Parkour.com, formerly one of the most prominent parkour news sites in the world (and the only one affiliated with Sébastien Foucan) has, as of April 16, begun redirecting visitors to Davidbelle.com/parkour. No more news. No more videos. No more useful links. Just a static page.
Parkour.com belonged to Sébastien Foucan, as of at least Jan 23, 2005. The fact that it’s now likely owned by Take Flight under the guise of David Belle is troubling. What will happen next?
[Tip from parkour-blog.com]
Well, that was fast. Parkour.com now directs visitors to a website that – oh so shockingly – has a very strong Take Flight influence. Not only does the website have the same design as davidbelle.com, but the content is essentially the same.
Take Flight and Parkour 91 are both owned by Adam Dunlap. Davidbelle.com, as I have noted already in great detail, is very strongly associated with Take Flight/Adam Dunlap. This site is obviously very, very Take Flight centric. Granted, it’s still being built, but for a website whose tagline is “The Internet home and resource for traceurs worldwide,” it’s strange that all of the links will lead to Take Flight’s website within at most 2 clicks. No links to learn parkour through video tutorials or relevant articles. (Hey, you know who provides a ton of links to learn parkour on the front page of his website? Me.) Nor are there links to parkour news sites or popular parkour YouTube channels. The video of the week is a Take Flight promotion. Take Flight seems to be Taking Center Stage on the new parkour.com.
That “official” business really annoys me. Official clothing of parkour, official website of parkour, official Facebook page of parkour.
There can be no official anything of parkour, because there is no governing authority. While David Belle could have been a leader, but he decided a long time ago to let everyone follow their own path. The door to the position of official parkour leader is now firmly shut, and nothing can open it again. In parkour, nothing is official, nothing can be official, least of all clothing. What makes TF clothing “official”? Because David Belle is friends with founder Adam Dunlap? Because David Belle wears their shirts? David Belle also wears Novel Ways’ Reach/Escape shirts. Why isn’t Novel Ways the official clothing of parkour? Especially considering other prominent traceurs such as Shaun Wood, Alexander Zyulev, and Callum Powell who wear those shirts.
Take Flight’s in-progress domination of parkour is very disturbing. Those of us who have been following the parkour scene for any length of time will know that TF is essentially making it all up. They’re leveraging the positivity and general pleasantness of the parkour community in order to make unsubstantiated claims (because no one will call them out on it), use David Belle’s reputation to sell shirts (because David is friends with Adam Dunlap), and use their money/influence to buy multiple parkour-related domain names.
Be wary of Take Flight. They’ve been slowly, slowly building up a backlog of actions that in and of themselves are relatively innocent, but taken as a whole, point to the inevitable conclusion that Take Flight – a clothing company – is trying extremely hard to become the world’s dominant parkour organization.
Keep a sharp eye on them.