Getting to Know: Steven LoBue

Steven LoBue
A light-hearted interview with the American turbo spinner on his 35th birthday

It may be a little while before we see Steven LoBue somersaulting away from the 27m platform again, so we've decided to send the birthday boy's head into a spin with a few probing quickfire questions. Read on and discover some interesting insights into Florida's finest cliff diver.

What scares a cliff diver? It's not heights for sure.
To be honest, every dive scares me! Over the course of the season I become more comfortable with things, but it's important to have healthy levels of fear and to learn how to respect that. Other than that, I have very normal fears such as being able to provide enough for my family and keeping them safe, something every parent can relate to!

What's your parents' attitude towards your dangerous passion?
I am fortunate to have had my parents' support from day one! They have always encouraged me to follow my passions and they are an instrumental part of my support base... I love you Mom and Dad!

Fill in the following phrase: A cliff diver automatically is also a...
... brother or sister.

The cliff diving family. Photo: Romina Amato/Red Bull Content Pool

Have you lost the ability to jump in the water like a 'normal' person?
I definitely feel like diving in hands first is becoming harder and harder! The good thing about coaching younger kids is that I am always in touch with the roots of the sport, so even as it gets harder physically, it's still mentally fresh.

Could you do mental math during a dive?
Not a chance!

Hey Steven, what's the square root of 729? Photo: Dean Treml/Red Bull Content Pool.

What impresses more: somebody who is able to perform one twist more, or someone who performs two somersaults less than you but in perfect execution?
In many sports, there is a constant battle between evolution and difficulty versus style and execution. Since I typically fall into the first category, I am definitely more impressed by the guys that can go out and get no less than 8s on every dive. Then there are freaks of nature like Gary Hunt who can do both.

How high does a cliff have to be for you to say no?
I'm thinking 30-31 meters would be my limit. I've never been into the sport to see how high I
can go, for me it's more about the execution of difficult manoeuvres and continuing in a sport that I love.

How high was the highest cliff you ever jumped from?
Maybe 29 meters.

At what age would you allow your children to jump off 27/21 metres?
I think it would depend more on strength and skill than age, but let's say 18!

If you weren't a cliff diver, what would you have become instead?
I think if I weren't cliff diving, I would have pursued coaching at a higher level and kept up with skateboarding and snowboarding.

Who looks better doing a dive, the girls, or is it the boys?
I think it depends on each individual diver and their style. I definitely like some components from both.

Is there a sport you really suck at?
I'm pretty bad at a lot of sports but love to play almost anything! I would say table tennis is pretty high on the list of things I suck at.

He's not too bad on the old foosball table though. Photo: Dean Treml/Red Bull Content Pool.

What would you want to be for a day? Why?
I think I would have to go with an eagle so I could experience true freedom of flight and just soar around.

Your personal dream location:
Havasupai Falls would be awesome!

Have you ever used your talent to impress girls at the swimming pool? How did it work?
When I was younger, I definitely wanted to show off for the ladies! It turns out diving is not that impressive, haha.

Describe yourself in 3 words
Husband, father, athlete.

Your biggest weakness
Homemade cookies.

What headline would you want to read about yourself?
Steven LoBue hits the lottery.

Something you always wanted to do but never dared to so far (does not have to be dive-related)?
Swim with whale sharks.

What advice would you give your 10-year-old self?
I would tell myself to listen and focus more!

Please, finish this sentence: If I could tell you just one thing...
It would be to get out of your comfort zone more often.

What's the most important asset in cliff diving?
The most important asset in cliff diving is the ability to deal with your emotions and control your mental game.

If you know, you know. Mental strength summed up in one picture. Photo: Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool.

Looking at cliff divers past and present, build the perfect athlete.
I would take Constantin's all-around diving ability, David's twist, Kris's pike, Johnny's rip, Orlando's experience and Gary's mental game.

Why cliff diving and not ballet?
I was actually rejected from multiple dance schools at a young age, so I traded in my slippers for a speedo at age 7.

Who would you want to meet once in your life? Why?
Alan Watts. His writings and lectures on philosophy have really tickled my brain juices.

What sport/profession/activity... would you want to try out once in your life? Why?
I would like to try my hand at Rally racing! My Mario Kart skills are pretty rad, so it seems like a natural fit.