Episode 73- Mitch Riley and X-Alps madness, Developing Mental toughness, Thinking Fast VS Slow, Growth Mindset, Discipline and More

Mitch Riley has been chasing the sky crack as hard as anyone the last few years. He’s averaging 500-600 hours a year, instructs full-time for Eagle Paragliding, competes regularly, does commercial tandems, competed in the 2017 X-Alps and guides around the world. Mitch’s approach to training and improvement isn’t simply airtime- this is a mental game we play more than anything and Mitch has been a student of sports psychology and mental training and gives us a ton of tips on improving performance through concepts like thinking fast vs slow, flow state, mental toughness, fear control, using language to deal with fear, using words to avoid negative thinking, and much more.

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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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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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Christmas Bonus Episode with Chrigel Maurer!

It’s here folks! The bonus episode you’ve all been waiting for. We released this follow up episode with Chrigel Maurer a couple months ago for our Patreon supporters. Don’t miss these! Sign up to support the show through Patreon and get immediate access to bonus material like this on a regular basis. All we ask for is a buck an episode.

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Episode 53- Gavin reviews the 2017 Red Bull X-Alps

In this episode we turn the tables a bit and I get interviewed by Nik Hawks, who followed the race closely and had a bunch of questions for me. Why did we pull the nightpass the first night? What mistakes were made? What did we learn from the 2015 race that came in handy this time? That bomb-out on day three when we were in such a strong position- what happened and what were the consequences? This and a lot more.

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Episode 52- Pal Takats X-Alps, Acro, and what you can do to stay safe

Pal Takats began flying 16 years ago in the flatlands of Hungary and has since created a career any pilot would envy. One of the first Red Bull acro pilots and the man responsible for many of the current and modern acro combinations (the Joker, Cowboy, Esfera, etc.) Pal does paramotor demos for Red Bull at air races around the world, base jumps in his free time, flies speed wings, has twice competed in the Red Bull X-Alps (he was 8th in 2009 and 7th in 2017), is an exceptional cross country and world cup competition pilot but it hasn’t all been a walk in the park to get there.

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Episode 49- Honza Rejmanek and Understanding the Invisible

Honza Rejmanek competed in the Red Bull X-Alps five times. He finished in 3rd place in 2009 and made goal in Monaco in his last campaign in 2015. Many of our listeners will also know Honza from his regular meteo column in Cross Country Magazine. Honza makes a living as a meteorologist and in this episode we tap into his vast knowledge of the invisible world we operate in and how to understand how it works and how to use this knowledge to fly farther and safer. Honza’s passion for flying and for weather are obvious from the first word- consider this a masters class in understanding the sky!

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Episode 47- Max Fanderl and a lifetime of flight

Max Fanderl began flying paragliders and then hang gliders in the late 80’s. A few months after his first flight he quit his job to become an instructor and has made a life of flying. He was a test pilot in the 90’s, moved to Canada after going there on a vacation and never returning home where he opened a school and eventually competed in the Red Bull X-Alps four times. In this episode we explore how Max learned how to fly into the wind and why all flying should be approached with mindful training; where most new pilots make mistakes; why getting into flying too fast leads to many people getting scared and leaving the sport…

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Episode 45- Chrigel Maurer and becoming an Eagle

Chrigel Maurer is the undisputed king of paragliding and after his 5th straight X-Alps win I get the feeling that he’s just getting started. Chrigel was the world champion 3 times, is an acro champion, test pilot for Advance, two times winner of the X-Pyr, regularly dominates the Swiss League and just simply wins- over, and over and over again. Everyone has heard of Chrigel’s famous training (ground handling in VERY strong wind, flying in the lee of cornices…) but most don’t know the extent of how hard and specifically he trains. How much is talent versus persistence?

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2017 Red Bull X-Alps: A Race of Extremes

The 2017 Red Bull X-Alps was the hardest yet- a very difficult course and extremely poor flying weather. 5 athletes were eliminated and 7 withdrew due to exhaustion or injury and only two made it to Monaco. The race ended after 11 days and 23 hours. Here are some clips from Day 8, 9, and 10 that highlight how amazing the journey can be, and some of the crazy situations you find yourself dealing with (like landing in a tree!).

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