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Versatile, talented, successful

Aaron Durogati is one of the few pilots worldwide who can earn his living as a top sportsman. The ADVANCE team pilot is accomplished in all disciplines of paragliding. The 32 year old prefers to combine flying with other types of mountain sport. We caught up with the two times Superfinal winner during a trip home from a climbing tour in the Sarca valley at Arco, Lake Garda, and asked him about his versatility and sport.
  • ADVANCE: You hurt your knee last year in the X-Alps. How have you been getting on in the meantime?

    Aaron: Much better! I’ve begun doing light running once or twice a week – interval training, only short sessions. Two weeks ago I even made a short Hike and Fly competition. Only 800 metres walk up, then fly down. I was third and completely happy with that; for now. At the moment I’m endurance training with the racing bike. My big goal is to compete in the Xalps again, next year; and be fit by then. Of course I have to manage loading the knee again, so I did not go in for this year’s Xpyr. I also cancelled the Ironfly for the same reason. But Dolomiteman and suchlike are in.

    My big goal is to start in the Xalps again, next year.

    ADVANCE: You’re not only a master of all kinds of paragliding, but in winter you can be found with the Speedflyer, or just on the skis; then there’s the ice climbing – and in summer we have rock climbing, mountain running and highlining. How do you train for all this? As a multi mountain sportsman do you have a special training plan?

    Aaron: Up to three years ago I did have a training plan: it was a general one, so that I would stay generally fit. In the last three years I’ve trained regularly, of course, but more directed to the specific sport in progress. In the winter ski touring and skiing, in summer running and bike riding. The bike racing is really good fun. The only problem is that you can’t combine it with flying (laughter)!

     

  • Aaron Durogati

    Nationality: South Tyrol/Italian
    Home: Meran
    Born in: 1986
    Paraglider pilot since: 2002
    ADVANCE team pilot since: 2017
    Biggest success: Twice Paragliding World Cup Champion, numerous Worldcup wins. Second and third in the X-Pyr. Sixth and seventh in the X-Alps. First, second and third in Dolomiteman, Sellaronda Ski marathon medal. Likes to set new standards as a top sportsman and combine flying with different mountain sport disciplines.

  • Summer mountain training session: looking after the knees with the PI 2.
  • Even when ski touring Aaron often takes a paraglider along. You never know...
  • When it gets too steep to slide, the wing comes out of the bag.
  • Climb & Fly: Where else but in South Tyrol? Aaron finds unlimited possibilities on his home patch.

ADVANCE: You regularly fly a variety of ADVANCE- models - OMEGA XALPS 2, OMIKRON, PI2 and PI BI. Have you got a “favourite toy” among these?

Aaron: A favourite product? Difficult to say, because of the different kinds of flying. The OMEGA XALPS 2 is really great, the best Hike and Fly wing for Xalps and cross country. It has super performance, weighs not a lot and is also very compact. 

I like to take the PI 2 if I go to the mountains, to fly down. It is perfect for my sking activities. It fits in a 20 ltr rucksack and the PI 2 also does not take up space much when I take ropes and crampons along. It is super easy to fly and takes off from anywhere. I feel totally good with it and therefore mostly fly without a reserve.

I like the OMIKRON because its 17 square metres gets up a ton of energy! More than my last other model; that one had 16 metres and was easier to fly. It’s also super that I can fly thermals with it – ideal for long acro sessions.

For the BIBETA 6 I very much appreciate that it is so nice to take off and easy to fly. Landing is just great with it. And the PI BI? That is really good for takeoff. It’s is fun toy, because I can fly some acro with this tandem. The performance is also really good. Everything about this wing is super. That’s why I like ADVANCE.

ADVANCE: How do you see your strengths in the sporting arena?

Aaron: On one side I am reasonably good in combining different sports. On the other I have a high level in many paragliding disciplines, competition, cross country, hike and fly, speedflying and acro. My endurance is also reasonably strong. This means I can combine such things as ski and fly, or waterfall climbing and flying.

ADVANCE: Is there a sport that you would still like to try?

Aaron: Hmmmmm (Aaron considers) No. Not really, at the moment. Last year it was parachuting. I once went to the wind tunnel in Milan, and made ten, maybe twelve jumps after that. But I don’t have the time to do a course.

What I like best is combining different types of mountain sport with different ways to paraglide; this winter, for example, cliff climbing and flying.

  • Langkofel, Sella Towers and Piz Ciavazes: Mountain jog in front of an impressive Dolomite backdrop.
  • Careful packing helps your paraglider live a lot longer.

ADVANCE: What was the best moment of your sporting career to date?

Aaron: There are several. But the best was probably when I won the World Cup Superfinal for the first time in 2013, in Colombia. Before that I’d had a quite difficult time because of my father’s fatal accident in 2012.

ADVANCE: What was the saddest?

Aaron: When I had to give up the 2017 Xalps because of my knee injury. I was so well prepared, very fit, already had plenty of experience from my two previous Xalps attempts. As well as that, my team and equipment were all fantastic.

  • On your marks, get set ... go!
  • The start of a new adventure.

ADVANCE: You have a nearly two-year-old son with Renata Kuhnova (successful PWC-pilot, editor’s note). Has being a father altered your attitude towards your sporting projects?

Aaron: No, not at all. I’m just very happy to have Arno. It’s always nice to come home again and there is Arno with Renata. A lot of people believe that I do extreme things, but I have a lot of experience, get on with what I’m doing and are careful. That’s what I have always done. So nothing has changed now I have a son.

ADVANCE: Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Aaron: Still doing competition flying and on the mountains.

ADVANCE: Can you tell us something about your next projects for this year?

Aaron: Hmmm (Aaron considers). I have a couple of ideas, but it’s too early to say anything about them.

ADVANCE: Well, we’re excited about them anyway, and wish you a lot of success! In the meantime, naturally, we’re looking forward to when you do let the cat out of the bag. Many thanks for the conversation, Aaron!

More about Aaron Durogati

  • The Flying Mountaineer

    Italian TV RAI South Tyrol transmitted a comprehensive documentary in April about the simpatico S. Tyrolean. Here’s the 25 minute film.

  • /advancedadventure Himalayas

    Aaron Durogati and big-mountain climber Tamara Lunger explored the Indian Himalayas by Hike & Fly with the tandem. Here is the major reporting.

  • Video Himalayan Tandem

    On their Hike & Fly tandem trip through the Indian Himalyayas Aaron and Tamara Lungger film maker Alessandro d’Emilia went along. Here’s his film.

  • Fun and Freedom with OXA 2

    Xc Flight

    What do you think about this view? flying above big mountains, glaciers and dolomiti.. #puremountain #advacedadventures

    Posted by Aaron Durogati on Thursday, 26 April 2018

    Cross country, Acro, Speedflying –Aaron blurs the boundaries. The main thing is to have fun – like some freestyling here with the OMEGA XALPS 2 Light-Racer.

     

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