Episode 9- Thomas de Dorlodot and the Endless SEARCH

Paul Guschlbauer and Thomas de Dorlodot rest during a Pre-Shoot for the Adreatic-Circle in Berchtesgarden, Germany on June 26th, 2014

Paul Guschlbauer and Thomas de Dorlodot rest during a Pre-Shoot for the Adreatic-Circle in Berchtesgarden, Germany on June 26th, 2014

Thomas de Dorlodot is probably the most enviable pilot in the world. He’s made a living out of traveling the world and documenting his expeditions. A 5 time Red Bull X-Alps competitor and Red Bull Athlete Tom started flying when he was 15 years old. He’s flown above 7,000 meters in Pakistan, paramotored over the Marquesas in French Polynesia, glided over volcanoes in Guatemala and Tanzania, hucked acro over Victoria Falls and is currently working on sailing around the world. His accolades and accomplishments are too many to even list here, but it hasn’t all been a rosy romp through la-la land and in this episode we dive into his two accidents this year, one a major accident during his Adriatic expedition with Paul Guschlbauer and the other that ended his X-Alps campaign on day 7; we talk about how Tom approaches risk; how he plays the sponsorship game; how he prepares mentally and a lot more. Check out this highlight reel of some of Tom’s incredible travels and then have a listen, prepare to be entertained!



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Show Notes:

  • Tom talks about how he got started paragliding at the age of 15, his mentors like Raul Rodgriguez and Ramon Morales and how he got hooked
  • Tom talks about how he approaches flying new places and getting over the fear of flying new sites
  • Tom talks about competing in the X-Alps at age 21 for the first time, and how accidents have affected his approach, and how he’s come back mentally from injury
  • Tom talks about the usefulness of acro and SIV training for staying safe
  • How important it is for being honest with yourself and being mindful of the saying that “if there is a doubt, there is no doubt.”
  • How much you can get done on a safer glider
  • Tom talks about his experience of flying high in Pakistan, and one flight without oxygen where he passed out
  • How important it is to enjoy the sport rather than chasing numbers
  • What’s next for Tom?

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8 thoughts on “Episode 9- Thomas de Dorlodot and the Endless SEARCH

  1. Thanks for another great podcast Gavin. We were lucky enough to have Tom & Ferdy van Schelven come to talk to our club in Auckland shortly after they’d finished their epic traverse of NZ’s Southern Alps in preparation for the 2013 edition of the X-Alps.

    They’re both such low-key, approachable guys and it was fantastic being able to have a beer with them and hear their stories first hand. Like Tom was saying in the podcast, even the top paraglider pilots tend to be happy to share their knowledge with weekend warriors, which is one thing I really love about the sport. Having those guys come to speak to us was the equivalent of F1 drivers having a chat to the local car club, albeit with a lot less money or fame involved!

    One angle I’d love to hear in a future podcast would be if you got one of the legendary designers like Bruce Goldsmith or Gin Seok Sung on to talk about the whole process of designing and testing new paraglider designs and where they see advances in glider design heading. I reckon that’d make for a fascinating discussion.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Many thanks for the podcast. You really share a bit paragliding world to others. Feel that I learn a lot during those. The safety and cross county/comp tips are invaluable.

    All the best!

  3. I’m very happy to find these podcasts. I’m having a great time. Thank you Gavin! I would like to hear someone from Brazil talking about how to fly in Quixadá or Tacima and more women as some of them have a completely different approach to the sport (Seiko, Nicole or Kamira would be good to hear).

    • Thanks Elisa! Do you think Seiko or Nicole speak English well enough for the Podcast? I haven’t spoken with them much. Kamira I don’t know- I’ll track her down!

      • Kamira speaks English pretty well. I have her contact if you want. She had 2 kids now and therefore stopped flying for more than 3 years. But she is back in the air this year.
        I have interviewed Seiko here in Brazil once and her English seemed good enough for an interview. But she’s just been to Australia and got some big flights there… Don’t know about Nicole. You don’t have to put my reply up on the website.

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