How to Choose a Skateboard for your Child
Is your child interested in learning how to ride a skateboard? This could be the beginning of great things. For parents and their kids, skateboarding together can be an awesome opportunity to bond. Additionally, all skateboards are an excellent way to encourage your child to exercise.
Skateboarding strengthens the legs, calves, feet, and even the cores of riders. And because skateboarding is so fun, most riders might not even notice as they slowly improve their leg strength and overall fitness.
Still, choosing a skateboard fit for a child can be difficult. Whether you’re after a typical skateboard or a high-speed motorized electric longboard, there are several factors that you should keep in mind while shopping for a new young rider.
This guide should run you through every major consideration in choosing an electric skateboard, including safety considerations and types of skateboards made for children.
Best Age To Get A Skateboard
This should likely be the first consideration for anyone looking to buy a new skateboard for their child.
As you might expect, buying a skateboard for a ten or twelve year old is quite a bit different than buying one for an older kid rider.
The main factor here is how well your child will be able to navigate the world around them and monitor their speed accordingly.
A younger kid, for example, might have quite a bit of trouble stopping their board in time to avoid obstacles. Other young children might struggle to adjust their speed on an electric board as they begin to go downhill to offset the effects of the hill.
If a kid rides a skateboard that moves too quickly for them, they could get seriously hurt. We generally recommend that parents of younger children search for a board with maximum control.
Parents of older kids might consider boards with higher maximum speeds and other specs, especially as their son or daughter improves their riding skills.
Buying or Building A Skateboard (DIY)?
Once you know what age range of beginner’s board you should be looking for, the next big choice is whether you want to buy a premade board or design your own.
The latter method, also known as DIY, has grown significantly in popularity in recent years.
The benefit of a DIY build is that it offers a high degree of flexibility. For parents of children interested in riding a skateboard or longboard, flexibility is key. This is especially important when it comes to electric skateboards, as e-boards often offer the highest speeds in the skateboard industry.
On the flipside, electric skateboards also require the most expertise for DIY builders, as it takes a degree of knowledge to figure out which pieces are compatible with one another on a given build.
If you’re not very knowledgeable about boards and skateboard design, we mostly recommend that you look towards buying premade boards. Many companies design quality skateboards, longboards, penny boards, and electric skateboards that work well for new or young riders.
Choosing The Right Skateboard
This shouldn’t be too big of a concern at this point in the buying process, as most parents looking for a board for their child already have a pretty good idea of what kind of board they want. Nevertheless, it is important for you to understand the differences between different categories of skateboards.
What Is A Longboard
Longboards are some of the most popular boards on the market. As the name suggests, longboards are longer than traditional skateboards. This usually makes them more stable, meaning that riders can take them on rides far longer than skateboards tend to offer.
For kids, longboards might be a great option because they work well as cruising devices and require a smaller learning curve than skateboards do.
The downside of longboards comes from their lack of “tricks.” If your child easily loses fascination with things, then longboarding might not keep their attention as much as you’d like. It’s much more of a passive hobby than traditional skateboarding.
What Is A Skateboard
Skateboards don’t have the stability and range of most longboards, but they certainly offer a vastly different riding experience. Skateboarders like Tony Hawk popularized skateboarding in the national imagination.
While not all kids will turn out like Tony Hawk one day, he and other famous skaters captivate the imagination of our children and bring them into the fascinating hobby of skateboarding.
Skateboards are highly flexible compared to longboards. They’re made to be able to do tricks, ride on the shifting terrain of a skatepark, and more.
Kids are unlikely to lose interest in skateboards because they get bored. However, some children might become disenchanted with the hobby because of the notoriously steep learning curve of most boards.
What Is A Penny Board
Penny boards are traditionally very child-friendly. They’re small, highly maneuverable, and relatively easy to learn to use. Penny boards are also highly variable in the ways they can be used.
Some penny boards might be well suited for longer rides, while some may be better fitted for tricks or jumps.
This kind of versatility is really helpful when buying for a child, as a young rider may shift their interest as they learn more about riding.
What Is An Electric Skateboard
Electric skateboards are another solid option. Electric skateboards are pricier than traditional skateboard and longboards, and they usually offer a boosted performance version of the longboard.
Your biggest consideration when choosing an electric skateboard for a child is going to be control. Because e-boards can reach very high speeds, with some exceeding 25 mph or more, kids can easily get hurt if they aren’t accustomed to riding this quickly.
Look for beginner’s boards with a high degree of control, solid brakes, and other safety features. You can find a decent comparison on this e-skate blog.
Safety Practices When Skating
Although part of the safety of your child’s skateboarding experience comes down to the specs of the board you purchase, kids and adults alike can minimize risk of injury by purchasing reliable protective gear and learning how to fall properly.
Teach Them How to Fall
This is probably the most important thing to teach any new rider, and especially children. Kids are likely to fall quite a bit as they start, especially if you choose to buy them an electric board or a traditional skateboard.
There are several tips available from blogs and other resources that can help kids to learn how to fall in a way that minimizes damage.
In particular, teaching your child to perform a “runoff” when they start to fall off the board or having them learn how to “knee-slide” with their protective gear are two good ways to minimize risks.
Get good protective gear
Always buy a new kid rider the necessary protective gear. The specific gear might depend on their level of expertise and experience, but we usually recommend knee-pads, elbow-pads, and most certainly a helmet to start.
Skateboarding is a great way to introduce more fun and exercise to a child’s life. Using the tips above, you should be able to find a board that’s both safe and extremely fun to use.
About Angela Milnes
Angela Milnes is a Qualified Early Years Teacher who has specialised in Preschool and Kindergarten teaching. She has a wealth of experience teaching young children and is passionate about kids crafts and having fun as a family. Angela has also taught cooking skills and loves to share both family recipes and easy instant pot recipes here on The Inspiration Edit. Follow her on Pinterest!