World Record Holder – Base Jumper – WingSuit Flyer
Sky Diver - International Model
Free Spirited – Shark Diver
Last Tuesday, I was lucky enough to have a phone conversation with the loving and free spirited, Roberta Mancino. Roberta is already a legend in the sport of defying gravity and believes that her career has yet to reach its peak. I could talk for days about how awesome she is but I’ll let the interview do the talking, here’s a peek into the mind of arguably the most Enthuzed woman on the planet (or flying above it).
Roberta is an incredible athlete who dominates a variety of sports:
- 7000+ Jumps, freefly,freestyle,camera,coaching and wing suit.
- Done over 120 base jumps
- 200+ Hours of WInd Tunnel Flight Time and coaching
- 11 Years Experience
- Kickboxing (8 years)
- Black belt of Full Contact (8 years)
- Boxing ( 8 years)
- Scuba Diving padi licence –scubadiving with sharks
- Classic Dance,Latin american Dance,Salsa
Roberta is a record breaker. Here are just some of the records and awards she currently holds:
- World Record Formation 108 Way Free Fly 2009 Chicago
- Women’s World Record formation 20 Way Free Fly 2008 Arizona
- World Record Formation 69 Way Free Fly 2007 Chicago
- European Record Formation Free Fly 40 way 2007 Spain
- 1st Place Italian Nationals of Skydiving, Freestyle 2007 and 2008
- Italian Record 2005 Arezzo
- European Record Formation freefly 29 way 2005 Spain
- 1st Place Tunnel Competition 2004 Orlando, FL
- 1st Place Space Games 2003 Freestyle Ravenna
- 1st Place freestyle Russian Competition 2004
Roberta Mancino Interview
What was your first base jumping experience like? First wing suit experience? And were you scared to make the switch to a wingsuit?
“I have to say wasn’t too scared because I didn’t understand how bad it can be, I was young and didn’t care too much. I was a little too crazy.”
“My first time I was in Switzerland in 2006 and I didn’t plan to base jump until the night before … I was there for skydiving … I didn’t have a rig, I didn’t have anything. So I asked a friend to borrow some. I didn’t do the training … I didn’t learn to pack my parachute, my friends did it for me and they were kind of drunk so checked it twice to make sure it was all set. It was kind of crazy, it wasn’t the right thing to do.”
“I landed and said I want to go up again!”
“When I started doing it more, Jeb just told me everything, how it should be done. He is a really serious instructor and doesn’t like you to go out and do stupid things just for fun. If you’re gunna do it do it right. It’s too dangerous of a sport.”
“I first tried the wing suit while sky skydiving and thought it was so boring because you’re in the air for so long, and id rather just go fast and freefall, but it was training for base jumping.”
“When I did my first base jump with the wing suit, when I landed, I said I have never felt this before … flying like a bird… close to the mountains and rocks. My first wing suit experience was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had.”
“It takes a lot of practice and you have to know what’s going on… proximity flying is just the evolution of what can be done… and I really love to fly.”
“Base jumping is all about courage, you have to have courage or you’ll never jump off … but when you do, it’s beautiful.”
Regarding Jeb’s recent crash: “He is okay now, he’s gunna base jump again soon, next summer.”
Your first jump was at the age of 21. When you finished that jump, did you think ever think you would make a career out of this?
“No to be honest I didn’t think it would be my career, I just wanted to fly and fly, I knew I wanted to fly and I knew I wanted to keep jumping but I didn’t think I would be an instructor. It was fast and I enjoyed it but after a few months it became a big deal for my life. I just followed my instinct, I knew I had to do it.”
Did any close family members or friends have anything against your career?
“They’re all happy about it, they love everything I do. Even my mom keeps up with what I’m doing on my fan page.”
You’ve basically done it all. Nude jumps, base jumps, proximity jumps etc… What’s next for you?
“Well I have a few stunts that I really want to do, one is jumping from an airplane with a wing suit and go back inside the same airplane. This would be really cool if I can make it happen, I just need a good sponsor and the best pilot … the GoPro angle would be amazing footage … and no girl has ever done it … the other one would be to jump off the biggest building in the world in Dubai and fly around the building two times. It is very difficult to get permission … they’re not trying to have base jumps in Dubai because it would be bad if something happened.”
Roberta has also been featured in a ton TV shows across the world:
- RAI Sports Network International, Lucignolo, La vita in diretta, Verissimo, Le Iene, Salute e benessere, Insieme sul 2, Fashion TV, NTV Japan, Sunday night Australian TV show, ESPN E60, Late Night with Conan Obrien TBS, FuelTV Daily Habit, Human limits latin america, Sognando Italia Rete 4 documentary, Trace tv IMG documentary
Describe your “perfect” ‘Enthuzed’ day.
“I would wake up early, hike to the top of a cliff or have a helicopter give me a ride. Then I would jump off with my wing suit and have a perfect flight with a perfect landing. Then later have a great Italian dinner with wine and go out dancing with my friends.”
Who do you look up to most?
“I look up to the other great proximity flyers of the world like Jeb Corliss, Matt Gerdes and Jokke Sommer.”
How does it feel to be at the forefront of your sport for women?
“I’m very lucky and I didn’t try to be the only one, it’s just something about the sport … It’s not like something you plan, it just happened. I go with the guys; while the other girls party… all my friends are guys… I would love to have a girlfriend who would do all this stuff with me.”
If you could have one super power (not flying!) what would it be?
“I would love to be invisible so I can go up to any building and jump off and not have to run away from the police.”
Do you find yourself worrying more about yourself or fellow jumpers?
“Sometimes I’m very worried about the other jumpers like my skydiving students or my best friends. I also worry about myself of course and about my family and the people that love me, if something happened to me I don’t want them to suffer. I feel very selfish sometimes because it’s not an easy sport and I understand the stress for them every time I’m gone for a trip with sharks or base jumping, but I’m very lucky to have such wonderful people around me that can see how much I love to fly and also they know I’ve been training hard most of my life. I just think if they really love me they are happy to see my dreams come true no matter how dangerous it can be, they know I will be not myself without flying.”
Are you scared of sharks?
“Obviously not otherwise I wouldn’t go in the water with them (DUHHHH!) … I’m not that scared of them but I understand they can bite me I’m not stupid. You have to know what to do and what not to do. If you play the game they wont do anything to you. Sharks don’t scare me like base-jumping. With sharks the more experience you have the more comfortable you feel, you learn about them, unlike base jumping where anything can happen.”
If you could become professional at another sport overnight, what would it be and why?
“I would love to surf, I love the ocean, and I think it’s really cool. I’m going to learn.”
Do you ever find that guys are extremely intimidated and often shy around you?
“Some, they are, but I don’t hang with many guys who don’t do what I do. The guys who don’t, I see they are kind of weird around me or shy. I’m so different so I like to stay around base jumpers and flyers because it’s more of my world.”
“Some guys say they can’t even look down from their balcony, and my one friends told me he’s scared of turbulence so there’s some stuff where I’m just like, don’t be such a pussy.”
What’s the worst pick up line a guy has ever used on you?
“Once a guy came up and said, did you just fart? When I said what, he then said, because you just blew me away.”
If you were trapped in a mall during a zombie apocalypse and had your choice of one song blasting over the speakers, one weapon and one celebrity sidekick, what and who would you choose?
“I would have Metallica blasting with a rocket launcher and would be kicking ass with Christian Bale.”
What are among your favorite activities that don’t involve falling through the sky?
“I love to cook, and dancing. One time I cooked for 150 people, I love to cook Italian food. When I have the time, that’s what I do … I love to dance and before skydiving I was really into kick boxing but when I have time I go … and then shark diving when I can, it’s really expensive … I used to do trapeze.”
If you had to choose between jumping and modeling which would it be?
“For sure basejumping with the wingsuit, not modeling, it’s so boring!”
What was it like working with playboy?
“I did it one time and at the time it was really good because they pay a lot and I was just skydiving naked. I think being naked is beautiful but some people think it’s bad.”
What are going to do right after this interview?
“Nothing, I’m so tired and my body is so sore. We’ve been jumping every day at sunrise, four to six times a day for two weeks. I went to the gym and I’m gonna go to the spa and just relax now.”
Roberta Mancino, she has to be one of the gnarliest chicks on the planet and I had an awesome time chatting with her the other day. Now see for yourself and check out some of her videos and pics below!
Ciao Bella! @SolGooode