A few months ago I interviewed Bastienne Wentzel about her book “Paragliding, The Beginner’s Guide” and at the end of the interview Bastienne turned things around and interviewed me for her magazine about the upcoming X-Alps, my history in flying, preparing for this campaign vs previous campaigns, why learning is so addicting, flying and family, making a living through flying (sort of!), the book (Advanced Paragliding), why the X-Alps and flying itself is so addicting (and could it be without the risk?), comparing the Alaska Traverse and the X-Alps, what the spectators miss in the race, the most memorable days, how to eat for the race, dealing with the physical trauma, the wonderful impact of the fans and a lot more.
In this bonus episode I take on listener questions. We talk about coring thermals, Red Bull X-Alps preparation, the dream bivvy line, fear injuries, weather planning tools for bivvy flying, line and glider degradation, what qualifies as “big air”, risk changes when you have children, flying performance under pressure, team flying tips, hydration and energy tips for big flights, how to not be a “freezer” when anxiety jumps, Flow state and transferable skills from other sports, the “Survivor bias” and more!
There is the most information-dense podcast than possibly any previous show we’ve done. Alex Robé and one of his main flying partners Primoz Susa are nearly always the two guys right at the top of XContest on the big days. Alex won the XContest in 2015 and 2017 and is currently in 3rd this season (his lowest value flight is over a 260KM FAI, and the two pilots ahead of him both went to Brazil last fall!). But Alex is extremely limited with his time and how much he can fly. In a typical year he’ll only fly 10-15 times! So for those of you who are restricted with time, prepare to be inspired!