In the acrobatic world, one of the limits that is constantly being pushed is the distance someone can travel while doing a flip.
Front flips, side flips, and backflips, are the most common tricks used to test how far one can travel, simply because these flips allow you to launch your body great distances.
The Farthest Recorded Flips
So what are some of the farthest recorded flips? An American named Jacob Major set the record in 2015. On flat ground, he completed a 5.719 meter long side flip. For comparison, the world’s longest jump was performed by Bob Beamom in 1968, with a distance of 8.9 Meters.
While it can be mind boggling to conceive how the human body can move such incredible distances, this is only scraping the top of a plethora of potential stunts that could be performed with this skill.
For frontflips, the record holder is a British parkour athlete named Drew Taylor. A member of a group called Storror, he is an influential figure in the community with a front flip of 6.18 meters.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, his massive record remains unbroken since August 15, 2014.
Dom Tomato’s Massive Jump
A parkour athlete known as Dom Tomato is one example of how a trick, in his case the front flip, can be expanded upon. Watch his YouTube video here. This Australian athlete is known for the massive heights from which he will front flip.
One of his most notable jumps is a front flip in which he descends a 25 step staircase. Both the stairs and where he landed were stone.
In this feat, not only did the athlete need to cover a great distance, but also a great height. Adding this additional axis requires that the athlete be able to know where they are in the air in comparison to everything around them the whole time.
This means the athlete is going to have a lot more math to do in their head!
Plus, the impact of flipping from a height such as Dom’s requires a different technique with which to safely land. Exiting the trick by landing on one’s feet might be devastating for your body.
So, in order to transfer the energy and avoid the shock from the trick, a shoulder roll is typically used.
The image above shows the 15m distance traveled from start to finish for doing a set standard parkour moves. The normal flip is usually taking a distance in between 1-2 meters.
In addition to taking height drops, it has also become popular in parkour to try and flip onto the edge of another object. This is called a flip precision. The aim of this trick is to stick your landing on an edge with utmost accuracy.
Landing on the balls of your feet, with the sole of your foot hanging off of the wall, and using your knees to stop yourself from falling backwards or forwards, are aspects of the proper technique.
Like the height drop, this slight adjustment of the flip’s parameters completely changes the details that the athlete must focus on.
In the case of the flip precision, the athlete must keep track of not just their position in relation to the ground, but the wall, or block they are propelling themselves towards.
It is certainly a risky move, and takes lots of practice to develop such awareness.
Whether flipping on flat ground or otherwise, acrobats have pushed the parameters of what is possible with the human body.
These acrobatic skills are grand athletic accomplishments at any scale, but when pushed to the limits, truly test the capabilities of the human form.
So, what’s your best flip’s distance? let me know in the comment section below.