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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149 Comments
  • gobipycagiro
    kemme074 months
    Duran is very generous❤❤! I wish I was like Duran when I grow up, like I'm 11 right now 😏
    • melody329
      melody3295 months
      No matter what They look in the Outside maybe he or she is still good in the inside so when you’re finding a friend be careful to choose one that is a good heart🤗🤝
      • aestheticbeige
        No matter how we look like, don't judge a book by it's cover. Instead judge a book in the inside. You never know if the person is kind and has talent! 😊🤗
      • carebear0518
        carebear051810 months
        I have tried once but fell in better at ice skating since I can do spins and jumps with them
        • ilovanimals
          ilovanimals11 months
          I tried one before and I was so scared when I tried, I litteraly almost could not get on!
          • melody329
            melody3295 months
            I know how to skateboard it will be fine just try just get deep breath and then push yourself down and don’t you get about your brain forget it just slide down and you’ll think it’s fun so you will have courage·🤟🏻💪👍🥴
          • nitria
            nitria12 months
            I wish I could have a skateboard but I would fall after the first try or so! But practice makes perfect!!👌
            • sharkbaithuhaha
              sharkbaithuhahaabout 1 year
              for skating i can do every basic trick in the book kickflips ollies grinds boardslide varial kickflips drop ins my folks and friends say im really good but im nothing like my stereotypes like nyjah huston or tony hawk but i think this chub rollz thing was a great idea
            • harrypotteryep
              harrypotteryepabout 1 year
              chub rollz.... my little sister has a toy she named ''chub the hedgehog... ''
              • cute_raindrop
                cute_raindropabout 1 year
                stereotypes... they define everything in the old world. they must be broken
                • starlite_safire
                  starlite_safireabout 1 year
                  Cool great😎