Skateboarding isn’t just a sport: it’s a culture that has captured the hearts of countless individuals across the globe. For those who love skateboarding, being part of a community that shares this passion is vital. Skateboard clubs serve as a meeting ground for individuals who share a common interest in skateboarding, allowing them to connect and foster a sense of community.

The Varsity interviewed Karna Goswami — the president of the U of T Skaters Club — to gain a better understanding of his leadership position and to learn more about both himself and the club.

The U of T Skaters Club is a community of skateboarders who share a passion for the sport and enjoy skating together. The club provides a safe space for students and other individuals to come together and polish their skateboarding skills, while also connecting and sharing their mutual love for skateboarding. 

Goswami’s skate journey 

Goswami got a skateboard as a birthday gift back in April 2020. That was the beginning of his skateboarding journey, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, Goswami had plenty of free time to skate in his hometown of New Jersey. He’s been skating ever since then, and his love for skateboarding continues to grow. 

Goswami typically rides longboards. He rides bowls at skate parks and enjoys going to underground garages, but he gets the adrenaline rush when going insane speeds down hills. He prefers his “wheels on the ground,” which essentially means doing tricks that don’t require flipping or popping the board up. His best trick would be a 360 powerslide, as going down fast steep hills can enable the ability to spin without worrying about traction holding him back too much. He also enjoys dancing on the board. Goswami wants to combine both the dancing and the freestyle tricks while doing them on a steep downhill road. 

He had some accidents, but a major one happened during the summer when he started skating. Dressed for the summer, Goswami was in just a t-shirt and shorts, along with a helmet and slide gloves. He was skating down a hill, but he didn’t know how to powerslide to a stop. The trucks on his board began to wobble because of the speed’s impact, making him fall off the board. Goswami scraped his skin, which took a long time to heal. Although this was a scary experience, he continued to pursue the sport. He said, “If you fuck something up and it hurts, you have to get back up and try again right away.” 

Goswami’s writing journey 

Aside from being the president of the U of T Skaters Club, Goswami is a writer for a skateboarding company. He works as the company’s public policy writer and has written about transport policy and how skateboards are large contributors to creating a more flexible transportation network. His work consists of conducting research and producing materials that the company requires. 

Goswami’s future plans

Being the club’s president, Goswami is brimming with numerous ideas, including introducing several upcoming events. 

One of his main plans includes making skateboarding a varsity sport. This would be very popular, but the chances of it happening depend on a lot of work. Goswami had been in contact with individuals that he believed would help in achieving this goal. They had informed him that it would have to be a provincial issue, meaning that other Ontario universities would have to contribute to making it happen. 

One of the events that the club is currently organizing is a summer swap meet, which it will host on April 1 at Bickford Park with a free barbecue. At swap meets, skaters can sell, buy and trade their various gears. For more information on swap meets and other events hosted by the U of T Skaters Club, their Instagram handle is @utskaters. 

Skateboarding isn’t just a sport, as many people use it as an escape from reality. The gust of wind as a skater cruises aboard offers an unreal feeling, one that is so powerful that it creates a close-knit community. The U of T Skaters Club is a family that creates a fun and learning safe space for everyone.