Episode 58- Théo De Blic and becoming a professional

Théo De Blic is one of the new generation of professional acro pilots who has been staggering audiences around the world with his incredibly difficult twisted sequences. In this episode we learn how Théo has become one of the most-winning pilots on the World Cup tour and how he’s making a living from flying and then we get into the essentials of progression, the ardors of competition, the best equipment for acro, the safest way to learn acro, the steps of throwing your rescue, why you should learn on a non Acro or Freestyle wing, how to find your reserve handle when things are going wrong, training over the water vs the ground, the problems of competing in a judged sport, the fundamentals that most cross country pilots are missing including incorrectly throwing your reserve, the importance of having full stalls dialed, WHEN to throw (ie recognizing and identifying how much time you need) and a lot more. Please share this episode with your pilot friends, it will save lives!


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Show Notes:

  • Théo talks about how he learned at age six from his dad and how becoming a professional pilot became a reality
  • Training acro over the ground vs over the water
  • Flying just for the enjoyment
  • The essential skills- including throwing your reserve!
  • A warning for Cross Country pilots- learn your stalls!
  • Learning helico and deep stall and why you should learn on a EN B glider rather than a Freestyle or Acro glider.
  • Recognizing when to throw and the mental preparation of throwing
  • Being wary of optimism and the importance of being prepared
  • Training acro in the off season and the best sites in the world to get hours
  • Get on the Tour!

Catch Théo’s instructional videos here.

Watch the “Sounds of Paragliding” video here.

Mentioned in this episode: Cross Country Magazine, Tim Alonghi, Niviuk, Ondrej Prochazka, Sup’Air, Raul Rodriguez, Pal Takats, Feliz Rodriguez, Horatio Llorens, Gradient, Jean-Baptiste Chandelier


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Speaker 0 00:12 Hi there, everybody. Welcome to another episode of the cloud based mayhem. Many, many people have asked for it. They owe the Blick, the master jet I acro pilot, uh, who has been making quite a name for himself in the last few years, uh, dominating the world cup scene in acro. And uh, you've seen all his instructional videos, I'm sure from his home town near st Hilaire and all of his amazing pictures and videos and probably have seen his column and cross country magazine has been writing a column now for the last bunch of months. Uh, that is just terrific. Uh, I'm not, uh, by any means, a very skilled acro pilot, but I love reading his column. I've gotten a lot out of that. And so in this episode we talk about, uh, we talk about that and progression and where he trains and throwing a reserve and a lot of safety stuff.
Speaker 0 01:05 And just this, we had a lot of fun. This was great. I w I recorded it on my end at midnight. It was, uh, very early in the morning for him cause he had to get on to training and doing some other things. Uh, but it was no problem staying awake and listen to any that they owe. And, and uh, writing a bunch of notes down. Uh, this is a good chat with the good dude who's, uh, who's a really, really skilled, just amazing pilots. So, uh, check them out online, you know, check out his videos. He's got a lot of instructional stuff up and, uh, enjoy this talk with the old book.
Speaker 1 01:39
Speaker 0 01:46 they are so excited to talk to you. We are on a little bit opposite sides of the earth here at midnight for me and getting, getting going on your big day in the morning. So, uh, I know we're on a little bit limited time, so let's, let's just get right into this. Uh, I've been following your column and, and cross country for the last bit of time and I always really enjoy that and uh, and I've seen a ton of your videos because of course like everybody else, I'm trying to learn from them as well. Uh, but before we get into, I've got a lot of questions to ask you about acro and training and progression and all that kind of stuff. But, um, before we get into it, what I haven't read about or seen, and maybe you've, you've, you've written about it somewhere else, but I'm not totally aware of it. What was the catalyst that you, that got you into paragliding? And maybe give us the, the, the rundown on of how you've become, you know, as far as I know this is how you're making your living in a, in a career. Can you take us through that? You know, how that all kind of went down? Cause it's unique, it's tough and, uh, and I'm sure people would enjoy hearing that.
Speaker 2 02:49 Yeah. Well, I actually, the way I got into programming was quite, quite, uh, easy because, uh, my father was a private lending instructor. So I was, I was, I've always been in a, in paragliding somehow I've always been around lending fields and places like this. So when I was two years old, my father was begin teaching as an instructor or you brought me in tandems and slowly step by step I started drawing and Ling at six and I did my first flights by in solo at 12 so it always, it all went quite smoothly and I was in a really good environment because the school I was in a really, really good pilot teaching there so as well as cross country pilots there were agro pilots and everyone, so I had a lot of, a lot of good experiences there, a lot of good teaching from everyone so it just went step by step until I could fly by myself.
Speaker 2 03:44 And what not many people know is that I was also with my friend who is also a professional pilot and we're in the same place as well. So we were flying together also in the same place. So it was a, at that time all went really, really smoothly. A Island step-by-step with my, with my father, we silver in stricter and I just was not focusing much into, into actual professional piloting and we're just enjoying flying as much as I could until the step by step. The idea of becoming a professional came into my mind but it really took a long time actually.
Speaker 0 04:21 And your from all your videos, I'm a so do you live in st Hilaire? Is that, is that kind of, is that base?
Speaker 2 04:28 Yeah, I don't really live in Santa Clara actually I find a lot there but I live in Shawn Berry, which is in between San Taylor and Annecy actually. Uh, I live there because we have one of the best spot to train in France is there, it's in Shawbury. So basically it's a, it's an afternoon spot. So I go usually to some pillar in the morning and train in a barrel. That's the name of the spot in the afternoon afterwards.
Speaker 0 04:54 And that's, I'm, I, I've flown a lot in that area but I'm not familiar with that side. Is that, is that over the water? The site you're flying in that's a, that's like an afternoon, kind of more like a, uh, not only the dentist. What am I thinking of in Spain? Uh, gosh, sorry. Yeah, of course. Again, he has it like organic kinda, you can just reload.
Speaker 2 05:14 No, it's really like a ganja. It's above the, it's not above the ground. Like organics, a huge forest actually. So you have clips in a forest below. And uh, in our ganja is a place where the Valley wind is coming straight onto the mountains. While Varial is a, is a place where the sun is hitting up the cliff and the valuing is sideway to the, to the clips so you can train really safely because the wind, we never blow you if you're under the rescue to the cliff, but instead it will blow you into the Valley and on the trees. But basically it's not a, it's not a place where we train above ground, above water, sorry. It's a place where we train above, uh, above the ground with turmoil and we just fly all day long from usually 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM. So it doesn't really any good. Yeah, it's really good for, for Aqua, it's very good for cross country, not that much because obviously it's starting pretty late, but for our crew it's a perfect place.
Speaker 0 06:13 Okay. Well before, before we get into the training side of things, then when, when did it kind of switched for you to, to S, you know, when did you decide, okay, maybe I can, maybe I can make a living doing this?
Speaker 2 06:25 Well, I took, actually it came down quite naturally, I think. I think it always comes on quite naturally, these kind of things. But basically I was starting to go into a crew more and more. My father allowed me to go on a trip in Organica in Spain when I was like 15 or 14 uh, to train there. And then I started to learn some tricks. I learned to infinity determining which at the time was quite a great achievement, particularly at 15 and so I started also to sign my first sponsors and step by step the sponsors gave me gliders and then slowly step by step by, I got money out of it. A little bit of money, just enough to pay for trainings and enough to pay for the leaving. So it's in step by step and it's not until I met I think like maybe five or six years ago that I really said, okay, no, I focus on on it and I do it as a, as a real, real job every day.
Speaker 0 07:22 And, and now, so now that you've been kind of doing it and prefer and competing for this this much time, is it something you can, you see yourself you couldn't maintain? I mean, is it, uh, I, I don't want to ask too personally, but is it enough money to pay the bills and, and have a good living? We had Andrea Chaska on about a little over a year ago. It was, uh, maybe even more than that, but you know, he was, he's also doing quite well on the tour and that kind of thing. But, you know, I think you can't get by just with the winnings.
Speaker 2 07:57 Yeah. Actually we cannot, we cannot leave through the winnings of, uh, of, uh, competitions. Uh, the winnings are really, really small. So it's not enough, but full sponsorship and everything. It's a, it's quite enough. I'm, I'm living quite well right now in France who's a sponsorship and Fu grad Gantt and super helping me out. Uh, and uh, I'm making quite a good living out of it and it's quite stable as well. So knows that the, that the only thing is running, uh, I, it's really much easier to keep it running than to start it all over again. So it's working quickly.
Speaker 0 08:33 And what about, what about cross country? Do you, do you also fly quite a bit of cross country or is really your focus just acro?
Speaker 2 08:41 Well, so far the last, the last years it was really merging to AGCO and sensation. Two years is two, two or three years I've started to fly cross country more and more. But because I'm more interested into the, I can fly, uh, format cross country. So I like mostly, so I'm, I can fly tools and cross country and I can fly because only cross country I've, I've problem to see the point, but I can fly. I really, I really get it. And it's really, I really enjoy it.
Speaker 0 09:09 Uh, it's funny that you say you don't see the point. So that, that's going to be my next question with, with acro. So I, I've often done some macro training and nothing like what you guys do, uh, but more just to make me safe for, for cross country, you know, we always talk about that, that you guys are just a Jed eyes when it comes to ground handling and, and, and correcting your wing out of, out of a, you know, crazy situations of course, which you can get in of course, flying cross country. Um, but the, when I've gone to places like Garda or anesthesia to train acro I get quite bored quite quickly. Uh, I mean it's just a very different scene. And you, you wrote a really good article just recently, uh, in cross country about, uh, managing that. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Speaker 0 09:56 Like you're, you know, when, when, uh, when I've gone to like acro competitions and stuff, it's just, you know, your, your flight is over so fast and uh, and you have to go back up and it's just like the, the, your, your, your meat. You're learning these minutia just over and over and over again. Cause it's, it's, it really is repetitive, right. To, to really move and get it right and start getting sequences really. Right. You know, you've got to just practice it over and over and over again. Um, I've found that quite tricky. But you tell me about kind of how you've, uh, attacked your training.
Speaker 2 10:31 Well, obviously there is a lot of ways to train acro but for me, if I had to train in Garda or in Annecy or the time, uh, I would find it quite boring as well because I always packing, taking the lift again, doing a one minute flights going yet going up again. It's quite, it's quite tricky and it's quite boring in my opinion. But, uh, once you find a cool spot like Oceania or like Varian where I'm flying, no, but you stay all the afternoon there and you really are flying for you. You never land, you just fly your tricks and go up against and fly your tricks, then you really can kind of get to momentum of acro because uh, it's really you, you get the training part. It means that you can really repeat it as much as you can, as much as you want it to and uh, and you can really progress you need.
Speaker 2 11:17 So that's actually my old, my old model in acro is really to progress. So when I'm training I want to do everything perfect. And, and if I don't get everything perfect, I will, I will need to train it and repeat it as much as possible. But obviously if I want to do this, I need to have a cool spot where I can fly and I can enjoy flying, not do a one minute strands and land back again. Take the car. So it's really all about is a place you are in training. It's a place you are turning in and all about the feeling you get out of it. So for me it's really a, it's really about flying rather than just doing rents. I've been done the mountain, so when you go from a cross country pilot training to do acro you, you want to learn. So basically you want to learn or to, or to manage your glider in a tricky environment where while for my side of the things, I want to learn everything about managing my glider in everything in every way and even in ways that you cannot encounter while normal cross country flying
Speaker 0 12:23 the site that you fly now. Um, I, I imagine, you know, doing the, the sequences and the, the moves that are, I mean, even for you, I would imagine, eh, more at the difficult end of things. Although you, you, you, you the master, um, you know, do you find yourself in situations that like, go, gosh, I mean, do you, is this a place where you can safely throw your reserve and, and be fine?
Speaker 2 12:48 Yeah. Obviously, uh, the reserve throwing is a, is kind of a, of a mental thing mostly. Uh, I've done it several times in at least 10 times so far. So right now I know that I have the experience and the reactivity to quite makes a good decision. Every time I ask to further reserve said means that I have to or the reflex is ready. So I have kind of a in my head like a step by step, uh, of what they have to do if I further reserve and I follow it every time it was a reserve. So I feel quite safe because when I further reserve, I let you Latino, what I have to do onsite, onsite, Franzia reserve and what they have to focus on and everything. So I always feel quite safe what there was a place, I mean, because I have always focused on the steps is that I know that I, I described in the, in the magazine, uh, and, and I really believe that they saved my life every time. So 100% so far, and it's quite a good ratio. So I always feel quite safe, even in the treaty situation which happened less and less. Actually I was this payment.
Speaker 0 13:54 And are you so that, that article, for those that haven't read, that, um, take, take us through those steps, but also remind, remind me, are you using a cutaway system or uh, or, or in a steerable reserve or what, what's your, what's your, what's your equipment set up first and then take it, take us through what your, what those steps
Speaker 2 14:14 are. So far, my, my equipment set up is a, is not with a, with a cutaway a system. I am playing a normal system with, uh, we feel Roe, Gallo and uh, and the Rhonda rescue as a backup. Actually it's a square rescue as a backup. Um, basically I'm not choosing a cutaway system for just for personal reason. It's because, uh, so far I feel really good with my, with my actual system and uh, and uh, I really enjoy it. And for competition, for the, for example, we usually don't play the cutaway because of the, of the treble wind drains. It was a very equipment drain. Your base canopy is painful because then you have to pay to repack it and if you need it takes a lot of time. So basically we fly a normal harnesses with two rescues. So for the training I use it as well. And also because I have, I'm fully confident in my equipment so far. But what I think my, my honest opinion is that the safest, the safest setup right now is a cutaway for sure. So if you're starting acro it's the safest setup
Speaker 0 15:17 and then take, take us through, you know, not, I realize every rescue, every throw is different. But take us through, you know, your, your checklist in your head, uh, when things go wrong.
Speaker 2 15:31 Yeah. Wish, I hope I won't forget anything but uh, first of all I always check my altitude. It's a first person thing I do. If, uh, if something is going wrong, I checked on a check that I have with my teacher. It is, and if I, when I check out any doctor about the altitude I checked, but I'm not sure or any about mileage that I might have 500 mil, 200. I further is sort of quite immediately, uh, on some decision to further reserve is taken. I check the situation, I'm in more fully. It means that I am in a rotation. We a lot of twist. Uh, am I uh, in backflow a lot of twist I have, am I a big cravat or something to react accordingly. So it means that uh, if I am in a rotation I will further reserve in a different way that if I am, if I have a big crowd playing straight.
Speaker 2 16:20 So all of these come into my mind. Uh, I have to, so it all takes like split of a second obviously, but uh, it's important decision. You have to make a then onsite checked everything. I go to the, in the meanwhile I'm going to my rescue handle. So usually I go from, from, I put my hand on my knee and I slide from my knee to where I think my wrist gender is. Basically I'm doing this to be sure that I will find my race gender because sometimes in a tricky situation you have fallen out of the harness. You, I know you're not in the position, you are usually flying. Uh, so, uh, basically following from your knee to your bets actually is, uh, the best way to find your handles. So usually I do this, once I find my handle, I throw it as hard as I can away from me.
Speaker 2 17:11 So I really don't some people and unscratched it and then throw it to me. I really usually throw it all the way, so, and scratch it and throw it away as fast as possible. And then I just check if my Rescue's opening well because sometimes it's not opening well. So yeah, I have two for the zone one obviously doesn't happen so often, but it's really an important way to to check because some people usually forget that a Andre street is open, maybe partially open, which means that somebody is into glider or something else. So usually it's important to check this and uh, on man does a rescue is the first thing I do is uh, focusing on my glider. So basically a rescue in a glider together. Flying is not a good setup. You're going down really fast and sometimes way too fast for your buddy to do enjoy the lending.
Speaker 2 18:04 So it's important to focus on the glider, the glider, and find a good way to, to take back your glider in. So either pulling the lines of Sterling's a glider, not a lot of times, but just getting your blade or by an unsee. I've done this, uh, I focused on the, on my learning points. So basically if I ever run yellow, I will try to do lane from twin. So I will go, I will put my Rubello phone twin or I will try to land in a good spot. Uh, if I ever run rescue, I will try to see where I'm going to land and to prepare because if we feel the risky, you don't control much. But basically as the best way to prepare onsite, I have checked everything and I'm in a good position for lending is just to stand up and uh, and basically in my head when I am standing, I'm filling up always before the crash because if I were afraid fast, I will stand up anyway and put the leg first because in my, in my heads, and it's quite quite difficult to to say it and to think about it, but the leg is way easier to be present it back.
Speaker 2 19:07 So I had to break my legs. So basically I stand up and I prefer to crush on my legs. And then I checked the situation on timeline and it's all the steps. I'm thinking. It's obviously in a tricky situation. It all goes quite fast in your head. So it's out of that. Uh, but it's kind of all the steps I'm thinking about when I further it. And so far I've never hurt myself, never broken a leg. And I've always landed in quite good situations.
Speaker 0 19:39 Theo, are you doing something, let's say you're, you're using your right hand to throw. Um, are you putting both toggles and your in your left hand to keep your, did try to keep your wing from, uh, let's say you're, let's say you've been in an auto rotate situation, but you're eight, you were able to kind of stop it or you, but you've got a big curve. Like it may go into it again or it may to keep it. What I'm trying to say is, are you doing anything to try to keep it from shooting or doing something else when you go for that reserve?
Speaker 2 20:10 Yeah, for sure. It's, it's really important if you're in the rotation, flew through rotations and you should focus on friends at risk too. But in any other situations where you have the glider and the control, you have to keep the glider and the control because you never know what, what could happen on further rescue. So it's important to keep both of you in one hand and to, and to further rescue everyone. Of course.
Speaker 0 20:33 I'm also using a term that some people might not be familiar with it. Can you describe auto rotate?
Speaker 2 20:40 Yeah, the rotation basically is a, is when the glider and third rotation really fast rotation. Usually it can be either a spiral, more movement closer to the set. Basically it happens, uh, with a Croat, uh, with some twists, uh, because of, so what was your estimate? Three of their harnesses are of the, of the brakes when you twist are basically with a collapse. Well, with a collapse it's not, it's not really usually because you don't need a glider exit by itself and uh, and you don't end up leather reopens, but mostly inaccurate. most of the time with trees because we feel Karabakh usually we can, we can manage worth the risk of autorotation with pilots is basically twists.
Speaker 0 21:29 Gotcha. Yeah. I always think of it as it has that sensation. Like you're going into an infinite or something. Like you're just, you're almost, you're almost looping, but it's, it's a ugly. Yeah.
Speaker 2 21:41 It's basically the rotation basically is a, is a really unique, strong spy, strong spiral. So it's not, not really fun. And usually when you are in a throw station, you're not in a, in a, in a comfortable place because you have maybe a twisted or anything. So you're not in the plank position and it's going somewhere, you don't really understand and it's not really comfortable. It's not something you wish to happen to anybody.
Speaker 0 22:06 Deal. How do you, so you're training over, over dirt. And what we always hear is, you know, you go to places like, were you trained or ganja, um, you know, after you really have the trick totally nailed. Uh, is that how you've approached it too? Or are you learning new stuff and new sequences, uh, where you train there?
Speaker 2 22:27 Well, definitely not in my pot, um, because I've always felt quite comfortable above the ground. So I trained every finger above the ground. I have not learned any tricks above the water so far and, uh, and I've obviously grown with what they think is that, um, uh, if you have the good, uh, so good reflexes. So I already, you always, uh, was really monthly preferred to for the rescue and I knew very well all of the steps to further rescue and I knew very well the altitude idea then everything. I always took a lot of care about my altitude, but basically, uh, I always train above the ground and a lot of people do this because I was always really confident in my selves that I could further rescue, that I could manage the situation and that I had enough, I'll teach it. But I think it's a really personnel matter because some people are really not as confident above the ground and with the resers trained above the water. And I think it's important not to push yourself to too much. So if you're more like a water person, uh, train above the water, it's no problem. There is no shamings that is just a personal feeling I guess about, about it.
Speaker 0 23:38 Yeah, I mean, of course. And just time. I mean when, when you were talking about that you fly all afternoon for hours, hours every day, uh, you know, you just, you just can't get that over the water period. That's impossible. So that's, uh, you're, see, you're just getting so many more hours. Um, tell me about, so, you know, you've kinda, you've seen, you came into it of course, after rowel and all the guys who really set the precedent and stuff, but where do you see it? Where do you see it going?
Speaker 2 24:09 Well, um, when I came into the sport actually, uh, it was, uh, like the golden era, still a route and RCO and Phillips, just, just a Palo. So, and it was zero followers starting when I came into the sport. But, uh, a lot of tweaks were coming in and the first professional pilots were, were arriving into the sport because was so far before, I don't remember a lot of professional pilots. And, uh, so, so far I've seen the sports grow because right now, uh, when I started the, I grew as really on LIFO agro pilot. It means that people were starting our crew and they were really focusing on the, on our crew. And, uh, it was really something like you didn't take so lightly, you know, to go to, to perform an accurate. So far, they see that a lot of people right now are doing acro as a, as a side, uh, as a side effect of for gliding.
Speaker 2 25:04 Like they say go for pork lighting and sometimes they perform some macro flying because they like it to enjoy it. But, uh, they may prefer flying cross country or it's not really their main focus in percolating. But I think a lot of the future in acro is, uh, is in this and I am really happy about it because I see a lot of action, a lot of pilots just playing acro just for the pure enjoyment of it and also for the positive basic and knowledge that it can give them in the normal frame. So basically I think Jacqui is important being in, into something like this where people will fly mostly everything and not just only cross country or just acro, but they will try to, uh, to enjoy all aspects of percolating. And I think it's one of the future of across crossover.
Speaker 0 25:49 W when we had, we had pal on the show, not too not too long ago, and he was talking about one of the, one of the kind of frustrations for him, uh, was, was the judged aspect. You know, that it, it, you know, sometimes it matters. You know, sometimes you got lucky and sometimes, uh, you know, maybe you got more points than you should have. And then other times the other way around, but because it's judged, you know, it's like gymnastics, it's just, it's tricky. Um, do you, do you share the same frustrations or is it something that's just, uh, that's a part of it? That's just how it is?
Speaker 2 26:25 Yeah. Every, every pilot, competitive occupied or you the same. It's really frustrating, but obviously you cannot do anything about it, but, uh, it's a judge sport. So, uh, first of all, uh, nobody's seeing with your performance the same way. I mean, uh, the judges we all see personally on the like it or not, it's not a, it's really an emotional, emotional sport. I mean, either you, you touch emotionally the judges and they will give you really good point or you didn't with T you performed well, but you will get less burns. And so one after you who did as well as you, but just maybe the judges was more receptive. So it's really frustrating for everyone. But as Paul said, it's sometimes, sometimes you are lucky, sometimes you are not lucky and it's due. 80 is actually at the end of the day on one competitions, the best pilot might not win. But on the old two, on the old circuits, on three, four, five competition at the end nominees, the best pilots should come, should come up first, should be
Speaker 0 27:28 the, uh, what's the, you know, for the, for the not, not the level that you guys are at in comps and flying comps, you know, year-round. Um, but just you know, people that you know, you, you want to see that they're excited about flying, they want to become a really good pilot. They want to make sure they get X. You know what, what is that ax, what are the, what are the foundational skills that you see maybe a lot of cross country pilots missing.
Speaker 2 28:00 So the main fundamental skill that many questions comes come to find a time missing is a full stall boat. Well if you were, if you, it was the main part that I'm missing is the rescue part because I see a lot of cross country pilot and that able to further rescue correctly and sometimes not even thinking about the rescue, which I think is the one thing our crew is teaching you. But in the, in the really technical part of percolating, I think the full style is something that a lot of pilots are missing, are misinterpreting because actually a lot of pylon going to SIVs and telling me afterwards you have full stalls, no problem. I've done three SIVs and I've never got the guts to perform it to get above ground again. I'll get a confidence and a confidence to perform it again. So for me it's not managing forestall. And I think when you are cross country pilots, you, you will go into situations where you will get, sometimes cravat you will get, you would get in difficult situations and you should be able to stall your glider. Like just, just we felt thinking it should be an automatism and uh, and I think a lot of cross country pilots so far I'm missing this. Automatism
Speaker 0 29:10 I'm so glad you brought that up, pal brought that up as well and he thought just a considerable number. I mean he gave it a huge number of accidents could be eliminated just with that one. That's actually what my net next column is about in the magazine. So uh, that'll be, I'm glad you brought that up. What are the ones, um, we, one of the things that I hear come up on the web, on the podcast from other pilots, quite a bit, a lot more of the the, the cross country guys too, but uh, like wing overs, you know, that just in that, you know, a big proper good wing over is something a lot of cost cross country pilots don't have.
Speaker 2 29:45 Yeah. Obviously the beauty we go over is something you don't see so often. Well, with the new cross country needs, it's gotten easier and easier. I mean, if you try a viewing and then you train in the free, maybe you will be able to very good Wingo over weekends are free when you will have struggled to get the momentum with an big lighter because it does so much more energy. But for most of the pilots, really good Windover is, is difficult to achieve and I can understand that because it's not, it's not so easy. Uh, you have to be, to really understand your glider and to really get the feeling out of it. So it's not really easy. But, uh, it's true that it's important because it's one of the few, uh, maneuvers we could say that works on all axes, which means, uh, the peach, the illegal part and the, and the whirling part.
Speaker 2 30:34 So it's a, it's really, it's really a matter of it where you can learn a lot about momentum as a glider, which means when, where to pull, you have all kinds of, uh, of way to do Wingo overs. Uh, there is, uh, all the way or the pitch down when you are getting done and going up where you are, when you can pull, when you cannot pull. So control of the outside tip for is not to collapse and everything. So it's, it's a really, really, really interesting school of paragliding window overs. But still, in my opinion, full store stays a main, main problem in, in no days proclaiming cross country pilots.
Speaker 0 31:09 Okay. Um, and then, so if T take me through then that kind of next, you know, so once you feel like not you feel, once you really have stalls totally dialed, uh, what, what are the next kind of moves to, to build your acro foundation?
Speaker 2 31:27 Well, it was a good things. Is that onto of stores perfectly. You are in a safe place, which means that every time you're in trouble you will come back for, for backlight. So basically it opens up, it opens to everything. So after stall is usually what I'm, what I'm focusing on is, uh, is beans and helicopters because it's a, first of all, it's something that can happen while flying. So it's always useful to be used to this, to this feeling. But it's also a really, really fun trick to perform. So after store, I would think the next step is any copter.
Speaker 0 32:05 Okay. Yeah. And that's quite technical, isn't it? I mean, I think that, um, you, you, you recently wrote that, you know, to learn helico and to learn the, a lot of the maneuvers that require deep stall, um, you know, the best thing is to not be on a super twitchy glider. So don't be on a freestyle or an acro glider, you know, get a nice B. Can you, can you talk about that a little bit more?
Speaker 2 32:30 Yeah. Basically, um, any eco is one of the most technical tricks. It's not, it's not the most, uh, the most or the most dangerous, but it's one of the most technical because it always all come down to a really, really precise control of the glider. You are in a really precise situation, so you have to be a really, really strong control of the glider. And, uh, and it's a, it's more difficult to have this controller with, uh, with OutCo accruing or even with a freestyle ring because it's really more sensitive in the back fly in the deep sole position where union B wing, uh, allows you to have a much more huge margins of our Pharaoh. So you can, you can make a lot more mistakes with within the NB and still the glider will help you out a lot. And a N Windsor situation will get a bit more tricky and you will start to lose a controller.
Speaker 2 33:26 gliders. The NB glider will help you out a lot by a really easy responses. So I think everyone should start training those streaks. We fell within the glider. Uh, obviously it's not the case so far, but, but all my friends, I always advise them to go for in big lighter. And so far the results have been really great. And, uh, and they get a lot of confidence out of it. And when they, when they go after, after learning every tricks a really good tricks and, or is it triggers they can on in big later when they go to a freestyle wing or to an accruing, they usually get way fosters and next steps. And, uh, and they progressed really fast. And it's quite often that I've seen friends of mine or people I know training on the NBA glider while they're friends, or when, uh, when we've, uh, we've acro gliders and, uh, aunts my friends went into when gliders went way faster than the people who went straight with . So I think it's, uh, it's, it's kind of a, it's kind of feels like a backwards step when you want to go to acro to take an Ian big lighter, but you will find it a really good, really good way to progress and it will be way faster for you on typing.
Speaker 0 34:43 Yeah, I like that. That's great. Um, the, I want to go back to what you said about, you know, that that acro pilots when, when something goes wrong, uh, you, you know how to react because you've done it so much as it were, were, a lot of times cross-country pilots get hurt is they, they don't throw it all. Uh, that, that's been something that I've seen over and over and over again, especially at comps. I think because people are thinking about a goal and they don't want to blow their day and you know, they want to, they want to recover it. Or maybe maybe like you said, they're just, they're not even looking at the ground. They're just focused on the problem. Um, just talk more about that because I, in in my accurate training, that was the most valuable lesson I got was to recognize, okay, I've got, I'm twisted up four times. I know that that's to take, you know, a considerable amount of time to get out of it. Just, it made me really appreciate height a lot more than I had because before I had, I had just thought, you know, I'm really good at stalls. I've done a ton of them, I can fix this. Uh, whereas there are certain situations, uh, that really do require a lot of time to get out of .
Speaker 2 36:00 Yeah. Wait basically, uh, when, when you are playing acro, when you go for an acro and you always think about, uh, the possibility to further rescue and, uh, that seems that that's what a lot of pilots are liking is that a, an acro pilot, even flying cross country, we always have in his mind that it's possible to further rescue. And it's also no problem to further rescue. I mean, uh, is, there is no shame in friends. There is two, there is no personal failure inference. The risk is sometimes it's not such a personal failure to just admit that that you have been, you have been bested by the elements so far. So, uh, so far it's, uh, it's quite important. I think it's a quick, it's a big lesson and, uh, and basically it's, it just come down to, to just admit that, uh, that you, you cannot do anything more.
Speaker 2 36:49 So sometimes just because you are too low, sometimes it's just because is their incidence just uh, outposts your, your, your, your skills, you know, but uh, in my opinion, that's why that's what a lot of, uh, a lot of pilots should, should, uh, should just mentally train. It's okay maybe on this flight there we love to further rescue and uh, is this asked to happens and I will throw it, you know, it just, it's just monthly actually there is no, no motor skills to friends. A rescue is just a mental preparation I think. And I think a lot of cross country pilots, uh, doesn't have these because for them it's kind of a, it's kind of shameful for the rescue because of a trout off, a twister of just pushing the bar too much in the inter balances and getting the collapse in. I don't know, they are ashamed or maybe they are just more scared of, uh, of the lending or the risk. He was on the lending with the glider and auto it. Uh, basically it's one skill that agro can teach everyone and not on the Acrobat. You can teach it yourself. We fall. It's gorgeous. But just by thinking before playing that maybe it could happen and if it happens then you will be ready because you already knew that it could happen.
Speaker 0 38:02 I like that. Maybe, you know, like we learn, we learn to, to always reach down every flight and, and you know, put our hand on the, on the toggle for to just get that muscle memory. You talked about going out to your knee and over, you know, creating that muscle memory but maybe creating the muscle memory of just acknowledging that this might be the day.
Speaker 2 38:23 Yeah. Basically if you, if you think it's a possibility when's the possibility arrives, you are much more prepared because you already thought about it. So you want to dictate when, if it never crossed your, that it's possible to further with you. It won't be the first thing that pops into your mind in case of, of trouble. And uh, and basically everyone is a, I think in populating a lot of people are optimistic people. I mean to go flying by yourself, you must be quite optimistic and quite confident in yourself. But basically too much optimism is not so good. So I think sometimes it's good to just admit to it wants it won't, uh, just fly by itself. You knows a glider won't recover by itself and you have to further rescue and basically the only way is to be prepared to do it.
Speaker 0 39:10 I like that. Theo, how do you, how do you approach training in the off season? So like you're going into winter now, I'm assuming this, this magical site that I can't wait to come fly that you have a, that I never even knew was, was there all these years as I've floated a ton in Annecy and stuff. Um, what, what do you, what do you do now in, in the winter to prepare for the next season?
Speaker 2 39:33 Well, um, so far winter started since, since quite a long time in France. At least. At least two months and no, it's a, it will be getting to an end soon, but, uh, basically I'm playing, I'm still playing as much as I can. I'm trying to find the conditions, but, uh, just doing rents, so not, not with termite activity with growing up in Dawn and with cable cars. So I'm training a lot, a lot fuzzies and I'm also training physically to, to still be in shape for the season. So running when you're trust just to keep the, to keep the cardio high and to keep the body in shape for the season. And uh, and I, we love to move to two better climates. Uh, so probably in January, February to the Kronos Island in Spain, which are also really good flying spot for the winter. So we just traveled around in the, in the winter. We take some a few, a few weeks off just to relax after the season. And after that we just try to find the conditions are to just wait to sunny days in the winter in France
Speaker 0 40:35 for those who, I'm specifically speaking to our North American listeners, but there's, there's people all over the world that maybe don't have a great spots in their backyard like you do to train. What are, what are, um, you know, give us your, give us a half dozen or more, uh, sites that are, that are great and maybe the times of the year, like if you wanted to get on, not necessarily the, the circuit to train for, for comp flying, it just uh, you know, your, your kind of favorite, most reliable places to train. Acro
Speaker 2 41:07 well obviously it's a must bill. And my favorite place to train acro is a, is in Spain. It's all ganja. And the good thing about it is you don't have to be a a world class pilot to fly there. It's a, it's a really cool place. It's really smooth conditions. It's not so turbulent because it's a much theoretician place. So from four to 10:00 PM it's, it's amazing. Restitution, we fare really, really soft air and climbing everywhere. So this is the most reliable place you can find from may to handoff September. So this is a place to be if you want to train a actual or just basic basic tricks, you know, not even to train Arabic trust if you want to through to get into it. And then there is my, my own place is really cool. It's really great also, and it starts a bit earlier around March end.
Speaker 2 42:01 It ends also end of September and effect numbers, October. It's less reliable, reliable. So now ganja, because I'm on the scale, ganja is really special, but it's still works in quite cute. And uh, otherwise if you have, if you have a, if you want to go in the winter, basically Chile. So it is one of the best spots. It's really working really, really good. And uh, it's really amazing. Oh, if you find a place with a cable car, so basically if you are in Europe, Austria, France and Switzerland are full of those. So place with a lot of voltage in a cable car, you can do runs really fast there. And it's a, it's much less boring than if you go with a car. So it's really fast and it's a, it's less tiring as well. It's obviously less fun than , but it's quite good. So you have Chamonix very OBA and all those places in a, in Switzerland, in France, and in Austria as well.
Speaker 2 43:02 And you have silence in Europe, which are really, really good as well. And, but it's more, it's a, it's more tricky places. It's more for experts pilot because the whole area is a bit more sketchy. It's a box is for rescue, a bit more articles so you have to take care of, you have to really think about it a lot when you're flying. So I think it's more for excludes pilots and will basically, there is places, I mean, so far I've seen amazing places to fly everywhere, even just in a good day, every place. It is amazing. And I think in USA in the end, everywhere, everyone's a glove, you have amazing places. So basically if you find one, just send me a call and give me a call. I would be happy to visit.
Speaker 0 43:52 Um, tell me a little bit about the, the, the tour, uh, you know, when, when would someone, uh, you know, start to consider, you know, maybe I could go compete. I mean, cause it's, I mean it seems to me like, uh, you know, you guys, you and Andrea and at that really top level guys, um, it's a, it's, it's like a world of its own. A, you know, is, is there, is there much room still for people to, you know, to come into that, uh, you know, arena because it, it doesn't, you're certainly not going to be top three unless you're, you're doing the same tricks that all you guys are and not even the tricks but the same sequences and you know, the same runs.
Speaker 2 44:34 Yeah. Obviously the tool, so five, if you look at the top pilots, it's mostly professional pilots training all year long. So yeah, it's, it's pretty difficult to get them, uh, straight away. You need a lot of training to do so. But still, there is a lot of, uh, of pilots, which we, which have a, another level. So we are, we're not only professional in the tour so far. There are also people we for a side job or people just just playing for fun and they come to the tour just, just for the, for the atmosphere because it's a, it's a really cool atmosphere. We are really friendly. It's a friendly atmosphere and I grow with no pressure. Uh, so basically at any level if you have the basic safety levels, which you can perform the basic tweaks which are any copter and full and some basic connection, you are welcome to the tool because you will always find some people to, to compete, to compete against because uh, there's all level represented at the tour. So this is a top level, but as well as, uh, as a lower level and um, and it's all quite friendly. So basically if you feel that you want to compete in that crew and, and your level is not, is not so high but you still, you, you antici to compete, you are welcome because you will always find somebody to compete with right now.
Speaker 0 45:51 Oh, great. And who that, that that's really cool. I thought you had to qualify or something so that, that's pretty neat.
Speaker 2 45:58 Yeah, we have actually like a qualifier, but basically the pilot has to perform full stole Aliko and sat, uh, in a, in a safe way above. So basically as soon as, as he safe and you see that he's safe, he's is a lot to enter the competition. And so far as the system is going to change, uh, as a confirmation that we should have qualify or two also going on in the coming seasons,
Speaker 0 46:26 w who, who runs the tour and what, where does, where does the money from that come?
Speaker 2 46:32 Um, basically every, every competition has its own sponsors so far. So, uh, so if there is not one main sponsor for the tool, but, uh, usually the competition finds money through the state. Basically the organize a world cup or something like this and the ends, the countries, the States in the end, the local local companies gives them money for, to pay for the expenses as well as their entry fee of the tour. So, uh, helping a lot to organize it, to pay you to pay his, uh, all of expenses for the, uh, for the event. So basically we, not every main sponsor, but just look at sponsors plus entry fees paid by the pilots.
Speaker 0 47:14 Hmm. Cool. Theo, if you, if you look ahead a say five years, where do you see yourself in five years?
Speaker 2 47:23 Well, are you, I am pretty much in a, in a, in a similar spot because I've, I've worked really hard on my career to make it working and running and I opened it in five years. They should, I should still be able to enjoy this, this career and to, to perform. So obviously when I look in five years there, I hope that I will be two trainings till competing and still living out of paragliding aquifer for country four. I can fly food or is this fun stuff that is percolating?
Speaker 0 47:54 You've mentioned hiking fly now a couple of times. Are we going to be a, are you going to be a surprise show at something like the X Alps here one of these years?
Speaker 2 48:02 Well, obviously I'm morphing for it. Uh, I, I will be competing with this strain in the end so I can play competition in France. I've competed also last year in some and I'm training a lot for it. So, so far there is nothing decided. But uh, but I'm training and I, I'm hoping to get to the level. Yeah.
Speaker 0 48:22 Great. Well, I, I would, uh, I'm going to do it again I think in, in 2019, so maybe we'll, maybe we'll see you there at the starting line in Salzburg. That would be a, that'd be a blast. But DUI, really appreciate it. This is a, this has been a real honor and I thank you for your time. I know you've got another meeting coming up, so, uh, let's, let's call it there. Is there anything, uh, you'd like to say about your sponsors or any of the people that follow your column or anything before, before we sign off here?
Speaker 2 48:53 Yeah, obviously. Uh, first I would look to two things if you want to follow the colon because a, it's been a first for me this year, is it season two, right. A colon. And I've got really, really nice responses through it. And, uh, and, uh, if people have questions, uh, about the color NOFX suggestions, uh, I'm open to suggestions because it's, uh, it's quite defense stuff to write and I'm really enjoying it and I hope that everyone is finding my devices and Michael in a, uh, interesting and helpful also. And uh, and less of what I would like her to. I, I'm, I would like to thank my sponsors because, uh, as an athlete I cannot live without them. And uh, and they are like the main, the main, my main support there. And they helped me out in many ways other than financially but also, uh, helping me out in my, in my daily life for their product and everything. So it's a, it's something we don't say enough but doesn't actually, it, we are totally dependent on them and it's really nice to see that they are there to support this. So many graduate super and uh, all the, all the programming industries reporting is so we are there and towards the time and we need to things for it.
Speaker 0 50:09 Great. Great. Thank you. I do you know what, before we sign off one, one more question. And I'm sure a common friend of ours, uh, John Babb T chandelier, do you have any, you know, he's been putting out these amazing films for all these years. Uh, and he and I keep missing each other on, on potential projects together. You know, of course I'm more cross country, but we've, we've also done some really fun film projects. Um, do you have anything planned with, with him in the future? Are you guys friends?
Speaker 2 50:37 No. Yeah, yeah, we are friends for sure. We know each other and we, we, we see each other quite often because obviously it's a small world and we are friends and that we don't have any project together because obviously so far we have been in, uh, in different, uh, areas and with different sponsors. So it's always difficult to, to create things, uh, with different sponsors. But, uh, I really enjoy his work. And so far I think he started some flux, which I really enjoyed those as his Laszlo was really, really nice and it was a new approach for him and it was very nice. And uh, it's really nice to see, to see him doing such nice work. I think it's making really good promotion for percolating globally because uh, yeah, it's easy to see that it's a nice boat and he really enjoys with what he's doing. And for me it's the main, main thing is to just enjoy what you are doing. So Sheba is really showing it and it's, it's really nice.
Speaker 0 51:32 Fantastic. Great. Theo, thanks so much. Uh, let's you get off to your other meeting. I really appreciate it. Uh, and also for those of you who, who aren't aware of it, uh, please check out the CEO's column and cross country. It is absolutely fantastic. Whether you fly ACRA or not, it's a, it's, it's really terrific. I appreciate you the effort you're putting into that, you know, it's great. And uh, thank you. I appreciate it.
Speaker 2 51:55 Yeah, thank you. Thank you for the opportunity for the personality. It was a nice talk. I really enjoyed it.
Speaker 0 52:01 Oh, very nice. Great. See you later buddy.
Speaker 1 52:06
Speaker 0 52:10 I hope you enjoyed that. Pretty quick talk with the oil of lik uh, fantastic to hear all his thoughts about acro and training and in how we cross country pilots can learn from macro and and get a lot safer. I hope you enjoyed that. Uh, if you are getting something out of the show or this one or one of the previous episodes or if you're just discovering the show, uh, there's a whole bunch of hours and hours and hours of awesome content back there. Go back and dive deep into uh, some of those other shows. Just a ton of fantastic advice and if you are enjoying it, I like to think put this out there and think of it like a magazine subscription or something. All we ask for is a buck a show. You can find those links to support the show on cloud-based may hum.com either through PayPal as a one off or you can sign up to kind of set it, forget it through patrion.com forward slash cloud-based mayhem. But this is a, we're not using sponsors to support the show cause I hate having to do all that announcing in the beginning. And I know I'm ready to just fast forward through it anyway. So this is a listener support podcast. You are what makes this possible. And, uh, we did bring it to you, so, uh, send us a buck show. We really appreciate it and we'll see on the next one. Cheers.


2 thoughts on “Episode 58- Théo De Blic and becoming a professional

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