I met Stanislav Aksenov from the Sinner Team in Tonsai Thailand. Upon meeting the Russian BASE jumper little did I know how my world was about to change. I had no idea I was about to make the decision to get piercings in my back and bungee jump out of a tree in the Thai jungle. This opportunity made my mind stronger then I ever imagined. Though adding to the excitement of the jump was making friends with Stas. Over the next week or so I begun to learn about his mission in life. It is nothing short of super inspiring and I am glad Stas was happy to answer some interview questions to learn about his passions, journey and the people he has met along the way.
Here is a short video of Stas doing some early jumps.
What are your favorite sports, hobbies and passions that inspire you to get out and experience the world?
Now it is Body Suspension and BASE Jumping. I realized you could learn a lot about yourself and about people. These kinds of activities are similar in some points: doing both of them people use a lot of different ways to overcome the fear/pain and it is really interesting to discover these ways. And it is really interesting to develop your own mentality, watch it changes and get new skills to make something more and more complicated each time. I have been doing suspension for others for over 5 years, made almost one thousand suspensions for a few hundreds people and it was always interesting, but after start with the jumps I found out that you can spend all your time doing this and I will not stop be interested.
Do you find that your interests encourage you to travel the world and experience the hobbies you love to do most in new locations?
Almost all of my travels are made to jump somewhere or to take part in someone’s jumps.
How do you find the activities you participate in affect the direction of your lifestyle?
Lifestyle, hobbies, work, family – everything mixed together, suspensions and jumps are part of everything. I think doing this is the main direction of the last years and all the rest is connected to this.
Was it your interest in BASE jumping and body suspensions that lead you to imagine and create Free Fall Body Suspension?
It was the interest of making something like a very strong mental ritual, something very hard to do and safe for others to try. I was making suspensions, started to use more height to impress people more, after it – small pendulum jumps to impress even more and later, step by step developing the free fall suspensions because of the same reason. I see it like a guiding: you check something to be sure about safety and to get your skills, after it you show the way to others. That’s why I started BASE: I was already jumping with the hooks with about 30-35m free fall and decided that I need to learn to jump better and to get some better mind preparation. So I found BASE instructor, went to a dropzone, made my AFF ( Accelerated Free Fall ) course and some jumps from the plane, after it started to base jump. I was sure it would help a lot with developing jumps with the hooks. Now people are jumping from the heights of 70-100m without any problems and it is not the limit. We can do much more than we think.
As most people would believe Free Fall Body Suspension is to crazy to be real, did you find that when you started suggesting the idea of Free Fall Suspension to those around you, that they were encouraging or were they fairly negative to the idea? If there was any negativity, this obviously didn’t stop you!
There are lots of people who liked the idea; many of them are making a long trip to come to Russia and to try this. I am very surprised that any crazy idea finds people who want to go through it. First we thought it can be too hardcore for others, but the world is full of open-minded people. There are so many of them that it’s enough for me to spend all my time with people who knows the reasons and understands why do we do it. There is some negative from those who will never understand this jumps, but I do not know these people and I do not care about their opinion. I will never meet them in my life and even if I do – I’ll just forget about them after. I don’t blame anyone and I do not care if someone blames me.
What dreams and aspirations are you currently working towards? Is there a big goal you are aiming towards, or are you happy just taking life as it comes?
I want to make jumps on the hooks for everyone who needs this and ready for this. And to base jump. Looks I am happy taking life as it comes.
I can imagine you would meet some amazing people in your travels, many to become new great friends. Who is the most influential person you have met in your travels and why?
My BASE instructor from Russia, Leonid. Some other people who were teaching me to base jump, especially Ben Gibsy and Rob Stanley. I met many awesome people jumping with them: like Bert Cloutier or Brandon Chance. Lot’s of cool people in suspension community. Everyone jumped on my hooks. Many people, I cannot write all the names here, there are too many of them. BASE community same as suspension community – there are lot of really cool people and communicating with them is nice and easy. But not only this communities – I meet interesting and nice people around me all the time. That’s one of the reasons why I love my job so much.
One of the attributes I quickly learned to love about you is that you love to help a lot of the new friends you meet experience activities such as suspensions and rope swings. You help people push their personnel limits, or simply have a day of fun. I imagine this attitude and lifestyle has touched the hearts of many people around the world. I can imagine the happiness that this brings to others in turn gives you an amazing amount of energy and happiness. In all honesty, I first thought you were awesome because you based jumped, had an epic face tattoo and started the Free Fall Suspension movement. However after getting to know your more I learnt you are an extremely positive, loving and caring person. How do you feel your attitude and personality affects the lives of others and does it create some new life long friendships?
I hope it can help people to realise how much and everything they can do and overcome. The jump does not change the life, but sometimes it changes the person and after the jump you understand that you can go through much more than you imagined. Using this experience can change your next life for sure, but you need to do something, you cannot just jump and wait for the changes. I really believe it can help people and can give them a nice way to face their fears to get some bright emotions. That’s why I am so encouraged of doing this. Yes, I have a lot of new friends whom I met after starting doing this.
I want to BASE jump more.
If you could add any activity to my bucket list that you would like to see me create a video or article about what would it be?
About your Russian trip of course 😉
Stas and I have been making plans for me to head to the Ukraine to do a much bigger Free Fall Body Suspension jump off a cliff. I also plan to travel to Russia to BASE jump when I am ready. I can’t wait!
Please share this article if you think it can inspire others. You can find more on Stas and the jump I did with him here. The long video is great to watch hearing us both talk preparing for my suspension and jump.
Hi, I’m Ian and I have made it my life mission to travel and experience everything this world has to offer. Follow me on my quest to live outside the boundaries of conventional society and see the world through the eyes of all our fellow inhabitants. I hope to inspire and motivate you to make your own path in life and push your own limits.