Bonus Episode- Ask Me Anything with Gavin, your questions answered!

In this bonus episode I take on listener questions. We talk about coring thermals, Red Bull X-Alps preparation, the dream bivvy line, fear injuries, weather planning tools for bivvy flying, line and glider degradation, what qualifies as “big air”, risk changes when you have children, flying performance under pressure, team flying tips, hydration and energy tips for big flights,  how to not be a “freezer” when anxiety jumps, Flow state and transferable skills from other sports, the “Survivor bias” and more!

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Episode 132- Bastienne Wentzel and the Beginner’s Guide to Paragliding

Bastienne Wentzel is a professional science writer, editor of Lift magazine and assistant pilot instructor based in the Netherlands. A few years ago she became frustrated with the lack of comprehensive, correct information available for newer pilots trying to learn to fly and decided to write an instructional book in Dutch. It was such a hit that the team at Cross Country magazine, headed up by Ed Ewing decided to take three years re-writing and editing her original book in English.

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Episode 131- Ferdinand Van Shelven takes on his 5th X-Alps

Ferdinand (aka “Ferdy”) Van Shelven, “The Flying Dutchman” is returning for his 5th Red Bull X-Alps this June. Ferdy has been in the top 7 in all of his previous 4 campaigns from 2011 to 2017. How has a pilot from the flatlands of the Netherlands become so competitive in the toughest race on Earth? We explore his flying philosophy; his approach to risk; the dynamic with his wife Nicole supporting him in the race; the right head-space for something as huge as the X-Alps; how his approach will change in this edition; the good and bad side of ignorance; some of the sketchy situations he’s experienced in the race; how to follow your instincts and a lot more.

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Episode 130- Instruments and chasing beauty with Koni Schafroth

Koni Schafroth has been flying over 30 years, but you’re not going to find him chasing distance and trying to win XContest. Koni pursues free flight for the beauty and tapping into the incredible emotion that flying provides. Soaring over glaciers on a perfect day; midnight flights under the full moon; flying with friends; and coming home safely.

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Episode 129- Piedrahita, Wild Stories, Accident hindsights and more with Steve Ham

Steve Ham’s fascination with flying began with hang gliders in 1981, which subsequently ended any attempt at a serious career path. In 1991 Steve discovered Piedrahita in Spain and began a crusade to put the site on the world map for flying and competitions. During the 90’s Steve organized and ran some of the most memorable and successful comps of the decade, including 4 World Cups, the Europeans, the Hang Gliding World series and multiple national events.

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Episode 128- Ari in the Air and the philosophy of flight

In this entertaining and thought-provoking podcast with Ari Delashmutt, a big mountain skier, world-record highliner, paraglider, film maker, and pursuer of the absurd we take on what is sometimes the hardest question of all. Why? Why do we pursue activities that can quite easily go wrong and kill us? “Truthfulness is a muscle we have to flex.” Let’s flex the muscle we often neglect. Enjoy, discuss and send your comments. I think you’re going to dig this one.

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Episode 127- Hypoxia, Cold, Accident and Reserve Studies and more with Dr. Matt Wilkes

ER and Critical Care physician and paragliding hound Matt Wilkes returns to the Mayhem to share the takeaways from several large studies he’s been involved with since his last talk three years ago on hypoxia and cold; the most comprehensive study done to date on reserves; and an accident analysis study done with the BHPA and Cross Country Magazine.

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Episode 126- An oldie but goodie with the legend Pal Takats

This week we’re doing our first “rerun” as Gavin is in the field deep in remote Nevada on a major SAR effort to find our good friend James “Kiwi” Johnson, who was recently on the show. We will get caught up with new shows on schedule soon. This is our most popular show to date and we’ve cleaned it up for your listening pleasure. Listen and learn!

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Episode 125- Breaking the Asian Record with Soheil Barikani

On the 2nd of August the summer of records continued when Iranian world cup pilot and instructor Soheil Barikani flew his Gin Boom 11 nearly across the width of Iran 430km, a new Asian free distance record. Imagine getting on a plane to fly to the launch and flying home! This talk covers quite a bit of ground, but mostly it’s going to make you want to fly Iran!

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Episode 124- Owen Morse, professional juggling (and joggling!), and a new HG World Record

On June 19th of this year Wills Wing pilot Owen Morse ticked off something he’d been chasing for six years- a new out and back world record. Owen flew an incredible boomer from Walt’s Point in the Owens out off the end of the White’s- AND BACK, flying 222 miles. A huge flight in some of the strongest air on Earth gave us plenty to talk about, but Owen also has maybe the most interesting job of anyone I’ve ever met. He’s a professional juggler (where he holds world records for things like juggling chainsaws) AND he hold several world records in the sport of “Joggling”.

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