Presenting the Acro Twins…
Think Paragliding... At twenty-three, the Acro Twins are already the top-ranking acrobatic paragliding pilots in the US. At three years old, they had already clocked up skiing as their first extreme sport. Then came waterskiing, closely followed by paragliding. Early developers, Tim and Anthony Green, alias the Acro Twins, were already fully qualified pilots by the time most of their peers were learning to drive. It is a family affair: their father, a passionate airplane pilot, was “raised in a cockpit”, as were his own father and grandfather. It turns out they all share “a fascination for the wind”. Anthony and Tim learnt paragliding as an extreme sport at 16 and are completely self-taught.
Their specialty? Skydive acrobatics, or more properly, “Synchro acrobatics”, a recognized discipline practised at competitions around the world. They also do an impressive line in daring stunts: eg. Anthony climbs and flies from a construction crane in Paris, while Tim jumps off the Foresthill Bridge, America’s third largest. “Our scenic imagery is taken from a point of view seldom seen, unless from a helicopter or a bird”, claims Anthony. Born between two cultures – Northern California where they were born, and Jersey, Channel Islands, from where their mother hails – the twins are now living in Paris, having already settled earlier in Chamonix, one of the major hubs of European paragliding.
The twins are both currently finishing their BA program in Film Studies and International Business Administration at AUP. Yes, both twins identically study both! Anthony and Timothy have benefitted from these two subjects, and this year they have released an award-winning paragliding documentary, “Lift”, which showcases four years of footage taken all around the world. To promote this material, the twins have set up their own audiovisual production company. Aviation is highly mathematical so the twins also naturally learnt quadratic programming at AUP.
When asked about what turns them on to this extreme sport, the twins speak of the restriction of gravity, the freedom and the sense of weightlessness this provides. The fact that this is an emerging sport, with a high concentration of pilots based in France and Switzerland made Europe a natural choice after living in the States, where the sport is still relatively unknown. To measure the extreme nature of this sport when practiced by the Acro Twins, here are a few personal records: 6,300 m highest flight; 100 km + longest-distance flown, in weather conditions that sometimes include large hailstones in temperatures of less than -20°C.
The psychological phenomenon that a set of identical, perfectly tuned-in twins represents is frankly rather awesome. Tim and Anthony find their intuitive ability to anticipate each other’s every move assists enormously in their own precarious, dual performance. It also helps them to protect each other from potential hazards while airborne, and gives the twins a natural edge when in international competition.
User Profile? Paragliding remains a sport practised mainly by “singletons 85% of whom are male”. Anthony claims that “The paragliding community is a very close one involving a lot of trust.” Tim concludes: “It requires a certain kind of maturity, with decision-making capacities when juggling with weather conditions...”
Watch the Acro Twins on: www.youtube.com/acrotwinz
Anthony Green and Tim Green are both studying for a BA in International Business Administration and Film Studies. They run an audiovisual production company, Acrotwin Productions, and are fully qualified paragliding instructors.