Hong Kong Parkour: Freerunners Storror Leap Buildings, Blow Minds
Afraid of heights? Then you’re going to be terrified by British parkour group Storror, who’ve been gracing the city’s skyscrapers.
Don't like heights? Then stay away from British parkour group Storror, who have just wrapped up a two-week shoot in Hong Kong. After a video of one of the team leaping from one skyscraper to another went viral—and attracted some police attention—the group of eight tells us about their Roof Culture Asia tour and how they conquer fear.
Max, do you know your leap went viral in Hong Kong?
Max: That was quite a small jump! That’s like a warm-up of what we’ve been doing. Callum jumped a gap that’s double the size. It’s one of the biggest gaps we ever did—25 feet. That’s the roof of Chungking Mansions—it’s where we’re staying, so we just went up.
Could you tell us about your “Roof Culture” project?
Callum: The first [“Roof Culture” video] we did was in England. We thought, what’s the next level? So we’ve come to Asia—Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul—to do it on a bigger scale for six weeks.
Toby: So we’re just leveling up and try to make something that we’re proud of, create something we can look back on.
Why Hong Kong?
Callum: Lots of highrise buildings, the environment, the architecture. We’ve never tested ourselves in a “super-city” before. It’s something we’ve never done before.
How do you choose your roofs?
Toby: The ones with loads of obstacles, levels and gaps. Roofs that are linked together with small gaps, and the really big rooftops are really good. We go up so many [roofs] a day.
Callum: We went to countless rooftops in Hong Kong—over 200, mainly residential ones. We found North Point was the best area. We also went to the roof of ICC.
Did you come across any security guards while shooting?
Toby: Pretty much every time. They just shake their hands and ask us to go down.
Callum: They stop us [from going up to the roof], but they are fine with us and we don’t get into any trouble. Security in Hong Kong is very nice, compared to other places like the UK.
Toby: When they realize you’re actually doing something that they find quite cool, then they don’t really mind it. They make us leave, but not in a bad way. We’re not criminals.
Don’t you guys get scared?
All (in unison): Yeah, of course.
Callum: It’s about managing the fear and learning how to use it. People who are fearless in this sport won’t last, they will die, because fear is the stuff that keep us from fucking up.
How do you overcome fear?
Callum: It’s just a matter of doing the same thing 1,000 times on ground level before taking it up high. Then when you’re up there, you’re just 100 per cent sure you’re gonna make it.
Max: We can only do this project up high because we do it on the ground a lot. You get really good at doing it at a safe environment. Then you know you have the ability.
Callum: If anyone watches Max’s or any of our videos and tries it up high without doing it on the ground level for at least five or 10 years, we absolutely don’t recommend that.
Toby: It’s hard for anyone who doesn’t do it to understand, because it looks crazy. But if you’re really adrenal and scared, then you don’t do it. You don’t do the jump.
Josh: When you’re in that moment, you’re not thinking about anything else, you’re at peace, you’re only thinking about your next obstacle. It’s such a calm feeling, even when you’re doing it up high as well. When you jump, you’re confident and you know you can do it.
How did you learn you went viral in Hong Kong?
Sacha: We only realized yesterday when we were at an Apple Store—lots of people started taking photos.
Toby: And then some old guy on the train showed me Max’s video and asked “do you think this is fake?” I was like, “he’s right there!” A policeman had it on his phone--seems like everyone’s seen it. We got caught by the policemen on the ground: They’ve had Max’s Instagram, found the pictures and they were like “We’re pretty sure this is you.” So we just decided not to post any photos while we’re in Hong Kong.
You get some negative comments on what you do: How do you handle them?
Callum: They’re projecting their fears—they wouldn’t do it, so why should we? But when they watch an Olympic skier or an F1 driver, they wouldn’t do it but they still wouldn’t call them stupid or hope they’d die, let Max’s received in many of the comments.
Josh: What we do is against law, but it doesn’t affect anyone—we don’t break anything, we don’t hurt anyone.
Toby: We always respect the environment. If the environment is damaged, it’s not just a loss to the owner, it’s a loss to us because we can’t train there anymore.
So, what can we expect to see from you guys?
Max: We’ve already got a Terabyte of footage from two weeks—and there’ll be a lot more.