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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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 36- Nick Neynens and the art of Vol Biv

“If the conditions are too gnarly, don’t land, climb and get to better air!” Thoughts like this from Nick Neynens are what allowed him to finish the 2015 Red Bull X-Alps in 10th place. Nick has an untraditional approach and it works- he’s flown vol-biv all over the world and has competed in the X-Pyr and X-Berg as well. In this episode we learn more about his untraditional approach and talk about risk justification, progression, meteorology, and using sandals in the hardest race on Earth. A special episode with a special pilot.

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Episode 25- Kari Castle and flying for life

Kari Castle has been flying for 35 years. You name it, she’s flown it. Hangliders, paragliders, paramotors, speed wings- her passion for flying began early and she still goes hard. She was winning hang gliding competitions before paragliding was even invented and then when paragliding came around she went ahead and won a bunch of those too. A fraction of her resume is enough to put most of us to shame: 14 national HG championships, 6 national PG championships, 3 world HG championships, multiple distance records, Red Bull athlete, and that’s just the beginning. Kari has made a life and a living out of flying and her wealth of knowledge is a tank I try to tap in this great conversation with a true legend in human flight.

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The Alaska Traverse is ON!

Dave Turner and I are ready to go on the planned traverse of the entire Alaska Range by paraglider (and probably some walking!). With only two roads dissecting the entire range and not a single village the whole way, we’ll be covering just shy of 500 miles of one of the more remote and inhospitable places on Earth totally unsupported. You can follow along, thanks to our Delorme InReach trackers!

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Episode 17- Will Gadd and the Mastery of the Sky through Mastery of Self

Will Gadd began his flying career in the early 90’s and quickly became one of the most prominent pilots in the world. A Red Bull original gangster, Will is considered one of the best mixed climbers on Earth. He’s a world class whitewater kayaker, mountain guide, speaker, author, journalist, expedition leader and is highly regarded for his views on risk management; maintaining a safety margin; his model of the “positive power of negative thinking”; his studied ability to appropriately assess weather and terrain; and his amazing knack to keep pushing the limits in a unique and pure style.

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Episode 9- Thomas de Dorlodot and the Endless SEARCH

Thomas de Dorlodot is probably the most enviable pilot in the world. He’s made a living out of traveling the world and documenting his expeditions. A 5 time Red Bull X-Alps competitor and Red Bull Athlete Tom started flying when he was 15 years old. He’s flown above 7,000 meters in Pakistan, paramotored over the Marquesas in French Polynesia, glided over volcanoes in Guatemala and Tanzania, hucked acro over Victoria Falls and is currently working on sailing around the world. His accolades and accomplishments are too many to even list here, but it hasn’t all been a rosy romp through la-la land and in this episode we dive into his two accidents this year, one a major accident during his Adriatic expedition with Paul Guschlbauer and the other that ended his X-Alps campaign on day 7; we talk about how Tom approaches risk; how he plays the sponsorship game; how he prepares mentally and a lot more.

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A life uncomplicated

I answered immediately: “Fuck No!” Training for what is billed as the hardest adventure race on Earth has consumed my every move and thought for the last 7 months, and I’m sure will only get exponentially worse until the race starts July 5th. And I mean CONSUMED. I eat; I train; I eat and eat and eat; train and train and train; make lists that have no end; and sleep whenever possible. This is my life. Unless you have competed in this race, or are a rookie like me this year I promise you can’t possibly imagine what goes into this kind of campaign.

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