The Commercialization Of Parkour

August 13, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

Parkour, or free running, has mainstream attention that is leading to its commercialization writes Samantha Storey:

  • In the Parkour gyms that have popped up across the United States it’s possible to have a child’s birthday party for as little as $450.
  • Special parkour gloves can be bought for $34.50. Shoes for $60.
  • An international parkour organization also offers insurance policies and teacher certification courses.
  • Red Bull hosts an annual free running contest.
  • Parkour enthusiasts are horrified at this commoditization of their beloved sport. In particular they abhor the idea of people engaged in free running indoors. It was created for urban environments.
  • The gyms, for their part, usually make their interiors look as urban as possible – with indoor graffiti and handrails that mimic the outdoors.

Read more about why doing parkour in a gym is like “asking swimmers to perfect the breaststroke on grass”, the video games that are increasingly showcasing the activity, and more over here.

Source: The New York Times