Lisa Verzella flew hang gliders for over 20 years (many of those competitively), has been flying paragliders also for over 20 years and is a professional meteorologist based in Salt Lake City, Utah. She competed on the US World’s team in 1998 and 2008 in hang gliding. This show is in two parts. The first is our typical audio podcast that goes into Lisa’s vast and fascinating history of chasing airtime, and the second is a video tutorial of a deep dive into XCSkies and Lisa’s full weather flow (ie all the stuff she uses before she gets to XCSkies to identify good days to go flying).
This is the first of three shows in a bonus series for our subscribers dedicated to building an understanding of the weather and forecasting. Emi Carvalho studied physics in school, but it wasn’t until he began paragliding that applied physics interested him. He talks about the basics of weather, focusing on island weather and the possibilities inherent in an island with mountains over 2,000m. Emi talks about where he turns to first for weather (Windy and any local knowledge), and what he usually looks for (wind intensity, direction, and temps at different altitudes.).
There is the most information-dense podcast than possibly any previous show we’ve done. Alex Robé and one of his main flying partners Primoz Susa are nearly always the two guys right at the top of XContest on the big days. Alex won the XContest in 2015 and 2017 and is currently in 3rd this season (his lowest value flight is over a 260KM FAI, and the two pilots ahead of him both went to Brazil last fall!). But Alex is extremely limited with his time and how much he can fly. In a typical year he’ll only fly 10-15 times! So for those of you who are restricted with time, prepare to be inspired!