Drew Taylor

birthday: 25 July 1994

 

How did you get into parkour and meet the rest of the team?

I met Benj at secondary school, aged 11, we were in the same tutor group. I’d been doing trampolining for some years, and when I saw Benj and his friend backflip off a climbing frame in the park I thought that was way cooler than trampolining! I pretty much switched from one to the other then.

Max, Benj and I felt quite isolated in Horsham, so we began to travel around the south-east of England to find other parkour communities. We soon came across Toby, Callum and Sacha, and then Josh a bit later.

What do you most appreciate about being part of STORROR and about your team mates?

It’s great fun, we laugh a lot! And we’ve achieved an awful lot working as a team. I doubt any one of us could have done that alone. I really appreciate everyone’s dedication to progression in all senses. We have such a variety of personalities and skills, which all complement each other, it makes for a great team.

What do you think makes STORROR unique among parkour teams?

We have a team of massively talented and well-rounded individuals who are all very different but are relentless in working towards a common goal. And seven seems to be a special number.

What are your best parkour skills and what are your other talents or interests?

Possibly I’m one of the more acrobatic, but since breaking my ankle my style has changed slightly to focus more on flowy long lines. The others would probably say I’m good at flips, cat-passes, standing arm jumps and flowy stuff. And also strategy, logical thinking and taking the lead.

I’m responsible for designing our own-brand merchandise, and getting it all made. We release two main collections each year, with additional items added along the way. I take time to look at trends in street fashion and consider how these can be applied to our clothing range. The team gives their feedback on my proposed designs, then I brief the manufacturers on what we want, get samples made, we refine those, and finally put them into production. It’s a long and complicated process but I really enjoy the creativity and the sense of satisfaction in seeing the finished products.

I also enjoy writing, drawing, photography, playing guitar, surfing, learning new skills, and generally being creative.

What’s your diet like and what training or exercise do you do to improve fitness?

I try to stay away from processed carbohydrates and gluten, and focus on eating real foods, including plenty of eggs and meat. When I’m home I mostly eat well, but when we’re on the road it is difficult. Middle Eastern and Mexican are my favourite cuisines, but I love a good burger too!

I broke my ankle in 2017 and after the initial healing period I was working with a personal trainer at least twice a week to regain power and strength. Now my training is mostly through doing parkour itself, but in winter I often go through phases of lifting weights, and performing squats and deadlifts. I find stretching and rolling is super important too.

What’s your taste in books, films, music?

Books I’ve read recently include Contagious by Jonah Berger, Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall, Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari, Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, and 24/7 by Jonathan Crary.

My favourite films are Boyhood and Before Sunrise, both directed by Richard Linklater, Roma and Children of Men, both by Alfonso Cuarón, and Love by Gaspar Noé. My musical taste is hugely varied, and ranges from classical, through old school hip-hop, to electronic. Most of the time I’m listening to some kind of neo-soul or jazzy hip-hop.

At school, what subjects were you best at and worst at?

I was quite good at most subjects. I chose to take A-levels in business studies, media studies and English, and had a place at university to study digital advertising and design. However, just a week away from starting I decided not to go. Instead, I wanted to focus on STORROR and see if we could find a way to make an income from doing what we love. There was a time I thought I’d made a big mistake in not going to university, but it seems to have worked out alright!

If you weren’t a professional parkour athlete, what would you be doing for a living?

It’s likely I would be completely disillusioned with society and travel the world with no money. Alternatively, I might be working in some kind of design studio or photographing professionally.

What places would you like to visit that you haven’t yet and which are your favourites so far?

I’d like to go to Iran, Greenland, Mongolia, South Africa and Chile. Iceland is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. France has the best memories. USA was the best road trip. Tunisia was the biggest surprise. And Brazil is my ideal balance between nature and city.

What advice would you give someone starting out in parkour?

Make sure you’re having fun, it’s easier with friends. Push yourself and enjoy the process of overcoming challenges.

facebook.com/drewwtaylor | instagram.com/drewftaylor