Episode 179- 119 years of experience to pack in

During a weather day of the Red Rocks Wide Open this week, a US Nationals and Pre- PWC race to goal competition in southern Utah we held an panel discussion with some of our most veteran competition pilots- Evan Bouchier, Matt Beechinor, Josh Cohn, Bill Belcourt and Reavis Sutphin-Gray. Between the five they have 119 years of experience. The opening topic was competition strategy but the talk wandered into all kinds of fascinating areas including strategies for dealing with gust fronts, team flying, planning for going huge and a lot more.

Read More...

Episode 178- Are you thinking clearly? With Matt Warren

In a line, it explores the science behind why you might not be in the driver’s seat of your own brain – and everything you can do to change that… It investigates everything from genetics, personality and intuition to habits, what you eat, social media, attention and bias – and how these factors influence and manipulate the way we think. We learn in the podcast that all KINDS of things get in the way of thinking clearly, which obviously isn’t very good when we’re in the air.

Read More...

Episode 168- Learning by Simulation- Flightcoach!

Bas van Duijn has been flying for 27 years, has been a paragliding instructor for 10 years and has a commercial aviation background. No stranger to simulator training he decided to bring the lessons from professional flightsim usage to our world. He also coaches recreational pilots who have developed a fear of flying. I reached out to Bas after watching one of his simulator videos because it seemed like an incredible way to learn our tricky sport with zero risk. We had a fascinating talk about where the future may be headed, increasing pilot retention, dealing with fear, eliminating the common mistakes, “shortcutting” learning, and a lot more.

Read More...

Bonus Episode- Gavin McClurg interviewed on the Soaring the Sky Podcast

st of the “Soaring the Sky Podcast” dedicated to sailplane flying, but he reached out to me recently to talk all things flying to get a paraglider’s perspective on doing what they do but with a very different aircraft. We had a blast and the conversation went into some really fun directions, including the Red Bull X-Alps, Alaska and a few scary moments I’ve had over the years.

Read More...

Episode 159- Visualize the day

This week we’re doing something a little different. It has been proven that our minds don’t know the difference between a real experience and visualizing an experience. Olympic athletes, race car drivers, elite ski racers, golfers- you name it, the best of the best across the sport gamut visualize themselves doing their thing. It takes practice, but the results are proven. Going out and flying to improve is still the best way to get currency, but if you’re hurt, or the weather is bad, or you just don’t have the time to go flying, doing a little visualization is nearly as good as the real thing. In this episode I take you through a very simple 20 minute visualization practice that I hope helps you achieve safer and better flights. Come back to it often and see how training your mind helps you achieve your goals.

Read More...

Episode 158- Kirsty Cameron and Stacking the Odds

Kirsty Cameron has been a member of the British team many times. She’s been flying high-end 2 line gliders for over 10 years and put a ton of energy and time into competition flying since she began flying in the late 90’s. This year with travel being difficult and her 4 year old son vying for more her time Kirsty decided to dedicate her flying time to chasing big distance at home in the UK. She nabbed a couple records this year (see below for the links) and has found a new, super fun outlet for getting her flying fix.

Read More...

Episode 148: Red Bull X-Alps 2021, Gavin answers your questions!

This year’s Red Bull X-Alps, if you could put it in a word- scary. We didn’t have a single “standard” day of flying with light wind, nice cumulus, and good base, unless you count the Prologue! We had incredible heat the first three days, low base, wind and stable conditions, then the thunderstorms started, strong Fohn from the South and North, window-breaking hail, severe lightning and really, really strong wind for the remainder of the race. Every athlete I spoke with at the awards at the end had a look of just going to battle. For the first time in my four races, the bad weather got everyone, regardless of where you were on the course, and it didn’t let up. There were times when all 12 pairs of my shoes were soaked. After a good showing in the Prologue and going into the race pretty beat up from a crash at the end of May, and carrying the remainder of a flu into the race, which later turned into some kind of pneumonia (we’re not sure, but it was ugly!) and having a terrifically bad start, Team USA 1 started clawing back.

Read More...

Episode 145- Standing on the shoulders of giants with Mitchell McAleer

Mitchell McAleer properly crashed a hang glider on literally his first flight in the early 70’s. But he shook it off and was in the right place at the right time and had the right mentors and right attitude and eventually became the winningest aerobatics pilot in history. Southern California was one of the true meccas of hang gliding in the 70’s and 80’s. It was the home of UP during their reign with the Comet, remains the home of Wills Wing and was where Mitch took on the sport in his teens and remains today after nearly 45 years of obsessed flying. Mitch has an encyclopedic memory and this podcast is a fascinating and at times totally unbelievable stroll down memory lane.

Read More...

Bonus Episode- Bastienne Wentzel interviews your host!

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.

Read More...