Episode 79- Felipe Rezende and breaking the mold

Felipe Rezende is a fascinating individual. His roots in surfing and windsurfing and growing up in the Sertao in Brazil and his background in architecture, surfboard design, and kitesurfing wing design lead him down an unplanned path to paragliding and eventually designing paragliders. Now based in Sydney, Australia Felipe is five years into FLOW Paragliders and their designs and wings are getting some serious attention. Felipe is also a really accomplished pilot. He was on the Sol team for years, regularly races on the PWC circuit and has done some wicked big XC flying. In this episode we discuss why we are sometimes in the “flow” and confident and everything is just clicking and why at other times we can’t seem to get anything right, and how we can maybe improve the odds to be in the former. Felipe talks about how important it is to visualize how a wing flows through the air and how understanding fluid dynamics, which he learned through surfing and shaping lent to not only flying better, but lent to designing better wings. Felipe’s story is fascinating, hope you enjoy!

PLEASE- our feathered friends in Indo need your help. Our community lost 7 pilots recently in the Earthquake and the Cloudbase Foundation is leading the charge in trying to raise $60,000 for their families. This is urgent- if you can help out, any amount goes a long ways. Click here to learn more


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Show Notes:

  • Gavin recounts a story of nearly dying in a waterfall back in his kayaking days and some thoughts on “listening to the voice”
  • Felipe recounts how he got into flying and how he learned to fly in the Sertao in Brazil
  • Flying the Sertao- it’s not for the faint of heart and a great place to cut your teeth
  • Team flying magic
  • How surfing and shaping surf boards lead Felipe to flying and designing wings
  • Glider design
  • How do we get more performance out of wings going forward?
  • What goes into building a glider- design software, prototypes, certification…
  • Gliders are getting better and better, but it’s not safer if you look at the accident numbers- why?
  • What do the future’s paragliders look like?
  • RASP safety system in gliders
  • How can the certification process be improved?
  • Why make paragliders?


Mentioned in this episode:

Hugh Miller, Ed Ewing, Cross Country, Cloudbase Foundation, Ozone Paragliders,  Sebastien Benz, Rafael Saladini, Donizete Lemos, Frank Brown, Sol Paragliders, Che Golus, Bruce Goldsmith, Nova, UP, Ozone, Niviuk,  Flow Paragliders, Luc Armont, Tao Berman, Chrigel Maurer, Bill Belcourt, Goran Dimiskovski, Garmin, Marko Hrga Hrgetic

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