If you’re a parent wondering how to introduce your child to skateboarding, you’re in luck! This guide will cover the basics of skateboarding and some practical tips to keep your child safe as they learn.
Skateboarding offers a fantastic outlet for children to stay active, develop coordination, and, most importantly, have a blast. Plus, it’s a relatively affordable hobby, making it an excellent option for budget-conscious parents.
Before you get your child started in skateboarding, there are a few things you need to know.
You may be surprised to learn that there’s more than one type of skateboard. Die-hard enthusiasts know that there are around 20 types of skateboards in existence. From traditional shortboards, typically used for tricks and stunts, to cruisers designed for travel, there’s a board for everyone.
Electric longboards have recently gained popularity, offering a modern twist for today’s tech-savvy children. Electric longboarding for beginners can be a thrilling start. While it often has speed settings, the level of control can vary depending on the specific model and features.
No skateboarding conversation is complete without discussing protective gear. Make sure your child always wears the following:
- Knee and elbow pads
- Gloves or wrist guards.
The gear you choose should also meet the safety standards set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Skating shoes can also help improve grip on the board.
Investing in items that directly protect your child from bumps and bruises and help mitigate some of the worse injuries is also wise. Other practical skateboarding essentials are a skate tool for adjusting the trucks, shoe adhesive, and a handy first-aid kit.
Protective skateboard equipment offers various sizes and styles. Involving your child in buying will make them eager to gear up.
Best Age To Learn
While there isn’t a universal age to start skateboarding, children often develop the required balance and coordination around five. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests parents not to let children under that age try skateboarding. Kids aged five to ten must also only skateboard with parental supervision.
When your child is ready, gently introduce them to a board suitable for their age and size. Always emphasize the importance of safety gear, even if they see skateboarding as just another sidewalk game. Encourage them to have fun and explore, not stressing about mastering tricks immediately.
How To Choose The Best Board
The right skateboard will affect your child’s enjoyment and success in the activity. You should always consider their age, experience level, and personal preferences when deciding.
A smaller, lightweight board can be a good start for younger beginners. As they gain confidence and skills, they might graduate with an electric longboard or another board style that aligns with their interests.
You can start with any skateboard your child’s interested in. But the important thing to note is the quality. So, avoid skateboards with plastic decks, extra hard or soft wheels, and immovable or plastic trucks (the T-shaped parts attached to the wheels).
Instead, look for plywood decks, polyurethane wheels, and metal alloy trucks on your child’s first board.
Where To Skateboard
Finding safe, suitable places to skateboard is part of the journey. Beginners can start on smooth, flat surfaces like driveways and playgrounds. As they advance, skate parks and urban environments can provide exciting new challenges. It is crucial to consistently ensure that the selected area is safe, free of traffic, and under your supervision, especially during the initial stages.
If you live where the skate parks are a few hours’ drive away, there’s nothing wrong with skateboarding in your yard. The best part about staying at home is that you can design obstacles for your child to practice on. You can build small ramps and half pipes appropriate for your child’s size and skill level.
Benefits Of Skateboarding
Skateboarding is not just thrilling—it’s a holistic activity that promotes physical fitness, balance, and mental focus in children. It instills a sense of determination as children try to master each trick. It’s also an excellent medium for children to bond over, helping them to build lasting friendships.
Engaging in skateboarding can foster your child’s mental well-being by encouraging the release of ‘happy hormones’ or endorphins. Active participation in physical activities can lower the risk of conditions like anxiety and depression in kids. Plus, it offers a fun escape from daily routines and homework when the school day ends.
Preparation Tips For Parents
Parents must be ready to handle minor bumps and scrapes—these are inevitable parts of the learning process. Your handy first-aid kit should be within reach, and enforcing the use of protective gear is a must.
Provide positive reinforcement to motivate your child but avoid putting undue pressure. A parent’s unconditional encouragement helps get kids into sports while young and learn to love them. Everyone grows at their own pace; the learning journey is as significant as the outcome. Keep an eye on your child and guide them patiently and gently through their progress. They’ll reach greater heights eventually.
Get Ready To Roll Out
Setting out on a skateboarding adventure can unlock a realm of excitement, resilience, and camaraderie for your child. With well-fitting gear, a suitable board, and a love for sports, your child is ready for an exciting skateboarding journey.
As a parent, you can be essential to your child’s success in this activity. You’ll see positive changes when you create a supportive and encouraging environment. So, why wait? Get started and embrace the joy of skateboarding together!