Santa Claus will be delivering gifts to children around the world this Christmas on a sleigh guided by reindeer but, in the meantime, one of his U.S. helpers is showing what would happen if jolly ol’ St. Nick went extreme.
Ronnie Shalvis, a free-runner, stunt coordinator and parkour trainer from South Jordan, Utah, dressed up in a Santa suit and went to leaps and bounds, literally, to show how Santa Claus gets from roof to roof.
Shalvis’ version of Santa travels by parkour, a running discipline that involves jumping, climbing and rolling anywhere and everywhere, making the landscape, in this case rooftops, a personal obstacle course.
Parkour is focused on overcoming obstacles, something Shalvis, 23, faced 10-fold when filming his “Santa Parkour” video right after a snowfall.
“I’m demonstrating how to do parkour in the snow when it’s slippery, at night when it’s dark and in the Santa suit, which inhibits movement,” Shalvis said. “I had a lot of padding underneath [the Santa suit] to make me look bigger so it added weight.”
Dressing as Santa Claus also nearly blinded Shalvis, making it particularly tricky to make sure his flips didn’t turn into flops.
“Every flip trick I would do, the beard would fly up and cover my eyes,” he said. “So almost every flip I did, I did blind because my eyes were covered.”
Shalvis says he completed all the stunts in the the two-minute video himself over a period of about two weeks of shooting at night.
“I was only able to land because I had done the flips so many times before,” he said of the difficult conditions. “I’d done a lot of the locations before but this time, with snow, it was slippery.”