OAKLAND, Calif. -- A new skate club is rolling out in Oakland to bring inclusivity into the skating community.
Chub Rollz is a safe space and skate session for plus-size skaters and beginners. It is a community that welcomes plus-size people to learn and meet other skating enthusiasts.
Founder of Chub Rollz, Andy Duran, enjoyed riding his skateboard as a kid. During the COVID-19 shutdown, he wanted to get back into old hobbies, but was surprised after reading negative comments and weight limits for plus-size people.
"When I started looking online for skaters like me, I couldn't really find any. I was finding really negative information about, you shouldn't ride if you are of this weight," said Andy Duran, Founder of Chub Rollz. "When I was in high school, I skated and I was 250. I was very comfortable with my skateboard. I knew that there was something missing and I was worried who else was looking and what they wouldn't find."
The negative connotation didn't stop Duran. Instead, he felt compelled to change the narrative of plus-size people in sports and decided to form his own skating community.
"I knew that not only did I need to get back into it (skating) to prove people wrong but I needed to create a safe space where others can have representation as well," said Duran. "If you feel like your size makes you feel uncomfortable about skating with others, you are welcome to skate with us."
By creating this inclusive skating club, Duran hopes to break barriers and the stigma surrounding plus-size people in sports.
"I think there's this awful stereotype that fat bodies can't and aren't interested in activity and that is simply not true," said Duran. "There are many of us that enjoy being active and enjoy being active in our own ways. Ways that might be a little more comfortable, like skating with a rail or holding a friend's hand, and figuring it out together."
Meeting new people can be intimidating at times, but Chub Rollz welcomes your support system to roll with you.
Chub Rollz launched in January and has gained a loyal following on Instagram.
"Being in community, feeling the safety, and felling the connection of other people who may be going through the same thing or experiencing something similar is just beautiful," said Jennifer Marshall, Co-organizer of Chub Rollz.
During the on-going pandemic, Chub Rollz has met with other skaters virtually, and is looking forward to their first in-person skating session in March.
"The greatest feeling about all of this for me is getting and feeling the response from people that needed this," said Duran. "I needed this so I created this for myself and for my community. I am getting DM's from people saying that I need this too. It is amazing to know that this is not something that I only need but that the world kind of needed."