My training took place during one of his SIV clinics with a bunch of very new students so I got to watch his team and his methods in action and came away super, duper impressed. In this episode Dilan shares why we don’t have any kind of standardized training in the US and much of the world and why that needs to change; why so many pilots quit the sport too soon; why so many pilots choose the wrong wing during their progression; the dangers of “risk homeostasis”, especially in free flight; why having a school AND selling gear creates so much conflict of interest (and why this isn’t allowed in many countries); why the US instructor system is so flawed; and why having a basic understanding of psychology is so critical when you leave the ground.
Aaron Durogati is only 29 years old, but he’s already been a world champion, gotten 6th and 7th place in the last two Red Bull X-Alps and has a LONG list of podium finishes. A Red Bull athlete and ambassador for several other brands, the “Italian Stallion” is making a good living in the sport of paragliding and in this episode we dig into how he does it. From learning how to fly at the tender age of 15 we find out how he’s approached progression, how he won the 2014 Superfinal in Colombia, how he’s been training for the X-Alps (and what he’ll change for the next one), what it’s really like to fly in the “toughest adventure race on Earth”, and ton more. Enjoy!
On Monday, the morning after our flight from Scuol we aired out Bruce’s reserve and got it packed back up and came up with a plan. Much of the eastern Alps were now looking possibly very good for Tuesday, even “Hammertag” good, depending on what forecast you were using. A big heat wave was moving in from North Africa which meant the air might be more stable, but with the summer solstice only a couple days away, we had very long days to work with.
Yesterday we finally got a chance. Bruce and I are about as hungry as you can get. And not for food, the Abazzia restaurant continues to blow our minds. Hungry for distance. It didn’t look like it would be a great day. Too much wind, too early over-development and rain. All of which were true, but maybe, just maybe we could squeak a chocolate (100 km flight).
After one short flight in Fiesch and a continued blurry forecast we hit the road in the Niviuk mobile for the only place in Europe that held any promise- Bassano, Italy. Many people are saying this is the wettest (ie worst) spring in history. Whatever the case may be, it has been dismal. But the flying forecast was for two good, maybe even great cross country days.
Arrived Paris two weeks ago with Nate Scales, my Sun Valley flying buddy with huge plans of massive triangles in the Alps. Spring flying in Europe is spicy, strong and when you get the days completely RAD, but the days don’t come often. Patience is the key. My flying partner Bruce Marks arrived in the middle of April, got three back to back days of 8 hours+ in the air in the Wallis area (Fiesch, Riederalp, Zermatt, etc.) but since then it’s been…challenging.