Guide to Parkour
With the art of parkour becoming more popular in society, there may be opportunities for retailers to benefit. SGBpresents our guide to parkour.
What is Parkour? Free running or parkour comes from the French
word “parcours”, which means, “the way through”, or “the path”. Parkour is the act of movement from point A to point B using any obstacles in your path to increase the visual impact of your performance and increase your efficiency.
Developed in France by David Belle, the main purpose of the discipline is teaching participants how to move through their environment by vaulting, rolling, running, climbing and jumping. Beyond this simple explanation, parkour is a discipline of self-improvement on all levels, an art that reveals to the practitioner his or her own physical and mental limits and
simultaneously offers a method to overcome them.
Who can participate? Anyone can participate. Parkour is seen as ‘non-
competitive’ where the challenge is to better yourself rather than try to beat others. The numbers participating in parkour in the UK currently stands at around 40,000 but this is increasingly rapidly. A number of parkour sites have been developed across the country and Westminster council has been the first council to deliver parkour through the national curriculum and after school activities.
Where have I seen Parkour before?
You many have seen parkour being showcased in a number of feature films such as Jump London and Jump Britain but most notably in the James Bond film Casino Royale.
What equipment is used?
A number of brands have realised the potential of parkour and subsequently released products to capitalise on the popularity. K-Swiss launched the K-Swiss Ariake, the first sneaker designed specifically for the acrobatic urban sports of parkour and free running.
Urban Freeflow, established in 2003, were the first specialists in parkour and free running to offer a range of street wear including t-shirts, training vests, hoodies and sweatpants. A number of others have since followed suit.
Can retailers benefit from the increasing popularity of Parkour?
Certainly. With the continued growth of parkour and free running, there are opportunities for retailers to stock products suitable for these pastimes.
Fashion is also an important part of the pursuit and so any clothing apparel can also potentially cross over and appeal to your fashion conscious customers.
Retailers should keep an eye out for established suppliers releasing any parkour products as they are sure to be popular with consumers looking for the next ‘big thing’.
Urban Free Flow jacket
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