Nick Neynens began paragliding a decade ago after his love of the mountains drew him to the sport. In 2015 he capped off a passionate and steep trajectory of flying a lot of vol-biv around the world with a 10th place finish in the Red Bull X-Alps. He famously did a lot of the race in sandals and shunned any kind of formal physical training before the race. By flying incredibly creative lines, staying positive, and having a ton of fun Nick charged from the back of the pack after a tough first day to making goal in Monaco. In this episode we explore the world of vol-biv, talk about Nick’s experience in the X-Berg and X-Pyr races and of course his X-Alps experience. Nick recently became a full-time meteorologist and we talk about how his weather knowledge has helped his own flying, including recently breaking the open distance record in New Zealand. I invite you to check out Nick’s flying blog, ShareMyJoys– it’s filled with fantastic reports of flying in the high mountains of the world and his own very unique take on this incredible sport we all love. His approach to flying and training isn’t traditional, but it clearly works and his positive and fun attitude is contagious in the best of ways. He also gives some great trips if you’re keen on heading out on your first vol-biv trip. You’re going to enjoy this one.
A buck an episode, that’s all we ask.
- Nick talks about how he got into vol-biv and some of his expeditions around the world.
- Training for the X-Alps- an unorthodox approach.
- Why New Zealand is one of his favorite places to fly.
- Wing choice- choose your weapon
- Ground handling- we revisit this most essential skill
- How Nick’s meteorology background is impacting his flying
- Where to begin flying vol-biv and tips for people doing it for the first time
- Injuries- how to avoid them.
- X-Alps- justifying the risk
- Should you fly with a vario? Instruments discussion and how they can get in the way.
- The importance of being in a good headspace- can you find it?
- What separates the elite from the rest? Why are some people so much better? The importance of reflection for progression.
- Nick’s most memorable flight.
- Mentioned in this episode: Cross Country Magazine, Hugh Miller, Ed Ewing, Tom Lines, Louis Tapper, X-Berg, X-Pyr, Ferdinand Van Shelven, Chrigel