Written by Eleanor Holford
What is Parkour and why should it be on your bucket list of sports to try? Well essentially it began with the aim of getting from A to B as quickly as possible but has evolved into one of the most adaptable and exhilarating sports in the world. There is nothing quite like the flow of a perfect line or sticking a jump you’ve been working on for hours. Hopefully this post will inspire you to at least give it a go, and maybe you will find your new favourite sport.
The biggest attraction about the sport, arguably, is that for the most part it is FREE! Just find some walls in your local area or if you’re lucky enough, there might even be a parkour park, and you’re set to go! Many locations often have their own Parkour groups and ‘spot maps’ if you’re unsure where to start. Just head to Facebook or google and type in *your location* parkour and there should be some pretty decent results.
If you do want a bit of a hand in getting started in the sport these search results will be your best bet! Often local Parkour Groups will offer sessions to help you on your way for around £10. Better yet, attending a group session is the best way to meet like-minded people and then you will have someone who will want to train with you any day of the week at any time! Group sessions might seem a bit intimidating at first, but no worries, everyone was a beginner at some point and the best thing about Parkour, you can join at any age and there will definitely be a varied group of individuals at your session! Don’t be afraid of being the worst, that only means you have the most to learn which, if you think about it, is really exciting!
What to wear? Again, this one is easy…anything! Whatever you feel most comfortable in and can move around in best, wear that. The origins of Parkour reside in massively oversized trackies, usually grey, but now adays people will wear anything from joggers to skinny jeans. Shoes is the more important issue. Once again you want a comfortable pair that fit well (you don’t want them sliding off) and ideally, shoes with a firm sole but also a bit of buoyancy.
Some favourites are:
- Reebok Classic
- Asic Gel Lyte 3 (my go to)
- Nike Revolution
- Onitsuka Tiger 81
But really just try out your own see how they feel then decide what you think you need in your shoes and definitely ask those who train around you, everyone will have their own favourites!
Like with any new sport, there’s going to be new terminology to master. Here are a few of the key terms:
- PRE – Now this is just short for precision! A pre is when you land, two feet, onto a specific spot and try to stay there.
- STICK – If you do manage to stay there it is called a STICK! This is the ultimate aim of any PRE and is the most satisfying feeling in the world.
- STANDING PRE & RUNNING PRE – Pretty self-explanatory but a standing pre is where you take off from two feet (like a large bunny hop) and a running pre is the same finish, two feet on a wall, only from running so is usually used for larger gaps.
- SIZEABLE – A big gap/jump, you might attempt a large jump, or a ‘sizeable’ jump
- VAULT – This is an umbrella word and there are many types of vaults. It is basically the process of getting over a wall in varied ways
There’s definitely a lot more to learn but you’ll pick that up as you go from the people around you and from those you watch online.
Instagram is THE place to go if you want to get inspired. You have all different types of athletes on there, each with their own unique style. That’s another great thing about Parkour, there’s no right way to do it. Some people flip, some jump, some climb and it is all Parkour. You’ve just got to do whatever you enjoy the most.
Here are some teams/people that you should definitely check out:
- @STORROR @HAZALNHR @TEAMPHAT
- @RACHEL_GOUGH @_PHILYDEE @SILKYZIGZAG
- @DOMTOMATO @JAYDNCLARK @LUKESTONESUK
- @BREACHGRAM @ELISE.BICKLEY @LILOURUEL
- @TIM_CHAMPION @THEMOTUSPROJECTS
And there are soooooo many more! You’ve just got to get out there and find your favourites!
Most importantly you should subscribe to STORROR on YouTube and check out their feature length documentary, ROOF CULTURE ASIA [Amazon Prime]. They are an insanely talented group of boys with a genuine passion for the sport and classic British humour. There is, in my opinion, no one more inspiring or enjoyable to watch. Check out their store if you fancy copping a piece of merch that proves you a true fan!
I hope this has inspired you to give Parkour a go or to watch some videos and see what all the fuss is about! There are so many pros to all sports, Parkour is just one that can be shared by the many anywhere, anytime, anyplace.
Oh, and don’t forget to give me a follow @flippin.ell
Ellie Holford is a final year studying History of Art and French with a love for travelling. She also likes to jump on walls in her free time. Instagram: @Ellie_holford6