Episode 34- Tom Payne and Insights into our world

Tom Payne having an epic high day at 4500M over the Bernese Oberland in the Alps


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, decade’s long career in paragliding. He’s been a major player in the comp scene and is well known across Europe for flying big, creative triangles. He created a tool many pilots use, XCPlanner (and if you don’t, you SHOULD!) which led to him getting a job at Google. In this episode we dig into Tom’s analytical mind and his unique view into flying that every pilot can learn from. We talk about his rather brutal 2009 X-Alps campaign; what the end of the Open class meant for his career and the sport; how the place you choose to live impacts your progression; how to approach training and how you can learn the most from the bad days; the dangers of chasing numbers (we discuss the potential evils of something like XContest); how to break the 100 km barrier (hint hint- planning!); how Tom’s support of Jon Chambers helped get him into 4th position in 2013 and how conflict resolution is one of the big keys to doing well; why Chrigel dominates; the importance of SIV; maintaining passion after you’ve ticked all the boxes; safety; and a LOT more. Please enjoy this wonderful episode with Tom Payne, we cover a lot of ground.


A buck an episode, that’s all we ask.

Support me via Patreon

Subscribe to the Cloudbase Mayhem Podcast on Stitcher Radio, Google Play, Tune In, or ITunes!





Show Notes:

  • Tom talks about single surface wings and his recent flights with the new Niviuk P Tandem- a 3.1 kg wing
  • Tom talks about a cascade that should have ended in death. We talk reserves and probabilities.
  • What ending the Open class meant for Tom’s career and the sport and how it decimated the competition scene
  • The new CCC class- does it solve anything?
  • How Tom got into flying and his immediate obsession with the X-Alps.
  • Want to get good? Live in the right place- close to reliable flying.
  • How to approach training- be KEEN, be HUNGRY, live in the right place.
  • Tom talks about his 2009 X-Alps campaign and where it went wrong.
  • How to train for the X-Alps
  • XContest. Is it all good? The dangers of chasing numbers
  • Flying is a technical sport, so who does it appeal to and why?
  • How to break the 100 KM barrier. Hint- planning!
  • Supporting Jon Chambers in 2013- and helping him get to 4th position. An inside view into the X-Alps.
  • How SIV saved Tom’s life and why it’s so important, and what it really teaches us.
  • How to maintain your passion for flying after you’ve ticked all the boxes
  • Safety- what Tom’s learned after a couple decades of flying. Number one rule- make the right decision whether or not to take off.
  • Risk homeostasis theory and how we should be thinking about it when it comes to flying
  • Mental preparation for the X-Alps and just flying
  • Mentioned in this episode: Cody Mittanck, Bruce Marks, Jon Chambers, Chrigel Maurer, Ed Ewing, Alex Hofer, Ben Abruzzo, Hugh Miller, Toby Colombe, FlyEO, Russ Ogden, Dave Turner




Social Media


Share this post with your friends!
Connect with the Mayhem!


One thought on “Episode 34- Tom Payne and Insights into our world

  1. Pingback: One or Two Reserves for paragliders? | CLOUDBASE MAYHEM

Comments are closed.