By Greg Carannante
City & Shore Magazine
You wouldn’t expect one of the most-decorated American cliff divers to come from a place where the only “mountains” are landfills, but such is the distinction of Fort Lauderdale’s Steven LoBue.
Also a coach of the Fort Lauderdale Diving Team, LoBue will go for his fourth first-place finish in five years in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, kicking off Sept. 3 at Texas’ Hell’s Gate Cliffs. The global tour features men jumping from about 90 feet and reaching speeds over 50 mph, with women jumping from about 66 feet. LoBue, 33, is the competition’s “turbo spinner” — the only man doing five somersaults in less than three seconds.
The 5-foot-3 New Jersey native is also a former coach at Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale. Among the decorated USA Diving and NCAA athlete’s honors are three-time New Jersey High School State Champion and Big Ten Diver of the Year.
Aside from the weather, what do you enjoy most about living in South Florida?
Publix! Easily the greatest grocery store in the history of grocery stores.
Aside from the weather, what do you dislike most about living in South Florida?
Florida is so flat! I miss being able to hike in the summers and snowboard in the winters.
Are you a beach person or a pool person?
I love the beach, but I grew up jumping off of high stuff into pools so I am definitely more of a pool guy.
When in your life are you or have you been the happiest?
My wife and I recently had a daughter (our first child), and I can honestly say I have never been happier than here with my ladies.
What do you do when you’re stuck in a traffic jam on I-95?
Audio books or stand-up comedy [recordings].
What music are you listening to now?
Tom Misch, The Journey.
Are you a fan, and if so, of what?
Music, skateboarding, disc golf, video games and the Philadelphia Eagles, to name a few!
Do you do social media? If so, what are your handles?
I’m active on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and, my favorite, Instagram @divelobue.
Who is your real-life hero or heroine?
A man named Gary Hunt, the six-time world champion of cliff diving and the Michael Jordan of our sport.
If you had to choose: Rocky or Raging Bull?
I grew up in Central Jersey not too far from Philadelphia, so Rocky all the way!
What car are you driving now?
2017 KIA Sportage.
What do you like most about yourself?
I like that I have an open-mind. When you travel the world it starts to seem smaller. I think it’s important to listen to people’s opinions and experiences, try new things and soak up local cultures with no bias or judgment.
What places in South Florida do you recommend to guests visiting from
Sundowners in Key Largo. You can have an awesome meal with an unbeatable view and Key lime pie that is second to none.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wouldn’t mind a few extra arms so I could multitask with the baby a bit easier.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
In life, my greatest achievement is hands-down marrying my best friend, having a beautiful baby girl and wonderful family. In sport, it’s being passionate and dedicated enough to find a less-traveled path in the sport of diving that has allowed me to make a living, travel and experience everything the world has to offer in a way that only a handful of people will ever experience.