Friday Night Interview with Jack Pimblett



Hi Jack,

Please shortly describe your flying accomplishments to date: 

I have quickly progressed through my first year paragliding flying 80km, trying to get the elusive British 100km and joining the NOVA pilots team last year aged 15.

How long have you been flying?

Just over a year, coming up to 13 months of being obsessed with hanging under some cloth. 12 years flying tandem with my Dad prior to this.

Where do you currently live? Where were you born and where did you grow up? 

I live on the North-West coast of England, north of Liverpool. Near no flying sites, come to think of it I’m not sure why we live here?  I was born ‘just up the road’ in Southport, growing up between here and Alhaurin El Grande, Spain.

Who do you think is the most talented acro / XC pilot at the moment?

Pffftt. A hard question to answer but Francois Ragolski is doing it all with elegance and cheekiness.

Who do you think is the best newcomer acro / XC pilot? 

For XC, I would say Dave Turner, maybe not a newcomer but going from flying in the Sierras to the Red Bull X-Alps 2015 quicker than most.

Are you as passionate about another sport? 

When it is not flyable I am passionate about adventure kayaking, I really enjoy being self-sufficient on the water going for days at a time. Come winter, I always try to get away snowboarding.

If for some reason you couldn't fly, what would you invest your time and energy into? 

Kayaking! Going long distances on the water, camping out and seeing as few people and phones as possible. 

How many days a year do you train on average? / How many days do you fly per year? 

As much as possible! It’s hard to say because of the weather in the UK but I’m always trying to go flying abroad.

What was the hardest trick to learn for you and why? 

I haven’t properly broke into Acro yet, but I’m trying to get my 100km as soon as possible. The challenge is just the weather!

What trick are you learning at the moment? 

Not at the moment but I would like to learn SAT-Helico, one of my favourite connections.

Have you invented any tricks or connections? 

I wish!

If you could only fly one location for the rest of your life which would it be? 

Magic Mountain, Organya!

Have you ever tried hang gliding? If yes, how was it? 

In the UK? I’m not walking up with that, no way!

Does anybody else in your family fly? 

My Dad- he has been flying around 25 years.

What is your top 3 tips for acro / XC beginners? 

I couldn’t offer tips for acro but for XC I would say;

Research! Learn your XC route, look at the topography you will fly over and mark where you think you will get thermals.
Speed bar! Learn when to use and when not to use it, a couple of times now I have ran myself into the ground at 3pm.
Read! Reading books has really helped my flying, especially ‘50 ways to fly’ and ‘50km or bust’, it pays to read when it’s not flyable.

Why do you think France has so many pilots and America so few?

In France it is not unusual for pilots to learn at a young age through school or by other means. You adjust to flying and it becomes more natural. I wouldn’t know about America but in the UK you could probably count pilots younger than 17 years old on your hands, so we are not used to having young pilots. Leaving the older generations which there are fewer of. This is also why the French win, a lot.

Where are you intending to fly this year? 

I’m hoping to fly at Lake Garda later this summer and anywhere flyable in the UK. That 100km is mine!

How many times have you thrown your reserve? 

I haven’t… yet. 

Should paragliding become olympic? 

YES!! But, I’m not sure the public outside of paraglider pilots have enough patience, limiting the audience. There is always the possibility that the weather is not good enough the entire duration of the Olympics, wasting time and money.

What is your profession/job/education? 

I have just left high-school, flying freedom!  I’m hoping to train as an ROV engineer to work offshore.

What did people tease you about when you were a kid?

Believe it or not, flying! 

“We do not chose, we are chosen. Those who understand, need no explanation. Those who don’t, don’t matter”. 

Which was your most memorable flight and why?

Climbing through cloud and popping out the side with a friend was magical. But shhh.. cloud flying is strictly prohibited. Shhh

Who was your hero/ roll model when you started paragliding? 

Raul Rodriguez- A pioneer now and whilst I growing up, the first ‘famous’ pilot I learnt the name of. I still have a piece of paper on my wall with his signature on from when I was younger.

Describe Aloft - Boundary Layer Apparel in less than ten words! 

One of a kind brand for all things that fly.

Mini or Jeep? Thai curry or Fish'n Chips? British wine or French Beer? Schwarzenegger or Stallone? Dogs or Cats? 

JEEP(or LD Defender 90)! Thai Curry. British wine…I guess?.. STALLONE. Dogs

 Thanks for that Jack!

Jack is an Aloft Pro Team member 


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