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 86- Annalena Hinestroza and managing a passion for flight

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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Episode 74- Theo Warden and Winning BIG

Theo Warden is only 19 years old and just took home two wins that would be truly amazing in a career of competition flying, let alone from someone who’s just getting seriously into the game. Theo took home gold at the Europeans in Portugal in August, then chalked up another win immediately afterwards at the British Nationals in Krushevo, Macedonia.  Two of the toughest comps in the world, two back to back wins. How in the world did he do it?

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Episode 63- Adél Honti and what makes a successful pilot

What makes a successful pilot? Is it just talent and hours or something anyone can learn with training and application? Sports psychology gives us the answer if we break it down into three dimensions: technical, physical and mental. In this episode Adél Honti explains how her analytical approach and study of human psychology has helped her understand how to operate more adeptly in our invisible world. Adél explains why “races are won and lost in the mind.” How do we get into the “Flow”? How should we approach training? How should we deal with failure?

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Episode 31- Russ Ogden, a Masters Class in Paragliding

We’ve got a VERY special episode for you this Holiday Season. Ozone test pilot and world cup crusher Russ Ogden, one of the great living legends of paragliding and the inspiration for the Cloudbase Mayhem podcast and one of the most-mentioned pilots in the podcast gives us two solid hours that I am calling a Masters Class in paragliding. This is the most information dense episode to date. There isn’t much we don’t cover here-

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Episode 25- Kari Castle and flying for life

Kari Castle has been flying for 35 years. You name it, she’s flown it. Hangliders, paragliders, paramotors, speed wings- her passion for flying began early and she still goes hard. She was winning hang gliding competitions before paragliding was even invented and then when paragliding came around she went ahead and won a bunch of those too. A fraction of her resume is enough to put most of us to shame: 14 national HG championships, 6 national PG championships, 3 world HG championships, multiple distance records, Red Bull athlete, and that’s just the beginning. Kari has made a life and a living out of flying and her wealth of knowledge is a tank I try to tap in this great conversation with a true legend in human flight.

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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 11, Gurpreet Dhindsa and flying psychology

Gurpreet Dhindsa is India’s top ranked pilot, and has been for some time. He is the only certified instructor in the country and has 20 year passionate years in the sport. Gurpreet has been on the podium six times and has been a very integral figure in pushing paragliding in India and has truly given his life over to free flight. In this entertaining episode we discuss the political and bureaucratic difficulties he’s experienced as a pilot in India, the importance of being in the moment while flying, how he’s recovered mentally after two friend’s accidents, the value of struggle, changing strategies in order to learn and now worrying about scores, and how he’s learning to fly his own line and why he’s chosen to take less risk in competitions. This is a fascinating talk with a fascinating member of our community. Enjoy!

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Episode 7- Mads Syndergaard and the Art of Winning

Mads Syndergaard started paragliding in 1987 and it quickly became his life. He began competing in 1994 and hasn’t looked back since. From learning how to soar in Denmark to becoming one of the leading wing designers in the world with UP gliders, Mads has been has been a vocal figure in the comp scene for twenty years. In this episode Mads discusses the mental attitude necessary to win; his thoughts on the dissolution of the Open Class and how we got to the CCC class; the debacle last year with Ozone’s Enzo 2; what he calls “priming” your head to fly and a lot more. This is an awesome talk with a living legend and we go DEEP on topics like safety, risk, making good decisions, anarchy and a lot more. Enjoy!

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Episode 5 Nate Scales and Staying in the Game

Nate “Papa” Scales got his first flight in 1991 on a glider that had 11 cells in Sun Valley, Idaho. The next day he moved to Utah to learn how to fly and hasn’t looked back since. I’ve never met anyone as passionate as Nate is about flying nylon and string and he’s even more psyched today to go big than ever. We cover a LOT of ground in this hysterical episode. Nate discusses the value of competitions; his only (and very wild) reserve toss; risk and safety; his recent decision to step down to an ENC glider after flying comp gliders for more than 15 years; his “dream” line; learning from failure; and we go way back in time and talk about the days of taking pictures of waypoints before there was GPS; his 2007 X-Alps campaign and much more.

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