Since parkour was conceptualized as an outdoor sport, why is there a need for indoor parkour gear? Interestingly, some of the best parkour athletes are from colder climates and have been able to improve their skills by moving their practices indoors during the colder, wetter seasons. In many places around the world, ice, snow, and rain make outdoor parkour courses challenging. In order to allow for year-round training, and increased access to the sport, indoor parkour gyms are cropping up all over the country. In addition, the sport is fast-gaining popularity with a younger crowd. Kids as young as 5 years old are vaulting, flipping, and leaping their way into parkour on a daily basis. Parkour training is becoming mainstream, and gaining a cult following online. If you are looking to purchase equipment for your at-home parkour set up, or if you’re preparing an indoor setup for your gym, here are a few tips on how to select good parkour gear that will last.
Tips on Finding Good Parkour Gear
Look for a range of size options.
If you are building out an indoor gym for a range of ages of athletes, look for a company that offers a range of block and tower sizes. Junior-sized parkour blocks are a must for any gym that offers youth training. If you are shopping for adult-only sized equipment, make sure to look for products that can be set up to a variety of heights. Towers and giant trapezoids should be able to be rotated to allow for a range of different setup options.
Learn about the materials.
Good quality foam, outer material, and stitching are central to the life of your parkour training euipment. The best parkour shops have years of practical experience in crafting and testing their equipment. If asked, they should be able to give you detailed information about their quality testing procedures, including pressure testing and foam density minimums. Good parkour gear blocks and towers are made of a high-density foam, which makes all the difference to athletes joints and tendons. The outer material of all blocks and mats should be made with a sturdy, woven fabric that is easy to clean and can hold up to kicks, grabs, and tons of pressure. Likewise, the seaming should be reinforced with technically-superior stitching, and easy to repair with adhesives, in order to maximize the lifetime of the product.
Research pressure guidelines.
Older inflatable mats and crash pads often leak or the foam is poor quality that breaks down immediately. High-quality parkour mats can be inflated and pressurized within moments, allowing for athletes to customize their setup to their ideal settings. Depending on the size and type of athletes using the equipment, your equipment might need different densities of foam or materials. This will help ensure the longevity of the equipment and help to minimize injury upon impact. Make sure to do your research and find what equipment is best suited for your set-up, or work with a company who can educate you on what you need to maximize value.
Pay attention to shipping policies.
Parkour gear is big and bulky- shipping it can be a pain. Look for a parkour equipment seller that will ship to you at a flat rate, or that provides a shipping rate calculator, to prevent any surprises when it comes to getting the gear to your door. Also, work with a company who is knowledgeable about shipping policies and timelines. You’ll want your products to be packaged correctly to avoid damage, delivered on time, and at a reasonable cost.
Go for good customer service.
Parkour gear can be expensive, but part of what you are paying for is excellent customer service that will provide suggestions, create customized products, and most importantly, get the most training and value out of your equipment once it has arrived. Choose a parkour equipment company that will respond to your emails or calls in less than 24 hours, and that provides detailed repair guides or best practices for equipment so that you’re not stuck when you need to fix something fast and get maximum life span out of your purchase.
Select the essentials. If you’re building a parkour gym for the first time, consider building out your gym with these key components:
Mats: Parkour mats are sold by thickness, density, and size. Mats are perfect for practicing flips and other jumps. Mats help support the joints during fast landings, and can provide a mental relief when trying a new trick for the first few times. They are also essential for young athletes, who are bound to jump, leap, and land in unpredictable ways. The best mats can be custom-pressurized to allow for a variety of training needs. Look for options that are transportable and combinable if you’re designing a flexible setup.
Blocks: Blocks are useful for creating obstacles in your indoor parkour course. Opt for a block that is sturdy enough to handle vaults, kongs, and kicks. Make sure to pick a block with high-density foam, strong materials, and durable stitching. Handles for ease of moving blocks around to experiment with different set ups are must.
Wedges & Towers: Wedges and towers will play a variety of roles in your indoor parkour gym environment. Look for products that can be set up to a range of heights and angles, and make sure to select options that work for both kids and adults. Towers are a fantastic supporting tool for learning flips, cat leaps, and vertical grabs. They can be paired with blocks and mats to support a huge range of course options and tricks.
The demand for good parkour gear is increasing. When shopping for parkour equipment, look for a range of sizing options, good shipping rates, excellent customer service, and attention to quality. Most of all, have fun and get out there!