Red Bull’s Urbex series takes urban exploration to a higher level
caling tall towers and high bridges may evoke crippling fear in most normal people, but Abudi Alsagoff is anything but ‘normal’. The Malaysian national lives in Dubai and his escapades went viral last year when he hung as a human flag off the Marina 101 tower.
The 24-year-old works as a parkour teacher, is a sponsored athlete and has multiple videos of himself defying gravity, lightly bouncing over public structures, flipping in the air and running up walls. “I love the freedom of movement,” he explains simply. “I saw it on YouTube when I was younger and it blew my mind - so I started small. I love that when you’re using your body there are no rules.”
Alsagoff moved to Dubai in 2014 to help grow the parkour scene in the UAE. He says that although the scene is developing, it still has a long way to go. He’s part of the Red Bull campaign, Urbex, a name for ‘urban exploration’, where episodes will be released following extreme sports enthusiasts as they explore cities around the world. Alsagoff will be featured in his home country and in his new home, Dubai. And the adrenaline junkie says there will be lots of well-known Dubai landmarks to look out for in the video, released tomorrow. “We visited plenty of sites, including Cayan Tower and the World Trade Centre.” Along with his crew, Alsagoff scopes out sites for exploration and, he says, preparation is essential. “When I did the human flag on the top of Marina 101, I had to practise the flag pose - and make sure my strength was right - that I could balance myself on one hand, for safety reasons, and so I could propel myself up properly.” Alsagoff admits he wasn’t always this fearless: “The fear is gone now, but it didn’t start out that way. You need to gradually work up to the heights - to get both your body and your mind trained for it.”