Students test the limits of athleticism

While most students tend to focus on the major sports, extreme sports are a new trend sweeping across the campus of Florida A&M University. A small group of students have taken the initiative and started a group, SK8, dedicated to extreme sports.“We started spring semester of last year. We just got some skateboards and rode down a hill,” said Colvin Scott, 19, a second year broadcast journalism student from Atlanta, Ga.SK8 is a student run organization that specializes in extreme sports, primarily skateboarding, long boarding, and in-line skating. Skateboarding is the method of choice for most members, but others do own and use long boards and rollerblades. No matter what equipment is used, extreme sports require almost constant motion and body control.“Extreme sports, by definition, are action sports,” said Darryl McGowan, 19, a second year engineering student from Chicago, Ill.Extreme sports are not totally unfamiliar to FAMU’s campus. Many students may already be familiar with The X-Games, a very popular extreme sports competition held during the winter and the summer.“The X-Games Competition is the highest level of competition in extreme sports,” McGowan said.Extreme sports is entertaining to watch, but not exactly safe. Injuries are a very common occurrence, and no one can avoid them. According to McGowan, it is very possible for even the most experienced veteran to fall and hurt himself. He has suffered quite a few bad falls himself.Jonathan Smith, 19, a second year mechanical engineering student from Sebring said that he has seen and has suffered a few injuries.“You see a lot of injuries. It really gets kind of gruesome when you are out there” said Smith.Smith also said that even with the scrapes and bruises that come with the territory, experience can actually be the best teacher.“They say that once you fall, it doesn’t hurt again,” said Smith.Women have even found their way into the extreme sports arena as well. Scott said that women are more than welcome to join SK8 and learn more about extreme sports.“Girls like to skate,” Scott said. “They just want to have fun, and that s what we re about.”“The skating atmosphere is growing rapidly, ” said Derrick Kearse, 21, a second year Computer Science student from Ft. Myers.SK8 isn’t only confined to FAMU’s campus. A group that started off with less than 10 members can now be seen skating down hills all over Tallahassee.“Members of SK8 emphasize having a fun and honing their craft. You get satisfaction every time you get on your board or put on your skates, ” Scott said.While FAMU does not officially recognize SK8 as an official campus organization yet, there are plans to be recognized.“We weren’t really expecting this to get big, but it is getting big, and since it s getting bigger, we’re forced to consider it and it s pretty exciting,” McGowan said.Students interested in joining SK8 can contact McGowan at 219-381-4003.“All students are welcome to join SK8. Anybody can get involved, we don t hide and we skate in very public places,” McGowan said.