Episode 54- Dustin Martin and finding the magic

Dustin doing what he does best

In 2012 Dustin Martin beat out legendary Red Bull pilot Jonny Durand by a couple kilometers in Texas to go farther than anyone ever has in a hang glider- 761 km. And the record still holds. Was it his most memorable flight? Hardly. Dustin began his flying career in his early teens by flying RC airplanes and his love and interest in the sky hasn’t abated since. From RC he graduated to sailplanes but his first flight in a hang glider at the age of 15 lead to being fired at the local Sailport because the first flight became an obsession that didn’t allow for much on the side. In this wide-ranging and laugh-out-loud episode Dustin takes us through some close calls with tornados (plural!); how to assess a gust front; a brief history of hang gliders; the importance of mentors; how to find good lines; avoiding sink; working light lift; reducing drag; advice for new pilots; chasing world records; sponsorship; being a student and building a foundation; the origins of the Cloudbase Foundation, the dangers of moving to a higher performance wing too fast; what it takes to win; speed to fly; maintaining passion and a TON more. This was one of the most enjoyable and informative discussions we’ve had on the Mayhem, please don’t miss this one!

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Show Notes:

  • Dustin discusses a few scary but super memorable flights flying in gust fronts and tornados
  • How to increase performance/ reducing drag
  • The origins of the Cloudbase Foundation
  • RC flying and the crossover to flying hang gliders, paragliders and sailplanes
  • A brief history of hang gliding and some of the technical aspects of the craft
  • Finding the magic
  • Comp flying, sponsorship, passion
  • The world record in Texas (check out this AWESOME article in the NY Times) and chasing world records and the incredible end of the day eeking it out over Jonny
  • Stepping back for safety and perspective and coming back from some discouraging comps
  • Moving from Moyes gliders to the Wills Wing Team
  • What’s happened to hang gliding in the last decade and the loss of the community
  • What PG pilots can learn from Hang gliders
  • Finding good lines, avoiding sink, working light lift, using cloud streets, flatland techniques, etc.
  • Speed to fly, macready, bar…how fast should we fly? The importance of staying with the lead group and the dangers of trying to outsmart the guys early in a race
  • Checking the ego
  • Overcoming lulls in the love of flight and the importance of flying the good days- and skipping the bad
  • What would you change if you could?


Mentioned in this episode: Onnit, Play Hard Give Back, Joe Rogan, Tim Ferriss, Jeff Shapiro, Larry Tudor, Daniel Velez, Kevin Carter, Moyes Gliders, Wills Wing, Tom Wisenburger, Kraig Coomber, Rafael Saladini, Donizete Lemos, Marcelo Prieto, Frank Brown, Jeff O’Brien, Cloudbase Foundation, Ricker Goldsborough, Davis Straub, Raul Guerra, Joao Manuel Brum, Steven Pearson, Xandi Meschuh, Matt Beechinor, Jonny Durand, Hans Heydrich, Bob Thompson, Jeff Reynolds, Brad Lindsey, William Holmes, Kurt Warren, Joel Ribecki, Zac Majors, Tyler Bradford, Manfred Bohner, Brett Hazlett, Kevin Brooker, Perlan Project, Will Gadd

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2 thoughts on “Episode 54- Dustin Martin and finding the magic

  1. Pingback: 7 Best Places in the US To Go Paragliding and Hang Gliding

  2. Pingback: Episode 157- Jonny Durand: riding Tsunamis, chasing records, comps and learning | CLOUDBASE MAYHEM

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