Friday Night Interview with Julia Binkert

Hi Julia,

How long have you been flying?

I started flying in summer 2011 and passed my license on the 23rd of December - one day before Christmas :-)

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

I currently live in Zürich, however I grew up in the country side in Laufen - the little town where Ricola comes from!

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

For XC it is Chrigel Maurer, there is a reason he's called the eagle.

In acro there are so many young and talented pilots, it’s hard to tell who is most talented but I would go for Francois Ragolski - he does crazy things with his glider!

Are you as passionate about another sport?

I just love being outdoors. Any sport that involves the mountains. but if I could name a specific one it’s climbing and mountaineering.

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

Any sports that is still possible…&  friends/family of course, what would I do without them.

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

Oh difficult to tell. I try to fly every flyable weekend! However it does not only involve acro, I also love hike and fly as well as xc on good days.

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

I guess it was Heli, you have to keep on flying it. It involves a lot of intuition.

What trick are you learning at the moment?

Heli2Heli, Misty2Heli (have been learning it for 2 years though, seems to become a hopeless case, hehe) and Rythmic2Infinity.

Have you invented any tricks or connections?

No or maybe only unintended :-).

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

Oh difficult to say, there is so many nice places to fly in the world. I guess I would choose to travel for the rest of my life with the glider in my backpack.

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

No, unfortunately not.

Does anybody else in your family fly?

Yes but they fly sailplanes or airplanes.

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

Do not take too many steps at once. You can learn many tricks on freestyle gliders before switching to an acro glider. I guess mastering the fullstall and being able to use it in critical situations is key for further progress. I also believe that learning heli first, after knowing the basics is a good starting point. You learn a lot about your glider while learning to do a perfect helico.

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

Hmm, I think they have many flying spots, just like Switzerland. However paragliding is much more popular in France. Everyone seems to have learned already as a small child. As I see it, paragliding in France is like skiing in Switzerland you go on camps with your school to learn it..haha! In the US it’s probably more difficult to learn or there are more barriers..maybe?

Where are you intending to fly this year ?

Well the year is already almost over so I will stay in Switzerland mostly.

How many times have you thrown your reserve?

4 times so far

Should paragliding become olympic?

Oh why not! The sport would get more popular and we would get more support for it I guess.

What is your profession/job/education?

I work in innovations and product development in the FMCG market. However I once studied Design Management International in Lucerne.

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

Haha, the clothes I had to wear from my 12 years older cousin!

Which was your most memorable flight and why?

It’s the flight close to dune 45 in Namibia where I flew until sunset and did some synchro runs with a good friend.

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

Great and passionate design combined with good quality.

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

Caddy ;-), Thai curry, French Beer, Stallone, Cats.


Thanks for that Julia!

Julia is an Aloft Pro Team member.




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