Episode 25- Kari Castle and flying for life

Flying the Owens Valley, California

Flying the Owens Valley, California

Kari Castle has been flying for 35 years. You name it, she’s flown it. Hangliders, paragliders, paramotors, speed wings- her passion for flying began early and she still goes hard. She was winning hang gliding competitions before paragliding was even invented and then when paragliding came around she went ahead and won a bunch of those too. A fraction of her resume is enough to put most of us to shame:  14 national HG championships, 6 (or 7, she can’t quite remember!) national PG championships, 3 world HG championships, multiple distance records, Red Bull athlete, and that’s just the beginning! Kari has made a life and a living out of flying and her wealth of knowledge is a tank I try to tap in this great conversation with a true legend in human flight. We talk about her two reserve tosses on a hang glider (you’ll dig this!); how Kari made a career out of flying; the dangers of the “comp” mentality; her 2005 X-Alps campaign; how to judge risk; what it’s like to feel really small in really big air; how to avoid really stupid mistakes; coming back from fear after an accident or scary episode and a LOT more. Cloudbase Mayhem listeners- you’re in for a treat!

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Show Notes:

  • Kari talks about how she got into hangliding and her first comp (which she won, before she even know how to turn a 360!)
  • The dangers of learning too fast
  • How she made a career out of flying and finding sponsorship
  • Kari recounts her first reserve toss after tumbling a hanglider
  • How to avoid stupid mistakes
  • Kari recounts some of her competition career and how she became a Red Bull athlete
  • The importance of having fun, and how to recover after an accident or scary episode
  • Feeling really small in really big air
  • What’s more dangerous- Hangliders or paragliders?
  • What kind of person is the hardest (most dangerous) to teach?
  • Lessons learned from the accidents last year at US Nationals in the Sierras
  • The dangers of comp mentality,
  • Mentioned in this episode:  Tom Dorlodot, Ondrej Prochazka, Jugdeel Arwal, Red Bull, Chris Santacroce, Paul Gushlbauer, Jocky Sanderson, Cody Mittanck, Will Gadd, Honza Rejmanik, Nate Scales, Russ Ogden, Josh Cohn, Bill Belcourt




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