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Name: Waclaw Kipszak

Internet name: Waki Designs

Age: 32

Location: Gothenburg Sweden

 Bikes: Santa Cruz Blur TRc, hardtail of my own design

 Occupation:  Architect, 3D graphic artist

Wacek, it was great to finally meet the real person, not a number/name on a forum! How was your flying visit to the borders?

It was really good, I could finally get at least a small taste of infamous British mud. Coffee got so much better in London since the last time I’ve been here 6 years ago. I am super happy I saw the countryside, it’s a bit like northern version of Italian villages. I have a weak spot for folklore. I could imagine myself living in Wales.

Were the Dirt test tracks like you’d imagined? Is it similar to what you do?

Yes they were a bit like I imagined but I never saw so slippery mud. My local trails are spread on much lower hills, have more rocks and boulders. NS Vancouver in miniature. Really great place to test XC/trail bikes, a place that might put big wheels to a question – acceleration VS momentum

You took out the Stumpy Evo 29? So much debate about wheels when the reality is few people have actually ridden the real good ones?

Haha, yes, I think the wheel’s diameter is totally overrated – how about we talk rim widths and the effect that does on cornering or riding rock gardens? But that’s not only peoples’ fault, industry has its own way of tuning something a bit and announcing it as a breakthrough. The Stumpy was amazing, it had a mind of its own, very nimble, haven’t felt like other 29ers I rode – just a great bike really. But hey it was really pimped up: Pike, carbon rims, 35mm stem – that’s cheating!

We see these beautiful images of mtb, for example there is currently photo of the year happening/run to the hills……but the reality is mostly quite different? Nice to dream though?

Oh I could write for days about reality… or what it takes for a picture to be made. We admire people like Brendan F or Stevie Smith, but we never see the full story, we never know if we’d change with one of them – their life isn’t just jumping. I have a TDF level roadie in my family, I know those athletes sacrifice a lot of things that I never would – and I don’t mean injuries or tough training – how about dinner with the family? I look at it this way: that picture is there and looks the way it looks, because people buy bikes: office rats, carpenters, plumbers, street sweepers, all sorts of un-GoPro-able jobs. Even if you contributed to just a fiber in his jersey, you are on that picture. Dare to dream, and consider that you might be living a dream, if Cedric G could see all that makes your life, maybe he’d be jealous. It takes balls to realize and accept who you are, even if it means becoming your own dad or mother.

You mentioned the “troll was off-line”? And that I mention ‘people on the internet.’ Surely you are not one of these, your comments are usually balanced and informed.

I might be more balanced, but I write so much that in quantitative terms I qualify to be a troll for sure! I don’t think I get more information into my head than an average person but I definitely think too much. I also have this friend Jon, who is a great point of reference, experienced bike mechanic, very skilled and strong rider. You can’t talk gaining seconds on uphill thanks to carbon rims when someone blasts past you on a bike with double the travel on cheap DH rims… And hey! I am proud to be a troll! I’ve grown big enough I can feed myself

Opinions are a funny business though, I mean everyone has their own preference after all?

Yes it amuses me how often people run away into argument “It’s a matter of your own preference” – as if there was no good or bad preferences, because how do you know if your choice is good for you? I see some weird tyre choices on my trails sometimes…

Bike testing is about finding the best, do you feel there needs to be more clarity as to what IS actually good on websites/magazines?

I think there is way too many reviews of gear looking like a prose of geometry chart and list of components accompanied by interpretation of intended use. Honestly you people… out there… writing – just entertain us a bit, give us something we can’t find on manufacturers website – surprise us, tell us what you feel, tell us something only you can tell us. Get that guy Luca Masserini from DirtTV in San Remo! Get him to test something and write a review! We’ll get adjectives no one ever considered using to describe a bike part!

If you want to upset someone, do it well?

Yes, like win EWS on 26” wheels! No seriously, I don’t like interpersonal fights because they are often poor in content and in language. Billy Connolly says that insult and swearing are a skill. If you are to tell someone off then at least entertain everyone else! My latest favourite, coming from race report from Hafjell: “- Haha! Gee crashed into a tree” reply “- No, Gee crashed into your mom”

Do you get any positive interaction from web discussions?

A lot, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it. I think a lot about everything, writing on the internet helps me formulate, clarify and test ideas. There are some people with whom I have PM chats about everything, bikes, architecture, sex toys, even religion. After 5 years of verbal diarrhoea I learned a lot about myself. I have also met many nutters, I love nutters!

Does there really need to be so much hate on websites?

It doesn’t need to be if people took more responsibility for what they write. We are anonymous and safe behind the screen and it is too easy to leave a message for everyone to see. It’s like shouting at people in traffic when you sit inside the car – try that it on narrow pavement, walking behind somebody. As long as people ramble about bike parts I can take it, but I cannot stand this hating on riders, I always lose it. First Sam Hill couldn’t talk, then Aaron Gwin was boring, American and talking God. Now Gee is this, Gee is that, Gee is too serious! Gee crashed into my mom…

Talk to us about religion

Religions are going down the drain yet surprisingly we remain as naive as we’ve always been. I see more and more claims like, “I believe in science.” I always say – “Then Science bless you”. Congratulations, you just found another thing that is beyond your imagination, so you have to listen to other people telling you why you and the universe looks the way it looks. It just doesn’t answer the main question: “why? – what is the meaning of this?” Guy in the sky never answered, now Scientists say they don’t know, but that bloody question just sits in there… you got to face it yourself, think it through, there’s no way around it…

  1. Juan Samwell

    Nice article, about a cool guy. Ive read his stuff for years in comments on here and other forums, Ive even had a couple of good verbal sparrings with him a few years back while getting my big ole opinion out on a number of subjects.

    Personally, whether I agree with them or not, I like to read peoples opinions on stuff and enjoy real grown up debate, not to be confused with forum bitching, shit we don’t all think the same and thats no bad thing.

    I can honestly say that Waki has entertained, educated and in a couple of cases changed my mind on a few things over the years. I hope both he and you guys keep up the good work that loads of us enjoy reading so much. nice as you say to put a face to a name.

  2. Eoin

    I feel dirt dodger should have gotten the first spot in the limelight, where is that guy btw? It’s awful quiet around here these days, whats going on?! Cheers for the original content Dirt!

    1. TimBud

      Yeah, it has got real quiet… (since Billy left 😉 )

      Even the forums have disappeared recently. :(

      1. WAKi

        Let’s just throw in something to talk about then!
        1. 650b is a nazi wheel size
        2. I love Animals – with sauce
        3. 2014 RF Next SL crankset is under 500g – can cranksets get lighter?
        4. Should Stevie Smith use wind tunnel testing? Isn’t DH becoming too serious
        5. A man who’s been in coma for 5 days claims heaven is full of atheists
        6.If you could hug and get a kiss from one of DH racing girls which one would you choose – I’m married but I’d still cuddle Emmeline Ragot!

      2. Hancock

        1. Nah, they’re like the people that buy a new Apple iThing every year because it’s better-er than the last one, when they could have spent £200 on a little upgrade and some training that would make them go much better. All that money for 1cm more ground clearance, dumb as rocks, but hardly fascistic.
        2. Mmmmmm… bacon.
        3. THM do one under 400g including BB, must try harder Racface.
        4. Stevie needs a Mark Spitz style spoiler shave, to help his breathing you understand.
        5. Lol
        6. Queen Carro, she’s the best at everything, probably gives the best hugs too.

  3. EnduroManiac

    Haha funny to finally see your face Waki!

  4. jonesdirt

    It was great to spend some time with the real person, a man that does not hide.

    Waki stop provoking people – everyone knows that 27.5 wheels are simply holding back development. Its not long now before the 37mm 160 29″ fork materialises and dh bikes being overtaken by enduro bikes on the hill

    1. WAKi

      Funny you haven’t focused on point 5 – That is hugging a girl who rides a downhill bike faster than most men. Excites me at least… Sorry for including only downhill girls, we must count in Enduro and XC as well! Pick one from each discipline. Maybe someone would like to hug one of the boys? I think many owe Gee Atherton a hug. Isn’t that a nice speculation? Provoking people to such confessions can only make the world a better place…

      160 29″ fork? Just put a Dorado with travel limiter on Enduro 29…

      1. Gabe

        Hello! To my one time one and only follower on Pinkbike! (I have two now, woop woop) Always wondered if you were the same Waki as on PB. Anyway…..
        1) I think you’re onto something there…Messerschmitts were always better on paper than Spits, but there is something just “fun” about the way a Spitfire handles. In the end it all comes down to the pilot really. And those plucky 26ers really do have a fight on their hands…
        2)How about a bit of mutton in a short skirt?
        3)Course they can. 155mm “Enduro Specific” arms for pedalling in the rough.
        4)Too Serious? I don’t think anything about hurling yourself down a mountain on a pushbike could really be called “serious”.
        However, in my eyes, speed is good. More speed is more good. Aerodynamics are therefor good, as long as they don’t slow you down in the corners (bloody big wheels)
        5)Well it wouldn’t be that heavenly if it was full of right wing evangelists would it? On a more serious note, you appear to be someone who actually thinks about these things, (thank god, lol) There aren’t enough of you people around these days sadly. Scares me a little, kill religion and people end up worshipping the state. Cue a load of nazis on 650bs….
        6)Most of them, something about a girl on a dhbike is just hot. If I had to choose? Myriam Nicole. Hot. Smiley. Looks a little like my first gf, which is nice.xx

  5. One reason

    1.still wanna try it i like new stuff
    2.lamb shank mmmm
    3.mad 500g for crankset blow my mind
    4. haha as long as he does more suicides
    5. atheists dont belive in heaven
    6. manon carpenter still 15 seconds faster then me (gunna work hard this winter)


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Life on Wheels Chapter 2