Athens, Ohio isn’t exactly known for its quality sidewalks or warm weather, but it does have one of the best transition skate parks in the state. For those who may not know, transition skateboarding is skateboarding done inside of concrete bowls, pipes, and half-pipes – which somewhat imitate the empty swimming pools early transition skating started in.
The Athens Skate Park offers a place where talented skateboarders can hone their transition skills. The park is located behind the community center and was built in the mid-2000s in order to give local skateboarders a place to be beside the streets. While having a skate park was a big improvement for many skateboarders, it left a gap for skateboarders who are interested in other skateboarding styles. The park is also a challenging place for beginners to learn.
Where the City of Athens left a hole, some local ingenuity has filled in on Ohio University’s South Green. After one of the basketball hoops on South Green was damaged, some OU skateboarders took advantage of the free real estate. A few boxes and makeshift ramps were put into place, and a new place to practice street skating was created.
Local skating legend Moss Miller took notice of the decrepit course and he and another local skateboarder threw a few hundred dollars together to build some wooden ramps, as well as a rail. Moss is a valuable asset to the local skateboard community, as he continually encourages new generations of skateboarders to learn and stick to skating. He also owns the Flipside Skateboard Shop.
Since Miller helped put together the small park, much more has been added.
“A lot of it was built by Moss, the owner of the skate shop,” said Noah Yonkers, an Ohio University student. “But, some of this stuff was just like, brought in by random students. I know the guy who built that, a friend of mine brought that one in, and I got a couple of buddies who stole those curbs,” Yonkers said as he pointed to various obstacles.
According to Miller, there has been some pressure to get OU to officially build a skate park on South Green. However, the university donated money toward the Athens Skate Park, and has so far declined to build another one on its campus. Miller has also attempted to get the city to incorporate more street style skating obstacles at the Athens Skate Park.
Photo by: Zach Shrivers