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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.

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  • Luka

    A few comments I thought I might make, as I noticed the same things you pointed out

    I too like Seb’s style of movement. There are some recent videos of Seb where he’s training and he seems (in my opinion) very outclassed when he’s trying to do bigger movements. However in his own style of ‘reaching and escaping’ he seems to be very comfortable and aesthetically suited. Seb lovers please be gentle.
    More on aesthetically suiting, that I think is the main purpose of the air form you first mention. There is no other purpose to have your arms way back, however, in his air form his body position is in the right place for him to be able to roll out upon landing. The differences between this and more modern air forms is simply a preferential thing, I believe.
    On the straight drops where he takes the impact with his arms as well as legs, I only thought it was interesting as he did it with straight arms, usually in this technique the arms are bent so the the shock on the hands themselves is minimalised. I often practise this technique, possibly because I’m upper-body centred but also because rolling at this angle is pointless. There’s one other reason: body position. Although its true a fair amount of impact is going into the upper body, what is more important to note is that the angle means that the body acts as a shock absorber in a different way, and hitting the ground with the arms means that the back can take a lot of weight, but in a way that won’t break it.
    On the speed vaults, your point seems completely valid. ‘Kongs’ or cat passes are the most popular vault nowadays because they transfer speed into distance and height the easiest by far, and thus are used to cover massive vault precisions where speed vaults cannot. This really comes back to the first point where you discuss Seb moving for the sake of escape rather than training.
    So these are my points, feel free to disagree, just felt like sharing :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/OSOK23 Bryan Coiffman

    From an aerodynamics point of view, having the arms back has a lot less air resistance, hence giving him more distance… it’s probably a minute difference, but when it comes to efficiency, you’d be surprised.  In racing bikes, dropping the handlebars an inch makes a HUGE difference… I’m talking miles per hour difference with the same effort being exerted.

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  • Traceurelements

    woot i shot this