iN PHOTOS: It’s choose-your-own-adventure at this Okanagan parkour gym | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
Subscribe

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Current Conditions Cloudy  2.8°C

Penticton News

iN PHOTOS: It’s choose-your-own-adventure at this Okanagan parkour gym

Parkour athlete 13-year-old Chayton is pictured practicing flips onto a soft landing at Ethos Parkour and Movement in Penticton.

The equipment at Ethos Parkour and Movement in Penticton is much different than what you'll see at most gyms. 

The wooden structures and obstacles at Ethos are meant to be climbed up, jumped off and swung around on. The features are able to challenge users of all ages and fitness levels. 

“Eighty year olds can still do parkour, it’s not going to look like what I do,” said head coach Luke Sabal. “Just like five year olds, Parkour is whatever you choose to get from one point to another.”

Like many of Ethos’ gym-goers, Sabal navigates his way through the platforms and features with Spiderman-like moves.

“As I go, it’s just muscle memory, it’s like no one else is around, you’re not thinking about anything – you’re just going.”

In choosing each route, Sabal makes his assessments and decides how he’s going to take each step, jump and swing.

Luke Sabal, head coach at Ethos, is seen jumping a ledge while practicing at the gym last week.
Luke Sabal, head coach at Ethos, is seen jumping a ledge while practicing at the gym last week.

“It’s like you have the whole formula on a calculator and you just push enter."

A moment after jumping the ledge, head coach Luke Sabalwas swinging off some bars at full tilt.
A moment after jumping the ledge, head coach Luke Sabalwas swinging off some bars at full tilt.

It’s a personal sport that tests a person against their own athletic ability.

“It has nothing to do with anyone else, all about you and how you decide to move – that movement you can use given your own athletic ability and your own body type.”

There are obstacles to get up or over, “and there’s no right or wrong way to do it,” he said.

READ MORE: TRENDING NOW: Father, daughter parkour to the party

Before students can climb up tall structures, they have to first demonstrate their ability to fall safely, which can be taught by Sabal.

“We don’t just teach them how to jump a certain gap, we make sure they understand how to assess the risk. What if your hands don’t grab or if you mess up and trip. So they know all the different possibilities of what could go wrong.”

The floors are padded to soften any falls. And one corner, full of giant cushions, is meant to be soften landings from taller heights.

Owners Michael and Heather Kleyn opened the doors to Ethos in early 2020.

“Parkour has always been my jam, my sport of choice,” Michael said. He became a parkour coach in 2010.

“Ever since I was a kid I’ve just loved running around, jumping off rooftops doing flips – all sorts of crazy stuff.”

READ MORE: TRENDING NOW: Robot does parkour

Since parkour gym-goers can challenge themselves with any maneuver they can imagine, Michael said building up the structures in a parkour gym is a work of art.

“It’s kind of like a developing canvas,” he said. “We’ll be standing in one location and I’ll see a line of movement, the ways I would move through the gym.”

But from the same point A to point B, “Luke will see something completely different – he’ll be doing things I never even noticed.”

“That’s kind of the beauty of it,” Heather said. “There’s no wrong way of doing it. You’re training with a bunch of other people but you’re competing against yourself.”

She says parkour gyms allow people to explore their personal creativity. 

“Because of that creative component, every gym is going to be great,” Heather said. “They’re all different, they each have their own character.”

Parkour gave many teens in the area – from as far as Osoyoos and the Similkameen – an unconventional way to be athletic.

“I hear from parents all the time, their kids don’t fit in with conventional sports, there's nothing else they’re into, but they love this,” Heather said.

For anybody interested in trying out parkour, visit Ethos' website to see their schedule for classes and drop-in hours. 

Sixteen-year-old Gideon Kleyn, standing on the red bar, is planning out his next wild jump.
Sixteen-year-old Gideon Kleyn, standing on the red bar, is planning out his next wild jump.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dan Walton or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2022
iNFOnews

  • Popular kelowna News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile