Episode 169- Alex Schweig and not being a passenger to destiny

Alex has a very methodical approach to learning and training which we dove into in this talk. Alex likes to say “flying bags around the sky with grace and tact” is important, style is important, and style isn’t just the physical movements we make under canopy but the holistic approach we take (or should take) to every aspect of flying and life in general.

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Episode 166- Going Big and dealing with Setback with Serena Ronchi

season Serena won the female XContest and flew OVER 10,000 kilometers in a single season! She quit her job as a teacher and went on an 8 month sabbatical to fly and spent over 3 months in the Sertão of Brazil. Serena takes us back to her time in Brazil and learn about flying in a lot of wind, towing, figuring out the flats and having it all come together. Serena takes us through her journey to become a pilot, the addiction that set in, her dreams and hopes with flying and then the accident that brought it all to a sudden halt and the extraordinary and difficult road she’s undertaken to recover.

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Episode 164- Veso Ovcharov and the Power of Desire

Ovcharov hails from Sofia, Bulgaria who’s background is in acro but he’s about as all-purpose as you can get in the realm of free flight. He’s passionate about wing suit base jumping; he just competed in the UAE Hike and Fly Championships in Dubai; he won the overall XContest this year chasing huge distance in Brazil and around the world; he competed in this year’s World Championships in Argentina and still holds the world record for Infiniti tumbling. We talk in detail about his amazing year, the art of chasing huge distance, the craziness and accidents that happened in Dubai, Chrigel’s continued amazingness, his incredibly forward-thinking 3RS acro harness, how we really can follow our dreams and a ton more.

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Episode 149- Dilan Benedeti and learning to deal with gravity

My training took place during one of his SIV clinics with a bunch of very new students so I got to watch his team and his methods in action and came away super, duper impressed. In this episode Dilan shares why we don’t have any kind of standardized training in the US and much of the world and why that needs to change; why so many pilots quit the sport too soon; why so many pilots choose the wrong wing during their progression; the dangers of “risk homeostasis”, especially in free flight; why having a school AND selling gear creates so much conflict of interest (and why this isn’t allowed in many countries); why the US instructor system is so flawed; and why having a basic understanding of psychology is so critical when you leave the ground.

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Episode 126- An oldie but goodie with the legend Pal Takats

This week we’re doing our first “rerun” as Gavin is in the field deep in remote Nevada on a major SAR effort to find our good friend James “Kiwi” Johnson, who was recently on the show. We will get caught up with new shows on schedule soon. This is our most popular show to date and we’ve cleaned it up for your listening pleasure. Listen and learn!

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Episode 93- Wolfgang (Wolfi) Siess and the Hang Gliding obsession

Wolfi Siess has been chasing it hard for the past 19 years. He watched his Dad fly from the time he began to walk- the flying blood runs thick in this family! As soon as it was legal (and his mom gave him the ok!) Wolfi took to the skies and hasn’t looked back since. He’s big on the comp scene, flies tandems all summer, speed flies, makes films- basically does whatever he can to keep the dream alive. Four years ago Wolfi tumbled low on a perfect day in Elsinore and a delayed fear injury set in that took over three years to come back from.

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Episode 78- Cade Palmer and the Ultimate Pursuit

Cade Palmer is a speed test pilot and designer for Ozone Paragliders; is one of the most accomplished aerobatics pilots in the world; flies tandems professionally in Jackson Hole, Wyoming; regularly sessions some of the most awe-inspiring terrain on Earth with his paramotor; of course flies small planes (and jumps out of them!) in his free time; flies RC planes and lives year-round in a van with his girlfriend and fellow air junky Becca Bredehoft and their dog Talla in pursuit of all things free-flight. In other words- he’s got the life most pilots can only dream.

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Episode 75- Dominic Rohner and Chasing the Dream

Dominic has been flying for 21 years, recently sold his share of a very successful school (Paraworld) in Zurich and has been living the dream- traveling the world in the pursuit of the skycrack. From Tanzania and Kenya to Brazil to Colombia Dominic takes us on a journey that only a paraglider can do. This one is filled with great advice, many laughs, a few solid warnings, fantastic travel stories, the heuristic decision making process, and does what any good free flight talk should do- get you STOKED to go flying!

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Want to Learn Acro? Start with the right kit.

In summary- if you’re like me and keen to learn some of the more technical acro moves and also like me and have a limited playground, do yourself a favor and get the right kit. It’s sexy getting a bad ass acro wing, but you’ll pay the price trying to tame it. Everyone I’ve spoken with who has helis dialed says it takes hundreds and hundreds of attempts just to get close. You can get lucky every once in awhile, but to really nail it you’ve got to have a lot of time, a lot of patience and the right tool. 

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