A collection of podcasts covering all things paragliding including competitions, technique, meteorology, safety and XC flying
Solo Vol Biv and Hike and Fly Comps
Kinga Masztalerz is a Polish pilot who spends half her year in New Zealand and the other in Europe, chasing an eternal summer. She is one of the very, very few women to undertake big solo vol biv trips and has crossed the Southern Alps in New Zealand and the Dolomites in Italy on her own. A hard-core climber, she is physically and mentally very strong and has the fitness and determination to complete these trips. She has just been selected to compete in the 2019 X-Alps - one of only six women ever to get a place. Here she talks about her adventures and motivation. To see her beautiful movies go to her youtube channel.
Our latest podcast with Matt Senior and Jesse Williams is on dust devils. The Scientific American describes dust devils as small, rotating columns of air that we can see because of the dust and debris they pick up from the ground, resulting from a mini-weather system that occurs when one piece of ground heats up faster than the ground surrounding it on a hot, calm, dry day. They are also defined as heated thermal sources that should have been triggered but have become super heated, so that when they do release they do so with a surprising vehemence. Extremely dangerous near the ground, expert pilots do use them in competitions and during cross-country flying. In this podcast we talk about the dangers, safety, some tips and just how beautiful they are.
X-Pyr 2018 route analysis with Greg Hamerton
Greg Hamerton is well known as the Paragliding Evangelist at Flybubble UK. His videos and articles on techniques, safety and adventures are a fountain of knowledge and entertainment.
Greg was a competitor in the 2016 X-pyr and here he shares some insights into the 2018 route and some tactics that the competitors might employ. There is a condensed video version of this podcast where you can follow the route on Google Earth. You can see this at X-Pyr 2018
Preparing to Fly
Simon Blake is a pilot from the north-west of England. Having learnt to fly paragliders, he was very diligent about noting down his flights and what he learnt from them. A few years ago he put his collected experience into a book called Prepare to Fly, with the very apt subtitle Paragliding tips I wish Id learned sooner.
If you havent read it yet, its a goldmine of information for both new and old pilots. This is the authoritative guide to what you can do - in every aspect of your flying - to prepare in advance. He covers everything from packing before the next flight, equipment use, weather knowledge, flight planning, competitions, cross-country, accident management, etc. Everything you can possibly prepare for so that you can decrease your mental load and concentrate on the important things - enjoyment of flight, safety or results. Simons book covers it all!
Participating in the X-Pyr
The X-Pyr started in 2012 with just a dozen competitors. The first edition was 438km from Hondaribia on the Altantic coast to Port de la Selva on the Mediterranean. The biannual race flourished from there, with top hike and fly competitors from all over the world now coming to compete in the race.
Having been an X-Alps supporter twice, Jesse Williams competed in the 2016 X-Pyr. Jesse did exceptionally well in the race... his first ever hike and fly comp and he came 5th! Beaten only by Maurer, Mayer, Durogati and Arevalo. He battled injury, but continued until the last minute. He gained a place in the X-Alps as a result and comported himself very well there too.
Jesse is back for the 2018 X-pyr, with a lot more experience and a new supporter. After endless, minute preparation last time, including making his own rucksack and having loads of kit, Jesse is taking a different approach. Here he talks me though some of his thoughts on this years preparation and race, the differences between the Pyrenees and the Alps, this years route and how he hopes to make it more relaxed and fun!
Please support him in his 2018 race.
Acro and the British Acrobatic Paragliding Academy
British acro pilots Lee Tryhorn, Alex Colbeck and Jack Pimblett set up the British Acro Paragliding Academy to promote the discipline and help pilots to progress in an organised, safe way.
The BAPA aims to get British acro to the highest level.
Dreaming of flying
I've listened to 3 episodes from 2008 and one from November 8, 2014. The subject matter is fascinating to me. Thank you for making this available for those of us with our heads in the clouds.