By Meghan Brink | September 13, 2021
While skateboarding culture has always had a well established presence on campus, this semester UAlbany skaters will have the chance to join the newly established UAlbany Skate Club, which held its first meeting last Friday.
The new club, which attracted 236 sign ups from Block Party, seeks to unite skaters of all skill levels hosting a range of events where members can skate, learn tricks, take photos, and shoot videos.
The idea for the club began in Fall 2020, according to President Dan Koskas. “We saw how many people were skating on campus and we were like, all these people are skating on their own, why not bring everyone together and make a community,” said Koskas.
Treasurer Nolan Adelsky said that they saw how restricted students were with social gatherings due to COVID-19. Skating, however, was an activity that could be done outdoors at a safe distance.
Koskas said that when they approached the Student Association with the idea to form the club, “They were really receptive. They know UAlbany has a lot of skaters and they thought it was a pretty good club to make.”
The club welcomes beginners, and is ready and willing to teach anyone new to skating the ropes.
“The most common thing I heard from people at Block Party was ‘I don’t know how to skate’ or ‘I am afraid to start,’” said Koskas. “One of the big parts of our club is we want people to get involved that have never tried, to get them to step out of their comfort zone.”
Social media manager Calvin Dimmig affirmed Koskas remarks, and confessed himself that, “I am still working on my ollie. You gotta learn. You are going to fall. Just get over the hurdle.”
Koskas, Dimmig, and Adelsky have been longtime friends at UAlbany. The three of them, along with Vice President Jimmy Huebner, all lived together during the inception of the club.
Dimmig and Adelsky met while living on the same floor together freshman year in Steinmetz Hall in State Quad. They met Koskas freshman year through their mutual friend, Julia Gallagher, who is Koskas' girlfriend. (Gallagher now serves as the club’s secretary, despite not knowing how to skateboard herself.)
“By the time I got to college I hadn’t really skated and I didn’t have a lot of experience yet,” said Dimmig. “Dan and Nolan started to get into it and so I went and got my own board.”
The club plans to formally meet weekly or bi-weekly, according to Adelsky, but the club has already spurred casual meet-ups of members via their Discord server, an online texting platform used by many other clubs on campus.
Beyond meetups to skateboard, the group plans to host meetings in the lecture centers, where members can share photos and videos of new tricks and accomplishments.
“We want to have trick of the week or video of the week,” said Adelsky. “If someone lands a new trick we want to show it off.”
The skate shop Seasons on Lark Street in Albany will be working alongside the skate club in a sponsored partnership that will allow members to get discounts on clothing.
As for the future, four of the five eboard members are seniors, and Koskas said, “It is really nice to see we can like lay the groundwork for the club and hopefully it will take off after that”
According to Adelsky, the group is trying to build some boxes and ramps that could be used by the club for tricks. He even joked that they could “get Tony Hawk to show up to campus.”
The group held their first meeting on Friday outside SEFCU on the concrete slab that used to house the Bubble before its collapse. Adelsky said that the club's ultimate goal would be to turn this area into a skatepark for the club to use.
Sophomore Shawn Ness, who attended the meeting, said that he joined mostly to meet new people. “I am not a super great skateboarder but it was a cool opportunity to meet some homies and learn some tricks.”