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 74- Theo Warden and Winning BIG

Theo Warden is only 19 years old and just took home two wins that would be truly amazing in a career of competition flying, let alone from someone who’s just getting seriously into the game. Theo took home gold at the Europeans in Portugal in August, then chalked up another win immediately afterwards at the British Nationals in Krushevo, Macedonia.  Two of the toughest comps in the world, two back to back wins. How in the world did he do it?

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Episode 69- Armin Harich and Sending Flatlands and Flying accident free

Armin Harich is the co-founder of Skywalk Paragliders, started flying in 1989 and has never had an accident, and is the first person to fly over 300km in Germany, and he did it on a EN B wing (the Skywalk Tequila). I was told by many people before speaking to Armin that he’s a flatlands “SkyGod” so we focused much of this show on flatlands flying techniques and how people started flying the flatlands, dealing with airspace, how to assess weather in advance of a potentially good day, and a lot more.

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Episode 68- Nik Hawks and weighing the risks

Nik Hawks returns to the Mayhem to share two pretty scary incidents that ended well, but came with a LOT of lessons that every pilot can learn from including: coming back from “fear injuries”  by using the big 4, time, building exposure, and pattern recognition; how to get better at self-assessment (wingovers, exit from 360, exiting and entering spirals cleanly, avoiding and handling collapses, etc.); how to ask older/better pilots for help and the best way to approach mentors; when a pilot is really ready to go XC and what risks that involves; what groundhandling can…and maybe can’t help with…

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Episode 67- Fabien Blanco and SIV, Single Surface Wings, Bivvy and Safety

Fabien Blanco is the founder and head instructor at Flyeo in Annecy, a premiere paragliding school focused on teaching SIV, Cross Country and adventure flying. Fabien was a professional acro pilot and is a passionate ski-mountaineer and brings a wealth of knowledge from various “extreme” disciplines to our sport. He discovered when they first started teaching SIV that rather than focusing on ticking off the maneuvers and calling it good they needed to focus more on pilots’ mental fundamentals.

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Episode 66- Andy Hediger and becoming an Airman

If it flies, Andy Hediger flies it (or jumps out of it!). Sailplanes, trikes, hang gliders, light-weight airplanes, wingsuits, Swift, Archaeopteryx, Virus, but he rates the paraglider as the king of them all. The developer of the D-Bag, Andy was there at the absolute beginning of Acro and cross country, sewing some of the very first wings and his passion and love of the sport is as strong now as it was in the beginning. The “Airman” has pushed the limits of flying, safety, instruction and certification from the advent of the sport and was one of the first pilots to develop SIV to help make the sport more safe, and why most schools still get it wrong and why so many accidents keep happening.

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Into the Lightness- Review of the Niviuk Skin 2 P and the Roamer 2

After 30+ years of testing and innovation I imagine the climbing community is getting pretty giddy. I recently received Niviuk’s new Skin 2 P single surface wing. At a measly 1.9 kg I figured it was going to feel and fly pretty weird but when I learned from Fabien Blanco at Flyeo during a recent podcast that pilots were doing 100k triangles on these certified wings I was pretty excited to give it a try.

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Episode 64- Till Gottbrath and Rethinking Performance and Risk

Several years ago Nova Paragliders changed the way we think about performance when they put some of their top pilots on the Mentor, an EN B wing and the world watched as they ticked off some of the biggest flights that had ever been done in the Alps, including the vaunted 300 FAI triangle. By flying wings that were less mentally and physically demanding pilots could stay in the air for 10+ hours and make less mistakes. Till Gottbrath began flying when a paraglider had a glide ratio worse than a Rogalo reserve in 1986 and has never had an accident. In this episode we discuss…

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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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Episode 59- Christoph Weber and Behind the Veil of the Red Bull X-Alps

Christoph Weber has been the race director of the Red Bull X-Alps since 2007. This episode dives into the behind-the-scenes for our fans of the show who wanted more than what’s available on live tracking. How do athletes get chosen? How is the route decided every year? What’s the story with how the rules have changed over the years? Is it possible to beat Chrigel? How has the race changed over the years? What are the major logistics involved and what is Red Bull’s role? This and a lot more…

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