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Parkour vs Skateboarding: A Personal Experience of Trying Both

Fact checked by Michael Derosier

parkour vs skateboarding

Sometimes, sports aren’t about using equipment or getting on a track to race against someone. It could also mean challenging your flexibility by going over obstacles with your hands and feet alone.

Yes! We are talking about parkour. But between parkour VS skateboarding, is there a safer sport to do? Are these sports worth comparing? Do you have all it takes to do both?

This article will address the difference between these incredibly thrilling activities.

Parkour and Skateboarding: Defined


1. Parkour

Is parkour considered a sport?

Many believe that parkour is more of a training discipline than a sport. Nonetheless, it entails working on one’s physicality to achieve a specific goal.

The goals of this discipline include being able to move from one spot to another creatively and efficiently. Parkour artists are smart athletic people who see the city landscape as an obstacle. They use the walls, rails, ledges, and other obstructions in their training.

Who made parkour? Parkour originated in France. It first came into existence through George Hébert, a naval officer whose physical training method became the standard in France during World War I and II. You may have also heard of Raymond and David Belle, who had a large part in popularizing parkour in the 90s.

This discipline isn’t an Olympic competition, but some countries have begun hosting events for it.

2. Skateboarding

This sport that emerged in the recent Olympics started in the US. Skateboarding went through years of innovation, improvement, competition, and more milestones that boosted its popularity.

As we know, skateboarding uses equipment in a skateboard packed with urethane wheels, wooden decks, and sturdy trucks. There are variations in these parts, but their functions are largely the same.

In skateboarding, riders balance on their board, flip the decks, slide down the ramps, or grind against the rails. The most common locations for this activity are often the streets or skate parks.

Differences Between Parkour and Skateboarding

Parkour and skateboarding are both urban sports. But on what grounds do they differ? Let’s dive into the following aspects.

1. Participants’ age


Who can try parkour, and at what age can someone start skateboarding? This aspect does not create much of a difference between these sports.

Realistically, people at young ages, such as kids, can do parkour and ride skateboards. But of course, there is a learning progress matrix we observe.

For parkour, the youngest parkour artists would often master body coordination. A few years later, a parkour practitioner must be more physically able and know how to direct their energy. And by the time they’re adults, they must have established proper posture and known preventive measures against injuries.

You can find parkour learners in diverse age groups, from three to seventy-three.

On the other hand, skateboarding has most riders in their youth, around 12 to 14 years old. Progression depends on factors like practice, dedication, and when the skater started. So, we may be unable to conclude whether a 35-year-old man can still pop tricks.

2. Skills and styles

We mentioned that one of the most salient differences between these two activities is the presence of skateboarding equipment. Now, how are they different in skill set and style?

Parkour has almost all the unique moves one can do. These movements include swinging, jumping, rolling, or climbing with no assistance but the body’s strength. In doing these, the parkour artist’s mind expands and lets him find ways to finish obstacles creatively.


Meanwhile, skateboarding has standard skill sets and riding styles, from the basic to the more challenging ones.

Some popular styles include street, vert, freestyle, park skating, and cruising. In skills, skaters often push the board, flip it on air, grind the deck against a handrail, or slide down an insanely inclined ramp.

Read more: Why is skateboarding so hard?

3. Training location

Yes, both parkour and skateboarding typically happen in the urban jungle. But in what parts particularly?

One unique thing about parkour training is it often happens where there are higher risks of injuries. The activity uses objects in the urban environment that you may not find in a regular park. Essentially, these training sessions occur where there are stairs, walls, and concrete ledges.

The good thing about parkour is there are already parkour training locations designed to teach beginners the early skills needed.

The streets and parks are a skateboard’s home, generally. Unlike parkour, though, it’s harder to skate in public if there are laws to ban the activity. There’s no equipment involved with parkour, so you can even train in your house and outdoors if there are enough obstacles like a tree, swingset, or fence, etc.

Pros and Cons

Let’s highlight some advantages and drawbacks between parkour and skateboarding.


  • Doesn’t cost much money to start
  • Stress-relieving activity
  • Has competitions skaters can join
  • Slightly challenging to learn
  • Injuries are common


  • Induces creativity among parkour artists
  • No special equipment is necessary.
  • Workout routine without needing a gym membership
  • Prone to trespassing calls
  • An inherent risk of injuries from jumps

Which is Better for Exercise?


It’s a fact that parkour and skateboarding make players and athletes use their muscles paired with body coordination and creativity. But between these activities, is one a better form of exercise?

Skateboarding is not only a leg but an entire body workout. How? It encourages balance and endurance. Plus, it also improves one’s cardiovascular strength. And these are only a few things making skateboarding good exercise.

Similarly, we can say that parkour is also as intense as skateboarding. It requires and yields almost the same physical impact as the latter sport. These benefits include improved endurance, strength, and cardio health.

The choice is yours, really.


Having more fun under the sun has become more of a necessity than a hobby. There are hundreds of things we can do in the streets. We only need to be open to these activities, like parkour and skateboarding.

May this parkour VS skateboarding comparison remind you that there are many things you can do to stay fit. We now know how these activities differ and what good they serve us.

Now, the decision rests on you. You may opt for an equipment-less thrill in the concrete jungle or take on skate park ramps and do flip tricks.


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