This is definitely the coolest freerun ever on planet earth: Jason Paul recently took his talents to the northern Chinese city of Harbin to transform from freerunner to freezerunner. Wearing the warmest of clothes and spikes on his shoes Mr Freezerunning slides and glides through the city on the Siberian border, braving temperatures of -25°C.
Why Harbin? Because it is home to one of the coolest festivals on earth: Every year artists from all over the world come together in Harbin to form an entire city made from nothing but massive ice blocks, including palaces and icy sculptures – a true kingdom for freerun pro Jason Paul.
“You have the unique mix of an art city and the natural elements ice and snow. It’s gigantic, as big as 11 football pitches and absolutely overwhelming,” Jason Paul said.
It is absolutely staggering – and at the same time brutally cold. At double-digit sub-zero temperatures performing at the highest level is a huge challenge, even for Jason. He has to constantly keep moving and discover completely new grounds: “The ice is as hard as concrete, every mistake is painfully penalised – there’s literally no room for error. If something goes wrong you can’t even hold on to something.”
As tough as freerunning on ice was for Jason it made him take his skills to the next level. “From a sporting point of view it’s amazing. When freezerunning you can do tricks and moves, that are usually impossible.” A fact that thrills not only Jason but fans and spectators alike.
The combination of slides and flips just look extremely casual. While Jason sometimes utilises the glassy surface to perform the coolest moves and slides, he sometimes puts on some serious spikes, enabling him to accurately stick his high-flying jumps. And so we look on in awe, as stunned as the Chinese tourists who are filming and snapping more photos than we do.
“I got to discover a side of my sport that I had no idea existed!” Paul said.
After this frosty endeavour Jason is as intrigued by the idea of freerunning on ice as ever: “We only scratched the surface of what is possible on ice. I am curious on how far we can push it and where we can go with this.”
The good news is: Ice is transient, so next year a new city made of ice will grow in Harbin, calling Jason to test “yet another new spot with fresh possibilities – I would love to come back”. And we would love to see Jason slide and glide again as his take on ice-skating has well and truly enthralled us!
And just when you didn't think it could get cooler, it did:
And listen here for the full Freezerun playlist!