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Rollerskating alongside fellow members of San Luis Obispo’s skating group, Sk805, takes the best kind of courage, according to English sophomore and Sk805 member Hana Sehic.
“Learning to skate has boosted my confidence immensely and I’m very lucky to find a hobby I enjoy so much,” she said. “You can get hurt, but you’ve got to get up and try again.”
Members of Sk805, known on Instagram as @_sk805_, pride themselves on emphasizing the inclusion of the roller skating experience, gender identity, sexuality and ages of all ranges, according to Sehic.
Sk805 co-founders, Lauren Briley and Kennedy Hale, got Sk805 rolling in May to create a safe space for local skaters to teach and learn the art of skating, according to Briley.
“It’s really about supporting each other, learning from each other and welcoming people into this crazy sort of family,” Briley said.
Since she came to San Luis Obispo, Sehic has skated with Sk805. She said the adrenaline rush of skating paired with the “extremely welcoming community” transformed exercise into joy.
“Sk805 has open arms,” Sehic said.
Skaters include Cal Poly and Cuesta students, as well as local high schoolers. Most members roller skate, although there are also some skateboarding members. Once a month, Sk805 can be found gathering at a local park to skate.
“What we really want is to inspire a love of this sport to anyone and everyone,” Briley said.
Members practice a variety of rollerskating styles, including halfpipes, street skating and vertical ramps – throwing tricks in for fun.
“[When you’re in the zone,] you don’t think at all — your body knows exactly what to do, and you’re literally flying,” Briley said. “You feel weightless.”
No experience is needed to join Sk805, and members love to meet and help new skaters find their skating flow. When friends challenge fellow skaters to step outside of their comfort zone, it’s a thrill that bonds people together, high school freshman Hale said.
“[Sk805 offers] an amazing way to meet new people,” Hale said. “Roller skating in general teaches you a lot of life skills, like how to get back up after falling.”