Aided by the success of the "Jackass" movies and the Tony Hawk series of video games, skateboarding culture has become a global phenomenon. Skateboard parks once were seen solely in America, but more European nations are getting into the pastime. Greece has a history of skateboarding that stretches back to the 1970s, and its thriving skateboard scene could interest Greeks looking to get into the sport or skateboarders from other countries looking for a holiday location.
Early Greek Skateboarding
The first reported Greek skateboarding team was formed in 1978 in the city of Thessaloniki. Known as the Thunder Boys, they were instrumental in helping to organize the first skateboarding tournament in Greece. The tournament took place at the Thessaloniki YMCA in 1979, and the YMCA was host to a number of skate tournaments in the early years of Greek skateboarding. The first Greek skateboarding park was built in Thessaloniki in 1987, and the money for its construction was provided by local businessman Odysseas Fokas, who owned a sportswear store.
Later Era Skateboarding
In the early days of skateboarding in Greece, many practitioners had to pay large sums to import skateboards. However, in 1988, 303 Skateboards was formed as the first Greek skateboard manufacturer. The company took its name from the dialing code for the city of Thessalonikis. The company's designs included the Flipper and the Podari until it ceased operations in 1998. Greece's first designated skateboard store, Microxtreme, was founded in 1990 and is still in operation as of August 2011.
Greek Skateboarding Resources
One of the most useful resources for Greek skateboarders is the website The Spot. Although it also has sections dedicated to surfing and snowboarding, The Spot has a considerable amount of skateboard content, including user-uploaded videos, the latest Greek skateboarding news, lists of upcoming skateboarding events and tournaments in Greece and a guide to skate ramps, pipes and other areas for skateboarding in Greece. A magazine called "Fuse" offers skateboarding news in hard copy.
As of August 2011, there are at least eight official skateboarding parks in Greece. Three of these are in the Greek capital of Athens: Glyfada Skatepark, Athens Invert Room and Aspropirgos Park. There are also skateboard parks in Chalkida, Erithrea, Kavala and Larissa. Erithrea's skatepark has a full-size mini-ramp that has been used as the location for skateboarding videos by The Spot.
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