Roberta Mancino - Not Just a Pretty Face
First Jump: 2001
Skydives: 7500 +
Home Dropzone: Skydive Fano Turbolenza
Base Jumps: 230
Tunnel Hours: not sure 100+
Canopy: 107 spectre
Reserve: 106 PD
Wingsuit: Scorpion Apache Tonysuit wicked Wingsuit
DZ: You've been jumping for 12 years now, in that time which jumps stand out as the most memorable?
RM: The jumps for the HTC commercial, IronMan 3, The freefly world records, Lodi sequentials, and those made at the many beautiful locations around the world.
DZ: You're no stranger to tunnel flying and despite the media often presenting you as the attractive BASE jumper, you had already won some tunnel competitions by the time you started BASE jumping, correct? Can you give us a bit of your history with regards to tunnel flying and how active you are in the tunnels at the moment?
RM:Yes I did. I started in Orlando many years ago when nobody was flying in the tunnel. When I started there were only a few of us able to fly head down and it was difficult to do 3 ways in such small tunnels. Now days I'm very busy with work, training other things. So unfortunately I can't spend much time in the tunnel anymore, if I'm lucky I can get in maybe 2 hours a year. But I really love being outside much more.
DZ: With the expansion of tunnel centers, the increased use of tunnels for training, and younger generations being able to learn to fly and even compete. How do you think this is going to change the progression of competitive skydiving?
RM: I think people will be much better flyers and in competitions it will be impossible to win against a team that does lots of wind tunnel training. One thing I really like about wingsuit and base jumping is that you don't need as much money for training, compared to if you have to buy hours and hours of wind tunnel time.
DZ:What kind of training regime do you put in for a competitive BASE event like the ProBASE World Cup?
RM:I was supposed to be training, but since I was so busy filming work related things over the summer, I didn't have the time to train at all. My training was the competition jumps. The last competition, I had a new suit and I was much faster with my scorpion, I realized that I've only done about 15th wingsuit base jump all summer. I hope I am able to train more next year.
DZ: What is the most difficult aspect of competitive training?
RM: In base jumping it's the risk. I think it's good to do many training jumps, but the risk can also be higher depending on the location. For example if you jump in The Valley, Switzerland the risks will be a lot higher than if you jump in Brento, Italy. In Brento you can do as many jumps as you want, since after the exit it's almost like a skydive. I find it's more difficult mentally than skydiving, especially when you're not feeling great.
DZ: As a skydiving coach, what are the biggest challenges you face when coaching?
RM: I love teaching girls, guys can be much more stubborn and rigid than the girls. Again, my work now doesn't let me have much time for coaching, but I do like my students.
DZ: In the past 10 years you've won a number of competitions and been part of a few world records. Are there any competitions or world records that you currently have your eyes set on?
RM: Not really. I don't think I'm a competitive person, I just love to fly and be a part of the events, for fun. I prefer coming up with ideas and filming something beautiful. It would be nice to jump from space or do the longest wingsuit flight, but those records take years and there is so much stuff to fly out there. I also love the ocean, so I'd rather put my energy into other things where there is not a really big sponsor to talk about.
DZ: Between being a professional model, a skydiver and a basejumper. Which of these activities consumes most of your time, and which has allowed you to travel the most?
RM: Probably base jumping now and all the underwater stuff that I've done for GoPro. I haven't wanted to just model for years now. I like to skydive in new places.
DZ: Outside of your home dropzone, what is your favorite dropzone to jump at and why?
RM: I love Puerto Escondido and I just went to skydive in Panama. I've been jumping at Perris just this month for work and it was very nice and easy if you like to do many jumps. My favorite drop zone still my home dz in Fano, because is very relaxing, people are nice, the food is amazing and many of my really good friends are there.
DZ: In an interview with the USPA a few years ago you mentioned how you preferred group activity over freeflying. Have you seen a shift in the kinds of disciplines you're more interested in partaking in over the years, and where does your heart lie currently with regards to skydiving disciplines?
RM: I just skydive for training now and to fly with my friends, I can't skydive every day like before and I think I spent too much time at the DZ so now I just want to go out in a beautiful place and fly over incredible locations that not many people have flown before. I love to freefly with people or wingsuit. I like to do fashion freestyle pictures and videos.
DZ: Do you ever find that titles such as World's Sexiest Female Athlete distracts people from recognizing your skills as a flyer, or do you find that the modeling aspect runs parallel to your skydiving and BASE Jumping talents?
RM: No, I don't think so. When people see me, it's because I'm flying. For many magazines, everything is amazing to them, even things that don't require much skill - like naked skydives. They don't understand how difficult different types of skydives are.DZ: In your opinion, which aspect of skydiving safety doesn't receive enough attention?
I think skydiving is very safe, though it depends on what people do and if they are distracted while in the air.
DZ: Which skydivers currently inspire you?
RM: Jon Devore, Norman Kent, Joe Jennings, Graig OB, Jeff Habberstad - basically all the skydivers that made a beautiful career and success in our sport with something that is just so fun, and they all such nice humble people.
DZ: Describe yourself in 6 words?
RM: Funny, sweet, friendly, outgoing, passionate and caring.
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