#116 – Summer Holidays Pt. 1


It was officially the summer holidays for many, no more school, college or university for the masses. Which meant that many of the noisy, hyperactive kids and teenagers would be loitering the streets and city centre during these long summer months. Jak wanted to be out as much as possible during the holidays, to improve his training and get lots of filming done too. It was to be a double training spectacular, this long Bank Holiday weekend. As we went out both Saturday and Bank Holiday Monday to take advantage of the desolate feeling city centre, while everywhere was closed on this public holiday. It was a strange weekend, one where no one was out training… It felt so peaceful and strange on a Saturday to not see any people out jumping. I wonder why no one was out training? I know some go on holiday during the summer holidays or occasionally have other plans, but for it to happen all at the same time is ridiculous!

Jak, Flip and myself were out today, joined later by the legend that is Danno too! It had been absolutely ages since the last time he was out [1] and so it was a pleasure to see him in attendance again today. We trained in our foursome for the day, it’s felt like years since I had last seen and trained with Danno. He was so eager and excited to be out training again, looking to do as many tic tac’s as possible, as that was one of his favourite movements to practise. He would join us from time to time, when he had free time and had first got into Parkour after going to the same gymnastic centre as Jak and since then had come out fleetingly when he could. He had a real energy and thirst for knowledge and training, he wanted to be good at Parkour to the best of his ability. The simplest of movements impressed him, it was a joy to train and teach him when he was out with us and it was always a great laugh too.


Flip – Pop Vault.


It would be cool if Danno came out every weekend though, he mentioned that he was thinking about going in the army and that would mean that he wouldn’t be out at all once he goes on tour. He would be signing up for three years, if and when he had passed all his medical / physical tests. So up until then he will have lots of free time to come out as much as possible with us before leaving, to shooting people while doing Parkour moves, well so he joked about… I don’t think that is exactly how war battles go, the gear isn’t that light. It was a nice warm day and we started as we usually did at the Houses area, training tic tac cats. Doing various vaults and precision jumps on the nearby walls before making our way to other training areas. As we walked past High Pavement, Flip said we needed to start looking for different places and think out of the box with movements. He pointed out the green gate (seen above) across the road and how that would look good in a video or as a photo of someone pop vaulting over it.

I took a photo of it, I enjoyed the fresh feel of this shot. Flip said this is what you need when filming a video, so it stands out and looks different to the usual areas in Nottingham that we always filmed at. This makes them more memorable and gives people a fresh feeling of the city too, being different is good. Danno wanted to gave a go at pop vault too, but instead opted to do a gate vault over the top of it instead. Another movement we rarely practise, but again they are fun to do and are a safer and easier way to pass over objects like gates and fences with more control. I’ve seen a few slips and face plants from people trying to pop vault up and over fences, or clipping their feet as they straggle over the object. I definitely want to find more movements to do, as well as film in different areas. It’s just finding the inspiration to do that, easier to be inspired by others movements and ideas than your own.


Flip – Catleap.


We made our way back to IBM (Precision Triangle) before taking a slow walk to UN. We had a pit stop at an area not too far from IBM, after crossing at the traffic lights. It had rails and looked good for Parkour, even if the railings had bumps on them, no doubt to stop the skateboarders from grinding along them. It looked good, but on further inspection that wasn’t the case. The area did have a giant catleap (seen in the image above) from a railing to a wall, where the top looked like dry moss and might be slippery and yet it was the complete opposite and very good grip indeed. I looked at the jump but it was one of those that looked and felt really far, having to resist not to back out half way through jumping. I did a test jump and landed in front of the wall on the floor, Flip said to just do it, as I’d easily have it if I put full commitment into it. Though on the next few tries I did sort of land it, very sketchy with my foot hitting the floor while the rest of me slammed into the wall.

I couldn’t commit to keeping the legs up and felt like I couldn’t make the distance at all and it was a stretch for me to reach if I did. Such a mind fuck of a jump, my back leg would dangle limp in the air too. Feeling like I had to do that as a way of backing out if I didn’t get enough jump power without damaging myself. Even if I did stub my toes on the wall on one attempt when keeping the legs together, shredding all my skin off my hands on landing too and a slight twinge in my lower back. A security guard had come out and said we can’t be here and that we needed to move on, but was interested in what it was we were doing. I quickly got my camera out after he went back inside and Flip said he would do the catleap for a photo and then we’ll move on, he nailed it so easily and the photos came out nicely too. He even did one attempt half arsed and still landed it, sliding down the wall to standing. It’s such a big jump and yet he does it so easily, what the hell!? This was one spot I want to visit again, on another day!


Danno – Portrait.


Even though it was sunny, it was nice to visit UN again. Danno had popped to the shop, he had acquired a friend when he arrived back. I’m not sure he even knew him or not… Danno is such a mysterious guy, I forget the guys name but Danno said we should call him Seal (like the singer) for short. I captured an image of them both (seen above) while Danno was drinking some fizzy Vimto. Needless to say, his face was priceless, I don’t think he was a fan of the drink and said he wouldn’t be buying it again, even if it was from the pound shop. The main rail precision in the area was now broken, my suspect is Flip. He was showing Danno the rail precision jump as I was setting up my camera. As he jumped across, the take off railing snapped in the middle of the rail, catapulting him forward as it swayed back and forth. On landing on the other railing, which too had completely snapped at the edge, making it look like Flip was surfing the railing as it folded down and touched the floor with the impact before he jumped off it.

The whole thing looked like something out of a Matrix movie and didn’t look like the rail was made of metal at all. There is no spoon! It was funny to see and I wish I had filmed it or captured it in a photo! Afterwards we checked and took a photo of the  snapped railing. I guess until repaired this precision jump will be out of bounds. There was no using these railing any more for precision jumps or even general vaults, I doubt they will be fixed any time soon either. What with it being a run down cut through. I didn’t take many other photos as we carried on training in UN before calling it a day and leaving for home. Though we all agreed to be out bank Holiday Monday, included Danno. This was a surprise, as we are seeing plenty of him this weekend! To be continued…


Flip – Catleap.


Flip – Pop Vault.


Flip – Pop Vault.


Jak – Portrait.


Broken Railing.


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