Episode 17- Will Gadd and the Mastery of the Sky through Mastery of Self

Will Gadd taking a break on the Rockies Traverse. Photo Pablo Durana

Will Gadd taking a break on the Rockies Traverse. Photo Pablo Durana

Will Gadd began his flying career in the early 90’s and quickly became one of the most prominent pilots in the world. A Red Bull original gangster, Will is considered one of the best mixed climbers on Earth. He’s a world class whitewater kayaker, mountain guide, speaker, author, journalist, expedition leader and is highly regarded for his views on risk management; maintaining a safety margin; his model of the “positive power of negative thinking”; his studied ability to appropriately assess weather and terrain; and his amazing knack to keep pushing the limits in a unique and pure style. In this information and story-packed episode Will covers a huge array of important topics. Whether you are a weekend warrior or at the top of the World Cup game, this podcast is a must-listen. Just a few of the areas we hit: how to properly assess the day; the most common mistakes people make; creating useful tools to break things down which leads to justified confidence instead of ungrounded optimism; the importance of maintaining a safety margin; flying in wave; how to get rid of fears; dedication vs talent; why having an answer  to why the risk is worth it is so important and a LOT more.

If you listen to one podcast this year, put this one at the top of your list. You won’t be disappointed.

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Show Notes:

  • Will recounts what went wrong in his 2003 X-Alps campaign
  • Will talks about his model of the “positive power of negative thinking”
  • How to assess and be realistic with your abilities
  • How most people get into trouble and why they make mistakes
  • Why it’s so important to maintain a margin of safety
  • Recognizing the dark side of extreme sports
  • The bullshit behind being overly optimistic
  • What’s incredible about paragliding and why having an answer for why the risk is worth it is so important
  • How to remain content in a world where the “hardest, longest, most extreme” yardstick keeps moving
  • If you’re not digging your life, then change it!
  • The unknown “unknowns”- things you didn’t know you didn’t know
  • Will discusses sponsorship and living in a the public sphere
  • The value and importance of learning from the best and getting good instruction
  • Mentioned in this episode:  Steve Mayer, Dave Bridges, John Yates, Cody Mittanck, Josh Cohn, Robbie Whittall, Chrigel Maurer, Gary Osoba, Willi and Chris Mueller, Chris Santacroce, Mads Syndergaard, Dick Jackson, Paul Guschlbauer, Tom De Dorlodot, Dave Turner
Will Gadd preps for launch on the Rockies Traverse. Photo Pablo Durana

Will Gadd preps for launch on the Rockies Traverse. Photo Pablo Durana


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5 thoughts on “Episode 17- Will Gadd and the Mastery of the Sky through Mastery of Self

  1. First, I really enjoy the podcast. I have never flown a paraglider, but have learned so much in terms of vocabulary and information about the sport through your interviews. And the fact that it consistently holds my attention without even having flown previously is a testament to the quality of the interviews and subjects presented. So thanks for doing it.

    I have a question for the upcoming ‘in between’ podcast. I recently started pricing out wings, and was looking into options for entering the sport on a budget since wings seem to cost as much as my car. It seems that the instruction cost is fairly uniform in the US (correct me if i am wrong), so what is the best way to stretch dollars on equipment? Is buying a used wing a bad idea? What do you actually need on your flight deck? Thanks again,

    • Hey Jason,

      Dude what a great compliment! I think my girlfriend is the only other person who listens who isn’t a pilot, it’s a real honor to hear we’re keeping you entertained. I just put a new one up an hour ago with Will Gadd, my partner on the Rockies Traverse. You’ll love it I think!

      I will for sure add this question to the upcoming Inbetween Cast- thanks so much!

  2. Thanks, for sharing another great conversation, Gavin. Every second of this one resonated deeply with me. Will Gadd is a total riot!

    When I recently added flying to my mountain adventures, I knew it would be great but admit that I am now completely and rediculously obsessed. It’s great to hear from others with similar personalities and views on mountain sports who can share their adventures and experiences.

    Really great stuff.

  3. Pingback: Killing Complacency- Making sure the luck jar doesn’t run dry | CLOUDBASE MAYHEM

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