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What Is a Parkour Park?

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  • Written By: Nick Mann
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 24 June 2014
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Parkour is sport that originated in France and has steadily grown in popularity throughout much of the world. Practitioners of the sport make use of various urban obstacles to run, jump, flip and climb on to accomplish acrobatic feats. A parkour park is designed to provide plenty of obstacles similar to the ones found in urban landscapes. These parks are specifically made for parkour purposes and often contain things like gaps, stairs, ledges, rails and walls. Parkour athletes can visit them to practice and learn new moves to further enhance their skills.

Gaps are one of the most common features of a parkour park. They are designed for athletes to leap across and execute moves such as flips. Most gaps will provide the athlete with the possibility to individualize his moves in a creative manner. Usually he will land in a particular way to absorb shock, and move on to the next trick.

Stairs and ledges are also an important part of a parkour park. They offer numerous possibilities for athletes to perform tricks. Successfully vaulting over these obstacles in parkour tricks usually requires the athlete to build up an ample speed. Often, stairs will be used to jump down and ledges will be used to catapult off of.

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Another common component of a parkour park is the use of rails. Parkour athletes can use handrails and jungle gym type railing to perform a plethora of tricks. They can be used to leap over, jump off of or swing on. Much of the more technically complicated tricks are done on rails.

Within the park, there is usually a wall strategically set up for athletes to perform tricks off of. Many times an athlete will sprint up to a wall and do some sort of flip off it before running to a different obstacle. The wall and all of the previously mentioned obstacles are used in succession to create a balanced parkour run.

Many parkour parks also offer lessons and other instruction from accomplished athletes. Learning the basic moves and skill sets in parkour can be difficult and often dangerous at first. That's why lessons on the fundamentals can greatly aid beginners in safely learning the ropes while preventing injury.

In addition, some parks have occasional competitions between experienced parkour athletes. These are sometimes called face-offs and have athletes who perform as part of different crews. Face-offs allow athletes to showcase the skills and talents they have learned, which can also be beneficial to those just starting out. Usually some type of prize or money is given to the winners.

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