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 Skateboarding for Kids
Fall Sports Spring Sports Winter Sports
How to choose a  sport Why participate in sports When to start sports

Fundraising Ideas

Sports for the child that does not like teams Sports and keeping Healthy
How to locate sports programs Selecting Cleats Preparing your child for not making a team
Benefits of Summer Camps Creating a sports bulletin board Best sports to keep your child fit for life
Offside rule for soccer MOMS Spalding's Rookie Gear - Innovative Equipment for 8 and under  

AGE GROUP

BOYS AND GIRLS 6 AND UP

Skateboarding is one of the hottest sports around. It is the third most popular sport with teenagers just after football and basketball.  Like any other sport you really have to know what you are doing before you go out and jump on to a skateboard. Skateboarding can be a terrific, fun form of exercise.  It is a sport that can be done almost anywhere and anytime.  It offers everything from fun and fitness to highly competitive events.  Skateboarding is a fairly low cost sport so it is available to many people.  It is a way to express yourself while having fun.  Anyone can try skateboarding because there is a board and style for everyone.  You will see the personality of the skater emerge by the way they skateboard.  Skateboarding builds confidence and creates a sense of accomplishment.  So if you haven't tried it, go out and get yourself a board. 

Skateboarding can be very dangerous so it is important that you adhere to all safety procedures.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):

  • Children under age 5 years old should never ride a skateboard.
  • Children aged 6 to 10 years old need close supervision from an adult or trustworthy adolescent whenever they ride a skateboard.

 

EQUIPMENT AND SAFETY

It is important to know what you are doing prior to jumping on to a skateboard. You must always skate smart.  There are thousands of  injuries related to skateboarding each year.  So it is extremely important to wear safety equipment and be aware of and respect other people at all times.  Safety equipment includes:

  • Helmets, wrist guards, elbow and knee pads and gloves are a necessity. 
    You should also wear closed, slip-resistant shoes.
    M
    ost tennis shoes will work, but skateboarding shoes are made with flatter soles and other features, to help with skateboarding. 

    Properly fitted helmets need to be worn by skaters of all ability levels to protect the head from injury . The front of the helmet should come down to just a finger's width above the eyebrow.  A quality bicycle helmet or multi-sport helmet will work or you can purchase a helmet at a skateboard specialty shop.
      Be sure that it meets or exceeds the safety standards of the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or Snell Memorial Foundation.

    Knee pads are used to protect the knee from injury and should be used by all skaters.  Elbow pads are important for beginners and aggressive skaters. Hand/wrist protection should be worn at all times to help prevent injury.
     

  • Added protection can be provided by long sleeved shirts and long pants.

Further recommendations to help prevent injury to the skater:

  • Use a good, quality skateboard that is right for your abilities, weight and style.  It must fit you properly and be made of study materials.
  • Keep equipment in good working condition.  Always inspect it before you ride it.  Check for broken or cracked parts, slippery top surface or wheel problems.
  • Skate on safe surfaces.  the best place to go is to a skateboard park. A growing number of communities provide supervised skateboard parks with "bowls" and "ramps".  Avoid areas with rough, uneven surfaces, motor vehicles and/or pedestrian traffic.
  • Learn the basic skills of skateboarding including turning and stopping. 

 

PURCHASING SKATEBOARDS

Here is an overview of what you should consider before buying your skateboard.

You never want to skimp on the skateboard that your purchase because you can result in wheels made of poor material, trucks that are weak, bearings that freeze up or  boards that break. Skateboarding by nature is very dangerous you do not need to make it even more treacherous.

Skateboards have three major parts. The deck  which is the board itself, the trucks which is the mechanism to which wheels are attached and the wheels.

 

Parts of the skateboard

Deck:  This is the part of the board that you stand on.  Decks are raised at the front and back ends.  The front is called the nose and the back is referred to as the tail.  The deck is also curved up on the sides this is referred to as the concave of the deck.

Griptape: The sandpaper like material on the top of the deck which helps the foot to grip the deck. Griptape comes in sticker-like sheets and is available in various colors. Black griptape is of higher quality.

Trucks: The metal parts that connect the deck to the wheels and allow the skateboarder to turn.

Wheels:  The part the rolls on the ground. Skateboard wheels are made from urethane and come in various degrees of hardness as well as different sizes.

 

Skateboards have various characteristics for all types of riding including slalom, freestyle and speed. Some are rated for the user's weight. When purchasing a skateboard you have two options either to buy all parts separate and have it put together or buying a complete skateboard. 

Build a skateboard from scratch

This is where you buy each of the parts of the skateboards (deck, trucks, wheels, bearings, etc) and either put it all together yourself or have someone at a skateboard shop put it together for you.  The result is that you will have the best parts available on the market because you can pick and choose from a variety of manufacturers equipment. 

These boards will cost you at least $100.

Buy a complete skateboard

Complete skateboards are all assembled and ready to go.  Often this type of board will  have most of their parts from one manufacturer.   There are a lot of good quality complete boards available just do your homework so that you know about decks, trucks, wheels and bearings so that you can ask the right questions. 

This type of board will cost approximately $60 to $70.

You can purchase skateboards at specialty stores or large sporting goods stores.  I purchased my kids at a specialty store and we built the board from scratch. It cost around $120 when we were all done and the kids loved it!

 

SKATEBOARD LINKS

Skateboarding Basics
Maintenance tips and all the basics.

Skateboard Dictionary
Skateboard lingo

Building Skateboard Ramps
Plans for building your own ramp

 

 

Click here for a Timeline of Skateboard History

 

Skateboard Magazines:

Skateboarding

Skateboarder

Skateboard Mag

Skateboard Movies -- Tony Hawk

SKATEBOARD LESSONS

Lessons are a good idea and will help your child learn quickly and get through the first skateboarding session without injury but they are not necessary to learn to skateboard. 

Your child can however learn and develop good skills  by skateboarding with friends their age.   You should go this route only if your are available for support. It is similar to teaching them to ride a bike, you must be there to help. You should select a location for learning that is safe. The terrain should be relatively flat and smooth and you do not want people around that could cause distraction.  I taught my kids in our own driveway but you could also use a basketball court or vacant parking lot.

If you decide to have your child take lessons it is usually best to wait until they are around the age of 6 or 7.  Prior to this most children lack coordination and the attention span necessary for lessons.  Certified instructors can be found in the following places:

  • Local Phone directory

  • Skate shops or sporting goods stores will usually have the names of local instructors.

  • Local skate parks.

  • Internet

You can get either private or group lessons.  Private will cost approximately $30 to $40, and group will run about $20 to $25.   You will need to find out if gear is included in the price, is an additional cost or if you have to provide your own.  Lessons are not necessarily just for beginners, advanced skaters can take lessons that focus on a particular skill. 

 

Tips for Beginner Skateboarders: