Dimitri Papavassiliou, born in 1993, has been surfing since he was 3 years old. He competed in the NSSA surf contests and was a member of the Malibu High school surf team. His dream is to continue to pursue professional surfing, teach surf lessons and coach. Dimitri is American and Greek. Ten years ago he decided he wanted to represent Greece in the ISA World Surfing Games. At the time, Greece did not have an official surfing organization and surfing was not on the radar. However, a few years ago it was discovered that there were great conditions for surfing in Crete as well as in the Western Peloponnese. This triggered Dimitri's interest to travel to Greece in the winter of 2019. When Dimitri arrived he was welcomed by local surfers, experienced amazing Greek hospitality and spent 3 months exploring and discovering surf spots that were truly exceptional.
Babis Savvakis, who is now the president of HSSA, recognised Dimitri's level and offered him a spot on the Greek national team. The ISA had been lobbying for years to have surfing included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games which was finally becoming a reality. Despite a devastating injury that almost shattered his dreams of competing at the ISA games for the Greek team and chance to represent Greece in the 2020 Olympics, they sent Dimitri and New Jersey born Greek-American surfer Perry Siganos to the ISA games in El Salvador. Dimitri worked hard with the help of his coach Mike Lamm, his sponsor Roberts Surfboards, and his family and was off to the ISA World Surfing Games where his journey has just begun.
For 6 years he worked at Freedom surf camps in Malibu and Venice beach. It was here where his desire and passion to work with kids in a surf setting started his hope to one day open a school. Dimitri has taught for 11 years all levels of surfers and in all varieties of conditions. His teaching style focuses on proper body positioning to improve the function and aesthetic look of a surfer on a wave. He provides guidance and knowledge on how waves work knowing that you will leave your lesson with the tools to be surfing sessions without the help of someone. In the lesson you are the priority and get assistance into many waves with correct paddle entry. Dimitris patience is the most notable attribute he possesses. It stems from his kind and personable ways which creates an environment where students will flourish their surf skills. Come take a lesson!