Episode 3 – Jeff Shapiro and the Dark Arts


Jeff Shapiro is a world class sponsored athlete and a world class human being. He’s flown and competed on hangliders since he was 17 all over the world, he sends 5.14 big wall routes in climbing, he flies wingsuits, rides sport bikes, is a gifted Falconer, and is also a Dad and family man.  But don’t call him extreme and don’t call him an adrenaline junky. Jeff is grounded, thoughtful, eternally grateful to be able to pursue his passions and his approach to risk and danger is something we all need to ponder. In this amazing episode we discuss the incredible numbers of losses in the wingsuiting community the last three years, including his close friends Sean Leary, Dean Potter, and Graham Hunt; an amazing close call flying at King Mountain Idaho a few years back on his Hanglider; how he has flown for more than twenty years without an accident; his own brush with death this year; and if it’s possible to justify participating in a sport with such terrible odds, among many other things. Grab a cup of tea or coffee and prepare to be whisked away into a realm that very, very few people inhabit.  It’s a special place.


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Show Notes:

  • Jeff discusses growing up in the Pacific Northwest and watching birds soar the ferries, and becoming fascinated with flight
  • Jeff talks about his history of hang gliding and learning the hard way
  • How important gratitude and passion are in life, and how adventure sport and risk tie into every aspect of life.
  • Jeff recounts a really scary flight at King Mountain, Idaho and the lessons that came out it.
  • We talk about progression, the numbers game, and if it’s possible to pursue very dangerous activities and be safe.  Is it possible to get the same reward from less dangerous activities?
  • We talk about losing his close friends Dean Potter, Graham Hunt and Sean Leary and others in wingsuit basejumping accident, and his own close call with death. Where to go from here? Where to draw the line? How is possible to justify something with such horrible odds?



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15 thoughts on “Episode 3 – Jeff Shapiro and the Dark Arts

  1. Appreciate your time and effort put in to these podcasts. This knowledge is invaluable to our small community and although the effects are immeasurable, this is the kind of info that saves lives and increases our chances of sustaining in this flying lifestyle that we choose.

  2. Thanks Gavin; really enjoying these and learning a lot as well! I suppose we should be getting you a few bucks for these, well worth it!

  3. Hey Gavin,

    Thanks for this awesome chat. I found it incredibly interesting and learned a ton from both you and Jeff. You both have a way with words… I look forward to your next one…

    PS: I took my first Paragliding flight in March this year here in Durban. It was a tandem flight, but I got to take over the controls for about half of the hour+ long flight (ridge souring), so I got a really good feel for this incredible sport in perfect conditions.



  4. Pingback: Episode 38- Jeff Shapiro and cracking the code | CLOUDBASE MAYHEM

  5. I love the show and I would like to support it. But for some years now I do donations exclusively through Bitcoin. Would be great if you post a BTC donation address.

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