Episode 126- An oldie but goodie with the legend Pal Takats

Pal Takats (HUN) performs during the Red Bull X-Alps in Lermoos, Austria on July 6th, 2017

This week we’re doing our first “rerun” as Gavin is in the field deep in remote Nevada on a major SAR effort to find our good friend James “Kiwi” Johnson, who was recently on the show. We will get caught up with new shows on schedule soon. This is our most popular show to date and we’ve cleaned it up for your listening pleasure. Listen and learn!

Pal Takats began flying 16 years ago in the flatlands of Budapest, Hungary and has since created a career any pilot would envy. One of the first Red Bull acro pilots and the man responsible for many of the current and modern acro combinations (the Joker, Cowboy, Esfera, etc.) Pal does paramotor demos for Red Bull at air races around the world, base jumps in his free time, founded JustAcro.com, flies speed wings, has twice competed in the Red Bull X-Alps (he was 8th in 2009 and 7th in 2017), is an exceptional cross country and World Cup competition pilot but it hasn’t all been a walk in the park to get there. In 2012 Pal had an accident flying a 6M speed wing that put him in a coma and nearly ended his life. Later the same year he demolished his knee cap making a poor decision on landing after a base jump. What can the rest of us learn from his mistakes and how can we eliminate a huge, huge percentage of accidents in our sport? How paragliding schools are missing out on the foundational stuff, the importance of ground handling and how this is leading to way too many accidents. This talk covers a lot of ground. A fascinating discussion with a fascinating, passionate individual.

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Show Notes:

  • Brief history of Pal’s many, many accomplishments
  • Pal breaks the Tandem Infinity Record
  • Moving from caving to flying- the inception
  • Becoming a professional pilot and making a living from flying
  • How not getting into University became a blessing
  • Transition from Acro to Cross Country and getting disillusioned with Acro and judging
  • Pal’s accidents in 2012, coming back from a coma and the takeaways
  • Becoming a Red Bull athlete
  • How does media, sponsors and making films affect decision making? What are the bad and good sides?
  • How to avoid bad situations and the IMPORTANCE of training
  • The IMPORTANCE of groundhandling and where the schools fall short and why the basics are being skipped and how this is failing new pilots
  • Where to learn acro, and what wing to start on
  • When to move up to a higher aspect wing? Beware!
  • How paragliding doesn’t have structured rules across the board and why that’s bad for our safety and our sport
  • Highs and lows of the 2017 Red Bull X-Alps


Mentioned in this episode: Nik Hawks, Red Bull Media House, Reelwater Productions, JustAcro.com, Sidetracked Magazine, Squash Falconer, Will Gadd, paragliding schools, Theo Le Blic, Cody Mittanck

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Speaker 0 (0s): Greetings everybody. And welcome once again to the cloud based may him podcast. You've got miles this week because Gavin is out in the Nevada desert as part of a massive search and rescue effort for a missing pilot. There'll be back in a couple of weeks and hopefully with a good story to tell. But in the meantime, to fill the gap, we're revisiting one of our most popular episodes, ever an interview with acro legend and XC hero Powell Tackett's Paul has been around the sport for a very long time, has been groundbreaking and developing some of the world's most astounding acro moves has loads of good stories and a lot to teach us.

So we hope that you'll enjoy it. Have a listen, learn something, stay safe. Everybody thinks that's do it

Speaker 1 (1m 3s): Val. So awesome. We've been trying to do this for a while, but I think you're the first person in the world that I've met. That's actually busier than I am. So thanks for making the time. It's kind of funny that I understand you're in Indianapolis. Let's start with that. What are you doing, man? You're you're in the wrong part of the world.

Speaker 0 (1m 20s): You might say that I'm here for the red bull air race for the final stop of the 2017 season. As you might know, I'm performing paramount or demos at most of the stops since a few years. So that's the last one of the season. And, but I'm only here for six days.

Speaker 1 (1m 42s): I, you know what I, I knew you did all these demos and you do the performing performing, but I thought it was a Acura without a motor. I didn't know. So you doing like full acro stuff, but with the promoter?

Speaker 0 (1m 53s): No, not really. You know, most of these events take place under quite a while. Some of the most restricted spaces in the world, some, some pretty big airports. So the ceiling is quite low. And I usually, basically my, my short time is 10 minutes. So, and that includes takeoff and landing. So there's no time to, to climb out high for doing radical stuff. And I'm, I'm usually just doing some basic aerobatics pull along stream and use my smoke and do ground spirals, do food jagging and you know, these areas are quite large.

So I have to do some, some here, do some there, you know, visit the different spectator areas and well, 10 minutes are gone.

Speaker 1 (2m 44s): Okay. Well, the, for those, those are listening and I, I want to get into the more recent history stuff. Cause I know since the ex Alps you've been extremely busy and before we started recording here, you, you were telling me you've got some land down in Columbia and you and girlfriend are going down there. So we've got a lot to talk about, but you know, for those who have had their head in a hole for the last 15 years, can you give us the, you know, the Powell tack, it's like a resume, you know, what you put down on, on paper, maybe hit some of the high points because you know, to me, at least your, you know, your, your history is really accurate, but you're, you know, twice now he competed in the X, but catch everybody up that may not be familiar with your history.

Speaker 0 (3m 27s): Okay, well, I'm 32 now. And they started flying when I was 16. I come from Hungary, Budapest, so quite flatland country and somehow got into our group pretty quick and put all my, my efforts and motivation and money into progressing as fast as possible, just out of pure passion and a well powered by this. I, I ended up competing in the world cups, which I, I won three times, twice in solo and once in synchro and I've finished once second and I mean, quite good results, but then I, I kind of pulled out from that in 2011, but you know, I was always as well, a very passionate cross-country pilot, but you know, you never really saw me on the top of some, some high level podiums, which is because probably because I, I didn't really put so much time and effort into competing yet.

But as you said, I competed in the red bull accepts twice. Most of, most of the people probably don't even remember. I did it in 2009 and finished eighth and, and did it again. We do this this year and well, I invented some of the, the latest, well, it's not really latest anymore. Cause, cause since then a lot of new new school staff came in in aerobatics.

But, but basically I invented the foundation of nowadays new school acro flying, which was some, some new connections, some basically a new style of performing certain things and, and the S Farrah cork and joker cowboy and bolster and this kind of stuff. And with GABA Casey, we did the infinity tumbling in tandem in 2010, which was quite a feat.

And what else I also did, which nobody knows because it never actually got published. It's one of those projects that kind of disappeared in, in the, but I have a, a Guinness world record in a tandem infinity tumbling, which happened in 2014, I think in Argentina. Did you call out of a balloon for that?

From a helicopter? Yeah.

Speaker 1 (6m 21s): Oh, your passenger must have been thrilled.

Speaker 0 (6m 25s): Yeah. Yeah. It was it wasn't, it was a, she she,

Speaker 1 (6m 33s): And how did you guys exit the heli? Did you debug?

Speaker 0 (6m 36s): Yeah. Yeah. With the bag. Okay.

Speaker 1 (6m 38s): Whoa, that must have been exciting.

Speaker 0 (6m 42s): I was with squash Farrakhan. She's a British, you've probably heard of her.

Speaker 1 (6m 48s): She covered a, she did a nice story for sidetracked with the, on the last X out. So in 2015, she's fun. Oh, wow. That's amazing. So how many did you get and the denim record

Speaker 0 (7m 1s): Officially 140 and the place, or did she do okay. Ah, she did great. She did awesome. I mean, after the landing, she had to lay down for half an hour, but otherwise she did awesome. Then anyway, I will, I would probably just publish the raw footage. So at least it's, it's, it's, it's online in a way and yeah. Well, what, what I would like to mention as well is I'm the creator of just our.com, which is basically the, the largest website about aerobatic paragliding.

It's already 11 years old and I'm quite proud of it and I'm still working hard to, to develop it. It's just kind of tricky. I mean, there's a lot to do on the side, but I, I'm still really motivated to, to keep pushing this further and this bike, that Facebook basically over to all these community sites in a way, but, but I still didn't give up hope and actually it's quite popular still and lots of vidoes and the forum is running.

Speaker 1 (8m 23s): Yeah, of course everybody follows it. I mean, it's interested in acro so 16 years. So just after 2000 you started flying. When did you know when did, so what was the catalyst to get into flying, being from Hungary and Budapest, like you said, in the flat lands, and then when did it become, you know, when did it, when were you like, wow, I could make this my job. And, and, and when did red bull happen? So three questions there. Sorry, too many.

Speaker 0 (8m 50s): I got into, I mean, this kind of crazy activities already before that,

Speaker 2 (8m 56s): Like skateboarding and rollerblading. And then somehow I got into caving. So that was the first like real passion, you know, going down into caves and do like, like proper tours. And I did that for four years, quite intense, like I would say pretty much every week. And from there I got into paragliding too. It's quite funny. So from, from going underground to go up and punch the clouds, like

Speaker 1 (9m 33s): Subterranean to over-training, the word is,

Speaker 2 (9m 38s): But so basically in Budapest where I grew up, there's this flying side, pretty much just on the board, on the, on the edge of the city. And you could time to time see people, you know, hanging up there, likes little mosquitoes. And that's how I started to, to my attention, turned to it. And, you know, the internet was quite new thing, but there was already some, some videos and some information about it.

So I did some research and then as well, Y Y caving, I, I got to know some, some of these guys pilots, and then I got into a course and I got hooked like instantly, like most of us. And then basically the way towards becoming professional was kind of unplanned and, and natural progression. Basically. I just wanted to fly as much as I could.

And, and, and then I, I, I finished school, but luckily I didn't actually get into a university cause my notes were not very good that time. And so I could not go through the, I couldn't enter without an additional exam and the exam was quite high level, so I didn't get it twice. I wanted to, I wanted to learn geography. Cause that was the only thing that I could think of it.

The only thing that would interest me enough. Yeah. And then basically, you know, you know, how it, how it works in our business. So basically then, you know, I was young, I was talented. I was, I was pushing and try to learn as fast as possible. And, and people saw that and then, you know, things start starting to happen. You know, I got cheaper gear and, you know, I bought my, my, my first equipment already at the better price.

And then the next wing was even at the better price. Cause the, the, the dealer of, of, of Hungary, you basically sponsored me with it with a dealer prize, which was awesome. And, and then, you know, we figured out quite quickly, I mean, I say we, because it was basically garb bore and me and some other, other youngsters, but especially GABA and me were pushing somewhat harder than the others towards this direction.

And we figured out that, you know, well, if, if we do this right, then, then we actually don't have to spend so much on equipment. And, and we might even be able to travel or at least travel cheaper. And that, and this is how it started. And luckily this was, this was quite a, I don't know, a natural progression towards getting our first bond source and which actually happened through an event, a crazy little acro competition that my friend organizing Hungary back in 2004 overground, it was not really well.

It was a contest, but it was more like a meeting where the very few acro pilots that were doing some Okoro, at least in Hungary were basically meeting up and doing all the crazy stuff over the ground from towing. And we somehow we won that competition. We both ended up being first, somehow with the same, the same score.

And, and that led to our first sponsor, which was a, a Hungarian like closing sponsor and red bull was the cool sponsor of this event with a wire, basically nothing more than, than, than a tent and some, some cans, but it's how they already kind of knew about us, but it only came later as we were kind of, you know, kind of too shy and kind of not really trusting ourselves to actually go there and ask, Hey guys, I'm into red, wait, do you want to sponsor us?

So we were just, we knew it's too early. So we were waiting for the right moment and waiting for the right way to approach them. And, and this happened only a few years later, actually it happened four years later in 2008, where we, where we got our first contract. And, and obviously for that, we, we already had to lay down some, some results in, in, in, in international competitions.

And they, there, they could already see that, you know, this is, this is getting serious. And, and well, in 2007, I won the solo world cup already. So it was becoming quite serious. So that's how they get in 2008. So the,

Speaker 1 (15m 2s): You and I might have this wrong, correct me if I do, but it seemed like for you, there was this moment or time in your career and maybe, and I definitely want to talk about your action in 2012. Maybe that was, it was because of that. But you know, when, when did it, I feel like any way that your, your career has really transitioned, you know, from really, you know, from the world cup scene and competitions, and really pushing the acro and creating new tricks to it, you know, you're still really young, but I see you now as more kind of like the, like the Raul of the sport, you know, where you're, you're, you know, you're, you're maybe judging more or you're more, it seemed like you got, in some ways, it seemed like you got bored of it.

It was that true or is, or no.

Speaker 2 (15m 51s): Yeah, totally. You know, it's, the accident itself was a, was, was a very unfortunate thing, but what only my close friends know that at that, at that time, in that moment, I already decided to leave this lifestyle to, to stop competing in that way. And actually, you know, winning again in 2011, cause I really, I had a desire to do repeat the, the overall word cup week three from 2007, once more.

So basically in a way to prove myself that, you know, it was not just a one time thing, but I can repeat this if I wanted to, which, which I did, but, but then I wanted to leave it there. And I didn't actually announce this publicly because I don't know, I have full for whichever reason I did not, but then came the accident and, you know, I guess it's quite obvious for, for most people just, just looking at these events from one after the other, and then seeing that, you know, I'm not coming back to compete and stuff.

So it, probably everybody thought that, ah, for sure, you know, he doesn't want to compete because he is whatever, not good enough anymore or he's, you know, he's not the same or Pat or whatever, which is for sure, I'm not the same old pal. I mean, how could you be after such an event, but I mean, my close friends or know that that was not the case. So I, I already actually decided to quit like in the moment when I hold, held the trophy in my hand, basically.

Yeah. But then came the accident and obviously I'm not going to publicly say, ah, you know, I decided to quit after the accident. I mean, that would be, there would be probably even worse, worse option to communicate that. And anyway, but I never, I never, I never actually talked about this before or in any way publicly, so it's quite funny. And what was the other question?

Oh yeah. So you are, you are totally right. So definitely my, my career has changed my, my, my way of seeing things as well changed. I'll be all honest for sure. I'm in a way, not that crazy youngster anymore. And for sure the accident was, was more of a life changing experience that, you know, I had to question many things and, and, and rethink many things, but it has nothing to do with the fact that I stopped competing.

It has way more to amazingly the lifestyle of, of being a world cup. Our pilot is quite intense and it involves a lot of training and most of it, if you really want to get good and stay good, the training possibilities restrict themselves to a very, very few places in the world where you got to spend like at least two months a year, just training hardcore and keep pushing.

And then, you know, the worst that with the current judging system and the current competition, it's still, you know, not necessarily the best who's gonna win, but sometimes, you know, it's the angle of the sun too much activity yeah. Way to subject. And, and, and it's just kind of very disappointing when, and you know, of both ways, like it could be on your advantage or disadvantage.

I mean, sometimes I, myself even got like higher points that I, I deserve, but then again, other times I got lower points than I deserve. So it's, it's really, really difficult. I mean, I, I'm not judging those who, who actually do this truly, really difficult job, you know, giving points instantly watching the maneuver and one after the other, and then the landing and, you know, there's, there's a lot happening and, and, and it's really hard.


Speaker 1 (20m 32s): Any sport that's judged is just really tricky, you know, gymnastics, ice skating, and then you name it. It's just tough. You know, there's always going to be people that like it, and don't,

Speaker 2 (20m 42s): That's true. Exactly. Exactly. And then there comes, you know, on the other side, if you go cross country

Speaker 0 (20m 48s): Flying, it's like, it's, this is super objective. You have your GPS track, you, you, they download your track log and that's your performance. There is no, there's no way, you know, to, to cheat or to change. Yeah. Obviously it's, again, a very complicated calculation how the results come out, but the best guy is gonna win. Like, yeah.

Speaker 1 (21m 16s): So B before we, before we jump into ECC, I know there's, I know there's people that, that, you know, I need to ask you some questions about acro for those of those, the listeners that either want to get into it or into it. But I, I think we should talk about your accident. What, what happened in Zermatt in 2012? Cause I, the other thing is, you know, you, you just competed in the X Alps, which is kind of the epitome of, to me, at least in this sport. No, not the accurate side of things, but you know, that, that if you don't, you're not an unbold person and, you know, to come back from that, you know, this wasn't a sprained ankle, this was a major accident.

And, you know, so I want, you know, unfortunately we participate in this sport that hurts a lot of people, a lot of people get hurt. And so I, you know, one of the main questions I get from our listeners is, is how to come back. And they're not the physical side, it's the mental side. So maybe kind of fold all that into your action. I think there's a lot of learning people could get from that.

Speaker 0 (22m 19s): Sure. It was a speed riding accident. And, and I flew with six square meter, which is now we know that it's too small. So the top guys, the very like super top guns, the most hardcore pilots, they even, they don't fly a six, I mean maybe one meter bigger or two meter, but that's just too small and too fast and, and just super sensitive.

But the problem was not actually that, but just a long story short. It didn't give me the amount of lift. I actually needed that moment, that moment, because I was not fast enough because I, I just made like three flights with it. That was maybe the fourth. And, and I didn't have the lift to, to jump off a cliff. And I basically crashed with the rocks just before the edge of the cliff and that, you know, made me lose the balance.

And probably just by losing the balance that the wind basically just went out of position and, and then I fell. And then, I mean, I remember everything, but the thing is the glider just somehow disappeared. I can't exactly explain why or what happened. It collapsed. And, and, but the thing is that I basically free fall down and that when I say I free for down, I know I free fall down because I do base jumping.

And I know that, you know, how that feels accelerating from like close to zero, you know, going into the free fall. And that was, that was it. That was exactly basically that the sound of acceleration, that wind speed, that was exactly the same when you jump over cliff. So, and that was, that was pretty scary. And, and I can't be really sure, but I think it was probably like a 20 meter for, I would imagine.

Cause I mean, it was quite a long fall and, and when I looked back to the cliff, it looked quite high too, but I couldn't see the exact proportions. Or were you already hurt from hitting the end of it before you went off? Do you remember, or no, I don't think so. I don't think so maybe, but, but definitely not seriously. So the serious injuries came from creating a huge crater in the snow, which I was lucky enough to hit with my bat first, somehow.

And, but that's that basically compressed my vertebras a couple and, and on the way I broke my, my, my, my, my leg in the open fracture and well, I basically bruised, like I brought on my body like crazy, you know, I basically not that that moment, but, but I, I didn't feel much that moment cause obviously adrenaline was taking over.

But, but when I woke up from coma two weeks later, then, I mean, I could still feel like pain everywhere or my ribs and my say the bottom of your butt. Yes. And where the, the worst thing of the whole thing is that I also suffered a head concussion and that actually led to the next day and led to an increasing pressure in my school called school, which for, for, for that reason, they actually put me into artificial coma to basically shut my body down and put it into standby.

And luckily they managed to, to handle this to medication only, but, but during the artificially induced coma, I also got the lung infection, which is it's then becoming a really life threatening situation. So you, your body's already in, in, in a, in a shock from all the multiple injuries, plus the head concussion with that extra pressure, plus, you know, you're in a coma plus you have a lung infection.

So that was, it was really a dangerous combination. And thank God I, I somehow woke up and it's insane, but I woke up on my, on my birthday. So basically I, they, after a while, when, when, when they sold it, I actually start to start to do better. So they, they took away the medication to try to wake me up, but I didn't come back.

Like I opened my eyes, but I was not there. You know, it was like, and, and, and that pose where weight started to become really scary for my beloved ones, because they, the died, maybe brain dead or doctors then, well, no, but, but at that moment, the doctors like didn't know anymore, you know, what's going to happen. So it could be that they couldn't say anything. You know, if, if, if I'm, you know, I may wake up tomorrow or come back next week or come back in a month or, or never.

Jeez. And, and then again, the longer you stay in coma, you know, the more damage you probably going to suffer, the more skills you're going to lose. And so basically they told my family, you know what, you know, we can't be sure when, when I, when I wake up, if I wake up as a, as a two years old, like, or I can't speak anymore, or I can't do this, so fuck you imagine.

So I'm, I'm, I'm really sorry for potentially my family and my girlfriend back then, she went through quite a difficult times, obviously as well, but wow. And, and, and, you know, it's crazy, but I kind of believe in these kind of things like a higher power, which I, I would never call God, cause I don't believe in that stuff, but good.

I mean, the one, God that God only, I mean, those different gods are only creating death and war and in, in, in this society. But if those garbage should be some different power, like more, I don't know, universal or whatever you want to call it. But so anyway, like many, many people like probably hundreds or if not, thousands of people were thinking of me and, you know, praying and not only praying in those convention manners, but in basically any, any way.

So, you know, calling for the energy of the universe and, and, and, and all that stuff. And I, I tend to believe that this could have been the reason why I returned this exactly on my birthday, which is cool. So basically that, that probably that day, that moment, so many people were thinking of me and, you know, wishing that I was there and back, and then I lived, so, I mean, it could be, so I was, I was pretty cool.

Speaker 3 (30m 56s): That's amazing. Do you, do you think there's, I want to ask you about when, you know, like coming back to flying, but do you think because you got hurt the way you did, you know, flying a six meter wing. I know this is impossible cause you didn't get heard flying, but do you think if you'd gotten hurt, like flying a normal paraglider, would it have been different coming back?

Speaker 0 (31m 18s): I couldn't be, could be, but I mean, there always should be difference between, you know, getting Kurt and getting encouraged. And I mean, it's hard to, it's hard to think of a situation. What would be, if you know, would be, if, if, but I don't know, I really don't know, but for sure, getting hurt with something, you know, you are not like, you know, necessarily on the top of the gaming.

Like I did some speed riding, but I was not top of the game and I'm not really a good skier either, so I can somehow comprehend more. Why'd that happen? Obviously, if I know let's, let's say, you know, Alejandro Rodriguez, the small brother of, of, of Felix and that I will die from doing a Misty flip blow overground, and then twist it up and entered a spiral and, you know, had no time to sort it out.

So, and you know, the Mississippi was something he did like thousands of times, thousands of times. Okay. I know he, he did it with a glider. He was not didn't knew it very much. So again, there is, you know, that point of, okay, that was probably the class. He didn't know, he was probably not supposed to do that, maneuver that low, even though he did it thousands and thousands of times with another glider and, and doing it low and stuff.

But, but you can still kind of find the reason why, why it happened because of a different glider because that different brake line, because the different behavior, that was something, something just a little bit different that, that made that, that small difference.

Speaker 3 (33m 28s): Did you, was there, was there thoughts when you started kind of coming back and realized you were going to be okay and you know, obviously horrific rehab and stuff, you know, coming back from something like that, but it was their thoughts of was flying different for you. I mean, was there thoughts of man, maybe I shouldn't do this or maybe your family or, or, or was it just a matter of kind of overcoming the accident and, and getting back to it as soon as you could?

Speaker 0 (34m 0s): Yeah. Actually I was really motivated to get back flying and get bang to get back, doing everything I, I love to do. And I'm coming back flying actually the first time I flew again was in Canada. You know, we met at the Pemberton nationals, the Canadian nationals. No I wasn't here, but just, just before that, I actually did my first flight and the, and then I did the comp, which was quite fun.

Speaker 3 (34m 38s): Was that, was that still in 2012?

Speaker 0 (34m 41s): Yes, it was in August. It was in August, 2012. So it was still, it was quite early. And I, that, that, that was, I was really happy. I was talked to, to, to get by flying in and it felt like the right thing to do. And it felt like the right time, but actually in October I had another accident. I, I didn't publicly communicate because it was just way too embarrassing for me.

And, and, and, and the rehab from that accident even took longer than, than the one from, from Zermatt, because it was basically ripping my, my, my knee cap into many pieces since, and that took some time to recover and it was, and it will stay, but I mean, it was, it, for me, it was way worse than like emotionally and motivation wise.

It was way, way worse than, than the big accident before, because you know, that, that big thing happened. And, you know, you know, I came out, I survived, I didn't die. That was, that was a big thing. And, and I was, so I felt so blessed to have another chance and, Oh man, it was, it was, it was great. And, and then, you know, I, I basically started to do everything I really wanted to keep doing.

And, and then I had a, a really bad landing, like wingsuit base jumping. And I basically like crashed into rocks with some back wind then, and they broke my knee pretty bad and well, that's fat that fat, like extremely stupid, that felt, imagine just basically coming back from a, from a life threatening accident and then, and, and after all the rehab and all the work, and I don't know why, you know, people question your mental abilities because anyway, it was kind of communicated.

Well, not very smart, I would say, so my exit then while I was in the coma was not very well managed from the public point of view that basically, you know, I could be just a retard now because, you know, because I had, I had a, I had a head injury, you know, I was, I was in coma and, and, and so on and so on. So it was not quite clear what actually comes out of what this and, and well, and then, and then I have another accident.

So that's really stupid. And, and especially the way back the motor to get the motivation again, to, to come back from, from, from an accident, that's not life threatening, but in a way it takes even more for it to get back like health wise and takes even longer to leave the crutches, to, to be able to walk again, to be able to run again, to be able to bend your knees again, and, you know, like all the basic stuff.

So, and I guess that serious, like first, obviously the big accident, and then again, this stupid mistake that could have been like easily, easily avoided. I mean, that was a, that was a big drawback.

Speaker 3 (38m 39s): Do you, do you find, I, I, you know, my first really big film project, I'd done tons and tons before that that were much smaller scale, but the first big one I did with, with red bull media house was with, well, GAD on, on the Rockies project in 2014. And he'd been a red bull athlete for so long, and he'd done, you know, he called them rodeos. He'd done so many rodeos, you know, so many big film projects that he, one of the things he talked about, you know, really rammed home, cause he could see that I, you know, at that point I was still, you know, I hadn't, I'd only been flying I think, eight years and, and I was kinda known to take a lot of risk.

And I think that was one of the reasons I was able to become a good pilot fast, faster, because I, I won, I'd put a lot of time into it, but I was also probably taking too much risk, not probably I w I was and, and, and will has, you know, a very, he's been at it so long that, and, and for the most part, pretty injury free, you know, like tweaking fingers and stuff, ice climbing, that kind of thing. But yeah, and he just kept saying over and over, you know, like, listen, it doesn't matter that we're making a film.

Those guys can just film what they get. Just, you gotta be a pilot and you gotta be safe. And, you know, if you get hurt for the, for the cameras, that's just the stupidest thing in the world. And I know I'm not comparing your base accident to that, but do you find that because the profession and red bull and the sponsors do, does that, does that pressure you does that, is there, is there a good and bad side of that

Speaker 0 (40m 19s): For sure. It has a good and bad side, especially when you have a camera running. It's it's, it's, it's a huge, I mean, it's, it's, it's, it's a real safety factor. It's, it's, it's really bad for your health. If you have a comment. I mean, I mean, nowadays, nowadays it's, it's, it's, it's totally normal that everybody has a GoPro and, and films, everything, and it's a good thing because you can, you know, look back and analyze your flight or whatever your three weeks and, and, and, and get better at doing so.

But for sure, there is a, you know, with Facebook and YouTube and all this stuff going on, there's a huge push of, you know, having to bring out something more spectacular, more hardcore, closer, faster, better, and so on. And for sure, this is definitely a big source of accidents, just because people overdo things.

In my case, in, in both of the cases, it was, Hmm. I don't feel like it, it played a, a big factor. Mmm. I actually had cameras running in both cases, but in the, in the first case in ceremony, I lost the camera in the crash. Mmm. From the second case, I have it feeling it's it's, but it's just a big embarrassment because Mmm. You know, I could have done much better.

I could have avoided that, but I mean, you can't blame the sponsors themselves. Cause the sponsors actually, you know, are good thing. And I would say, you know, many people ask me this, but I never felt like being pushed by red bull to do things that are too dangerous. Like if it was too dangerous and I told them, look, this is this. I will not do this. It's too risky for me.

Or there's just too much uncertainty or for whatever reason, you know, I don't feel good about it and SSA. Okay, okay. You know, they don't, they, they never, once, you know, they don't push that. They are not stupid. They don't want to push you into an accident. It's not good for anybody. Right. And, and then they very rarely come up with ideas. Hey, y'all we, we figured out, you know, you could do this or that. And I mean, especially not in paragliding, cause they don't usually, they don't know, they don't have so much knowledge to actually know, you know, if you can do certain things or not, but obviously they came up with some ideas that those were usually not necessarily doable or just too complicated or too much risk, but you can always say no.

And the other thing is I probably like another typical situation where it's, it's hard to say no is, you know, having a show when you know, he, not that like thousands, maybe even then thousands of people waiting to see your performance and you know, you really want to perform you, you, you have that motivation from okay, from inside, you know, you want to do that because you want to, you know, it's not about showing off.

It's more like, you know, showing, well obviously your skill is your performance and obviously in a way kind of showing off. But, but basically you want to impress the people. You want to show them, you know, what you can do the best. And everybody has to know. And especially the limits of, you know, the wind or turbulences or whatever. And Mmm, wow. Many, many accidents happen during like shore flying or our competition because people just keep, just tend to push just a little too much.

And it happens

Speaker 3 (44m 39s): Pal. The last, usually this is a question I ask right at the end and we're not at the end. I got a lot more stuff that I want to go over with you. But you know, your two accidents in 2012, you know, looking back from when you started to fly in, in 16, I like to ask this question, like, you know, what would you say? You know, imagine you're a 50 hour pilot, you know, imagine you're back at that first year. You know, what, what advice did you maybe get and didn't follow or what advice do you wish you would have gotten?

In other words, what would you have changed? You know, it, when you look back at your flying career, what would you like to impress on people that are maybe just getting into the sport or maybe dealing, you know, kind of locked into intermediate syndrome, you know?

Speaker 0 (45m 27s): Well, so it goes to question, I think, I can't really say I would have changed something because basically I was just following my instincts and following my passion and it took me down this road and it was obvious that I mean, accidents can happen and probably will happen, which, I mean, I had two, two accidents earlier breaking first, like quite lower time pilot, I broke my arm like stupid, like super typical beginner mistake, small landing place.

I misjudged, you know, power lines came. I stalled out. So quite typical stuff. And then, and then I broke my ankle from a ground spiral over high grass. I knew these things can happen. And then, I mean, I took this in consideration, but I really just, I had this, this, these crazy motivation to, you know, learn more and keep progressing and, and, and just do more and more and more.

And that was kind of natural for me. And, and I just, I just did everything I had to do to, to feed this, this, this needs. And you know, this is different for everybody. I mean, some, some older gentleman's might be just super happy to, you know, glide down in, in, in, in cold air and then, you know, drink a few beers and, and, and talk about it a few hours and still be really happy about what they experienced and, and, and be totally satisfied.

And this is, I mean, in a way different for everybody. And I think the important thing is just that everybody, you know, finds what's his thing and what makes him happy. And, and, and it's, I mean, not everybody needs to get into competitions and, and fly a hundred K cross country or, or do a CRO or do whatever. It's a, it's, it's, it's a personal preference who, who wants to progress more, who is happy with wins, you know, just gliding down or, or sewing on the beach.

And this is really beautiful about paragliding that you have so many different styles of flying so many different, you know, ways to enjoy, but, but for, for those guys, so, you know, are happy about, you know, just gliding down and basically do those very, they consider safe activities. That's probably, I mean, they are probably in way, bigger danger than the guys who are pushing like, hell, because those who are pushing hard, they, they progressed to a higher level and they have a higher routine.

They are, you know, even though I believe even though they are flying more and they, you know, that's a good aim, the train might risk my risk more, but they are much more in training. And so they can avoid those dangerous situations or they know what to do when they get into one and, and the low, lower time pilots, even though they feel like, ah, you know, I only fly the weekend or, you know, just a few times in a year or so, but they are actually the ones being in, in, in danger.

Cause cause wow,

Speaker 3 (49m 23s): We talked about that on a recent show and I was reflecting on that after the XL helps that I think a lot of people, you know, see, see the, the, the people competing that is really daredevils and, you know, and taking really huge risk and it's true. You're right. But I, but at the same time, I feel like, you know, I think there's a lot of pressure on the weekend pilots because, you know, maybe they only have one day, one day or two days a week and the forecast isn't as good, but they, you know, they try to fit in into something that's, that's not right.

You know, they try to make the day work on a day, that's above there, you know, and you don't, you don't have the flexibility. I think, you know, when you're a full time pilot or you really have a lot of time, you don't have the flexibility to just walk away as easily. I think there's a lot.

Speaker 0 (50m 16s): And, and again, they don't have the routine as well to say no, cause they just, they are there to fly and they want to fly. Cause it's the only time of the week they can. And that's when shit hits the fan. And the, you know, I believe those guys, I mean, it's okay. You know, nobody, not everybody has the privilege like us to, to, to leave out the flying and to leave for flying in a way. And, but people have to realize that there is, there is a lot to learn and practice even without actually going to fly.

So I think those who don't have the time to go flying, but still I'm sure that most of the people would have the possibility even after work, even, you know, if mountains are not close by, but even just go out to a field and do ground handling because that's, in my opinion, that's a, that's a very, very key practice and the very base of, of glider control. And you can learn flying without actually, you know, getting airborne and being in, in safety on the ground, obviously accidents can happen there too, if you, if you, if you go on the limits in higher winds, but, but this is these, these will actually teach you active flying on the ground.

And this is as well as something I will express in, in my upcoming instructional video that, you know, there is a lot to learn through ground tending and people really extremely, extremely underestimate this. And, and you know, it's, it's, I think it's really, really bad that nowadays the practices, well, the schools obviously get through the school, get you the rating.

Yeah, exactly. So now, so now instead of teaching the basics in the basic course, which is for me, like ground handling. So in, especially in the apps where you don't necessarily need a reverse launch for taking off, because as soon as you have that amount of wind on launch that you could reverse launch it's might already not be the beginner conditions to fly.

Cause you either have strong turmoil or you have food or just, you know, front coming in and strong wind and take off. So you should not be flying anyway. But I mean, that's, that's just terrible, terrible thing that, that, you know, basically the ground handling became a different product. Ground handling cores became another product. They are selling like some kind of advanced technique for, you know, like bullshit 100%

Speaker 3 (53m 29s): That's this is what's cool. Is it's I, I hope we're changing the tide a little bit with that, just with this podcast, you'd be amazed how often crowd, we actually did a whole podcast on ground healing, but the, you know, the it's, it's cool that the top pilots, but especially the Acker guys of course, cause you guys are just danced with your wings on the ground, have really rammed that home. And so hopefully we're

Speaker 0 (53m 52s): Anybody can do that. Everybody should do that. Absolutely. Everybody should do that. Even the old guys, obviously you don't have to be like jumping and whatever, you know, that is, that is a lot, a lot to learn grant. And the, I have a lot to learn ground handling cause you know, I'm not the best at it. It's okay. I I'm safe enough for, for most wind conditions to take off physically most places. But yeah.

Anyways, it's so different. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (54m 26s): I'm glad you glad you bring that up. Okay. We're going to transition to cross country here in a sec, but for that, for those that want to learn acro, where, what are the, I saw really cool posts the other day by Theo public about, you know, recommending that, you know, if you're getting started in acro, you should start on a really nice B you know, don't, don't get a freestyle way or don't get an acro wing. So talk about, talk about, you know, what, what should people be?

You know, where should they go? What should they do? Maybe, maybe talk a little bit about SIV as well. And then we're, then we'll transition to cross country. Yeah.

Speaker 0 (55m 6s): Okay. So then I think the opportunity to do some advertisement. So perfect. So well, it's, it's a, the biggest, biggest ever project of mine that Duke, or it's still taking like three years since the beginning and it's still not finished due to basically problems with the personnel I've been working with.

And because it's a huge project, it's ending up being four hours long and it's going to be called Buster acro. And it's a well, it's about learning across, especially the basics from, from spiral dive to ask the metric side and helicopter. And I'm glad you brought this up with Tel and I didn't read this, but I'm really glad that that tail told the same thing because that's exactly what I will be communicating to these widows it's because people went way off course people.

I mean, thanks to the paragliding, starting to produce and market our core products and freestyle products. And now the newcomers think that, you know, to learn acro, they need at least the freestyling, if not an arc growing. And this is obviously the biggest mistake they ever gonna make in their flying career. Because so, and, and it's so common. It's just so common these days that, that youngsters, you know, people basically after like one year of, of, of making the basic course and they, they end up buying whatever secondhand are growing online because, because that's what they see.

That's what they see in all the widows. Everybody's only flying with acro wings, you know, there's nobody or just, I mean, you can't barely see any vidoes where, where people do like more than just the full story, more than just the wing over with, with some kind of certified and, and, and, and regular gliders. And that's, that's, that's horrible. So, and, and back in the days, when, when I started, I, I was lucky enough to get my head hands on an arrow in dune, which was a dag too.

So now, well probably yeah, B or C, probably a low end a wing. And it was great, man. It was, it was actually sold as a freestyler, but he was, it was not, it still had the performance I flew cross country with. Did I flew like, even back then with my lower time experience, I flew like a couple of hundred K flights, 140 K over the flatlands of Hungary.

And, and at the same time, you know, I learned a lot of things, basically everything, everything up to like helicopter, to helical, coal and downloading, and basically everything except rhythmic start an infinity cause that, that couldn't do this glider. It makes sense. But imagine then changing to an orchestra wing or freestyling, having all that knowledge already knowing how those maneuvers go and, and work and, and, and having the routine of performing athletes on that kind of syrup, which is slower safer that the brake travelers are longer.

It doesn't shoot like a motherfucker and you know, it still has the dynamic, it still has the potential to perform this maneuver. And then you just have to, I mean, just adapt all your skills to a different, which is obviously it's going to be again, you have to relearn things, but then you're going to relearn things again from the basics and then build it up from there. And so, and this is how I'm, this is why in the master acro widows, I fly an ozone, the brush for in 95% of the cases.

Basically I do all, I do everything with the rush four, which is a high end B three liner with a sharp nose. And, you know, it's kind of a modern, nice, you know, cutting age pie and big glider. And, and to prove the paragliding word that you don't need, the fucking freestyler, you don't need a, an acro being. Cause all you're gonna do with that is twist up, fall into the canopy and, you know, make it so basically basically in my videos, in each video of, you know, presenting, so a spiral dive, forestall wing, or a symmetric spiral, and then even looping and dynamic forestall and helicopter and assay metrics, I'm, I'm doing it all that with the, with the rush for, and then only at the end of each section, I, I just quickly mentioned, you know, the differences, if you perform the same maneuver with an alcove or freestyle lighter, what differences can you expect?

Cause so I, and I build it up this way because I want the people to understand that they have to learn everything possible with basically their, their, their normal wing, the regular wing, if, well, if they fly, obviously if they fly a high performance rig like a C or D then better with a B a stale, as I said, because you can learn so many things and people just, just ignore this fact.

And that's, that's, that's, that's, that's really, really bad for, for the safety of our sports

Speaker 3 (1h 1m 36s): Over here. Isn't there. Like I remember when my, my like Bible, when I was first learning how to fly in 2006 was, was jockey Sanderson's performance, free flying, you know, and, and, and they, they have, they do some acro in that. And then he talks about, you know, the whole time and that whole series that he's on. I can't remember what the, what the wing was back then, but it was a B and a, and he talked about, you know, just how important it is to, to, you know, you can do everything you can. I, I, what I'm saying is, is there's, there's this there's the same crossover and cross country that I think people really often mistake where they start thinking, you know that, Oh, I got to get that a hundred, my first hundred K flight or my, you know, my first acts.

And so I got to get better performance and they move too fast and they, and they don't have the foundation, you know, they don't have the, I mean, that's a topic that comes up on this show a lot is this is when the motor up. And, and my, my answer is, of course, it's always independent for person to person, but my, my analogy is, is kayaking. You know, like you don't, you don't, you really shouldn't go. I spent a lot of time back in a day, whitewater kayaking. And, you know, we always talked about then was that, you know, you don't really go kayak class four until you're nailing every move in class three, you know, that you're, you can hit every Yeti.

You can hit, you can take, you can, you can work the river, you're working the river. It's not the other way around, you know, and then you're ready for class four and then you're ready for class five. But if you just go from three to six, you're going to die.

Speaker 0 (1h 3m 7s): Yeah. But unfortunately we don't have these kinds of well structured rules or well yeah.

Speaker 3 (1h 3m 16s): Guidelines and you just, yeah, I, there's a, there's a real gap isn't there because it totally, and it also really depends on where you learn, you know, is it, is it the British, is it the Swiss is the United States. I mean, everybody's, it's a real scattershot in terms of, and like you said, it depends on where you learn and some schools don't, they don't really have a very good place to ground handle. So you don't ground handle. That's just terrifying.

Speaker 0 (1h 3m 38s): And, and so, so let me, I mean, I'm happy to, I'm happy you brought this up and let me point something out. So it's a, I always have to laugh when people think about acro as being more dangerous than cross-country flying, and that's really, really not true. And, and people who don't fly acro, they don't fucking understand that because they only see the crazy part of it. And, and they don't understand that by controlling your glider perfectly in the three dimensional space, in all basically controlling your entire polar curve, which people, you know, just control it.

Like 99% of the people can only fly their glider in the, in the positive range of the polar curve, which is from minimum speed to full speed in best scenario for minimum speed to full speed. But there is you can fly backwards. You know, you can do a tail slide, the food store you can. And I don't even want to go any further than just four stores and being overs. And obviously spy will die, but, but, but the full stores and the wing overs are the two elementary and most important maneuvers.

That should be part of some kind of a basic course or some kind of a basic license that people have to master, you know, before whatever getting there they're like certification or the second one or whatever advanced thing, because most importantly, obviously the full store is your only chance in some situations, your only chance to avoid throwing a reserve or avoid getting into an altar rotation, or, you know, correct a big collapsed or a carotid wing.

And the wing over on the other hand is, is your, your tool to maneuver around in three dimensional space on the limit, basically do max out your maneuverability with each glider. And, and, you know, I, I am so upset every time I see one of those thousands of crash widows on YouTube, because, because the, the reason why people crash and get hurt is because they don't have a minimum skill of bladder control, which when they get into some kind of a stressful situation, then, then of course, and they, they tend to well block or, or just do the wrong thing.

And by not being able to, to, to perform a food store, like it was the most natural thing, you know, like, so obviously how, how do you expect them to source sort out certain situations without that knowledge that is, I can tell you there is no way. And sometimes if they would stall, they would get into even bigger trouble than what they're already into.

So, yeah,

Speaker 1 (1h 7m 7s): I think it's terrifying that, you know, maybe, you know, if most people wouldn't even do this, but maybe they'll do an SIV a year and maybe if they get the weather and everything goes right, they might get three or four stalls the last day of the SIB. And that might be the last time they'll ever do it. You know? And, and the 2015 X Alps, I had to full stall three times, one day coming out of the, out of the matter horn and in a horrific amount of wind. And, and like you said, if it's something you're really comfortable with, it's just not, it's a non event.

It's just nothing, you lose 10 meters and you keep flying.

Speaker 0 (1h 7m 45s): Exactly. Exactly. And this should be, you know, the standard maneuver for pilots. And then we would have, basically, we would not have like probably 90% of the accidents with more grant handling and more food stores. That would be like the safety's statistics would be like turning upside down.

Speaker 1 (1h 8m 9s): That's great. I'm so glad you brought that up. Well, for those of you listening, we'll, we will have show notes when this live and, and we'll have links to everything Pal's talking about. And maybe it sounds like your project's not quite ready for release, but when it is, make sure we, we, we blow that up and put it everywhere. Thanks for, for doing that.

Speaker 2 (1h 8m 28s): I'm just, I recently just had to fire the third guy I've been working with this product. So the last two guys were, were editors. Basically, I already, I already precut all the four hours of footage and every, so basically somebody just needs to go over, correct. The sounds, you know, the colors and some animations, and basically just create the final product I don't have time to, and I'm not skilled enough to trust my skills to know.

Speaker 1 (1h 9m 9s): Okay, well, cool. Well, this is a call out. Be careful, dude. You're going to get a lot of emails because of what you just said, but yeah, I'm sure there'll be,

Speaker 2 (1h 9m 18s): It's already on the way. It's I don't have time for more good shit.

Speaker 1 (1h 9m 22s): Well, cool. I can't wait for that. Okay. Well, Hey, I want to be mindful of your time, but the, but before you go, why the big gap between 2009 and 2017, obviously you had the accidents in 2012, but you know, kind of fill me in on that. What was the experience of the 2009 X Alps and then, you know, w w why, why come back to it

Speaker 2 (1h 9m 48s): For asking so well, I didn't come back in 2011, cause after 2009, I told myself never again. Yeah. Because, well, it was obviously it was, I, the, the coin has both sides. I mean, obviously it's, it's one of the most beautiful and, and, and challenging and exciting, but as well, dangerous event, you know, ever organizing in paragliding and well, back then, there was no resting time.

So it was basically a night pass every night, which is now, which is today, most participants could not even imagine how, you know, it went down. Cause, cause you know, now like the athletes are thinking about the night pass as some mysterious, you know, like the crazy stuff. And, and some of them, they don't even want to pull the night pass unless, you know, like super necessary.

Cause it was, it was really, really different style and it made it even more radical. And, but luckily they, they made this new rule because, well, and even with this new rule that you have to stop so long every night, but after a few days, you just, just whenever, you know, the air is calm and maybe you have a slow climb or maybe you have to be patient, do you just start falling asleep?

So it's still super exhausting and yeah. Then came the accident. And I, I don't know, it was a combination of many things, probably most importantly, that I kind of fats is need and motivation to, to prove myself that, you know, it's still possible. Like I'm still able to, you know, I'm even after all this, I'm not creeper and kind of celebrate that in a way.

And, but kind of also test, especially my knee cause I had my knee and also my ankle that was broken. So I was really motivated to just train hard and get feet again and, and test myself and my body to see if I could do it again. And, and, and I'm happy. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (1h 12m 36s): It's a, it's an, it's an amazing journey, isn't it? Well, did you have it, did you kind of have it in mind? You know, because you know, it seemed to me and again, this, this might be really wrong, but it seemed to me that in the last kind of three years you were really chasing it in cross country, you know, you've done a lot of, you've been doing more world cups, you've been doing more comps, you know, was it something, was it something kind of like back in 2015 or 14, like, Hey, maybe I'll give this another shot. I'm getting healthy again. I'm feeling good.

Or, or was it really kind of a last minute decision?

Speaker 2 (1h 13m 11s): No, no, not at all. I really felt motivated to do more competitions and everything, but just, you know, before, before 2011, before I stopped the Procardia, it was just really impossible. Then the big clique or, well, the moment the big change came when I, when I, when I came to ozone in 2014, so we'd always on, I got the tool of flying the best gliders and, and that really pushed me to, to compete more.

But still, unfortunately I could not by far compete as much as I wish to because the last few years, most of the world cups were always at the same time or, or at least a few days where were hitting, one of the areas is, or some other event or they be just way too far and way too expensive. And, and, and it didn't work out, but I really, really, really, I still feel the same and they see what I do way more.

And I'm really like, I'm sitting on needles to, to do more than that, more of that, but the moment still needs to come and hopefully it will come soon.

Speaker 1 (1h 14m 35s): So the, the, the 2017 race, you know, you, you, you crushed it even regardless of the 48 or a penalty, which must've been just brutal sitting there in Italy and, and seeing people making progress and stuff. But what, what was you share with me your kind of highest moment and your lowest moment of the race?

Speaker 2 (1h 14m 57s): Well, the lowest moment, if I may start with that was obviously realizing the, the airspace violation we tried, wasn't quite sure about until the next day. And, and it upset me. Like it upset me really bad cause I was, I was doing great. You know, I felt really strong like physically and I was flying really well and ended opposite me, especially because of my team, because of, you know, there were four people behind me working their ass off and, and doing a great job.

And then basically me doing this stupid little mistake that the kind of destroys everything in a way and the end. And they really, I mean, not only sorry for myself, but, but, but more for them. And so it was, that was a really hard moment. But then when, when I figured that, that, that I, I got the penalty and, and you know, the shit hit the fan and then fuck, I, I, I started to feel like really emotional.

And, and then I was on the way up in a whatever thousand 400 meter climb, somewhere in South sterile, before Moran and, and the first spot I had some coverage, I called my team and they put me on the speaker and then I told them, Hey, no, sorry guys is this socks, but you know, I don't want you to do break down. I don't want you to feel bad about it.

I'm sorry for the mistake, but you know, we're gonna just get, get the best out of it still. And, and, and, and well, we, we are racing. We are in a different race now, but anyway, we were going to keep racing and, and that was cool. Then a brief moment, I had to cry for some time and I'm on the top, on the same mountain.

That was a, there were like three or four more athletes. And, and I was super pierced. I, I, I took off way too early and I almost bombed out. And at the end I did not, but it wasn't great. And the positive or the, the highlights for me, I think I can honestly say that. I think, I think I, I never in my life flew that well, as, as, as during those, those 10, 11 days.

Cause I mean, even considering that, you know, I was really tired and, you know, it's, you're not in the same mindset as if you wait for the wait for the one of the best days of the year, and then you go super motivated to take off and fresh and you know, all just, you know, you put everything on, on that day and go full. Obviously you're likely to make better decisions and stuff, but considering all the conditions, I mean the physical and mental load and, and the whole accepts thing.

I, I have to say, I can only, I can only mention like one single mistake. I know I did a mistake. I could have done better. I could have flown a little bit more, but, but that's it like this one mistake? Hmm. I can really, I, and it's, it's awesome. I mean, I, I feel so happy about it. Cause, cause I mean, sometimes the conditions were really tricky. Sometimes it was, I mean, you know, the standard.

Speaker 1 (1h 19m 9s): Yeah. Like, like day three, when, when you flew over my head, did I, you know, it was such a non event, you know, it was like, we w Nick and I got shaded out going in there and then you came in and, and you know, I bombed and that happens in paragliding, whatever. And, and, you know, but then on the way back up, I tried to take a shortcut and I lost my phone and it was, it just, you know, it was an hour delay that turned into not getting to treacle. You know, I launched later on with all you guys go in the other way. And jeez, you're launching below us really cross really dicey down there.

Yeah. It was two, I flew just across the Valley and then another little hop, but you couldn't get in, then it was so South that sewed so nasty, then it was just, you didn't just miss your window. And then, like you say, you have to, that was my really low moment that night, you know, just going on, what, what have I done? I went from third to last almost, you know, and, and, but it was at the same time, it's like, you just have to shift your mind, isn't it like, okay, I'm not this, I'm not going to play style.

It's that it's a different time now. And then from then on, once I, once I was over that hump, it was beautiful the whole way, you know, it was like, wow, this is, you just have to appreciate it for what it is, you know?

Speaker 2 (1h 20m 28s): Exactly. And this is how I came to, to the race. I knew there's going to be suffering. I knew it was going to be danger and all that stuff. But I also knew from 2009 that it's, it's something really special and beautiful. And, and you just have to see the beauty in it and, and try to, you know, put the suffering aside or at least like be able to, to, to make fun out of it in a way like, you know, to be laughing about the suffering.

And it's really difficult sometimes, but I mean, you have to figure something out cause otherwise it's gonna be,

Speaker 1 (1h 21m 12s): It's a long way to go. So the, the ultimate question, will you do it again?

Speaker 2 (1h 21m 20s): No, no, I don't think so. I mean, no. Yeah. So, I mean, I know, I, I, I know I, I said the same in 2009 and then I came back eight years later, but the thing is, and that's different now that you know, what I learned from two weeks after that is, is the preparation, the amount of time and effort and energy you put into it is, is not balanced by the result, by the outcome in any way.

Like, you know, it's just basically, even, even though when I registered for 2017, I promised myself, okay, well I know you, you probably gonna qualify. It's not like I registered and I see if I get qualified or not. I knew exactly if I register, I will like most probably be qualified again. So I just promised myself, okay, I will do this again, but I will not put so much effort into it cause I have shit, lots of other things to take care of and you know, a lot, a lot of other things happening in my life, which are in a way more important.

And my health is as well, more important than anything else in terms of like competition and Risa and fame and whatever. So

Speaker 1 (1h 22m 48s): Do you, do you lend back that, I'm sorry to interrupt. I just do, do you think in some ways that that helped it, like having, having the distractions haven't, you know, not taking it maybe as seriously, for example I did, but you know, like I, I I've thought about

Speaker 3 (1h 23m 6s): That a lot. Like clearly, you know, Kriegel takes it probably more seriously than anybody and he trains really, really hard and obviously he's, he's amazing and he wins, but I, I wonder in your case, like you, you, you may be coming in so relaxed and not really having, you know, expectations or pressure maybe that allowed you to fly. Cause I, I fly differently in the XL. So I start worrying about course line and I, I make my mistakes are because I'm not as loose, you know, as when I fly normally, you know, I'm more tight, I'm more, I'm more like, I know the move I need to make, but all God, if I don't, if, you know, if it doesn't work out, I'm going to be 10 miles farther walk.

And so I don't do it, you know, and

Speaker 2 (1h 23m 49s): Yeah, I think there's something in what you say. So basically not having such a big expectations, I think certainly helps not to fear so much under pressure and maybe be able to make clear decisions or better decisions and, and not to be so strict to yourself, but at the same time, I'm, I'm a super competitive person. And, and, and then I read this, I return to my, my original thoughts that even though I promised myself not to invest so much effort into this, but I did and I could not help it.

I basically like my lot, the last few months before, or let's say for sure, the last two months, like completely, but completely exhaust to go over my life. And, and in terms of preparation, in terms of training, in terms of preparing basically everything. And luckily I, I, I was lucky enough to get some last minute support and, and, and find the right people to, to have this journey, which was again, kind of, you know, although I didn't really want it to put the Fort into looking for sponsors and puts effort into making this professionally and put so much effort into, you know, looking at the route and spending fucking hours, studying the route and, and, and looking at tracks.

And then, and then even, you know, drive down to Italy and drive down to places and look at certain things. But I did not so much really flying the route that was still like a lot and a lot of Virgin territory for me a lot, but, but it turned out quite well. And, but that's what I mean. So even though if I promise I have no, I will, you know, focus on, on the, on the more important things in my life. I can't

Speaker 1 (1h 26m 5s): Now I proved that I just can't, you tick the box. I can't take it easy. I can't take it that lose because that's not, that's not who I am. That's not how I work. Yeah, totally. It's a, it's a major commitment. Absolutely. It's it's the nature of your life. Yeah. You have, you, you, you at least have one w one fan on the other end of here that it's, there'll be disappointed not to see you in the race. Cause man, you were fun to watch.

That was a awesome effort that you'll never know. Time does funny things, but speaking of time, I you've, you've given me way more than a you're way more than what I could've possibly asked for. So thank you so much. I really appreciate it. That's a perfect place to end. And I can't wait to see this, this film that when you put that out, we'll have to show that to everybody. That, that sounds terrific.

Good luck with that project. Good luck with Columbia and your girlfriend. That sounds like another amazing project. We didn't even get to talk about that. Very cool. It's an awesome project. Fantastic. She's not pregnant just to yeah. Yeah. Whoa. Surprise. Yeah. Right, right. Yeah. You have a different kind of baby. Yeah. Right, right. Let's keep, let's keep it private for now.

Okay, cool. So wait a minute. Oh, you do have a baby. No, I don't. Oh, okay. I thought we were talking about our land and then I was like, wait a minute. What? She's pregnant? The land, the land is the baby. The project. Okay. That's that's what I thought. Wait a minute. Am I totally misunderstanding here? You got a baby come and no. Cool. Well, yeah. Get, get, wait to show you mine. She's a, she's a little angel, but bow. Thank you very much, man. I appreciate it.

Yeah, we should. We should. We should do some nice Volvo. Be flying. You should show me the BV style. I never actually did any serious work. Oh man. You'd love it. That would be, that'd be an amazing project together. I think with, you know, with your background and my background, I bet we could put together something pretty fun. Yeah. We just have to find a time for that. That's the most bingo. Yeah, exactly.

Thanks very much. I mean Texas.

Speaker 4 (1h 28m 42s): Cheers. Bye

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