Meet Clive: Godfather of Irish Skateboarding

Katie Roche

“Does Tony Hawk use scooters?” a customer asks Clive Rowen, owner of Skate City in Dublin’s Temple Bar. “Hmmm… not really,” he says, guiding the customer over to a set of scooters. The customer’s son, who looks around 6 years old, points to the wall and asks, “Is that a longboard?” He gazes in awe.

It’s quite clear his mother has other plans for him: safer, scooter activities to be exact, but you can tell he really wants the longboard; this boy will never survive in a skatepark on a scooter. If Clive had the choice, he wouldn’t sell scooters, his real passion is skateboarding but business is business.

Clive has had a skate shop since 1978. His first store opened on Hill street, which is now the name of a documentary about the Irish skateboarding scene. Last month, Hill Street was acquired by a film distributor. “It was announced…

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