Nothing says “amazing feats of aerial dexterity” like Super Mario Bros.
If you’re anything like me, you see the kind of moves that free runners and parkour practitioners pull off and you get to thinking that throwing yourself around like a real life Prince of Persia might be a skill you’d like to learn for yourself.
That’s where the Tempest Free Running Academy comes in, which not only teaches you how to run, roll and leap like a videogame character, but also lets you test out your skills in videogame inspired environments.
The Tempest gym is curious mix of realistic urban environments, not-quite-so realistic ramps and bars, and an utterly unrealistic Super Mario section, which is pretty much the first thing you come across as you enter the gym. It also has a trampoline and a foam pit, but that seems to be less about free running or parkour specifically, and more having fun. On its website, Tempest says that its facility was designed by BMX rider and X-Games ramp builder Nate Wessel, and claims it has the perfect mix of gym and outdoor training.
Tempest does offer classes, but you have to live in Los Angeles to take advantage of them. Nevertheless, it’s rather fun to watching a bunch of would-be Marios leaping around a real world Mushroom Kingdom. Now, if Tempest could just get some boxes that floated in mid-air and dispensed fungi when struck, it would be perfect.