Episode 98- Learning it all from an XC Master, Alex Robe

There is the most information-dense podcast than possibly any previous show we’ve done. Alex Robé and one of his main flying partners Primoz Susa are nearly always the two guys right at the top of XContest on the big days. Alex won the XContest in 2015 and 2017 and is currently in 3rd this season (his lowest value flight is over a 260KM FAI, and the two pilots ahead of him both went to Brazil last fall!). But Alex is extremely limited with his time and how much he can fly. In a typical year he’ll only fly 10-15 times! So for those of you who are restricted with time, prepare to be inspired!

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Episode 96- Christian Ciech and a life of Hang Gliding

Christian Ciech has been flying Hang Gliders for over 30 years. He remembers watching his Dad fly when he was just four years old. He has an arsenal of trophies that showcase his legendary competition skills, including 3 World Championship wins. Christian became a test pilot and designer for Icaro in 1991, a position he still holds. In this episode we discuss competition strategies and the art of winning, how to read the sky and flying the conditions you find…[more]

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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 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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