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…and a lot more

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Episode 52- Pal Takats X-Alps, Acro, and what you can do to stay safe

Pal Takats began flying 16 years ago in the flatlands of Hungary and has since created a career any pilot would envy. One of the first Red Bull acro pilots and the man responsible for many of the current and modern acro combinations (the Joker, Cowboy, Esfera, etc.) Pal does paramotor demos for Red Bull at air races around the world, base jumps in his free time, flies speed wings, has twice competed in the Red Bull X-Alps (he was 8th in 2009 and 7th in 2017), is an exceptional cross country and world cup competition pilot but it hasn’t all been a walk in the park to get there.

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Episode 45- Chrigel Maurer and becoming an Eagle

Chrigel Maurer is the undisputed king of paragliding and after his 5th straight X-Alps win I get the feeling that he’s just getting started. Chrigel was the world champion 3 times, is an acro champion, test pilot for Advance, two times winner of the X-Pyr, regularly dominates the Swiss League and just simply wins- over, and over and over again. Everyone has heard of Chrigel’s famous training (ground handling in VERY strong wind, flying in the lee of cornices…) but most don’t know the extent of how hard and specifically he trains. How much is talent versus persistence?

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Episode 35- Christina Kolb and becoming a complete pilot

Christina Kolb is the current female world acro champion and one of the few women in the world who has perfected the Infinite tumble. In Annecy this year she won the female class and was 12th overall- an incredible achievement. In this episode we visit and revisit the cause of many accidents and how preventable they are, how to learn acro, the importance of SIV and ground handling, why altitude is more important in many cases than water, best and worst advice, how to reduce stress on launch, and a lot of advice for beginners and how to avoid the “lemming affect.”

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Episode 28- Max Marien and the ACRO pursuit

Max Marien broke the Infinity Tumbling record after jumping out of a helicopter in 2012, going right up and over his wing an incredible 374 times. Max started flying at the tender age of 12 and makes his living flying tandems at the Torrey Pines Glider port. He’s been frequently requested on the show and this talk is awesome. Whether you are pursuing acro or not, there’s a lot of great knowledge and advice here, including how risk changes after you have kids; how to get into acro; the most common cause of accidents; the most dangerous maneuver (you might be surprised); the scariest maneuver; a ton of info on reserves and their use; safe ways to progress and a lot more. Enjoy!

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Episode 24- Isabella Messenger and Unconscious Competence

Isabella Messenger took a paragliding course in 2007 and quit her job as an IT Specialist after the first day. She’s been chasing it ever since. She and her husband and air-Jedi Jamie Messenger spend half their year in the Alps traveling in their camper van and the other half in Nepal flying as much as they can. You name it, Isabella flies it- world cup competitions, acro, vol-biv, tandem. In this inspiring episode we flush out why there aren’t more women in the sport, the importance of surrounding yourself with the type of pilot you want to become, what’s so special about flying, how pilots develop an “unconscious competence” that can really help in emergency situations, how difficult it can be to return to the sport after a long break, where to do your first vol-biv, how to reduce stress in flying and a LOT more.

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Episode 19- Jocky Sanderson and Improving your Game

Jocky Sanderson literally wrote the book on SIV and training and is one of the most celebrated advanced instructors in the game. In this comprehensive podcast we talk about it all- competitions, modern gliders and what’s changed in SIV, is SIV necessary, what’s the most important maneuver in your tool kit, what kind of pilots are most likely to get hurt, how to advance with limited time, why accidents happen, when to push and when to back off, when to move up to a higher performance wing, reserves, the importance of confidence and a LOT more. I hope you enjoy this great episode!

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Killing Complacency- Making sure the luck jar doesn’t run dry

And then I pounded. My second reserve didn’t have time to deploy, it was laid out right beside me in a unfolded line. I bounced a bit and thankfully the dirt was really soft. My body made a horrible thudding noise but I was certainly alive. I got up slowly and realized with some amazement that I seemed to be unhurt. I called Cody on the radio and said the same. “NO YOU AREN’T OK, that’s the adrenaline, you are definitely not ok, lay back down!” But I was in fact ok. Soreness would kick in as the adrenaline wore off, but I’d done nothing more than bruises. To both my ego and my body.

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Episode 16- Cody Mittanck and the art of Going Big

Cody Mittanck set the unofficial Canadian foot launch record (“unofficial” for a very cool reason- listen to find out) last summer, and he’s one of a small handful (if there’s even a handful) of pilots in North America who’s doing the Infinity- as well as everything else. Cody only started flying in 2009 but he’s as hungry as it gets and his progression into the elite ranks of pilots in the world has been astonishing

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Episode 15- Ondrej Prochazka and Leaving the Office Behind

Ondrej only began flying in 2010 but last month he broke the Esfera world record (off-axis Infinity) in Mexico and sends it hard in cross country as well. Not many athletes hit switch so well when it comes to paragliding and in this episode we find out what drew Ondrej to acro initially; how important it is to go well beyond simple SIV courses; why acro is safer than XC; what it’s like to be a supporter in the X-Alps- what they have done right as a team and how they plan to improve; how he’s made paragliding his life on a $6,000 annual budget (yes, you read that right) and a lot more. Enjoy!

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