Red Bull X-Alps

Meet the paragliding pooch

They’ve have been to space, BASE-jumped and surfed some pretty sick breaks. The latest four-legged action sports hero is Milo, the paragliding pooch. Just eight months old, she recently joined owner and three-time Red Bull X-Alps athlete Ferdy van Schelven for a tandem flight in Annecy. Milo was unfortunately unavailable to interview, but Ferdy agreed to speak on her behalf.

© Ferdy van Schelven

Tell us about Milo

She’s a border collie, like a shepherd dog, from Belgium, about eight months old. 

How did she get her wings?

I was in the Alps with the family of my girlfriend. We just went for a walk and I thought it was a bit of a shame to leave the dog behind, so I thought I might as well take her. 

Did she enjoy it? 

She was whining a bit because she was afraid in the beginning – I’m not sure she understood what was going on – but I’m sure after a couple of times she’ll be ok.

Was she moving around a lot? 

She was well behaved. If she started moving around that would have been a situation but she was really calm during the flight. Once on the ground she was jumping around again.

What rig did she wear? 

There are companies that make custom-built harnesses for dogs but I just thought out my own solution, took some slings and put them together, attached her to my harness and flew down. How was it for you? It’s kinda like when you’re doing a tandem. She’s only 15kg.

Plans to fly again? 

So far we just made the one flight. If I lived in the Alps I’d do it more often. I’m not going to leave her in the car. That would be a shame. 

Lastly, how are things for you after the Red Bull X-Alps?

I’m happy not to have to train every day! All three races were pretty different. I think it would be hard for me to do any better – I’m happy with the result.