Maciek has been around the windsurfing competition world from ever. Every time someone asks him his age, they all reply: Only? Not becouse he looks old, but becouse he has been bothering everyone one from the beach from the age of 5 probably! Starting his pro career mainly in the Formula scene and shifting now also to Slalom and Waves. Here few words, where at the age of 22, he is for the first time obtaining a top 10 result in the PWA Slalom.
Yeah Ricardo thought I was 30 haha!
Sylt looked like a great event for you. 7th in the slalom discipline. Was this your best result at a PWA Slalom?
Yeah it’s my best result so far. I hope that it won’t stand too long as my best one though!
What was the difference to the other events?
First of all the conditions. Sylt is my closest event not only in terms of kilometres but also on water conditions. Specially the first day I really enjoyed it – don’t really know why but it seems like I excel in harder conditions, as my best results came in Fuerte in Sylt this year. Kinda funny if you think I’m a “formula guy”. Not sure if it’s my skill or just the fact I get way more excited to go slalom sailing in waves and/or strong winds than in dead flat water. Let’s hope La Torche will be even harder then haha!
Why is it that you can obtain a top 10 result and a last place in a slalom competition. What are the main points?
The level is just going thru the roof. There’s probably 30 guys that can make a final and/or be top10 depending on the conditions. And those vary so so much from place to place. Turkey is flat and the wind is hot and gusty – Sylt is wavy and choppy the wind is cold, solid and steady. Doesn’t get more opposite than that. That’s were also gear and tuning comes into play a lot. I feel my combo of Patrik and Point-7 works very good all around the world, but because I train in places like Tenerife and Poland I have way more experience in tuning my gear for hard conditions. I just do one run and know exactly what to change whereas in Turkey I can test the whole day and still not have a clew, because everything feels similar in flat water and gusty winds. And than once your on a racecourse there’s so many variables again. Slalom is super complex in it’s simplicity. And that’s what makes it so hard. That’s what makes it beautiful.
Are you still the youngest on tour?
Naah, I don’t think so. Tristan and Jordy are younger than me and if we count out New Caledonia they’re doing the whole tour this year. And their getting really good really really quickly. I think it’s good for me that there’s young guys on my ass now, as I can’t blame everything on the fact that I’m the youngest no more haha! Time to man up and step it up now!
You are now competing often this year in the wave discipline in the PWA Tour. Why this choice and your goal? Whats missing between you and top wave guy to enter the podium at this stage?
It’s actually a funny story. I applied for a spot in Tenerife and got declined straight away. But than somebody pulled out so they gave me the spot while I was already in Fuerte. I still didn’t know if to go or not, as I had my flight back home already and wasn’t sure my level was good enough. But than I talked to some of the guys and decided to give it a shot. Fuck it you live only once, I thought. And it turned out I passed the trials. Got smoked in the main event, but it was already something. Baby steps. So I applied for Denmark and passed the trials again. And than in Sylt again. Because my seeding is so bad I always come up against top seeds in the main event and to put up a fight against them I definitely need to improve my jumping. I love riding waves so much I never really jumped much, but if I improve my jumps and land something good in the first 1-2 minutes of the heat and spend the rest riding the best waves I think I can put a good heat together. For now that’s what I focus on: I wanna put some good heats together and show some good sailing to the judges and the world. And if I win a few in the process? Would be sick! But wavesailing is the fun part of windsurfing for me and I don’t put pressure to perform in contests as much as racing for sure.
You think is possible to be good in both disciplines?
20 years ago everybody used to do everything! Bjorn, Robby, Anders, Scott Fenton, Robert Teritehau, KP they were great all around sailors and even now if you look at the top of the slalom rankings you’ll find guys who rip in the waves too. I know I probably won’t be world champion in both (overall title would be nice though!) but I definitely have way more respect for guys who can do at least a bit of everything. Not to mention it helps in conditions like Sylt the first day. If you look at that final we did there you’ll see 7 guys who can really rip… and me haha! And what else do you do when you retire from competitive racing anyway?
You come from Poland. There used to be a very strong fleet of sailors in the RSX and Formula. Many world champions. What has changed from those times or are there still a lot strong sailors, but not many take part at the PWA tour?
Yeah we’re really really good at Formula and I guess nobody really likes to leave their comfort zone, so those guys just kept competing in FW. Plus there’s not all that much wind in Poland so you need to travel a lot to train slalom. I wish there was at least 1 more guy doing it full time so I don’t have to drag all those bags by myself haha! And to be serious the slalom scene is really finally growing now and I hope very soon we’ll see another Pole on tour.
Would you call yourself the best Polish windsurfer now? How is the Polish championship structured now?
That’s a hard question. I didn’t get beaten by a polish guy in slalom since 2011, but a lot the events including the nationals overlapped with PWA so I still don’t have a title in my best discipline! I won the indoor nationals, came 2nd in the wave nationals (we’re still on hold for this year) and was 2nd best polish at the Formula Worlds (nationals ‘lapped with Costa Brava). Than we also have a very strong RS:X fleet, who also call themselves windsurfers and who’d probably whoop my ass in 3 knots pumping. So I guess you can say I’m the most versatile for now, but I guess I’ll have the right to call myself the best only when I win titles in 4 different disciplines!
The indoor in Warsaw was a great show. It obviously gave a lot of promotion in the country to our sport. What did you think about it and how will effect sponsorships to the sport out of the industry?
Yeah that event was great for windsurfing in general but for the Polish scene in particular. I did more TV in those 3 days than all my life before. And I mean major TV like all the biggest channels. So obviously a few potential sponsorship opportunities and other good things followed. It’s all talk for now but hopefully something solid will come out of it.
Will it happen again next year?
Hopefully! I talked to the organisers and they were really keen. The stadium is run by a government-owned company so decision making isn’t as simple as saying “we wanna do it”, but I’d say it’s looking rather positive than negative.
What are your next events?
La Torche and New Caledonia. Hopefully in between we’ll run the wave nationals but it could happen they’ll overlap with La Torche. Last year I was coming off a big ankle injury and jumped even worse than normal, which is really really bad haha. So hopefully this year I can show what I learned and hopefully go fall the way in the draw!
How will you spend your next winter?
Hopefully after New Caledonia I can stay in that part of the world for a month or so to score some bigger waves. Last time I rode something bigger than head high was probably last time I went to Western Australia in january 2013! And than I’ll probably go to Tenerife and work my tits off to get some more of those top10s in 2015!
There’s only one and it might be quite far down the line, but I will not rest until I get it. Talking about the PWA World Title of course. For sure I wanna have fun along the way and do trips, videos, promote the sport etc etc but if you tell me I’ll get a title if I drop all that I will not even think for one second.