Episode 40- Bill Belcourt Your Questions Answered!

And here it is! The long-awaited show hosted by Bill Belcourt, dedicated 100% to your questions. We asked fans of the show to send us any questions related to flying so the Yoda of the sky, Bill Belcourt could answer them in the unique way that only Bill can. We talk about how to deal with turbulence, creating better headspace, how to mitigate intermediate syndrome, how to gaggle fly, how to deal with negative people in a positive way (ie avoiding ground suck), when to leave a thermal, techniques for landing backwards, how to pick the good days, team flying, when to launch in a thermal cycle and a LOT more! Enjoy!

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Episode 39- Antoine Laurens and a Lifetime of Life Lessons

Antoine Laurens began flying in 1992 when he was just seventeen years old. He’s lived a life of adventure and flying has been a way of life for the last two and half decades. One of the world’s great vol-biv pilots Antoine crossed over a 1,000 km route of the Himalayas (the film trailer of the “Himalayan Odyssey” can be seen here) and was part of the small team I joined in 2012 when we flew from the south end of the Sierra range to the Oregon border. Antoine has done some of the longest, most wild vol-biv trips that have ever been accomplished.

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Episode 38- Jeff Shapiro and cracking the code

“If you believe you can do it, you can do it. But that doesn’t mean it will happen tomorrow. You have to do the work, nothing replaces mileage (or in this case, air time).” Little nuggets of wisdom like this is why Jeff Shapiro returns to the Cloudbase Mayhem in this amazing follow up to our first podcast a year and a half ago. The first time we spoke Jeff was just learning how to paraglide after spending a lifetime and thousands of hours hang gliding. We catch up to explore how his progression is going, how the new aircraft is opening all kinds of new adventures, we revisit his decision to wingsuit basejump again after losing so many friends to the sport, and in true Jeff Shapiro style- talk about life and joy and wonder in a way that only Jeff can.

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Episode 37- The Groundhandling Podcast

Ground handling is the cornerstone of being a good, safe pilot. But of all the most important foundational building blocks you can practice it is often the most neglected. For many pilots “groundhandling” is pulling the wing up and getting off the hill. This is only the first step. Many of our listeners have asked for a specific ground handling episode and now here it is!

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Episode 36- Nick Neynens and the art of Vol Biv

“If the conditions are too gnarly, don’t land, climb and get to better air!” Thoughts like this from Nick Neynens are what allowed him to finish the 2015 Red Bull X-Alps in 10th place. Nick has an untraditional approach and it works- he’s flown vol-biv all over the world and has competed in the X-Pyr and X-Berg as well. In this episode we learn more about his untraditional approach and talk about risk justification, progression, meteorology, and using sandals in the hardest race on Earth. A special episode with a special pilot.

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Episode 35- Christina Kolb and becoming a complete pilot

Christina Kolb is the current female world acro champion and one of the few women in the world who has perfected the Infinite tumble. In Annecy this year she won the female class and was 12th overall- an incredible achievement. In this episode we visit and revisit the cause of many accidents and how preventable they are, how to learn acro, the importance of SIV and ground handling, why altitude is more important in many cases than water, best and worst advice, how to reduce stress on launch, and a lot of advice for beginners and how to avoid the “lemming affect.”

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Episode 34- Tom Payne and Insights into our world

Tom Payne competed in the 2009 X-Alps and was Jon Chambers supporter in 2011 and 2013 and edited Jon Chambers book “hanging in there” which documents Jon’s X-Alps campaigns. But the X-Alps is just a blip in Tom’s long, passionate career in paragliding. Tom has been flying for over 20 years and is one of my own personal mentors. He’s been a major player in the comp scene and is well known across Europe for flying big, creative triangles.

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Episode 33- Hugh Miller and Flying Psychology, X-Alps, Chrigel Secrets and MORE

Hugh Miller began flying at the age of 15 and has been a household name in the sport since taking over Cross Country Magazine back in the 90’s at the age of 21. He does most of the EN C and D wing testing for the magazine today and just last year won the UK League in a career that spans decades. This talk could have gone on for hours. We cover a huge range of topics that are pertinent and valuable for any pilot at any level- exposure to risk in competitions; how to improve regardless of your level; tactics for flatland flying; the importance of flying intuitively and following a “hunch”…

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Episode 32- Joanna Di Grígoli and 400 KM Sending

On the 25th of November 2016 Joanna Di Grígoli beat her own personal best by 240 km and landed than 2 km away from beating the longest women’s footlaunch in history flying just over 400 km in Quixada, Brazil. But this talk is a lot more than chasing records. The flight in Brazil in the topping on the cake. Joanna grew up in Caracas, Venezuela and hasn’t been able to ignore the flying dream since she was a child. Her drive and stubborness to pursue her passion has at times caused some problems (like when she sold her violin to attend a comp!) and in this talk she takes us to at times some dark and very personal places (surviving a terrible crash at the Superfinal, losing her husband to flight, recovering from eternal fear), but the journey, like a great flight pays off in spades and is one you will not soon forget.

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Episode 31- Russ Ogden, a Masters Class in Paragliding

We’ve got a VERY special episode for you this Holiday Season. Ozone test pilot and world cup crusher Russ Ogden, one of the great living legends of paragliding and the inspiration for the Cloudbase Mayhem podcast and one of the most-mentioned pilots in the podcast gives us two solid hours that I am calling a Masters Class in paragliding. This is the most information dense episode to date. There isn’t much we don’t cover here-

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