Episode 181- A walk (and fly) down memory lane with Chrigel Maurer

With the 2023 Red Bull X-Alps quickly approaching I thought it would be fun to sit down with Chrigel “The Eagle” Maurer to take a walk back through his 7 winning campaigns. No one in our sport has been and continues to be more dominant than Chrigel. He won his first X-Alps in 2009 and hasn’t lost since (2023 will be his 8th campaign). He’s won everything (many at least 3 times)- Bornes to Fly, X-Pyr, Dolomiti Superfly, EigerTour, Dolomitiman, VercoFly (which he won flying tandem too!), and of course dominated for several years on the world cup, is a test pilot for Advance, heads up the X-Alps Academy and is without rival as the best mountain pilot on Earth.

Read More...

Episode 178- Are you thinking clearly? With Matt Warren

In a line, it explores the science behind why you might not be in the driver’s seat of your own brain – and everything you can do to change that… It investigates everything from genetics, personality and intuition to habits, what you eat, social media, attention and bias – and how these factors influence and manipulate the way we think. We learn in the podcast that all KINDS of things get in the way of thinking clearly, which obviously isn’t very good when we’re in the air.

Read More...

Episode 175- Behind the scenes of the 22′ X-Pyr

The 2022 X-Pyr was substantially longer than any of the previous races with a big tweak to the route, and the weather this year was downright brutal. You had to be an animal on the ground, but it was in the air, and often in really scary air that we saw the true aviators make their moves. Manu was Pierre’s weather and route-strategy ace and not only did their team hold in up at the front for the entire race, Pierre was the only bird in the sky late on day 6 (when the forecast called for winds in excess of 70 km/hr) when he took a commanding lead. But once again Chrigel pulled his magic and nipped both Pierre and Maxime, who looked like he had the win in the bag right at the last moment.

Read More...

Episode 173- Exploring the possibilities in Brazil with Leandro Estevam Montoya

Most pilots who think of flying in Brazil think of chasing records across the Sertão or racing in the land of the lost terrain in famous sites like Governador Valadares and Baixo Guandu. But Brazil is massive and the flying possibilities and potential is as big as the smiles that adorn the welcoming people. Leandro Estevam Montoya and a fast-growing group of pilots at all levels in Brazil have been exploring the countries’ vol-biv potential for the past few years and their discoveries are tantalizing. Come along for a fun ride and pack your bags for Brazil!

Read More...

Episode 172- Andy Baumelt and the mistakes we make

Andy Baumelt is a Swiss pilot who reached out to me because he loved the show and said that while he would probably never be one of the top ranked pilots or do something big and wild in the sport he loved to fly, was firmly in the throws of intermediate syndrome and had made some mistakes that many pilots make in their journey. Andy’s story is probably one that most pilots can relate to and we had a lot of fun just talking flying- and life.

Read More...

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.

Read More...

Episode 159- Visualize the day

This week we’re doing something a little different. It has been proven that our minds don’t know the difference between a real experience and visualizing an experience. Olympic athletes, race car drivers, elite ski racers, golfers- you name it, the best of the best across the sport gamut visualize themselves doing their thing. It takes practice, but the results are proven. Going out and flying to improve is still the best way to get currency, but if you’re hurt, or the weather is bad, or you just don’t have the time to go flying, doing a little visualization is nearly as good as the real thing. In this episode I take you through a very simple 20 minute visualization practice that I hope helps you achieve safer and better flights. Come back to it often and see how training your mind helps you achieve your goals.

Read More...

Episode 157- Jonny Durand: riding Tsunamis, chasing records, comps and learning

Jonny Durand is a long-time Red Bull sponsored hang gliding pilot who’s been ranked #1 in the world multiple times. We’ve all seen the incredible footage of Jonny flying the “tsunami” morning glory phenomenon that sets up in Northern Australia, but Jonny has been chasing the sky crack in many different ways since his early days more than 20 years ago. He’s chased the world distance record in Texas and Brazil and came up just shy of the record from Zapata on that fateful day back in 2012 flying with his friend Dustin Martin, who still has the record at 761 km; he competes in race to goal comps regularly around the world, and has recently taken up paragliding.

Read More...

Episode 154- Going Big against the Odds with Thad Spencer

Thad hails from Minnesota, just sold a successful musical production company and is addicted to flying. The holy grail in the US has been the 200 mile mark, a distance very few pilots have pulled off and Thad has chased it hard for years. His chase has taken him through the full arc of what you have to learn to send, an arc that of course never ends. This spring he pulled it off in the flats of the MidWest with a 228 mile (very cold) beauty. A little while after he pulled it off he sent me an email that I’ve posted here nearly in full because…well because we all need a good laugh now and then and it’s what lead to this show. Thad tells the “and there I was…” story better than anyone. Grab a whiskey and tuck in, you’re in for a treat.

Read More...