178 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

    • Leisure
    • 4.8 • 192 Ratings

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 179- 119 years of experience to pack in

    Episode 179- 119 years of experience to pack in

    During a weather day of the Red Rocks Wide Open this week, a US Nationals and Pre- PWC race to goal competition in southern Utah we held a panel discussion with some of our most veteran competition pilots- Evan Bouchier, Matt Beechinor, Josh Cohn, Bill Belcourt and Reavis Sutphin-Gray. Between the five they have 119 years of xc experience. The opening topic was competition strategy but the talk wandered into all kinds of fascinating areas including strategies for dealing with gust fronts, team flying, planning for going huge and a lot more. It was incredibly interesting seeing the differences in approach and while most of the topics centered on the uniqueness of flying in North America the takeaways would apply to pilots anywhere. The results were gold. We recorded the talk in an open park during a rain storm so it was hardly a good venue for capturing clean audio, but stick with it- there’s a ton of valuable information here!

    • 1 hr 32 min
    Episode 178- Are you thinking clearly? With Matt Warren

    Episode 178- Are you thinking clearly? With Matt Warren

    Matt Warren is a keen pilot and has been a long-time journalist for Cross Country Magazine and is also a veteran science writer. He and his co-author Miriam Frankel have just released their incredible book “Are you Thinking Clearly, 29 reasons you aren’t, and what to do about it.” In a line, it explores the science behind why you might not be in the driver’s seat of your own brain – and everything you can do to change that… It investigates everything from genetics, personality and intuition to habits, what you eat, social media, attention and bias – and how these factors influence and manipulate the way we think. We learn in the podcast that all KINDS of things get in the way of thinking clearly, which obviously isn’t very good when we’re in the air. Matt paints a pretty clear picture that nearly all humans have psychological traits which in the flying environment can be deadly, but there’s good news- we can improve how we think. Matt articulates what’s going on upstairs incredibly well and we had a blast with this talk. Get the book and start making better decisions in life, and in the air!

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Episode 177- WINNING, with Baptiste Lambert

    Episode 177- WINNING, with Baptiste Lambert

    Baptiste wins in Brazil







    In the Macedonia PWC this July, which had a pilot level similar to a Superfinal Baptiste Lambert was 1st or 2nd in 5 of 7 days of racing. He didn’t even need to fly the last day to win the competition! Baptiste also won the PWC in Brazil and the PWC in China last year. But Baptiste does not consider himself a professional pilot, flying is not how he makes a living. He’s not a test pilot. Until literally the day we recorded this podcast he’s been a math teacher (he’s just taken a new job with Ozone designing harnesses). How does he do it? The short answer? There is no secret. Hours, hours and more hours. He ground handled for years as a child before he took his first solo flight. Baptiste is a member of the French team, is an Ozone team pilot, is currently ranked 3rd in the world and is one of those guys sending 300+ km FAI triangles with guys like his good friend Maxime Pinot on a regular basis. We dug deep into the art of winning and what it takes to beat the best in the world in this show. The mental game, using your instruments vs your gut, strong vs weak positions, little things that add up (and don’t), not falling prey to “rash” decisions, trimming your glider, physical training and diet, how closely XC skills and comp skills are related and a lot more. I deeply enjoyed this conversation and hope you do to!











    Baptiste wins in China

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Episode 176- Hell Hath No Fury

    Episode 176- Hell Hath No Fury

    This week we are diverting from free flight and just going to tell a good yarn. In 2009 your host was about half way through a second circumnavigation when he was suddenly confronted with a rather daunting task- sailing a large catamaran from Bali to Langkawi, Malaysia (1500 nautical miles) across the two busiest shipping lanes on Earth (the Java Sea and the Malacca Straits) solo. This is an area of the world that is not only like a freeway on the ocean with enormous ships and fishing vessels moving at high speed it’s also famous for the worst electrical storms on the planet. Imagine sailing for 10 days alone getting only minutes of sleep at a time, sick with a nasty staph infection, autopilot on the glitch, and wicked storms that batter the boat and an increasingly unstable mind. Not much flying in this one, but it’s a pretty wild (and 100% true!) story. Hope you enjoy. To read the blog (and see some pics) post in its original format from back in 2009 go here.











    The calm before the storm





    Humbling

    • 30 min
    Episode 175- Behind the scenes of the 22′ X-Pyr

    Episode 175- Behind the scenes of the 22′ X-Pyr

    Pierre reached goal in 3rd place in the X-Pyr 2022







    Manu Bonte returns to the Mayhem to take us into the French team of Pierre Rémy. Pierre is of course one of the most accomplished competition pilots in the world (he’s currently ranked 6th in the WPRS) but this was his first foray into the craziness of hike and fly racing. The 2022 X-Pyr was substantially longer than any of the previous races with a big tweak to the route, and the weather this year was downright brutal. You had to be an animal on the ground, but it was in the air, and often in really scary air that we saw the true aviators make their moves. Manu was Pierre’s weather and route-strategy ace and not only did their team hold in up at the front for the entire race, Pierre was the only bird in the sky late on day 6 (when the forecast called for winds in excess of 70 km/hr) when he took a commanding lead. But once again Chrigel pulled his magic and nipped both Pierre and Maxime, who looked like he had the win in the bag right at the last moment. Manu’s description of that final day and what went down in the X-Pyr and how Chrigel continues to outflank the best in the world is absolutely gripping. Enjoy!











    Show Notes:







    * Manu recounts Pierre’s background * Manu discusses the extremes the top athletes are willing to fly in* We discuss Pierre’s “magic” move on day 6 to take the lead and one of Chrigel’s rare mistakes* Making your own decisions* The super-human ground game required* Manu discusses the team and the dynamics* Things they got right, things they got wrong* Luck vs skill* The gear- Niviuk Klimber 2P, Kortel Kolibri Pro* Are the X-Alps next? * The training required* Giving advice where you don’t pay the mistake yourself. The stress of the risk* Maintaining the position vs making risky moves. Strategy…* The Team’s philosophy. * The crazy last day where Chrigel won and how it went down







    Mentioned in this episode:







    Chrigel Maurer, Simon Oberauner, Maxime Pinot, XCSkies, Niviuk, Nick Neynens, Ben Abruzzo

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Episode 174- Dreaming Big, Going Bigger in Pakistan with Aaron Durogati

    Episode 174- Dreaming Big, Going Bigger in Pakistan with Aaron Durogati

    Can you imagine???







    Aaron Durogati is no stranger to thinking and doing big, but this time he pulled off what can only be described as outrageous. He and a few friends spent 40 days in the Himalaya in Pakistan to pursue mountaineering “combos”. They used their paragliders to take off from lower elevations, put their touring gear (ie skis) on in the air, stuff it in somewhere high, often above 5,000 meters and then ski and fly down. They spent many nights at altitude acclimatizing; they got stuck with heinous walks out on dangerous glaciers; Aaron had a frightening crash; he got so sick he thought he was going to die…and then he somehow managed to fly at 285 km FAI triangle across the biggest terrain in the world, and then two days later went even bigger and went 312 km! This is Aaron’s remarkable story. Hold on tight.











    Watch a short film of Aaron’s remarkable 312 km FAI flight and footage of one of his fly/ski “combos”:

    • 1 hr 17 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
192 Ratings

192 Ratings

ATCJimbob ,

The preeminent podcast for paragliding enthusiasts

I became interested in paragliding 4 years ago and naturally sought out as much information as possible to whet my appetite for the sport.
What I found in the Cloudbase Mayhem podcasts has far exceeded my expectations.
Insightful, compelling and fun interview with pilots, trainers, authors and filmmakers from all aspects of the sport. Gavin McClurg's interview style is remarkably easy to listen to and enjoyable and I find myself referring to past episodes as I grow in experience.
Give it a listen, you won't be disappointed!

Deb-OG ,

Kari Castle is Boss

I’m P2 50 hours and this is school keeps me happy between flights! Favorite episode is the one with Kari Castle!

Individualized Realized ,

New / Stoked Pilot Says Thanks!

I just finished my P2 in Santa Barbara after soaking up the podcast for the last few months. First mountain flight from Skyport to Parma was mind-blowing! Lucked out on the conditions and bumbled into plenty of lift on the way down. Joined a few hawks thermalling up from the Monastery ridge and had a spiritual moment when I started smelling the cloud vapor up at base with the birds calling back and forth on either side of me. Was totally overwhelmed at the improbability and awesomeness of it all and broke down sobbing for a few minutes up there in the wispies.

Cannot overestimate the value of the show in helping me through the learning process safely- several times I chose not to fly in marginal (for me) conditions and felt great about the decision, learning a ton just standing on the ground watching.

It’s hard to estimate risk without much experience, so for now I’m trying to harness the positive power of negative thinking, and brainstorm all the ways a potential flight could go badly, and then honestly ask myself if I have the skills to handle it. If the answer is only 99% yes, then that’s not nearly good enough and I’ll stay on the ground.

Thanks Mayhem!

Patrick Switzer, Oahu

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