The skateboarding phenomenon rolled into mainstream recreation after years of being viewed as a counter sub-culture. Today, the market is valued at nearly $5 billion with more children involved in skateboarding than baseball. Recognizing the staggering growth and value of the sport, skateboarding will be included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Skateboarding as a recreational activity knows (almost) no bounds. From toddlers to seniors, increasing numbers of people are hopping on a colourful array of boards. Be assured of this: These aren’t the same boards of yesteryear. Skateboard styles have expanded, from short boards to long boards, psuedo surf boards to popsicle boards. Some skateboards have just two wheels and are known as J-Boards or Rip Stiks.
As the popularity of skateboarding grew it became an increasingly acceptable means of physical activity, and as we know, any activity is a good activity. You would be hard pressed to venture into any city and not encounter some form of skateboarding, whether traditional or even the use of scooters.
As with any activity that grows in popularity, children become involved. Let’s take a look at what you need to consider if your little one is begging to go boarding.
Keeping our little ones safe is of paramount importance and gear of all kinds is readily available. Equip your toddler with a helmet, knee pads, and wrist pads. Inevitably they will take a tumble or two when learning how to skateboard and these preventative steps will ensure a continued desire to be active. You can find more information about the best safety pads here.
Beginning at a skatepark or arena is not likely the best option for those learning the sport. Instead, create a safe place in your home. Consider starting on a carpeted area where your toddler can practice their balance. Afterall, without balance, skateboarding is impossible. Progressively, move to the outdoors, equipped with the right gear, and watch your child take delight in their newfound adventures. During the early learning, take your toddler to a local skatepark and show them what it’s all about. Building the excitement helps sustain a long term interest.
Board are where the style comes in. As mentioned earlier, there is an array of styles available. When considering the first board, there are a few options to explore such as the rigidity of the board, the type of wheels and their spin, size of the board, and the grip for your toddler’s shoes.
The Skatro Mini Cruiser is a light and compact skateboard that tucks away conveniently in most backpacks. This board’s portability is described as “unprecedented” in contrast to traditional skateboards and long boards. Its performance exceeds others in the same price bracket and is a real winner worthy of consideration.
Pro – described as “the best board for beginners” by Borncute.com, sturdy yet flexible, smooth wheels, great board for new and experienced skateboarders
Cons – some describe as too flexible
Reviewskateboard.com describes the Rimable Complete 22 as an, “ideal skateboard for kids owing to its mini size. So if you know any child looking to begin the skateboarding adventure, you need to get them the Rimable Complete 22 inch Skateboard.”
The Rimable Complete 22 is made of plastic but maintains a low weight and can carry a skateboarder up to 200lbs, making it an ideal choice for nearly any new skateboarder.
Pros – textured deck for traction, wheels provide a smooth and quiet ride, durable and lightweight, smaller than usual making it a good option for toddlers and Skatereview.com highly recommends this particular skateboard
Cons – can be fast for new skateboarders
If you’re looking for a quality skateboard at an entry level price point, consider the Positiv Skateboard Digital Series. They are widely accepted as a quality-built board and an unparalleled warranty. Depending on the skill level, Positiv Skateboards offer a variety of laminate and veneer wood types as well as sizes.
Pros – wheels spin slower making it desirable for new skateboarders, professional-grade construction, durable and well-built
Cons – wheels may spin slower than desired for more experienced riders
The Cal 7 Mini Cruiser is a versatile board offering the classic skateboard shape that ensures stability for riders both new and experienced. The exceptional control that the Cal 7 provides is a certain benefit to new riders.
Pros – colorful and bright, fully assembled upon purchase, control and stability that beginners will appreciate.
Cons – wheels are soft making bumps and cracks more challenging
The Merkapa 22 is a fun and vibrant board that draws attention wherever it goes. With multicolored LED lights in the wheels, your child will be the star of the show – even as a beginner.
Pros – vibrant and colorful, ideal for beginners, multi-colored LED wheels make it fun for children
Cons – minimal flexibility making it more challenging for skateboards with more experience