Episode 86- Annalena Hinestroza and managing a passion for flight

Annalena, Lukas and Ernesto Hinestroza

Annalena Hinestroza was introduced to paragliding in 2007 when she lived in Merida/Venezuela for a university exchange and met her future husband, Ernesto, a name all World Cup pilots of course recognize. The couple have traveled the world together chasing airtime, competitions and the flying life. Annalena has been working with UP Paragliders since 2011 and has won the German Championships in 2015 and 2016. Their son Lukas was born last year, which hasn’t seemed to alter their lifestyle too much but has changed the way Annalena approaches flying. In this wide-ranging episode we discuss women in the sport, the importance of getting solid foundational skills, gear and why people choose the wrong equipment for their skill level, how to get into comps and how to be an efficient pilot, why learning slowly is so important, and why flying a more reasonable glider well is about the most rewarding thing you can do. We recorded this episode live in Colombia- enjoy!

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Show Notes: 

  • The magic flights
  • Meeting Ernesto and seeing the world
  • Mentors, obsession, and backing off- managing the arc of a flying career
  • Flying around the world
  • The comp arc- you get a taste, you get addicted, then it fades…but is there a hurry?
  • Would you encourage your child to fly?
  • How does flying change after you have a child?
  • How do you fly with more safety in mind- where to focus?
  • How to be “careful with your emotions”
  • How does flying differ between men and women?
  • Wing choice and moving up too fast
  • Flying good lines
  • What are the foundational skills you need to focus on?
  • Comps- what to look out for and the danger of wanting to win
  • The importance of learning slowly and focusing on the ENTIRE flight- it’s done til you’re on the ground
  • Know when to land and know when to stop the day- recognizing when you are worn out
  • Annalena’s favorite places to fly


Mentioned in this episode:

Ozone, Niviuk, Greg Hammerton, FlyBubble, British Open, Adel Honti, Ernesto Hinestroza, Carlos Cordido, John Sylvester, Eddie Colfax, Jim Mallinson, Isabella Messenger, Jamie Messenger, UP Paragliders, Josh Cohn, Xevi Bonnet, Jessica Love

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