Catching up with Jenna Gygi

Visit Us

In a relatively short time and with only 2,700 jumps Jenna Gygi is a very strong promoter for Acrobatic Wingsuit Flying, winning with her team FlyLikeBrick the last FAI World Cup, setting an EU and World Record and winning every WS Tunnel competition they entered with a big margin.

Jenna standing in front of the Swiss Parliament, after working with a Swiss Newspaper
Photo by Adrian Moser

This lovely gentle Swiss woman describes herself as being in love with wingsuit flying and an active world traveller that can be found anywhere on the globe. She avoids social media, is a bit on the shy side at first and incredibly lovely once you get to know her better. Surprisingly (or not…) the most common words her friends use to describe her are ‘driven’ and ‘stubborn’ 🙂

Hi, Jenna. Just to start – how did this ‘skydiving love affair’ begin? Did you know it was going to be wingsuiting from the start?

I did a tandem skydive and was hooked right from the start. 2 weekends later I was back on the dropzone for my AFF Course. Living in Switzerland I was of course already aware of wingsuits, and that quickly became my sole focus and aim.

What do you do for a living now?

I coach in the Indoor Wingsuit Tunnel, through our Wingsuit Team FlyLikeBrick (I am incredibly happy to have Jarno Cordia as a teammate). We do a one week camp there every month. The rest of my free time is spent doing personal training and a mix of outdoor coaching and (commercial/movie) projects.

Team Training in Texel, Netherlands – preparing for the Wingsuit World Cup of 2019
Photo by Susan Watts

Why did you choose Acrobatics and not Performance Flying?

Though I appreciate the skill and training people put into performance flying, spending my time doing solo skydives flying in a straight line and having a little box on my helmet to tell me if my jump was good or bad, is just not my idea of fun. I’m also not bad at performance flying, but I just much more enjoy the teamwork and skills involved in wingsuit acrobatics. It’s a very dynamic discipline, which constantly pushes me to refine, improve and further evolve in skills. It also constantly helps me improve my knowledge and skills as a wingsuit coach.

Jenna is at a level of precision, style and dedication in flying that is hard to match. Not caring about social media popularity, she is the most skills-driven person I know in the sport, and one of the world’s best wingsuit pilots. “

Jarno Cordia

What achievements gave you the most satisfaction?

  • Winning the 2018 USPA Nationals, participating as a guest team
  • Winning the 2019 IPC/FAI World Cup of Wingsuit Flying and also setting an EU and World Record with our results
  • Being on the wingsuit stunt team for “Operation Red Sea”, one of the biggest Chinese action films ever produced.
  • An incredible night XRW Jumps with pyrotechnics over Skydive Sebastian (video at the end of the article)
  • Winning every Wingsuit Tunnel competition we took part in

FlyLikeBrick – 2019 World Cup Wingsuit Flying

Brilliant video showing Jenna’s team during the 2019 World Cup

What are the biggest challenges in your activity?

I think the challenges are actually the main reason I do it. Wanting to train harder, work harder, fly more and learn more than anyone else, aiming to be the best in what you do. That’s what motivates me in every single flight I get to make.

What do you think about the fact that wingsuit competitions are not separated into male and female?

I think we would be doing the sport and women in general a disservice by splitting it up. I don’t believe there is a single reason why women can not compete at exactly the same level as men. We’re not lifting weights, as of course their physique there does help. But skydiving is about coordination, training, mindset and courage. And all of those have zero to do with gender.

Jenna is quiet, humble and she surprised me with how smooth and strong she flies. In my books she’s a doer, my type of athlete”

Cornelia Mihai

Having an amazing time with another strong lady, Cornelia Mihai,
doing some XRW jumps over the famous Dubai Palm

There are discussions in the wingsuit area that the 200 jumps limit to start this discipline is too low. What do you think?

I think 200 jumps in itself is not a wrong number, for sure less would be horrible. But seeing some people rush through those 200 jumps doing nothing but solo jumps or worse hop and pops, it is possible to arrive at that experience level with very little relevant skills. I’d love to see people focus more on other aspects of body flying and awareness through FS and FF and pushing those factors as mandatory experience over just the number.

What’s the biggest single thing we could do to improve safety in general and wingsuit specifically?

Wingsuit is a very gear-focussed discipline. I would love if skills could be the main focus, like other disciplines. Making sure people’s experience and skill matches the suit size and model they fly. People seem to not always realize that technique is exactly the same in the smallest and biggest suit. You don’t need a bigger suit to progress, and I’d even dare say some people progress slower due to flying a suit way outside their ability.

Another factor is canopy choice and skill. Though I’m a wingsuit pilot myself, I’ll gladly vote for wingsuit as a discipline having not the best canopy pilots in our sport. Basics such as flaring as opposed to impacting earth butt-first and having your eyes open and aware of other traffic seem like a foreign language to some wingsuit pilots.

Training at Indoor Wingsuit Flying, Stockholm, Sweden

Tell us about the wingsuit tunnel

It’s obvious how tunnels changed the game for freeflying. You can do years’ worth of training in a matter of weeks, due to the amount of time you can fly. Especially when combined with coaching. I got involved in wingsuit tunnel flying relatively early, and was one of the first customers when they opened. Flying a lot and progressing fast, I got invited to start coaching there. Later that year Jarno I got sent to the USPA Nationals to represent the tunnel in wingsuit Acro. I think we definitely showed everyone there the huge difference in level it created. It’s a game-changer.

Favorite place in the world to jump & why. As you see I’m not asking about your favorite windtunnel ☺

Anywhere in Switzerland, as there truly is not a dropzone without a postcard view as standard. And Skydive Texel in the Netherlands, partially for the views and multiple fast airplanes, but especially due to the two brothers who own the DZ who have an incredible amount of heart and love for us jumpers.

Team Training in Texel, Netherlands – preparing for the Wingsuit World Cup of 2019
Photo by Susan Watts

What’s your favorite skydiving moment of all time?

It’s difficult to choose one specific memory. I think for me every competition so far has been a favourite. Already knowing we won, having such a big margin on other teams, that we are able to go up for the last jump to celebrate winning. Often as a result of being so relaxed that we end up flying our best round ever. Having a canopy ride and team landing that’s filled with fun, emotion and celebration, somehow so far always also always combined with it being an amazing sunset jump.

Every jump I make is one I enjoy to the max but those competitive celebration jumps are the really special ones that stick in my mind.

Tell us a quirky fact about yourself, something people don’t know

I love vacuuming. For real. If there is a new cordless Dyson, I need to have it. Dyson people, you reading this? Send me the goods!

Training at Flying Devil in Bex, Switzerland
Photo by Jarno Cordia

Describe yourself in 5 words or less

Confident. Focused. Sportive. Humble. Stubborn.

Do you have a motto, or favourite quotation?

In competition, you will always rise to the level of your training. Talent is a starting point, and hard work and training is what turns that into skill.

The Wingsuit Tunnel took ‘the game’ to a different level in a very short time

Training in the Wingsuit Tunnel

What do you spend too much money on but not regret?

Skydiving gear. I always want to have the best possible gear. And I don’t mind working hard to have the money to spend on that. Over the years I have thankfully acquired various sponsors supporting what we do, through our competitive results. But those were always companies I already had a good relationship with through years of buying and using their gear.

What’s your pet peeve? Inside and outside the sport

I would say Social Media. It’s an amazing tool to connect to friends all across the globe. But it’s also an incredibly shallow medium at times. Making it easy for some to craft a very fake image where skill and experience don’t always match reality. Being humble and honest is I think a huge asset, and those tend to be the people who I’m thankful to call my friends.

Team training at Skydive Algarve, March 2020
Photo by Jarno Cordia

Who are your sponsors?

  • Atair Canopies: with their WinX wingsuit Canopy
  • Phoenix-Fly: for the agile wingsuits
  • Cookie: Protecting brains and face
  • L&B: for the awesome toys helping me stay altitude aware
  • Wingsuit Cypres: should I ever not be aware, or not able to be
  • UPT: The magic backpack holding my parachutes

What’s next for you, and what are you most excited about?

The world slowly getting back a new version of normal, and being able to get back to training for the World Championships. Though it’s still more than a year away, I will use every skydive I get to make, and every minute of wingsuit tunnel time I get to fly, to train and prepare. Regardless of end results, I want the Mondial to be the place where I show the best flying I’ve ever done. And I will enjoy every single moment of our team training towards that goal.

Anything you would like to add?

I hope everyone into wingsuit flying uses the coming year to train hard. And that 2021 is the year where we will see the most teams ever in Acro at the Mondial.

And perhaps a small addition: if anyone wants to try wingsuit flying for the first time, or wants to get coached by us as a team. Go to FlyLikeBrick.com and sign up for one of our team’s monthly camps through us.

If you are interested to follow Jenna’s adventures (and you should, because she’s amazing!) you can find her on Instagram, Facebook or Youtube.

One of Jenna’s favorite projects – Wingsuit vs. Canopy at Night

Night XRW Jumps with pyrotechnics over Skydive Sebastian
Visit Us

Meet: Andreea Pistea

Andreea started skydiving at 16 years old and the step between hobby and passion was almost immediately made. Nothing changed in the years that passed.

She is a USPA coach, AFF Instructor, Multiple World Record holder in big-ways, former captain of TNT 4-way team and a Romanian Airclub athlete.

Andreea enjoys FS, wingsuiting and freefly. She flyes Sun Path, Aerodyne, Squirrel, Cookie Helmets and Cypres.

Contact Me

    Scroll to Top