Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home3/viperid/public_html/wp-content/themes/canvas/functions/admin-hooks.php on line 160

Archive | January, 2012

Weekly Video Showcase 21: Tapping, Lachés, and LA

Tapp brothers are flowy. Continue Reading →

No Comments
Filed in Videos, Weekly Video Showcase

Puma Faas 500 First Impressions

Puma Faas 500 logo

Comfort

Holy SNAP these things are comfortable. Really comfy to stand in. There’s no arch support to screw with the way you walk or run, which is good. The backs of the heels are fairly low, so they don’t dig into the Achilles tendon when I point my toes. The heels themselves are about an inch thick, so these are definitely not “barefoot” shoes. But then, they aren’t intended to be. The Puma BioRide mechanism is built in, and it definitely works. It seems to be a lot easier to heel strike, roll my feet forward and push off my toes than in any other shoes I’ve worn. And yes, this is a shoe made for heel-striking. But it’s very very light.

Again, very comfy to wear. At least for short periods. I haven’t yet had a chance to use them during a full day of training.

They fit me quite well. There is just enough toe space to be comfortable, not enough to present problems when precision jumping. I think.

Looks

Puma Faas 500

Not gonna lie, the green and blue color scheme is… well, obnoxious. But! There are more attractive alternatives available on the Puma website or Amazon, including some very nice blue/grey and red/grey options.

Build Quality

Puma Faas 500 grips

They seem to be very well put together, but only time and usage will really tell. The suede around the toe box will almost certainly get torn up with a lot of wallruns. I do not have particularly high hopes for how the soles will hold up with serious flexing, but again, time and usage will tell. I do think it will take some very serious flexing to completely destroy them, though.

Performance

Hey, I’ve got to leave something for the full review, right?!

But really: I haven’t yet had a good chance to test out the Faas 500s on the street, so I’m going to hold off on giving an opinion for now. However, just by judging from how they feel on my feet, I’m very hopeful.

The full review, with a much more comprehensive analysis and a lot more pictures, will be up in about a month.

Thanks to Puma for sending these my way.

–Alan

Update: Here is the full review!

1 Comment
Filed in Gear

Weekly Video Showcase 20: Old Shade New Shade, Capoeira, and Barefootedness

The earliest Shade video ever.

 

The latest Shade vid. Biiiiig difference. Continue Reading →

1 Comment
Filed in Videos, Weekly Video Showcase

Parkour Is Not A Sport

The sport of parkour

“Jumping and running across rooftops in the high-flying sport of parkour…”

“The sport of parkour, in which teenagers run and somersault across roofs…”

“The group of fit, athletic students are practitioners of the extreme sport of parkour…”

News stories with phrases like this crop up all the time. Reporters and journalists call parkour a sport because they just don’t know how else to classify it.

Parkour is not a sport.

“But Alan,” you may say, “It doesn’t matter if parkour is called a sport! That’s just nitpicking points of semantics!”

It does matter. Ideas have power. Words give form to ideas. The way an idea is framed and presented is a critical part of how it’s received by those who hear it. The way we reference parkour is no different. Terminology matters.

Take skateboarding and martial arts. Consider how differently the practitioners of each are regarded. Skateboarders are often seen as irresponsible, reckless rebels who need to grow up. Martial artists are respected, and not just because they can beat the tar out of anyone who doesn’t respect them. They are respected and admired because what they practice goes beyond a hobby, beyond a sport.

Parkour has a lot in common with both skateboarding and martial arts. Parkour is creative movement, like skateboarding; fast, efficient movements, like martial arts; (seemingly) crazy stunts like skateboarding; constant training like martial arts. To the inexperienced eye, it seems that parkour could be a sport, as it has so much in common with skateboarding. I disagree. The differences between the two outweigh the similarities. Let’s explore this topic further. Continue Reading →

26 Comments
Filed in Learn, Philosophy

Sébastien Foucan puts Fineside to the test

Another Séb video, because WHY NOT!

It’s good to see some parkour done in the real old school, “escaping” style. It’s clear that this isn’t Séb training; he’s actually practicing parkour, which isn’t seen too often in today’s videos. There are no huge precisions or cats; those would take too long. He’s doing it. No hesitation, no waiting. All efficiency and quick movement.

Watch the positioning of his feet as he jumps. At 0:17, 1:19, 1:30, and 2:48, you can see that his feet and legs are more opened and pointed outward than many jumps you see in current videos.

I wonder if this is just the way that’s most comfortable for him to jump, or if there’s some other reason for it. It looks like he’s being propelled forward instead of just dropping.

His landings are interesting, too.

This drop was pretty much straight down. He appears to take the impact about 60% with his legs, 40% with his arms. This is probably because of his massive upper-body power, which can also be seen in how quickly he does climb-ups from cats and wallruns. Still, I can’t help but wonder if the arms are underutilized when it comes to absorbing drops.

One more thing: the frequency with which he uses speed vaults.

The majority of vaults used in today’s videos are kongs. But Séb and David Belle and a lot of the Yamakasi use speed vaults a lot, far more than most traceurs today. I wonder if the reason for that is rooted in the inherent quickness of the speed vault or the fact that most of the obstacles on which they trained were the perfect size and height for speeds, and so that’s the one they became most familiar with. That’s pure conjecture, but it’s fun to think about.

It’s good to see Séb back in action.

5 Comments
Filed in Articles, Videos

Sébastien Foucan’s First Performance on Dancing on Ice

Well woah. Séb did very well, probably to absolutely no one’s surprise. Certainly not mine.

The dance definitely played to Séb’s strengths, with the rolls, the pistols, and the part during the first few seconds where his partner rocks back and forth as he holds her up.

The only part I can see that was directly influenced by parkour were the rolls. Hopefully there will be a lot more in future dances, although it will have to be fairly subtle to not look contrived. Of course it’s a little difficult to practice parkour on a flat surface, let alone ice, so it’ll be very interesting to watch. Dive rolls over Brianne, perhaps?

Update:

Here’s dance 2:

No Comments
Filed in Videos