Manuel Nubel has competed in four Red Bull X-Alps, starting in 2015. On Team USA 1 we call him the comeback kid. He often starts in the middle or back of the pack but gets stronger and more crafty as the race goes on. We rewind the clock to 2015, his first race and find out the back story of landing in a tree on his way to Monaco and the hilarity that ensues, the ups and downs of his campaigns, (for example having to quit due to exhaustion in 2017, and making a series of magical moves in 2021 which saw him climb from 16th to 6th in the final days of the race) and his decision to not compete in 2023, but why we may see him again in 2025.
ve got a head cold and hoarse throat this week which makes interviewing pretty hard, so we’re diving back into the archives to bring you a show that was great then, and better now and an excellent tune-up before spring. “Mastering Autonomy” with Manu Bonte. And a couple important topics in the show opener that I’ve been meaning to hit for weeks. Enjoy!
Elizabeth (Eli) Egger is one of the rookies in the 23′ Red Bull X-Alps. She’s also a paragliding instructor, Niviuk team pilot, high-level competition pilot (we sat down after the Superfinal in Mexico to have this chat), has supported Simon Oberrauner (2017) and Aaron Durogati (2019 and 2021) in the X-Alps, and has a very interesting professional background in earth mapping and engineering. In this wide-ranging talk we discuss her training for the upcoming race and what she’s learned from supporting Simon and Aaron, preparing for comps, progression, instruction, and going to bat against the best in the world.
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.
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.
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.
I’m doing a 5 part YouTube series of deep dives on certain chapters of my new book “Advanced Paragliding” with Ari Delashmutt (“Ari in the Air”). This third one is on Safety and Progression. Hope you enjoy!
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.
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.
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.