Maja Kuczynska – Bigger than the Sky
Stunning routine by Maja Kuczyńska
Freefly - 1400
Everything else - 100
Tunnel - Wish I knew! 150 hr?
26 years! And actively licensed for the past 10 :)
USA! Currently residing in Austin, TX, may even buy a house here…
Doesn’t matter as long as the jumps are fun, creative, and safeish. I mean really, we’re jumping out of airplanes, there is no room for snobbery in that, what we do is incredible in the most basic way.
Similar to my feelings about favorite place to jump. The location doesn’t matter, it’s the vibe & the people. Wind is wind is wind. Could be the old Vegas tunnel but if my people are there, it’s an amazing time and that is all that matters.
Is there fame in skydiving?? Haha! I felt important when I was featured in my University daily newsletter for being on the 2010 Womens Vertical World Record (WVWR). I have a few other world, national, and state records but future goals include a medal at US Nationals, maybe even Worlds! Whenever that time/money thing balances itself out.
Mostly firsts. Just can’t beat it! My first tandem, flying with my mom & dad. My first solo, laughing so hard on landing that I couldn’t focus enough to stand it up. My first WVWR when we held the completed 41-way for what felt like forever, with an Arizona sunset for our backdrop. Tracking over the ocean for the first time at Sebastian. Flying the mountain in Voss. Laughing so hard in freefall, it takes me a few seconds longer to get to my slot.
LB Altimeters because being altitude aware is cool
Icarus Canopies because they open and fly beautifully
UPT Vector because I never have to worry about anything flapping out when I’m going fast
Tonfly suits because the fit is perfection
Sunshine, Laughter, Food, Champagne, Namaste
It was cool! But I didn’t know anything else. I made money charging the adults for cursing around me. I got to drive golf carts around. My parents never made me pack, so that’s a win!
Definitely. The sky seemed way more fun than the ground. I was right!
I refused to go to the dropzone that day until my older brother agreed I could jump first. The tantrum worked, and I got to go before him. My dad loves to tell that embarrassing story. I remember being nervous, walking to the Casa tailgate, spitting out my gum, feeling the cold air. My dad was TI and mom docked on my right hand. I loved every second. I treasure the freefall photos, my stoke is palpable.
Tell me about your famous skydiving family – Chris, Mary, Ted and Tim Wagner
I am super proud! Lots of gold medals & skydiving milestones. Big shoes to fill.
Certainly helped get my foot in the door, already knowing the ways of the sport, and its people. Getting hand-me-down gear made it much more affordable to start jumping. I rarely hear “Chris’s daughter” any more, because we are in such different circles, but when I do it’s always in a positive light. So thanks, Dad, for being likeable! Definitely no drawbacks.
To keep doing what I have been. I love to organize and jump with beginners. They’re still so excited and to share my own passion and experience feels great. And I love to create fun events - I’ve organized a few SiS [Sisters in Skydiving] events and competitions. We just did a 10way VFS meet, joining a traditionally FS event (TeXXas ways) and borrowing their formations. I am looking forward to many more of those in the future - the jumps are big enough to be challenging but not so big that only 1 point is done. I want to maintain the fun-loving vibe I felt on dropzones in the ‘90s versus the serious, get-better-faster atmosphere I feel is taking over now. Keith Creedy has been doing a lot of that & it’s incredible. Don’t Broke the Goat? That’s hilarious.
As a kid on the dropzone, the freeflyers were much nicer and would put up with my childish antics. And they wore cool tie-dye suits. So of course I wanted to be just like them. And it’s a generational thing, I suppose. Freeflying wasn’t around when my parents started!
I am one of three full-time employees of the International Bodyflight Association (IBA), my title is Competitions and Communications Coordinator. I prefer the title Passionary. Indoor Skydiving has a ton of potential, we all agree with that. My job is to help it reach that potential. To share what’s going on in the community, to create great competitions and events for the flyers, to work with tunnel managers that may not understand the sport and help them to recognize the value and give them the tools to do so. Flying is awesome and now that it is so accessible, the possibilities are endless. The IBA doesn’t have a great reputation and everyone has their own opinions of how things should be done. And that’s to be expected. We are working to give people a platform to see their dreams play out, and ultimately to cultivate growth and evolution, and if you want to be involved, please join us
I think about this question all the time. It could blow up in popularity or it could fail or land somewhere in the middle, but we will just have to wait and see. Hopefully it gets cheaper!
I earned a B.S. in Geography and for 2 years after graduating I worked as a contractor for the US military, creating maps. I spent a fair amount of that time in Afghanistan. It paid well, it had an important purpose, and it was challenging. I miss that work actually. But here I am, and there’s no place I’d rather be.
It means I get to spend more time upside down!
Absolutely. Skydiving and tunnel flying are all about awareness of your body and your surroundings and presence in the moment. Exactly what yoga teaches. It’s universal, really, what you practice in the studio goes with you everywhere and if I can be a more mindful person all around, why wouldn't I?
Lululemon and Whole Foods
Going to school in Arizona so I could spend my weekends in the skies of Eloy. For sure that has led me down a totally unique path and introduced me to so many incredible people.
I am a fantastic speller. It’s a completely useless talent in this millennium.
Mom & dad of course. As for my chosen family - Lisa Mazzetta, Dave Rhea & Scotty Bob, Veronica & Jennifer & April - those names quickly come to mind. Lisa has been my big sister since 2008 and has opened a million doors for me. She has taught me so much about fearlessness and hard work. Dave, Scotty, and I go way back to a time of craziness that I will always cherish, they are my rotten crew forever. And now here in Austin I have this badass girl squad, we have a ton of fun. And now too, I have my yoga world. Many teachers over the years have led me to the amazing studio I am at now. I’m taking my teacher, Desirae, on her first tandem next month. Stoked! What a great journey!
Egos and ignorance - they are the destroyers of growth.
Amy Chmelecki & Melissa Nelson-Lowe… hello, the Sugar Gliders! I had their Parachutist cover photo on my wall in high school, before ever having met them. They are special. Melanie Curtis & her never-ending energy, I consistently ask myself “What Would Mel Do?” Jeffro and Luke Aikins, they are pretty special & I just love their passion for pushing the envelope. Every freefall photo/videographer out there, for their artistry in bringing the sky to all of us.