Photography By Luke Stones (@lukestonesuk)
Sad to leave the North.
We have reached the halfway point. Next stop, Bristol.
The few days we spent in Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield were very successful, with epic accommodation, some of the best spots in the North of England and a beautiful and much-needed visit to The Peak District. After multiple days and nights without a place to shower, a quick dip in an icy lake surrounded by dense evergreen forests, rolling hills and rocky outcrops, was greatly appreciated by all, even if one was not too fond of the cold water. After being in the city surrounded by the rather claustrophobic urban landscape, this quick trip to the uplands of Northern England, although short, acted as a much needed mental reset.
“I progressed a lot and was very happy with my standard of training throughout the tour. I definitely learnt a lot about my own physical recovery and what I now need to do to be able to train consistently for several days. There were so many good memories, too many to mention here, however, spending time in nature was definitely a highlight for me; getting out into the countryside and swimming in a beautiful lake in the Peak District, cooling off and having somewhat of a wash was a welcome relief. Thanks to everyone involved with the tour.” - Ed Scott, athlete from Exeter.
Ed Scott training at iMax - Day 8
I think everyone was definitely sad to leave on day five, however, we were all excited for the next half of the trip. Onwards and upwards it was… well, downwards, to Bristol!
“I really enjoyed the focus of the trip. We were aiming to get the best out of every single day, and to be able to organise consistency and quality when it comes to the filming of such high-level movement is rare and invaluable! After many long and hot days out in the hectic urban environment, I would often feel quite exhausted, however, simply from the group morale and community vibe, I felt inspired to help out where I could. So, when we got back to our accommodation in Sheffield one evening from a full day of shooting and training, a bunch of us worked together to cook up the biggest batch of spaghetti bolognese I had ever seen for everyone to enjoy. I think a big part of the trip was being able to expend a lot of our energy during the day, but being comfortable with relaxing after, knowing that we all had each other's backs, and we would all take turns to do any jobs that needed to be done.” - Dan Hempenstall, C.O. from London.
“For me, the moment that sticks out most in my mind was on our second night, Sheffield. Phil Doyle had decided he wanted to cook for everyone, which was nice of him. After a quick trip to Lidl for the ingredients, he began to cook us up some Spaghetti Bolognese in a massive pot we had found in the huge kitchen in the community centre.”
“That evening we all sat down together to eat. As we ate this delicious meal that had been prepared for us, I remember thinking to myself just how special it was, especially as I could never have envisioned a scenario like that where we would all be sat eating a home-cooked meal together. It was just so wholesome, call me old fashioned but that moment really resonated with me. It really felt like family.” - Chris Ilabaca
Why is a tour like this so beneficial?
I can only speak from personal experience and personal preference, however, I'm sure many athletes would think the same when it comes to the answer to this question. Touring/spending consecutive days with a plethora of different athletes and people, and travelling around to new locations and environments can be very beneficial. Firstly, for the progression of the athletes, filmmakers and creatives involved; each being inspired by the next as they work in such close proximity for a number of consecutive days. Allowing creativity to spark as you travel from place to place and individuals experience landscapes and surroundings that they might have never seen before. This is the master dynamic duo when it comes to fast progression; working with new people in new locations.
It is also very good for the community and the progression of the sport. When athletes collaborate and create content to showcase to the community, there are bound to be progressions in every aspect of the sport. People will get inspired to do the same, the physical and mental limitations of the sport will be tested and the sport will grow as more people discover it.
“I don’t have a favourite part of the trip, however, the atmosphere was something so unique.
You don’t usually have that kind of energy in a session every single day - it was like an annual jam/event was taking place every day for a week. Shout out to Harry Cruse as well. That guy put us up with the maddest hospitality in Bristol on day 6 of the tour. Shout out to the Parkour Community as a whole. For the culture!” - Hector Pitt, C.O. from Guildford
Hector Pitt AKA Hector the director. (*POW POW*)
Let’s go down South!
From up North, we travelled all the way down to Bristol, then London and then to Brighton to finish off the ten-day tour. I won’t go into a huge amount of detail about this part of the tour, all I have to say is that people continued to go hard, have a great time and collect lines for the final film. Keep up to date with Breach Apparel for news about the final film release and any other additional info.
We only had one full day in Bristol, however, a load of people from the Bristol community were out and about to join us, so we had a lovely day chilling and training with everyone.
“One of my favourite moments from the tour has to be hitting up Bristol with the boys. A great day of training followed by a pretty chaotic party, but not the bad kind of chaos, the chaos you look back on and chuckle at. Finally felt like normality after many many days on tour in weird and wonderful locations. Although, the drive to London the next day was a struggle!” - Lawrence Rook, aka Big Pabs, athlete from South/West London.
London was hectic, as has to be expected from such a dense, action-packed city such as London. We split up into multiple groups for the two days we were there which meant we managed to cover some good ground and film a nice chunk of footage. Matthew McCreary managed to join us here as well! @matt_mccreary1
Matt McCreary doing a dive catpass at iMax - Day 8
“Due to the fact that I only joined the tour in the last half from London onwards, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into, as the tour was already in full swing. As soon as I arrived, I was immediately thrown into a high energy training session, where everyone was going hard. This was hard for me as I had just slept the night on the airport floor, which equals next to no sleep. But, of course, this was very fun and I guess that's what touring is about ey?!
It was a very infectious feeling, knowing everyone around me was pushing their physical and mental abilities to the limit.”
“A stand out moment for myself was seeing Philly G; one of the drivers for the tour, a 40-year-old gardener from the North of England, getting some inspiration from what he was witnessing from the boys and finally attempting his first wall to wall jumps. Delightful to watch!
Big ups Phil.” - Matthew McCreary, athlete from Ireland
We finished off the tour in Brighton and Hove on the South Coast of England, in my opinion, a perfect location to bring to a close a hectic and tiring ten-day tour. On the evening of the 9th day, all of us got together to have a few beers on the beach and have one last hoorah before we all went our separate ways back home.
“Probably the most cherished memory will be the first night in Brighton when we all had drinks on the beach. I always value the social/community side of Parkour just as much as the physical training side of things. Being surrounded by so many different and unique people, all because you share the same passion, is such a special feeling. So it was such a great vibe to be sat with everyone, having a laugh, sharing stories and playing games. Especially after so many months of ‘lockdown’ and having not travelled or spent time with the community for the majority of the year so far, that evening in Brighton was very valuable to me. Those are the kind of memories you look back on, and it’s thanks to Chris Ilabaca for organising this whole Tour and making it happen! Thanks, Chris and everyone else involved. Thanks, Parkour.” - David Nelmes, athlete from Leeds.
And finally, we finished off with one last training session at a location known as Rottingdean, one of the more well-known spots just outside of Brighton. It was a nice sunny day to be training at this lovely seaside spot, not too windy, but it’s Brighton so it was still pretty windy. With everyone together in one location, including some of the Brighton locals and the ‘Storror’ boys, training at this last spot was a lovely, social and relaxed way to end the tour.
“I think my favourite part of the tour was right at the end on our last day in Rottingdean. We met up with the boys from Storror and a bunch of other Brighton locals which padded out our numbers substantially. Being with such a big group of legends all at the same time was a perfect way to end the tour.” - George McGowan, athlete from Northern Ireland
“Here’re a few of my favourite moments from the tour; our basketball game one morning, measuring that jump for Ben (wait for the video and you will see what I mean), games of i-spy, pretending to study at Lawrence’s house whilst actually watching ‘The Chase’ with his mum. Max sticking the side pre in Derby almost perfectly, swimming in the ocean at night in Brighton under the light of the massive full-moon. A few of us getting kicked off a roof and as we reached ground level, Philly G had just pulled up with the Van to zoom us away, and of course Ed’s cheat gainer to cart whatever-it’s-called at castle park in Bristol.” - Phillip Doyle, athlete from Cambridge
Phillip Doyle being asked by Luke to smile for the camera - Brighton, Day 10
Final words from Chris Ilabaca.
“Firstly, I just want to say thanks to our wonderful community for supporting us and helping to make this all a reality. What we really need now is for you to get behind this film and others like this. Paying for these longer-form films helps the athletes and creatives to keep pushing our culture forwards. Your support will just help this vision grow to enable us to make bigger and better films in the future.”
“It's also important that you continue to get behind the Parkour brands, support and help them grow. For me and Breach your support is not only helping provide financial stability for myself and my family but it also enables me to create opportunities for the team and to help facilitate their dreams as well as my own.”
“Let me just take the opportunity to thank everyone who made this film possible. To all the people who bought the tour t-shirts, shared and posted about it on your socials. Your support is greatly appreciated, we couldn't have done it without you.
To the athletes who gave up their time to be with us on the tour and massively helped this tour/film become a reality. So much love to each and every one of you.
To the film squad Chris, Hector and Danny you guy's smashed it and I have no doubt the film will be amazing! Thanks for giving up your time and hard work to get those all-important shots and moments captured. Can't wait to see the end result.
Another thank you to our second driver, Philly G. You were awesome. I couldn’t have done it without you.
Last but not least to all those that helped us out with accommodation along the way, thank you for trusting us to use your spaces and for making us feel so welcome.
Maxine Ilabaca (mum) Esty and Charley (bro and sis), Andru Keel, Tim and Sarah Crow, Belle Kassner and her father and the Storror lads. Much love to you all.
Head over to the website and sign up for notifications to be notified when the film drops. We hope that you get behind the movie and enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it!”
Thank you so much for reading. I hope this short piece gave you an interesting insight into the world of touring with high-level Parkour athletes, and what it is like behind the scenes when it comes to the filming and organising of these long-form pieces of content. This type of content is pretty quickly becoming more popular and I think rightly so. It is a fun, efficient and effective way of pushing the sport in the right direction, it helps to support brands in an exciting way, and most of all, it creates some of the most enjoyable and authentic content.
As Chris said, keep your eyes peeled for the release of the film and get excited! Because it's going to be a fun one!
End of Part 2
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Photography by Luke Stones (@lukestonesuk)