Episode 151- Comps, instructing, learning, and sending with Wally Arcidiacono

I met Wally Arcidiacono on the comp circuit quite a few years back and have been trying to connect with him for awhile now for a show. Wally is a keen comp pilot, started a paragliding school in Bright, Australia back in 2010 and has turned a passion for flying into a way of life. What kind of headspace should we bring to competitions? How can we play this beautiful game with more aplomb? How should we approach the long game? What can we learn from the masters? Why does the local hero never take the trophy?

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Episode 149- Dilan Benedeti and learning to deal with gravity

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.

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Episode 144- Jeff Longcor and (mostly) Inexpensive Mistakes

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.

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Episode 138- Nik Hawks and Expectations

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.

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Episode 77- Comp Tactics and Strategies

I sat down with veteran comp pilots JP Robert Vandenbegine (Canada and Belgium), Chin Chien Huang (aka Jimmy from the US), and Francisco Mantaras (Argentina) to discuss the A to Z of comps. These guys collectively have decades of comp experience and we dove into pre-race strategies, how to get a good start, gaggle flying, finding good lines and gliding, safety and cautionary tales, tactics for winning a task vs winning the comp, instrument use, speed bar use, hand position and using the B’s, how to get into comps and why and a whole lot more.

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Episode 75- Dominic Rohner and Chasing the Dream

Dominic has been flying for 21 years, recently sold his share of a very successful school (Paraworld) in Zurich and has been living the dream- traveling the world in the pursuit of the skycrack. From Tanzania and Kenya to Brazil to Colombia Dominic takes us on a journey that only a paraglider can do. This one is filled with great advice, many laughs, a few solid warnings, fantastic travel stories, the heuristic decision making process, and does what any good free flight talk should do- get you STOKED to go flying!

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Want to Learn Acro? Start with the right kit.

In summary- if you’re like me and keen to learn some of the more technical acro moves and also like me and have a limited playground, do yourself a favor and get the right kit. It’s sexy getting a bad ass acro wing, but you’ll pay the price trying to tame it. Everyone I’ve spoken with who has helis dialed says it takes hundreds and hundreds of attempts just to get close. You can get lucky every once in awhile, but to really nail it you’ve got to have a lot of time, a lot of patience and the right tool. 

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Episode 72- Greg Hamerton and FlyBubble, gear choice, bivvy, and the road to Mastery

Greg is a former PWC pilot and is the man responsible for all those awesome FlyBubble videos, participated in the X-Pyr in 2016, is passionate about vol biv and has a lot of great thoughts and advice for pilots at every level. We discuss gear and choices and how to not get sucked into what others are saying vs what’s right for you, how to get into vol biv and best practices, the difference and advantages and disadvantages of 2 vs 3 liners, why “flying slow” is a worthy chase, learning to develop intuition that’s not “intuitive”, comps and chasing the aesthetics rather than the result, quality vs numbers and distances, what makes a “champion” and mastery, how to find the winning line and so, so SO much more. THIS ONE IS AWESOME. ENJOY!

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Episode 60- Lisa Hope Tilstra and taking your first steps…into the magic

Lisa Hope Tilstra gives us a perspective all of us can relate to as pilots as she’s a total newbie- as a brand new pilot she’s going through what we all have at some point in our flying lives. No flight can ever match that first time we stepped into the air and remembering how special that was is reason enough to listen to this show, but we dig down into the huge differences of coming into this sport as a female versus a male; what challenges new pilots face; how instructors really need to adapt their teaching styles to suit how you learn; how to find a good instructor (and ditch the bad!) and a lot more. Enjoy!

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