Getting a Grip

Suffolk-born Shane Griffin spent his childhood jumping and climbing through his village, and that love has led him onto screens around the world.

SOMETIMES LIFE IS HARD AND, IT IS OK TO SAY SO. It was just a split-second—merely a moment's thought, but it came as I was perched on a roof in Zurich, five stories high, looking down at the only route back to the ground. To most people, it would have looked like the glass façade of a modern building. Nothing more than an architectural flourish. But with its horizontal lipped panels, I looked at it differently. I saw an opportunity. To me, it was a ladder. One I had been determined to climb from the moment I saw it. I noticed the building on my first day in Switzerland, situated across the road from my hotel. And over five days of walking past it, I had done my research; checking the grip, the wind resistance, even trialing it by going halfway up. And on this cold morning, it was time. The chilly conditions meant less moisture in the air, and therefore more traction. Sheltered from the wind, I had clambered up in a flawless 45 seconds, zipping vertically without pause. So,
Want more? SUBSCRIBE NOW to continue viewing this story and help us continue creating the content you love. Already subscribed? LOGIN.

Become a subscriber and have access to parkour culture on the move.

  • Unlimited access to
  • Digital editions of the magazine