Between the risks of injury and the often precarious locations, parkour and freerunning can be pretty exciting to watch. SciShow goes beyond the athleticism to the physics of the sport, digging into the things that need to happen mechanically in order to climb walls, vault over obstacles, and land without trauma.
THE BEST Parkour
While shooting selfie footage on the roofs of Hamburg, Germany, freerunner Jason Paul drops his phone. Being the athlete that he is, he does everything in his power to hunt down his lost phone. This playful parkour clip from Red Bull is filled with action, humor, and great camerawork.
We have two dogs here at The Awesomer HQ, and all they know how to do is bark and demand belly rubs. But Omar von Muller’s Belgian Malinois dog, Monkey, is a bit more of a show-off, having honed his skills on this challenging obstacle course that includes balancing between two ropes and doing paw-stands along a beam.
Reminiscent of the POV action movie Hardcore Henry (and a little bit of Buttered Side Down), athlete Alex Schauer’s parkour short film puts us behind the eyes of a man as he finds himself in a puzzling situation, and facing off against a mysterious woman in black who he can’t seem to escape.
There are many things you can do while staying at home, but we didn’t think parkour was one of them. Freestyle ski champ Andri Ragettli proves us wrong as he performs a variety of balance and training exercises on his “floor is lava” indoor parkour course. Did he just use his laptop as a step?
DD Squad, the acrobats behind the world’s largest trampoline are back, and this time they’ve built themselves a playground filled with bouncy surfaces. Their freestyle trampoline park included shipping containers for them to jump off of and climb, and a crazy trampoline sandwich on the back of a moving 18-wheeler.
Action filmmaker Devin Supertramp and his crew headed to the historic streets of Uzbekistan to play out a chase sequence inspired by Disney’s Aladdin. Parkour athlete Calen Chan plays our protagonist as he bounces off walls, tears through alleyways, and bounces off rooftops to avoid the baddies. POV footage here.
(PG-13: Language) Not to be confused with RocketJump’s awesome clip by the same name, in this video, Olympic skier Andri Ragetti performs a choreographed sequence of balancing exercises as he freeruns his way through a Rube Goldberg-inspired obstacle course. He says it took him 232 attempts to get it right.
Athlete Jason Paul showed off his amazing freerunning skills on the streets of Frankfurt, Germany, then the guys from Red Bull played the whole thing in reverse, making his already impressive tricks even more magical. The backwards staircase and dump truck slides were our favorite effects.
The athletes of STORROR offer up one of the coolest parkour settings we’ve seen, as a team of acrobats run and jump among the rocky formations of Cappadocia, Turkey while numerous hot air balloons float in the distance and overhead. That bit in the ancient building was bonkers. Go behind the scenes of the journey here.
A group of parkour daredevils from the Storror Team do their best Mirror’s Edge impression as they run and jump from rooftop to rooftop, overlooking the busy urban streets of Hong Kong many stories below, as they pretend to be chased by a non-existent security force.
Freerunner Jason Paul meets up with fellow parkour athletes Kenichi, Zen, Yakuwa, and Yuutarou in downtown Tokyo, then lands at Edo Wonderland – a picture-perfect theme park that replicates life in the 17th century Edo era, samurais, ninjas and all. BTS footage here.
Run along with athlete Calen Chan as he heads down the Skyladder parkour course built down the side of Tianman Mountain in China. Not only is the 999 step-tall course the longest on the planet, but its built on a 45° incline to add to the challenge. The slide part looks like fun.
By capturing overhead shots with a drone, this amazing video provides a unique perspective compared to typical parkour and freerunning clips, transforming its acrobat, Ilko “Ill” Iliev into a the player in a top-down video game. It gets totally insane when the rappelling kicks in.
You’d think that a beer belly might be at odds with your martial arts and parkour skills, but you’d be wrong. After struggling with his mental health and weight gain from meds, Sébastien Charron gives all of us ordinary guys hope, and proves that you can’t judge a book by its cover.
We’re pretty sure we’d be caught by airport security if we tried to pull any of the shenanigans that Red Bull freerunner Jason Paul used in this video. Regardless, we’re just glad that somebody finally replaced O.J. Simpson as the new king of running to catch a flight.
A lighthearted take on the 1979 classic The Warriors replacing the original’s street thugs with Inky, Blinky, Pinky, Clyde, and Pac-Man himself. It’s a fun action-packed short from Fury Fingers, though we were hoping the Furies would turn up to play some R.B.I. Baseball.
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