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Cross Country

Cross Country

August 2021

Cross Country is the world’s leading voice for hang gliding, paragliding and paramotoring pilots. Ten times a year, our magazine content reflects our obsession with flying, and we express it by packing each issue with the most imaginative, inspirational photography and writing we can lay our hands on.

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United Kingdom
XC Media
10 Issues

in this issue

2 min
sharing the passion

The sheer breadth of our sports amazes me. On the one hand, there is the X-Alps with its hype-machine, 360-degree visuals, super-motivated pilots and go-go-go attitude. Never resting, always pushing, stretching the boundaries on a 1,200km mission through the European Alps. On the other, there is John Silvester, a man who first picked up a paraglider in the late 1980s and spent good chunks of his life pursuing his dream of flight in the Greater Ranges. At home in Wales he dug his garden, used his hands to build, and lived close to the elements of air, water and wind. The two are not incompatible, they are not unrelated, it is possible to embrace both things at the same time and still hold shared values. Jocky Sanderson, British team pilot and leader for…

4 min
untapped potential

With all the big flights that went down in Europe in spring and the general tendency for just the sheer number of flights in the Alps to hog all the bandwidth on XContest, you might have missed some pretty interesting flights that have been happening on the other side of the pond in the western US and Canada. And it’s not just this year. The momentum, collective hunger and desire to go big has been growing, and there are dozens of pilots relatively new to the game from New Mexico to Alaska who are putting down some terrifically inspired and committing lines. The vaunted 300km FAI remains elusive (but definitely doable!) in these parts because of our terrain, but when you combine an early start, ear-popping climbs that double anything I’ve…

4 min
downwind drifters

“THE VIEW IS SENSATIONAL. THE CORAL SEA AHEAD, RAIN FOREST MOUNTAINS NORTH AND EMERALD CANE PADDOCKS BELOW” I blink and peer down at the instruments to read the numbers. Less than two-and-a-half thousand feet. Can’t be right. Resisting the temptation to tap the screen on my trusty old Flymaster, I look around at the warm soft cloudscape. Late autumn in the north. Thirty degrees celsius, abundant cumuli but only a hand’s width between the greenfield chequerboard and base. Numbers at odds with the feeling of space I’m getting from flying a flatter earth. I’m displaced to the north, searching my old turf for travel adventures in a Covid-locked world. Into the wispies, then I turn tail and head off over the back towards the highway and the hope of the next…

6 min
in brief

UP Misti The Misti is UP’s new acro wing. Designed with input from Acro World Cup pilot Ondrej Procházka, it comes in a wide range of sizes and is suitable for beginners through to experts, depending on wing loading. up-paragliders.com Kargo Expe Race rucksack Niviuk’s Kargo Expe Race is a serious mountain or hike-and-fly race rucksack for pilots. It’s shaped to keep the load close to the body, and has ice axe and pole-holders. Two sizes S (50l) and M (60l) weigh 410g and 440g. niviuk.com Chouka Smart helmet vario They say it’s the lightest, most compact vario on the market: the Chouka Smart weighs 13g. Helmet-mount it, or put it on a flight deck and connect via OTG-USB to an Android device running XCTrack. One charge lasts 40 hours. le-chouka.com RUSH 6 Ozone say the EN-B…

1 min

Vitek Ludvik is a pro photographer from the Czech Republic, and often flies with his faithful friend, Marvel. “She came to live with us four years ago. She lived in terrible conditions before, but now she lives a dream life, travelling Europe in a camper and flying.” Much like him, by the sound of it – p26 Reto Reiser is a medical doctor from Altdorf in central Switzerland. Flying since 2010 he loves to combine hike-and-fly and XC – and photography. “I always tell everyone how fantastic flying is, but I can’t put my enthusiasm into words. So I started to take pictures.” He shows us his tricks – p34 Mathilde Chivet is a neuro-scientist turned pasionate paraglider pilot who has taken the summer off to support Damien Lacaze in the X-Alps…

4 min
keeping your wing in trim – simply

We all know that servicing your glider at a certified service centre is a good idea. Having it checked once a year is even mandatory in some countries. The aim is to spot problems early, fix them, and keep your glider in an airworthy state. What follows is not a replacement for that sort of service. However, there are a few very simple trimming checks you can do to help your wing fly better and stay safe without going to the expense of a full check. Doing these checks might just save you from having an accident. Slow trim As gliders slowly age there is a tendency for the front lines to stretch, and for the back lines to shrink. It is quite usual to see the A-lines stretching by 10mm and the…