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International, independent, e-magazine on skydiving, BASE & tunnel

Catching up with Gravity Dynamic Duo

Ben Roane and Garth Lewis

by Abdullah Minhas
by Abdullah Minhas

World Record holder Ben Roane and talented new ninja Garth Lewis form Gravity's Dynamic team, fresh with success on the worldwide competition circuit. They will be representing Bahrain at the 3rd FAI World Cup of Indoor Skydiving, at Gravity, Bahrain, 25-28 October 2018. Gravity are well known on the competition circuit, having brought their considerable energy and talent to Flight Fighters, the Wind Games and the invitational Sakura Cup.

We asked them some team stuff and individual questions – these guys are such a laugh! Ben and Garth work hard and are truly dedicated but enjoy their training a lot, and have a fabulous, funny team spirit that carries them through adversity with a smile. They just love to fly!

Ben and Garth flying at Flight Fighters competition, Gravity – always aware of each other! — by Abdullah Minhas
Ben and Garth flying at Flight Fighters competition, Gravity – always aware of each other! — by Abdullah Minhas

Team questions

How did you get together?

Gravity was looking to have representation on the international competition scene, Garth was the most qualified member at the time but he lacked in actual competition experience. It was decided that he needed a mentor, which is where Ben came into the picture. Ben made a visit to Bahrain to meet Garth and asses his flying – and the rest is history as they say!

What do you both bring to the team?

We feed off each other's attributes very well, lots of laughter and positive energy.

What are your similarities? And the differences?

We both have a deep passion for the sport of indoor skydiving, Ben is a bit of a geek and loves to fool around where as Garth is the team protector; more mature, cool, calm and collected.

How do you put a Free Routine together?

There is an understanding that when it comes to the Free Routine, Ben takes the lead. It is an open platform however and he is always willing to listen to different thoughts and ideas that Garth may have – but ultimately his vast knowledge and experience means that he makes the final call. This process has served Gravity well and thus far all our Free Routines have been crowd pleasers! :)

all our Free Routines have been crowd pleasers! :)

How did you choose the music ? Are you still using the Pointer Sisters – So excited? I LOVED IT!

Aaaaah, the music….. this is always a very entertaining process and it seems to take longer for us to agree on a song than to create the actual routine! We changed our song choice 3 times in 2 days for the Wind Games! The organizers must have been so fed up. Ben can be very persistent, he had his heart set on Pointer Sisters, a debate that lasted right up until we were boarding the plane for take-off to head to Spain, Garth succumbed in the end. Thankfully the crowd appreciated Ben’s vision, it was entertaining for sure.

Gravity flying in the Sakura Cup, Japan — by Marat Daminov
Gravity flying in the Sakura Cup, Japan — by Marat Daminov
The Sakura Cup is a competition that will stand out for Gravity for years to come

Tell me about the recent Sakura Cup, what was different about that?

The Sakura Cup is a competition that will stand out for Gravity for years to come. Firstly the level of competition present was by far the highest we had experienced. Garth unfortunately sustained a fairly severe injury during a collision with Ben during the very first training session in Japan. It was bad enough for us to contemplate pulling out of the competition – but with the help of anti-inflammatory and painkillers Garth persisted. But it meant we were entering the competition feeling very under-prepared. Ironically we managed to pull off our most consistent and noteworthy competitive performance to date – which says a lot for the team’s dynamic, commitment and resolve.

Ben and Garth, competing at Gravity's Flight Fighters competition – perfect prep for WCIS2018! — by Abdullah Minhas
Ben and Garth, competing at Gravity's Flight Fighters competition – perfect prep for WCIS2018! — by Abdullah Minhas

What are your plans for 2018?

2018 is all about preparation for the WCIS in October, we will be representing Bahrain at our home tunnel of Gravity. We would like to attend one more competition beforehand but this has not yet been finalized, plans are still ongoing.

How are you going to prepare for WCIS?

Ben visits Gravity every other month for a 2 week period during which time we train together and focus on progression. We hope to be able to take part in another meet before the World Cup as you can't beat real competition experience – it's the best prep.

How does Gravity compare to other tunnels you've flown in around the world?

Gravity is definitely a facility that stands out from the crowd. Beautiful to look at and aesthetically extremely impressive, the design lends itself perfectly toward hosting tunnel competitions, the WCIS 2018 is going to be one to remember for sure!

Garth and Ben have a special chemistry! ;-)
Garth and Ben have a special chemistry! ;-)

What are your strengths as a team?

Team dynamic and chemistry is a vital element that is often overlooked, if members of the team struggle with being on the same wavelength it makes it hard to for the team to function. We don't have that problem! We've developed a great friendship within a very short period of time, we feed off each other’s attributes and see eye to eye, as a result our performances have improved with every competition!

And your weaknesses?

Ben has an addiction to Candy Crush (game on cell phone ), it has really affected some of our training sessions! Just the other day he accidentally jumped in the tunnel for a speed round with his phone in his hand!

Ben accidentally jumped in the tunnel for a speed round with his phone in his hand!

What’s your plan to overcome Ben's Candy Crush Dependency?

The first step to recovery is understanding that you have a problem. Unfortunately Ben is in complete denial but it has now been agreed that Ben owes Garth lunch for every time he is caught in the act of trying to crush candy. The severity of the problem is starting to sink in as Garth doesn’t need to worry about lunch until April 2020.

Anything you would like to add?

Just to show our unending appreciation to Gravity Indoor Skydiving and the special few behind the scenes who’s ongoing support and belief in the team is unrivalled. To our family and friends who continue to support and encourage us from near and far, we love you!

Let's get to know the guys a bit better…

Ben Roane

Ben Roane — by Gravity
Ben Roane — by Gravity
  • Age, Nationality, and where you live? 30, American, Utah
  • How many tunnel hours, how long in the sport. A lot of hours, started in 2011
  • Do you skydive as well? How long and what sort? Yes , since 2011, All kinds of jumping
  • Skydiving credits: Multiple world record holder
  • Why are you so driven to compete? Competition has been apart of my life since a very early age, part of who I am.
  • What does it take to be a World Champion? A lot of practice and hard work
  • What do you bring to the team? What does Garth? Garth is very organized, we both bring a lot of fun.
  • What’s been your favorite indoor skydiving moments? Too many to name, flying with family and friends is always a highlight
  • Describe yourself in 5 words or fewer: I’m a complete nerd
  • Describe Garth in 5 words or fewer: Garth is a bigger nerd than me though

Garth Lewis

Garth Lewis
Garth Lewis

Age, Nationality, and where you live? 35 , South African, Bahrain

How long in the sport? 4 years

You used to represent South Africa in martial arts and squash, how do they compare to indoor skydiving? All activities are skill-based and require dedication, repetition and perseverance to improve.

Do you skydive? Yes

What do you bring to the team? What does Ben? Ben brings some crazy positive energy, always a laugh when he is around.

What’s been your favorite indoor skydiving moment? There have been some special moments, but I’d have to say that officially teaming up with Ben really stands out for me.

Describe yourself in 5 words or fewer: Free-spirited adventure enthusiast

Describe Ben in 5 words or fewer: Ben is a massive Geek, the biggest nerd I know!

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