Sports

The Freakin’ Pilot from Blue Skies Magazine talks to some of the worlds premiere extreme air sports athletes to get their take on living life to the fullest, their paths to the “lunatic fringe” and how they fit into the mainstream world while living life on the dark side.

Episodes

Back in the can with the Fuckin' co-host Junior Ludvic, he's got some good tips and advice on taking care of your gear while it's down for the winter months, keeping or getting current, dealing with injuries and what the future holds, this time around on The Lunatic Fringe.

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A Southern California jumper from go, Nathan Smith didn't realize just how good he had it at the world famous (with skydivers that is) dropzone he "grew up" on.  Perris valley was the beginning of a journey that has since led him to multiple world records and more than 20 countries around the globe, not just competing in, but teaching the sport he loves. Holding camps and organizing boogies year round, all while working a full-time job in the real world, Nathan isn't satisfied to leave well enough alone, and in 2021 will be launching an entirely new endeavor with one of the best known and winningest canopy pilots in the history of the sport. Join in on this edition and hear about how it really is possible to find a balance between the real world, and the Lunatic Fringe.

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Growing up seeing canopies in the air pretty much his entire life, the idea of going to make a skydive when he turned eighteen seemed like a pretty easy decision. Like more than a few jumpers, it didn't take very long until Timmi spotted the direction he wanted to take his journey in the sport. Seeing what at the time he thought was a fatality in action, but was in reality just another swoop did the trick.  After a fortuitous job offer to go pack nylon in New Zealand, and a few mentors along the way, Timmi once again found himself on the good side of luck when after and impressive swoop with the help of home field advantage caught the eye of event organizers, he found himself doing demo jumps into one of the most impressive arenas skydive has ever seen, the Copenhagen Swoop Freestyle competition in 2015. Join us on this edition of Lunatic Fringe while we chat about nylon, tunnels and the real world with Timmi Thomsen.

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From a very young age, extreme for Matt Jaskol was common place.  Starting first on two wheels and then to four, racing simply became a way of life, and one that he chased with true passion. Yet just like life, racing and it's pitfalls left him looking for some type of escape and distraction from the negatives, and skydiving became his very unexpected release. From pushing the limits on a path aimed toward a seat on the pro racing circuit, to skydives around the world, and eventually to a soul searching experience in the jungles of Indonesia, Matt Jaskol has more than enough to put pen to paper, and in this episode takes his time to share just a taste of his path with the Lunatic Fringe.

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December 13, 2020

Lunatic Fringe with Luigi Cani

Fear.  It's the one thing that the best in our sport have had to contend with, but for Luigi Cani it was almost too much.  Having started his skydiving career with static line jumps that terrified him, he couldn't understand why something inside him kept pushing him back into the airplane, regretting it almost every time. Yet it was that same fear that taught him just how valuable and special the path he had found could be, and what has driven him through an amazing 25 years in our sport.  Not satisfied with the ordinary now anymore than he has been at any other point in his career, the soon to be 50 year old icon in our sport is beginning his training toward yet another possible world record on the 34, with a firm grip on his goals deep in the Lunatic Fringe.

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Ryan Brownlow.  Second generation skydiver with a passion for the sport instilled in him by a father that went big, he grew up packing parachutes and seeing firsthand his Dad's community of jumpers.  As he came into his own in skydiving, he had the opportunity to surround himself with some of the best in the world in their disciplines, eventually leading him to his; canopy piloting. A member of the now 10 year strong team Alter Ego, he and his wife Jessie, a multiple world record holding badass herself are still both going strong, finding a way to balance the real world and parenting while still holding a solid place among the Lunatic Fringe.

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An OG jumper that started his static line course in the early 90's, Mr. Paul Wetzel, aka "Weasle" would go from rocking out of college where he had substantially more motivation for beer and skydiving that his courses, to Army Ranger school where he'd earn his jump wings; From trailer life in Louisiana to tandems in Las Vegas, and from helicopter flight ops in Iraq and Afghanistan to a food truck in North Carolina. Along the way he's made a Japanese man vomit with his ass (And my assist), taken thousands of tandems, hiked the Appalachian trail from end to middle and back and figured out just like a whole lot of us, how lucky he is to be part of the Lunatic Fringe.

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USPA in the house!  The Director of Competition and Records sits down to tell me all the in's and out's of life inside the belly of the beast! Adding to the burn is a litany of brutal hot sauces eaten between Steve Hubbard, Junior Ludvic and myself as we talk about everything from world records to the changing of the USPA guard with the addition of the one and only Albert Berchtold as the big boss.  Join us on this informative and entertaining Lunatic Fringe!

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He might not be the best known name in the sport, and you've not seen him standing atop a podium after a sick canopy competition, but he's been there none the less.  Julien Peelman wasn't just creative in how he began his time in skydiving or even in how he got his gig with NZ Aerosports, but it's that exact creativity and training that has forever solidified his name and legacy in our sport. Designing wings that not only saves lives, but smash world records, he's put his skills to work on everything from the Petra to the Kraken and everything in-between, and he's helping keep himself and so many more happy and active with the Lunatic Fringe. 

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Back for a little more abuse, Olga Namova, professional skydiver, canopy pilot competitor and NZ Aerosports athlete sits down to have an entertaining, yet serious and sobering conversation about injuries in our sport, her rush in days past to get back into the air regardless of the consequences, and the lessons she's learned on staying safer, taking better care, and recognizing the dangers of pushing too hard too quick. Listen in for a little great advice about how to either avoid, or if not, how to get back into the air wisely after an injury with the rest of the Lunatic Fringe.

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