Spring is in the air – at least in the northern hemisphere – cloudbase is within reach and the big flights are rolling in. So what are you waiting for? This issue is packed with inspiration, so wherever you are, go out and get some!
“Avoid the word ‘difficult’. When you leave Salzburg, you don’t want to be thinking about the whole route stretching ahead of you. Just think about what’s immediately in front. Take it one step at a time, one flight at a time. Just keep going. Move.” As the clock ticks down to the Red Bull X-Alps 2019, three race veterans answer the nagging questions of a trio of Rookies.
“The Magnum 3 is a clear improvement against its ancestor and a worthy competitor in its class. Its easy take-off, descent and landing capabilities make it incredibly work-friendly, and it’s still pleasurable to fly XC thanks to its decent glide and great handling.” Ozone’s much-loved tandem workhorse has had an upgrade – and pro pilot Seb Ospina gives it the nod.
“You always run the risk that a passenger empties the remnants of their big night out on you. With some warning, you can pass them a spew bag. Otherwise, you’re washing the paragliding gear in the fountain.” It’s not all big smiles and little fluffy clouds as a pro tandem pilot. Interlaken insider, Hayden Gray spills the beans on what life’s really like as a back seat driver.
“’F#&K!’ I thought in panic. I overreacted badly and stalled the glider, finally throwing the reserve after I got a couple of twists on a bad exit, and landed in a big open field, going backwards in the wind.” James “Kiwi” Johnson continues his journey to the 2019 World Championships – and reveals how he overcame one of the most terrifying setbacks of his flying career.
“I wouldn’t hesitate to take it on a big trip or into the wilderness. It’s clearly been designed to help you at every point, not to show off or shout. Safe and with strong performance, it is built to help you explore places you might never otherwise go.” Ed Ewing samples Advance’s lightweight ENB XI, and finds it has all the precision and quality of a Swiss watch.
“I was surprised how being behind on the Queen 2 could actually help a lot. I looked at the view ahead like a TV screen to see which of the 50 wings were climbing faster, and being really choosy about my lines.” Hugh Miller won the first task of the British Winter Open – on an ENC Queen 2. He shares the 14 big lessons he learned in the process.
“One day, we had to make a 70km sea crossing. I didn’t have a fuel bladder, so it was a bit scary. The boat was our lifeline. Flying high, you could just see that little boat down there. In fact, no one went in the water during the whole trip – although one pilot landed in the boat after an in-flight incident.” Dave Hardingham tells the remarkable story of how 12 pilots, and their paramotors, made an epic 1,360km flight across the magical Maldives.
“Learn to groundhandle without the brakes in your hands. Just let them go. You can then grab a riser, or a brake, or high five a friend (yeah, acro pilots like to show off).” In-house acro legend, Theo de Blic shares his ten top tips for launching safely – anywhere.
“I know how disappointing it is for readers to hear how good the wings we test are, but it’s just how it is in this case. Easy and safe, with a good climb rate and plenty of speed, beginners can fly it and experienced pilots will love it.” Looking for lots of fun, without the stress? It’s got to be Gin’s ENB Atlas 2, says Charlie King.
“I reckon it’s possible to do 1,000 miles (1,609km) straight-line, with the right conditions. With a stronger tailwind, I could already have done 50-100km more.” Paramotor open distance world record holder, Lauri Kadakas, tells how he cracked his 1,130km Australian flight – and why he’s now got his eyes on an even bigger prize.