Andy Duran's Chub Rollz Is Determined To Defy Physical Stereotypes

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Chub Rollz skateboarders passing on their skills to the next generation (Credit: Andy Duran)

When 36-year-old Andy Duran decided to return to his favorite high school hobby — skateboarding — in January 2021, the only obstacle he expected to encounter was his own ability to get back into the sport after the long hiatus. However, the 340-pound skateboarder from Oakland, California, soon realized that was the least of his problems.

Duran's challenges began before he even stepped on a skateboard. "I couldn't find any resources for fat skaters, what types of boards to try, or where to buy pads or even branded shirts in sizes 2XL or 3XL," he told DOGOnews.

What Duran did find instead was an unfounded belief that plus-sized people should not be skating. “I started to find people who were saying that if you're over 190 pounds you shouldn't be on a skateboard, or that the deck won't support you,” he says.

Andy Duran founded Chub Rollz to create a safe community for plus-sized skaters and skateboarders (Credit: Andy Duran)

Determined to do something to change the narrative of plus-size people in sports, Duran founded Chub Rollz — a skating and skateboarding community for overweight skaters. "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," Duran told ABC11 News. "If you feel like your size makes you feel uncomfortable about skating with others, you are welcome to skate with us."

To encourage plus-size people to pursue the fun sport, Duran created a list of recommended products for fat skaters. He also hosted roller skating and skateboarding classes to teach beginners. So far, the response to Chub Rollz has been “overwhelmingly positive."

Following a January 25, 2021, article about his initiative in the San Francisco Chronicle, Duran received a flurry of messages from strangers expressing gratitude for giving them the courage to stand up to naysayers. “This means so much to me; I didn’t think I could skate," said one. “A person at the skate shop laughed at me, but this club makes me feel like I can still do it," wrote another. Duran has also been contacted by some skateboarding brands offering to create larger clothing sizes and been offered free equipment by skating organizations like Skate Like a Girl.

Jennifer Marshall, Chub Rollz co-organizer, with their skateboard (Credit: Andy Duran)

Though encouraged, Duran believes a lot more needs to be done to dispel body image stereotypes. “I want to see more changes in communities. Maybe skate shops have more sensitivity training for creating a more welcoming environment for all types of skaters. Or boards to be made in a variety of strengths and sizes — everyone is making thinner, lighter products, but sometimes we need those heavy-duty options to stay available," he explains.

For those hesitant to pursue their desired activity due to their body size, Duran has this to say: “Be kind to yourself, as you’re often your worst critic. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean you can’t be it."

Resources: DOGOnews, SFGate.com, ABCNews.com

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130 Comments
  • prinecesspenny
    prinecesspennyMonday, May 10, 2021 at 11:41 am
    anyone can do anything It does not matter what they look like
    • addijames4444
      addijames4444Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 11:29 am
      Thank You To Andy Duran Who Came Up With This Club, Are Bodies Are Beautiful No Matter The Shape Or Size.
      • plasmanilator
        plasmanilatorWednesday, May 5, 2021 at 12:45 pm
        I hope they use thick boards!
        • grissbra000
          grissbra000Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 10:33 am
          i cant even skate board
          • koda_delhart
            koda_delhartTuesday, May 4, 2021 at 9:11 am
            wow so cool
            • wolfiemoon
              wolfiemoonMonday, May 3, 2021 at 4:47 pm
              This is amazing!
              • thomrac29
                thomrac29Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 9:54 am
                I love skateboarding its so fun!
                • hatsunemiku9910
                  hatsunemiku9910Friday, April 30, 2021 at 2:16 pm
                  cool there better than me
                  • suleha
                    sulehaFriday, April 30, 2021 at 9:04 am
                    Skateboarding is a great exercise. You burn a ton of calories and can keep going for hours. Skateboarding makes your legs and core stronger. ... Skateboarding can be a replacement for cardio and pushing yourself will greatly improve your overall health and fitness.
                    • catpaws
                      catpawsThursday, May 13, 2021 at 3:36 pm
                      Cool never knew that
                    • tutekaci-159786085851
                      tutekaci-159786085851Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 11:34 am
                      wow