111 episodes

The Cloudbase Mayhem podcast is where you will find fascinating and educational interviews with the best free-flight pilots in the world. If you fly a hanglider or paraglider, if you fly acro or cross country, the Cloudbase Mayhem podcast is where we glean how the great pilots of the world get there. Hosted by Red Bull X-Alps pilot, National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and current holder of the North American foot launch record, Gavin McClurg. Follow me on Instagram @gavinmcclurg or on Facebook @ facebook.com/gavinnmcclurg or Twitter on @cloudbasemayhem.

Cloudbase Mayhem Podcast Gavin McClurg

    • Aviation

The Cloudbase Mayhem podcast is where you will find fascinating and educational interviews with the best free-flight pilots in the world. If you fly a hanglider or paraglider, if you fly acro or cross country, the Cloudbase Mayhem podcast is where we glean how the great pilots of the world get there. Hosted by Red Bull X-Alps pilot, National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and current holder of the North American foot launch record, Gavin McClurg. Follow me on Instagram @gavinmcclurg or on Facebook @ facebook.com/gavinnmcclurg or Twitter on @cloudbasemayhem.

    Episode 112- Nuno Virgílio and Chasing the Flow

    Episode 112- Nuno Virgílio and Chasing the Flow

    Nuno Virgílio began flying when he was 17 and has been chasing it for 23 years and counting. He competed in the 2011 Red Bull X-Alps, won a task in the PWC in Portugal in 2012, has been Portugal champion multiple times and has a plethora of site records. And he remains as hungry as ever to fly. In this episode we dive into how the Portugal team changed their mental game and mindset after getting coaching in sports psychology; the dynamics of Flow and how to enter it; building mental tools; the importance of visualizing; how to relax before launch; how to let instinct and intuition rule in flight; how flying affects our lives and how life affects our flying; how to fly convergence and flatlands tips; the Red Bull X-Alps; the importance of self-assessment and a lot more. Nuno regularly chases distance with his wife, who is also an exceptional pilot and we learn about how she recently got into a cloud suck situation that changed the way she looks at the world. I really, really enjoyed this conversation and I think you will as well.

    Nuno also runs an airbnb type website for traveling paragliders called B.Stoked Paragliding. Check it out!

    Show Notes:



    * Nuno and a lifetime of flight and learning from his father at 17

    * Sports psychology and the Portuguese team

    * FLOW

    * How to enter flow more easily

    * Visualization- the key to training

    * How to go on autopilot and let the subconscious do the work

    * “stop flying and let yourself be flown”

    * Observe, observe, observe

    * The importance of shifting gears

    * Flying and life, life and flying

    * Becoming a natural pilot

    * Maintaining the passion

    * The Red Bull X-Alps

    * Assessing the risk and self awareness

    * Ask yourself these questions: Why did you start flying? Why do you continue flying? What’s your greatest fear?

    * Don’t force it

    * A scary cloud suck story….



    Mentioned in this episode:

    Adel Honti, Flow, Manfred Ruhmer, Reavis Sutphin-Gray, Francis Reina, FlyBubble, Matt Henzi, Airtribune, Chelan, Three Peaks Paragliding, Chikyong Ha, Nate Scales, Cross Country Magazine

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Episode 111- Steph Davis and the taking the road a LOT less traveled

    Episode 111- Steph Davis and the taking the road a LOT less traveled

     

    Steph Davis is a professional climber and base jumper who lives in Moab, Utah. Steph grew up on the east coast and originally pursued music and literature. Then she moved out to Colorado to get her Masters and briefly pursued a career as a lawyer before climbing pulled her onto a totally different life path. She’s been a professional athlete and has made a living through climbing since 1996 and later skydiving and base jumping. For Steph, climbing is a metaphor for life:  “You have to do what feels right, what lights you up. Do your best always. Conserve. Never waste anything. You can only have what you can carry: choose it carefully, make it last, take care of it. Appreciate what you have for as long as you have it. Be ready to do without it. No matter what happens, deal with it. Adapt, instantly when necessary. Take care of yourself. Try to help. A lot of times you fail, sometimes you succeed. Either way, you’re never the whole reason for it.” Steph speaks professionally about fear, risk and resilience (see her recent TedTalk here) and has witnessed a lot of traumatic accidents, including the death of her husband Mario Richard in a wingsuit base jump accident in the Dolomites. Why do we need risk in our lives? How do we balance the risk and reward? How do we learn to live again after tragedy? What non-physical training can we do to support performance? How can we reduce accidents in airports? This is a fascinating talk with a fascinating person. Enjoy!

    Show Notes:



    * Steph discusses the difficulty of describing what she does for a living…

    * How to make a living as a professional athlete

    * The plusses and negatives of being a minimalist

    * The “dirt bag” lifestyle- let’s not glamorize it too much

    * People who jump off cliffs- they aren’t what you think

    * Walking a completely different path

    * The risk and reward

    * The death of her husband Mario Richard

    * Why do some people pursue such high-risk activities? Is it the escape or something else?

    * Dealing with tragedy

    * Non-physical training

    * Minimize your life!

    * How do we reduce accidents?



    Mentioned in this episode:

    GEOS, Global Rescue, IMG Signature, Garmin, Base jumping, Wingsuiting, Climbing, Rebecca Rusch, Jody MacDonald, KAVU, Alex Honnold, Jeff Shapiro, Dean Potter, Graham Hunt, Sean Leary, MSR, Ruffwear

     

    • 59 min
    Episode 110- Juan Sebastien Ospina “Seb” and Piecing it all Together

    Episode 110- Juan Sebastien Ospina “Seb” and Piecing it all Together

     

    Sebastien Ospina “Seb” has been chasing all things paragliding for years now. Seb works the tandem scene in Interlaken year round; has been chasing the world record in the Sertau in Brazil the past few years; is a regular on the podium at very high level competitions; is frequently at the top of the XContest every year; and has been an XC instructor with Pal Takats and Mike and Stu Belbas with Verbier Summits. Seb is from Armenia, Colombia and his story from being fascinated with the sky as a little boy to becoming one of the worlds great pilots is a fantastic story in itself and in this podcast we dive into the tactics and secrets he’s developed with the help of Thomas Theurillat (ONEDAY coaching, and Chrigel’s coach and supporter for many of his X-Alps campaigns) to play a better game, and how we bounce back from the times it doesn’t work. Seb has a terrific attitude about flying and he’s always the guy who’s wearing the biggest smile: his thrill and passion for the sport is infectious and inspiring. Enjoy!

    Show Notes:



    * Seb discusses ONEDAY coaching with Thomas Theurillat and how it is affecting his flying

    * Preparing the mind for flying and tools to improve

    * The importance of journaling and mindfulness

    * The right headspace for success

    * Mantras and tips for flying well

    * Being “zen” and cool when you’re flying. Try to be cool!

    * Breath

    * Fly the shit out of your glider before you move up!

    * Stuff the lower hour pilots really need to practice- ground handling, pitch control, observation

    * The breakthrough- flying Brazil

    * How to be consistent in comps

    * Is flying tandems commercially good for your personal flying?

    * Getting into comps

    * Top landing Mont Blanc

    * Chasing it in Brazil- tips for flying in the wind and for flying long days

    * Sink in the flats



    Mentioned in this episode:

    Blue Fly Vario, Dave Hanning, Stian Volstad, Mike and Stu Belbas, Verbier Summits, Viv Fouracre, Livia Gilstrap, Anze Priztov, Ben Netterfield, Yann Gallin, Andy Read, Wendy Pepper, Miguel Gutierrez, Bowen Dwelle, Alas Del Hombre, British Paragliding, Guy Anderson, Chris Bevins, ONEDAY coaching, Thomas Theurillat, Charles Cazaux, Patrick Von Kanel, Yael Margelisch, XContest, Chrigel Maurer, Alistair Dickie, Maxime Bellemin, Hugh Miller, Cross Country Paragliding, Russ Ogden, Adel Honti, Nick Neynens, Mitch Riley, Bruce Goldsmith, Jeff Shapiro, Will Gadd, Josh Cohn, Ozone, Mark Watts, Red Bull X-Alps, Rafael Saladini, Samuel Nascimento, Marcelo Prieto, FlyWithAndy, Ken Hudonjorgensen, Red Rocks Flyin

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Episode 109- Reducing the Carnage with Will Gadd and Jeff Shapiro

    Episode 109- Reducing the Carnage with Will Gadd and Jeff Shapiro

    Accidents are ubiquitous in free flight but recently there’s been a huge spike in fatalities in our sport and in this podcast with Jeff Shapiro and Will Gadd we aim to take on the subject of risk and where we get it wrong sometimes- and why. We take on a lot in this show, but here’s a little teaser: How well do you understand your own head? Is pushing the limits necessary to learn? What can go wrong and how much margin do we need so we can play another day? Mistakes are necessary to learn, but the ground is hard and unforgiving, so how do we fly with that knowledge and still excel safely? How to have appropriate goals at appropriate times. What’s the end game? Why aviation is unique compared to other high risk sports because of gravity and the ground. The dangers of forcing your will on the day, rather than just flying what the day provides (“Fly the day, not your desire”- Nick Greece). The three stages of combat veterans and how it applies to free flight. And a ton more. This is one of the most important shows we’ve ever produced, I hope you’ll share it with everyone you know who flies or participates in high risk activities. Be safe everyone.

    Show Notes:



    * The 5 hazardous attitudes in Aviation

    * The positive power of negative thinking

    * How well do you understand your own head?- Expect error.

    * Thinking of and understanding the consequences tends to allow you to live longer

    * The importance of having a visceral connection

    * Understanding the difference between someone being negative and someone giving good advice and how not to misinterpret the two

    * Flying is a high consequence sport with a lot of complexities- so you better understand that up front

    * Gravity and speed

    * Fly like the pilot you ARE, not the pilot you want to be

    * Every flight we make is a very personal decision for each of us. Fly the day, not your desire.

    * Combat veterans go through 3 stages. The first stage with novices haven’t seen much and assume nothing will happen to them. The second stage is when a more experienced veteran realizes the dangers and will train hard to try to avoid getting hurt. The third stage is simply realizing that no matter how hard you train and how good you are still means you might not come home. So it’s recognizing that these sports are just dangerous. It’s not resignation, it’s just being real about the risks.

    * Operating from a place of fear is not a good place to be

    * The line between fear and doubt isn’t always very clear.

    * Most aviation events happen in a chain. They are rarely just one thing.

    * “You gotta be stupid enough to launch and smart enough to get it back to the ground.”- Nate Scales

    * Keeping track of the (typically 3) things that are likely going to kill you. Respect the relationship of the stuff that will kill you.

    * How to create a culture of safety. 



    Mentioned in this episode:

    Will Gadd, Jeff Shapiro, Cody Tuttle, Casey Bedell, Cross Country Magazine, Nick Greece, Josh Cohn, Nate Scales

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Episode 108- Deniz Burnham and flying EVERYTHING

    Episode 108- Deniz Burnham and flying EVERYTHING

    Deniz Burnham flies seaplanes, helicopters, hang gliders, paragliders, paramotors, and sometimes- jumps out of them!

    Deniz Burnham is an Alaskan resident who just happens to RUN an oil rig. Not work on an oil rig, she runs the show. She’s the only female on the rig and has worked in some of the most remote places on Earth, which would be more than enough to fill an entire podcast on its own, but as this is a free-flight podcast we reached out to Deniz to talk about her rather adventurous relationship with free flight and her passion for flying just about everything that flies. Deniz pilots seaplanes, helicopters, paramotors, hang gliders, paragliders, sailplanes and from time to time- jumps out of them (or walks on them!)!

    In this fascinating talk with a fascinating person we talk about staying safe when you don’t have the time to build up “currency”; flying recreationally vs commercially; the pursuit of knowledge; how to recognize poor decision-making; the art of auto-rotation in a helicopter; why flying hang gliders top them all; the risk of the chase; seizing opportunities and passing the torch and a lot more. Enjoy!

    Follow Deniz on Instagram. 

    Show Notes:



    * Staying safe without maintaining a ton of currency

    * The joy of the pursuit of knowledge

    * Closing the knowledge gap

    * Deniz’s favorite aircraft to fly and why

    * The best flight

    * The dangers of the chase

    * Maintaining the sport



    Mentioned in this episode:

    Coupe Icare, Larry Bunner, X-Flight

     

    • 49 min
    Episode 107- Larry Bunner, the X-Flight and flying in the moment

    Episode 107- Larry Bunner, the X-Flight and flying in the moment

    We’ve had a LOT of amazing talks on the Mayhem over the past bunch of years but this one is in a category of its own. Last summer Larry Bunner and three other very experienced Hang Gliding pilots (Glen Volk, Robin Hamilton, and Pete Lehmann) flew from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border in a series of tow and mountain launch flights over 21 days (1884 miles) and 11 States. They were supported by an amazing crew on the ground and allowed themselves lateral shifts, but all South to North travel was done in the air. This was an incredibly cool mission and it sounded like amazing fun was had by all, but in the course of the talk we also learn some terrific advice and hear some great stories from a pilot who’s been flying 45 years (accident free). Larry’s advice applies to everyone who flies (and there’s some life advice in this one that probably applies to everyone). What do all the best pilots have in common? How do you become “excellent”? How does flying change your life? How do we negotiate the inevitability of finishing projects? Do yourself a favor- DON’T MISS THIS ONE!

    Please support the Foundation for Free Flight right now during their Matching Gift campaign!

    Show Notes:



    * Larry explains what the X-Flight mission was last summer

    * “To be excellent you’ve got to have an excellent plan”

    * What attribute do all of the best pilots share?

    * Larry gets into flying…45 years ago

    * How has flying changed Larry’s life?

    * How to balance life and flying

    * What the Hang Gliders know that paragliders don’t

    * The big negotiation

    * What happens when the big missions end?

    * Missions present, past and future

    * The 50 hour question…



    Mentioned in this episode:

    Robin Hamilton, Larry Bunner, Jayne Depanfilis, Foundation for Free flight, Rick Mullins, Glen Volk, Mike Degtoff, David Glover, Sasha Hamilton, John Enrietti, Bruce Goldsmith, AirTribune, Alistair Dickie, Patagonia, Matt Beechinor, Nate Scales, Willi Canell, Steven Kotler, Mick Howard, Greg Ludwig, Gary Osoba, X-Flight, Larry Tudor, Will Gadd, Christian Ciech, Jonny Durand, Jeff Shapiro, Dan Pointer, Wills Wing, Bowen Dwelle, Kevin Kristoferson, Ben Abruzzo, Aaron Beck, Jaro Krupa, Nick Greece, Antoine Laurens, Rafael Saladini, Marcelo Prieto, Dustin Martin, Bruce Weaver, Steve Pearson, Harry Martin

     

     

    • 1 hr 30 min

Customer Reviews

hahuhmad ,

Thank you Gavin for helping make it safe

Our sport is risky but having all the experienced folks you invite and listening to the precautions they take mistakes they made really helps when I go out flying. Not just that but it also impacts how I interact with my flying friends. Much appreciate all the effort you put into it. Kudos

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