You don’t come for the views. You don’t come for the cultural experience. You’re going to suffer quite a bit. You’re going to wait around a lot. You better like meat. And be able to deal with extreme heat. And you better have a smooth tongue when confronted with big dudes with big guns. Like David Prentice says “chasing records in Texas will drive you crazy.” He’s right. Is it fun? That isn’t the right word. But it’s…compelling, in a weird sort of way. And for some reason that I can’t articulate…I’m excited to go back.
James “Kiwi” Oroc is a journalist, photographer, artist and pilot born in the small South Pacific nation of Aotearoa (New Zealand). Since 1998 he has been pursuing and reporting on the cutting edge of extreme sports in more than 40 countries around the globe and has written three books- the non-fiction cult classic Tryptamine Palace, The New Psychedelic Revolution and the just-published fictional Under the Influence, 20 Tales of Psychedelic Noir and has been flying paragliders since the mid 80’s, when gliders had 7 cells!
This is a special episode of the Cloudbase Mayhem to give all of the fans of the race a little insight into the greatest game on Earth directly from the perspective of the athletes. In this second of three installments we hear from Tom De Dorlodot (BEL 1), Patrick Von Kanel (SUI 2), Chrigel Maurer (SUI 1), and Cody Mittanck (USA 3), and Eduardo Garza (MEX 1).
Benjamin Jordan made history in 2016 flying a 1,000 km bivvy line solo from Vancouver to Calgary across the Coast Range and Rocky Mountains of BC and Alberta, an expedition that took 39 days to complete. To some bold pilots maybe an obvious and tempting line, but there were plenty of reasons it had never been flown, which are in part the subject of Benjamin’s new documentary “Strong the Wind Blows”. In this episode we talk about the ultimate question- if life isn’t worth dying for, is it worth living?
“If you believe you can do it, you can do it. But that doesn’t mean it will happen tomorrow. You have to do the work, nothing replaces mileage (or in this case, air time).” Little nuggets of wisdom like this is why Jeff Shapiro returns to the Cloudbase Mayhem in this amazing follow up to our first podcast a year and a half ago. The first time we spoke Jeff was just learning how to paraglide after spending a lifetime and thousands of hours hang gliding. We catch up to explore how his progression is going, how the new aircraft is opening all kinds of new adventures, we revisit his decision to wingsuit basejump again after losing so many friends to the sport, and in true Jeff Shapiro style- talk about life and joy and wonder in a way that only Jeff can.
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.
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.
Questions include how to become a “professional paraglider”, bivvy and expedition tips, how to develop flatland flying skills, the importance of acro skills and ground handling, how to handle emergency situations, how to develop with limited time, how to break through from an “also ran” to a full fledged comp pilot and much more. Hope you enjoy and please let me know what you think!
Cody Mittanck set the unofficial Canadian foot launch record (“unofficial” for a very cool reason- listen to find out) last summer, and he’s one of a small handful (if there’s even a handful) of pilots in North America who’s doing the Infinity- as well as everything else. Cody only started flying in 2009 but he’s as hungry as it gets and his progression into the elite ranks of pilots in the world has been astonishing
Josh Cohn has been the most consistent competition pilot the US has ever seen. His competition CV reads like Kelly Slaters. Soon after Josh learned to fly at age 16 he has been dominating the US comp scene and has notched up not only state distance records (New Mexico, Hawaii, Texas) but PWC wins, two National Championships and task wins at the Worlds to boot. In this episode we dig into how he’s maintained his consistency and passion, accidents, reserve throws, what can be done on non-comp wings, the current state of the CCC class since banning open gliders in 2011 and a LOT more. Josh talks about how he trains, his best and worst flight, best and worst wing, advice he’d give to his 16 year old self after all these years, and how important it is to switch gears- and how you know when to do it.