Kinga Masztalerz en vol avec la WILD

Portrait – Kinga Masztalerz


Can you introduce yourself in a few words ?

KM : My name is Kinga. I was born in Poland, my home is in New Zealand. I spend my time from November till April there and when northern spring comes, I move to European Alps where I live in my van chasing the weather. Then when autumn comes to Europe it’s time for Indian Himalayas and then I go back to New Zealand where spring starts. I’m a physicist by education, nowadays growing tropical waterlilies and teaching the art of vol-bivouac to other pilots.

Kinga Masztalerz à la Born To Fly

When and how did you learn paragliding ?

KM : I started flying 5,5 years ago. Back then I was a very keen rock climber. And one day I fell off a boulder problem in an unlucky way and I tore some tendons in my elbow. It wasn’t super serious but I couldn’t climb for 6 months. So I went for a paragliding course and basically since I made my first tiny flight, like a hen of a perch, I was totally hooked. I’ve never touched the rock again! The idea that you can climb a hill with a backpack, take out this piece of cloth and then actually fly on it, blew my mind. I still think it’s pure magic. And especially when I climbed my first thermal in Bassano del Grappa, in Italy, it was such a transcendent experience. I landed with tears in my eyes and with a strong decision that now I’m gonna fly, nothing else matters. I quit my job and city life and moved to Semonzo del Grappa, then to Saint Hilaire and have been chasing it ever since.

Kinga Masztalerz en vol avec la WILD

What is your favorite way to fly ?

KM : Solo vol-bivouac through some remote mountains is when I feel the most connected and truly alive.

Kinga Masztalerz au décollage

Do you have a special flying memory (good or bad) to share with us ?

KM : I particularly cherish adventures that push me far outside of my comfort zone, they’re always hard, but they also make me grow as a pilot and as a human.
1st big solo vol-bivouac trip through the Southern Alps of New Zealand was like this, hard and incredibly rewarding. And of course Red Bull X-Alps.

Kinga Masztalerz au décollage

What could you tell us about your experience in X-Alps ?

KM : When I qualified I had been flying only for 4 years and of course, I wasn’t quite ready but still, I’m so happy I went for it. This race was the steepest learning curve I could imagine. It was incredibly inspiring to learn from some of the best athletes in the world. I made so many mistakes and afterward, it took me a few weeks to wrap my head around it but then when I finally reconnected, I noticed I was flying in a different, more mature, confident and calmer way, so X-Alps definitely made me a better pilot. I can’t wait to do it again!

Kinga Masztalerz

What are your upcoming projects in paragliding and outside paragliding ?

KM : This summer I planned X-Pyr race, a vol-bivouac course in the Alps, then a vol-bivouac in Tadjikistan and autumn in Indian Himalayas. Unfortunately, all these adventures will have to wait.
Meanwhile, I love woodwork so now I’m building a deck at the back of the house and some huge planters, I’m also growing veggies, practicing yoga and riding a mountain bike. NZ airspace which has been closed for three weeks should open in a few days so I’ll restart flying, I’ve missed it already!

Nouveauté : SAVAGE
Jason Gondonneau
Portrait – Jason Gondonneau