As 2018 comes to an end there’s lots of athletes from all over the world that have progressed far past their limits this year. But since our audience is overwhelmingly American for now we’ll just focus on them. This list features the top 10 athletes on Instagram by follower count but we’ll also discuss engagement and what that means for each account as well. All statistics are courtesy of the website socialblade.
Now there is some room for debate as to which accounts are still parkour accounts once they hit a certain follower count and start posting more public figure/comedy material but these accounts are still primarily functioning as training accounts for the most part.
1. Jesse La Flair – 138K followers
Jesse has been at the top of this list for a long time. He got his name there by amassing an impressive YouTube following (337K) through his tutorials even before joining Tempest. Through a combination of competition wins and world tours he has secured his place as the most followed freerunner in America. While his engagement ratio is not what it used to be and the athletes on this list below are getting more activity these days many of them would not be here without the ground work that Jesse has laid down for them.
2. Shawn Bautista – 126K followers
Shawn and Alfred have amassed their massive followings without major sponsors or large markets behind them. Both hailing from Massachusetts, their unique style and aggressive acrobatics has propelled them into a very successful niche within the freerunning ecosystem. Shawn has continued to grow his account with weekly content and it looks like there’s no end in sight to the growth of his following. How soon do you think it will be before he tops Jesse La Flair to take the fabled #1 position in the US?
3. Lorena Abreu – 124K followers
Lorena has been one of the most meteoric rises of the year in terms of follower count going up by more than double over the course of her time on the Exatlon television show. Being a native Spanish speaker, Lorena has the fortune of being able to create content across multiple markets and so grow her following at a more steady rate than others who can only target the same type of accounts. While she may not train quite as often as she did in the Rilla Hops days now that she’s been doing more stunts and shows, we expect many good things to come from the always energetic Lorena.
4. Alfred Scott – 93.2K followers
Ever the nonconformist, Alfred’s information is no longer stored on socialblade. Alfred has been quite injured over the past few years so it’s still really impressive that he’s kept the following that he has and still has respectable engagement from those within the community that look up to him. Alfred and Shawn have collaborated with many international athletes and brands over their rise to flipping power and we’re very excited for the day when Alfred is fully healed and can continue to grace the world with his unique style of freerunning. Until then enjoy all of his older content if you’d like.
5. Sydney Olson – 62.1K followers
Another Tempest member, Sydney’s account nowadays has more stunts and photos than purely training clips. The Tempest athletes really are pushing more along the lines of lifestyle accounts than training accounts these days, but her engagement ratio has remained strong even despite the same formula tanking both Jesse and Corey’s engagement. While photos used to be the primary reason to be on Instagram nowadays if you don’t have banger clips you won’t be relevant and that’s why Sydney still makes the list, because she throws down wherever she goes. Always smiling and supportive of her fellow athletes, Sydney is someone we look forward to seeing grow and grow.
6. Bob Reese – 61.4K followers
Much like his fellow Sandy Banana Gang member, Bob is also not listed on socialblade. Bob had been stuck at about 40K followers for a long time and in the past has broken far past that barrier by continuing to provide innovative and engaging content while dipping his toes more into the tramp kids and gravitated equations markets as well. Like Alfred and Shawn it is sometimes questionable if he amassed his following from a majority of the parkour community or those outside of it, but either way he continues to provide us with some of the best training content out there on the internet today.
7. Nate Weston – 51.9K followers
You don’t even need me to tell you anything about Nate. His engagement ratio speaks for itself. If you do parkour. You follow Nate Weston on Instagram and you look forward to every clip he posts (because they’re all fucking bangers). His name has become synonymous with flip precisions and he is also one of the titans tackling descents all over the world. The list of athletes that everyone else follows is about 400-600 individuals and I would imagine Nate is among the most followed within our community. More athletes are starting to emulate his style in competition which gives Nate less of an edge than he did before but as long as he stays consistent nothing is stopping this man any time soon.
Thanks so much for reading our final article of 2018! We hope you’ve enjoyed the year so far and are super thankful for all of the feedback we’ve received in our first few months of posting content. This list (like the others) may have errors or needs of revision and we are always welcoming feedback and collaboration at this stage of our development. If you have other articles you want to see on our platform do let us know and make sure to keep us engaged with what is most important to you the members of the community.