Numerous retired aircraft, in various stages of decay, sit idle in a high desert site around 100 miles outside of Los Angeles. In the stillness of this airplane boneyard, some find an action-packed playground.
The shapes and structures of the dismantled planes scattered throughout the area are a perfect setting for talented parkour practitioners. Experience what it’s like to go freerunning through gnarly airplane carcasses with a skilled troupe of athletes from Tempest Academy in the video above.
Parkour and freerunning are often used interchangeably. Parkour is about moving your body efficiently from one location to another. This can mean running, climbing, jumping, and swinging to get around obstacles. Freerunning is when the route is more about creative expression than optimization. Freerunners take pride in having fun and enjoying themselves. It’s no surprise that many people are drawn to the sport because it represents a return to the childhood mindset of testing one’s limits and abilities without judgment from others. Indeed, the state of play and individuality are celebrated in the community.
Even though the moves of elite parkour athletes appear spontaneous, there’s a lot of work that goes into complex tricks behind the scenes to ensure they are executed safely. No matter the level of the athlete, training in a progressive manner is encouraged. Starting small and working slowly towards the goal means patience and self-awareness go a long way in parkour. Sometimes, going through this learning process can be more rewarding than landing a new move. Professional freerunner Cory DeMeyers says the sport has given him a new perspective. He now sees obstacles – both physical and the ones he encounters in his daily life – as opportunities.
The barriers to entry into the sport couldn’t get much lower. All you need is a comfortable pair of clothes and a good attitude to begin. The next step is to start moving, almost anywhere, and build upon that throughout different environments.
Take your first step and leap off an airplane wing with Team Tempest in the video above.