Episode 80 – The History and Future of Hang Gliding

Hang gliding is arguably the first “extreme sport” in human history and it literally changed the world. Drawing inspiration from Leonardo Davinci, Otto Lillienthal built the first foot-launched hang gliders in the late 1800’s. His wings inspired Octave Chanute and his assistants to make thousands of flights at the turn of the last century on the shores of lake Michigan which led to the Wright Brothers’ remarkable inventions- and humans take to the skies. Orville and Wilbur Wright’s flights in the early 1900’s are still hard to wrap your head around. Imagine picking up a 150 pound glider built out of bamboo and mizzen cloth in 30 miles per hour of wind and actually soaring!

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Episode 79- Felipe Rezende and breaking the mold

In this episode we discuss why we are sometimes in the “flow” and confident and everything is just clicking and why at other times we can’t seem to get anything right, and how we can maybe improve the odds to be in the former. Felipe talks about how important it is to visualize how a wing flows through the air and how understanding fluid dynamics, which he learned through surfing and shaping lent to not only flying better, but lent to designing better wings. Felipe’s story is fascinating, hope you enjoy!

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Episode 78- Cade Palmer and the Ultimate Pursuit

Cade Palmer is a speed test pilot and designer for Ozone Paragliders; is one of the most accomplished aerobatics pilots in the world; flies tandems professionally in Jackson Hole, Wyoming; regularly sessions some of the most awe-inspiring terrain on Earth with his paramotor; of course flies small planes (and jumps out of them!) in his free time; flies RC planes and lives year-round in a van with his girlfriend and fellow air junky Becca Bredehoft and their dog Talla in pursuit of all things free-flight. In other words- he’s got the life most pilots can only dream.

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Episode 77- Comp Tactics and Strategies

I sat down with veteran comp pilots JP Robert Vandenbegine (Canada and Belgium), Chin Chien Huang (aka Jimmy from the US), and Francisco Mantaras (Argentina) to discuss the A to Z of comps. These guys collectively have decades of comp experience and we dove into pre-race strategies, how to get a good start, gaggle flying, finding good lines and gliding, safety and cautionary tales, tactics for winning a task vs winning the comp, instrument use, speed bar use, hand position and using the B’s, how to get into comps and why and a whole lot more.

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Episode 76- The Ask Me Anything show! And a fun little story of a Big day:)

It was a remarkable week- nearly 1,000 km in three flights, all of them one personal best after another. But the big one is a pretty wild story in extreme conditions in huge terrain on a very marginal day at best, and one that probably should never be repeated. Top speeds of 115-120 km / hr in the flats is one thing, but flying over 6 major mountain ranges from Idaho deep into Montana at that speed is certainly living on the edge!

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Episode 75- Dominic Rohner and Chasing the Dream

Dominic has been flying for 21 years, recently sold his share of a very successful school (Paraworld) in Zurich and has been living the dream- traveling the world in the pursuit of the skycrack. From Tanzania and Kenya to Brazil to Colombia Dominic takes us on a journey that only a paraglider can do. This one is filled with great advice, many laughs, a few solid warnings, fantastic travel stories, the heuristic decision making process, and does what any good free flight talk should do- get you STOKED to go flying!

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Episode 74- Theo Warden and Winning BIG

Theo Warden is only 19 years old and just took home two wins that would be truly amazing in a career of competition flying, let alone from someone who’s just getting seriously into the game. Theo took home gold at the Europeans in Portugal in August, then chalked up another win immediately afterwards at the British Nationals in Krushevo, Macedonia.  Two of the toughest comps in the world, two back to back wins. How in the world did he do it?

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Episode 73- Mitch Riley and X-Alps madness, Developing Mental toughness, Thinking Fast VS Slow, Growth Mindset, Discipline and More

Mitch Riley has been chasing the sky crack as hard as anyone the last few years. He’s averaging 500-600 hours a year, instructs full-time for Eagle Paragliding, competes regularly, does commercial tandems, competed in the 2017 X-Alps and guides around the world. Mitch’s approach to training and improvement isn’t simply airtime- this is a mental game we play more than anything and Mitch has been a student of sports psychology and mental training and gives us a ton of tips on improving performance through concepts like thinking fast vs slow, flow state, mental toughness, fear control, using language to deal with fear, using words to avoid negative thinking, and much more.

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Episode 72- Greg Hamerton and FlyBubble, gear choice, bivvy, and the road to Mastery

Greg is a former PWC pilot and is the man responsible for all those awesome FlyBubble videos, participated in the X-Pyr in 2016, is passionate about vol biv and has a lot of great thoughts and advice for pilots at every level. We discuss gear and choices and how to not get sucked into what others are saying vs what’s right for you, how to get into vol biv and best practices, the difference and advantages and disadvantages of 2 vs 3 liners, why “flying slow” is a worthy chase, learning to develop intuition that’s not “intuitive”, comps and chasing the aesthetics rather than the result, quality vs numbers and distances, what makes a “champion” and mastery, how to find the winning line and so, so SO much more. THIS ONE IS AWESOME. ENJOY!

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Episode 71- Bernhard Kalin and the coming future, dangers of overconfidence, Speed flying best-practices

Bernhard (Benni) Kalin is a Swiss all-things-flight instructor at ChillOutParagliding. Based in Interlaken, speedflying was his initial addiction but over the years it has spread to all canopies- paragliding, base jumping, kitesurfing, kiteskiing- you name it. Last year flying with his father in the Wallis Benni had to deploy his reserve for the first time and ended up in a terrifying position that required a helicopter recovery. In this episode we discuss the exciting future of Reflex wings, dealing with fear injuries, some of Benni’s most-memorable flights, speed-flying best practices and why it’s as dangerous as base jumping, how to safely get started on mini wings, why learning paragliding before speed flying is so essential and the risks of overconfidence. Enjoy!

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