Performing parkour stunts on the rail

When he’s in the air, everything seems suspended in time. It’s only when he lands that the adrenaline kicks in, and he is able to discover a newfound confidence each time. For senior Quentin White, parkour stunts are a way to express himself and push the limits of his athletic ability.

In the conventional sense, parkour consists of clearing obstacles in an urban environment by jumping and sprinting. However, when White was introduced to the sport by his friends in the eighth grade, he decided to add his own distinct style: performing stunts while skateboarding. Since then, he has been practicing recreationally in and around local parks to refine his technique.

“The moves that [my friends] were doing were all really cool. They made it seem so natural and easy that I wanted to try it out. It just seems interesting that people are able to accomplish those [tricks] with their bodies. I began practicing, and now it’s just something that I love to do. It takes away a lot of stress and makes me feel as if I’m flying,” White said.

White utilized his extensive background in skateboarding to add a layer of complexity to his stunts. He implements the tricks he does on foot into multi-step sets on the skateboard. A few of his most elaborate combinations include sliding off a rail into a flip and flicking the board in an aerial.

“Being able to skateboard and complete these tricks is a really amazing feeling. It’s different [since] a lot of people aren’t really able to do parkour, so I like to experiment and just do whatever I want. Parkour is just something that I enjoy doing in my free time, so I want to make the most of it,” White said.

Many of White’s combinations include flips, spins and intricate rail jumps. Recently, White was able to perform a 360 degree spin from a flat-bar, which is achieved with a strong kick off the surface, rotating in the air and landing firmly back on the ground.

“Being able to successfully attempt a trick at that level made me really satisfied and proud because I’ve been working hard on it. It’s a pretty difficult trick, and I think that by completing it, I’ve proved that I can eventually learn harder flips in the future,” White said.

White chooses not to register for competitions because he views parkour as a means of finding peace in stressful situations. However, he is looking to continue practicing in his free time throughout senior year and in college as well.

“The thing that keeps bringing me back to parkour is the way that it makes me feel when I’m in the air,” White said. “In a way, I feel a sense of purpose when [I get] the chance to do parkour. It’s honestly a really great feeling, and it gives me confidence that I can accomplish whatever I put my mind to.”

By Ashley Liang, Staff writer

Photos by Leanna Chan