AirBag (Rob, Miah and Ryan) were super helpful and easy to talk to. They answered all my questions including a demonstration so I could get some pictures.

It went like this:

Q. Wow, so how high can you go?
A. The lift goes up to 45 feet but we have people jump from 30 feet and below who haven’t had experience and training jumping before. 

Q. Does it hurt?
A. No. The landing is really soft.

Q. What’s the best way to land?
A. We always say it’s best to land on your back or behind.

Q. Can you land on your feet?
A. Yes, in fact a lot of the smaller kids do that and they are fine. The problem with adults and jumping from higher heights is worrying about coming down and hitting your jaw on your knee. 

Next Miah headed up on the lift to 45 feet to demonstrate the front flip for me.

It went a little something like this-

Me: “Miah, wait, I’m trying to get the photo setting I want on my camera. Oh crap, how to I do rapid frame again?? Bobbo (Rob) - are you all set with the video?, I can’t figure out the camera setting. Miah - one more minute. Okay, I think I got it, yeah I got it. OK MIAH - JUMP!” 

Miah jumped and threw a big amazing front flip into the bag. It was so cool! The photos turned out great, the jump was incredible and I loved the way the frame by frame captured the bags transformation as it caught Miah.

Then it was my turn. We started going up in the lift.

It went a little something like this-

Me: “How high do most people go?”
Miah: “We can go as high as you want.”
Me: “Oh boy, how high are we now??!!”
Miah: “Um, looks like almost 30... 28 feet”
Me: “Okay, great, this is good, definitely high enough, please stop here.”
Me: “Okay, wow, this is really high up! And you went from 45 feet!!”
“Bobbo are you ready with the camera? - I’m going to need a minute...”
(Me procratinating) “...So how long does it take people to go? Do most just jump off? Or do they just stand up here like me contemplating??”
Miah: “We get a little of both, some people go right away, others need a bit of time.”
Me: “Bobbo I’m almost ready? You ready?” ... “Oh my goodness, why am I so nervous?” “Okay I can do this,” pause... “Okay here I go...” pause. Then after another pause (of many) “Here I go!” I jumped! “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”

The contrast between Miah jumping on my cue from 45 feet to my making the camera guy wait until I was ready, freaking out at 28 feet, was a very sobering experience.  

The free-fall was amazing and I was immediately a bit embarrassed of my screaming once I touched down on the airbag - it was so soft and seamless, it slowed my fall and made me realize I had nothing to fear and no reason to be scared. Definitely fun for the whole family! It is a great addition to all the fun things to do at Whiteface Mountain this summer!

I can’t wait to go back and try again!