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?
Chris Santacroce has been a pillar in human flight for nearly thirty years. A long time Red Bull Air Force athlete; co-owner and founder of Superfly Paragliding in Utah; founder of Project Airtime which allows the disabled to fly; total air Jedi on anything that flies- from powered trikes to wingsuits and everything in between, Chris has been one of the most requested guests for the show and now here it is.
And here it is! The long-awaited show hosted by Bill Belcourt, dedicated 100% to your questions. We asked fans of the show to send us any questions related to flying so the Yoda of the sky, Bill Belcourt could answer them in the unique way that only Bill can. We talk about how to deal with turbulence, creating better headspace, how to mitigate intermediate syndrome, how to gaggle fly, how to deal with negative people in a positive way (ie avoiding ground suck), when to leave a thermal, techniques for landing backwards, how to pick the good days, team flying, when to launch in a thermal cycle and a LOT more! Enjoy!
Antoine Laurens began flying in 1992 when he was just seventeen years old. He’s lived a life of adventure and flying has been a way of life for the last two and half decades. One of the world’s great vol-biv pilots Antoine crossed over a 1,000 km route of the Himalayas (the film trailer of the “Himalayan Odyssey” can be seen here) and was part of the small team I joined in 2012 when we flew from the south end of the Sierra range to the Oregon border. Antoine has done some of the longest, most wild vol-biv trips that have ever been accomplished.
We’ve got a VERY special episode for you this Holiday Season. Ozone test pilot and world cup crusher Russ Ogden, one of the great living legends of paragliding and the inspiration for the Cloudbase Mayhem podcast and one of the most-mentioned pilots in the podcast gives us two solid hours that I am calling a Masters Class in paragliding. This is the most information dense episode to date. There isn’t much we don’t cover here-
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.
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.
Jocky Sanderson literally wrote the book on SIV and training and is one of the most celebrated advanced instructors in the game. In this comprehensive podcast we talk about it all- competitions, modern gliders and what’s changed in SIV, is SIV necessary, what’s the most important maneuver in your tool kit, what kind of pilots are most likely to get hurt, how to advance with limited time, why accidents happen, when to push and when to back off, when to move up to a higher performance wing, reserves, the importance of confidence and a LOT more. I hope you enjoy this great episode!
And then I pounded. My second reserve didn’t have time to deploy, it was laid out right beside me in a unfolded line. I bounced a bit and thankfully the dirt was really soft. My body made a horrible thudding noise but I was certainly alive. I got up slowly and realized with some amazement that I seemed to be unhurt. I called Cody on the radio and said the same. “NO YOU AREN’T OK, that’s the adrenaline, you are definitely not ok, lay back down!” But I was in fact ok. Soreness would kick in as the adrenaline wore off, but I’d done nothing more than bruises. To both my ego and my body.
Veselin (“Veso”) Ovcharov is a cross-country and acro ace. A long-time Red Bull athlete Veso was the first Bulgarian to nail the Infinity and has traveled the world perfecting his craft, pushing the limits of what can be done by paraglider. In this episode we travel back in time to find out how Veso got into the sport; the many hurdles he had to jump to become one of the very best (including literally spending the last few cents to his name before signing with Red Bull); how he has approached progression and safety; the difference between acro and cross country (you might be surprised!); and a LOT more.