On August 19, 2020 veteran World Cup pilot Joerg Ewald lost control of his wing very low on the terrain during a World Cup in Disentis, Switzerland and the world went dark. Literally. Joerg has almost no memory of the crash because of the hard blow and is incredibly lucky to have survived the crash. His recovery has been slow and considerably brutal.
Jeff Longcor has been flying only a few years and has a full time job, which makes getting hours tough, but he’s completely enamored with the sport and has been chasing it hard, sometimes too hard. Jeff has made some inexpensive mistakes, and a few expensive ones. They’ve all provided volumes of learning, and his desire for the sport is as high as it has ever been. In this show we dig into all the little things that add up to help us all become better pilots, and in the end- better people.
Nik Hawks returns to the Mayhem in response to the pilot survey we put out a couple months ago to take on a whole bunch of topics you, our listeners asked for. We broke this wide-ranging show into four main parts- Nik’s answers a bunch of questions about his own sometimes frustrating progression and how he’s had to adjust his own expectations in the sport in order to avoid being a “dangerous pilot”; I answer questions from Nik about a recent interesting discussion he had with a new pilot on launch; we revisit some of the takeaways from the Kiwi SAR effort in Nevada; and finally Nik interviews me about the upcoming Red Bull X-Alps, my own progression choices over the years, what makes a “dangerous” vs a “safe” pilot, gear choices for hike and fly and a lot more.
Willi Canell will represent the US in the 2019 Red Bull X-Alps, the 5th US athlete in the history of the race to call Sun Valley, Idaho home of the 10 US athletes who have competed. He’ll be lined up with me in Salzburg June 16th in the greatest game on Earth as a rookie. He’s my neighbor, flying partner and consistently surprises me with the way he thinks about this crazy sport we all find so compelling. I invited Willi onto the Mayhem because he recently shared his private journal with me and I found his thoughts and ideas about paragliding, risk, training, fitness, and the ultimate question- why we all do what we do not only fascinating but informative and thought-provoking
“Gutsy girls skateboard, climb trees, clamber around, fall down, scrape their knees, get right back up — and grow up to be brave women. Learn how to spark a little productive risk-taking and raise confident girls with stories and advice from firefighter, luger, author, paraglider and all-around adventurer Caroline Paul.”- TED
On the last day of the World Cup in Sun Valley in 2012 British pilot Guy Anderson disappeared in an area we call “no man’s land.” Three days later, in a heroic search effort involving thousands of man hours and a very fired up team Guy was found, in no small part due to his own monumental efforts to stay alive. Guy suffered some pretty major injuries but three months later he was flying at the top of the stack at the Superfinal and hasn’t looked back since.