Luke Stones & the IMAX 1 Double Catpass
Back in December 2016, in weather far too cold to be wearing a t-shirt, Luke Stones came along & did something that changed the way the Parkour community will see one of the worlds most iconic training sports forever. He double Catpassed IMAX 1. He took a movement that people have spoken about for years & made it a reality. In fact he made it look like something he does as warm up.
In such an overused spot it's incredibly hard to take that environment & genuinely innovate. Obviously in recent years people have come to IMAX & executed some ridiculous new movements, Dominic Di Tommaso's Reverse Pre comes to mind, but at the end of the day it’s still a (much more technical) variation of the original vault to precision we all know. Personally I don’t think anyone has flipped this spot on its head as much as Luke's double since Kie Willis did the Catpass precision at the far end over the horrific drop way back in 2012. Something only one other Traceur has repeated, Max Barker.
You may be reading this thinking I'm making a big fuss over nothing & that new people do new, more impressive stuff, in better places all the time. However IMAX is undoubtably one of the most viewed & visited training spots in the world and moments such as this one become key points in our sports history for people to look back and remember. They not only mark the progression of a singular athlete but the progression of the sport.
I still vividly remember being at an old Urban Freeflow jam in 2006 when Forest (yes Forest of Parkour Generations) was the first one to Catpass precision this very same gap. Before then that movement had barely even been considered. Within a year it had been done by countless other athletes.
When the IMAX 1 double is commonplace & dare I say it, even the dive has happened, look back & remember this moment.
I sat down with Luke to ask him a few questions about the IMAX 1 Double.
What drove you to tackle this untouched challenge?
I’ve been to Imax countless times over the years & the double has always been talked about but I always thought it was ridiculous, never something I would do. Everyone knew someone would come along & do it one day but I never thought it would be me. Giles told me about the concept for the RUN LDN video & I remember him mentioning that if we’re going to shoot at the classic spots it would be best if it was unseen movement. We’re always trying to push the level of our movements for these bigger video projects & with the recent progression of my double’s I figured it was about time I gave the double a proper look.
What was the preparation process like?
When we arrived that day I had it set in my head that I wanted to do it. I took a lot of time to visualise the movement & make sure to get my body, specifically wrists, as warm as possible. The angle of this movement is very unusual so I made sure to do the cat pass pre a number of times so that I had the right trajectory. I then built up to doing the standing dive down just to prepare myself for the landing. Usually I would consider this kind of impact unnecessary but I wanted to be sure I knew how much power to put in so that I could safely bring my legs back through for the landing. I drilled the cat pass pre many more times & did the dive down once more just to be certain that I would commit to the final movement. The biggest danger with a movement like this is if I were to not commit once passing over the first wall, so I had to be sure I was comfortable. When I finally executed the double it was just a case of linking both the cat pass pre & the dive together in my head, taking elements from each to ensure I made it through safely without issue.
Once it was finally done, how did you feel?
It was such a great feeling. When I focus on a challenging movement like this there is so much to think about so I tend to zone everything else out. Once I landed, everything came rushing back in & to be honest it was almost a bit overwhelming. To pull off a first at this iconic spot is a very rare thing nowadays & it just blew my mind.
How many times did you do the double? Would you do it again?
I only ended up doing the double once that day. I really like to repeat movements but the impact from the height drop to the floor made me aware of an old injury I had in my leg. I didn't want to make it worse so made the decision to leave it at that. In hindsight I probably could have been more prepared but wanted to get it done as it had been in my mind for a while. I know I could go & do it again but unless I find a sudden urge to repeat it soon I will probably hold off until i’m stronger & feel more comfortable.
Photos by @somewhere.somewhen