There's nothing more fun than your kid becoming interested in a hobby or sport that you love. You get to pass on all the knowledge you have, and share the fun doing an activity that you both love.
However, skateboarding is not really an activity you can learn in a day. So read our comprehensive guide on how to teach your child to skateboard - and make the whole process much easier.
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Learning The Basics Of Skateboarding
Ever hear the saying ”everybody is different in their own way?”, that includes children. I was fortunate enough to learn how to skate, surf, and snowboard starting at the age of 4. Depending on how young your child is and their balance skills, they may barely be able to stand on a board. So be sure to take their age, experience level, and other factors into consideration, before beginning their skating journey.
Age is one of the key factors here - a 5 year old is probably old enough to ride a board, but any younger may be too risky. However, because kids are growing so fast at that age, by 8 years old they may be able to do much more advanced tricks.
Each child is different, so it's always important to take that into consideration. Now let's dive deeper into the details.
How Young Is Too Young For Skateboarding?
If your child is only 1 to 3 years old, they may be too young to hop on a board. However, bigger kids will likely have no issue enjoying a ride.
The smallest ones can simply balance on a board, with you holding their hand. While bigger kids should have no issue doing more.
You should always supervise and make sure your kids are being careful and wearing safety gear, when they're riding a skateboard. The younger they are, the more you need to supervise them.
Make Sure They Wear Protective Gear
Kids can easily get injured - so please always make sure they are protected. This means knee pads, elbow pads, helmet, wrist guards - the works.
If they have a nasty injury, they're not going to want to keep skateboarding - so the responsibility lies on you to make sure they are okay at all times. If they fall with pads on, they won't really feel much, and will be able to hop right up and keep skating. Young kids have no fear, its actually pretty scary and hilarious at the same time so just keep a keen eye on the young ones when they are learning to skate.
Set A Schedule
Make sure you go to the skate park regularly. You don't want to make infrequent trips, as children will be much more likely to give up on hobbies they infrequently do.
You want to make skateboarding a regular habit for them, and have it become almost second nature. If you go every Saturday at noon, for example, they'll associate weekends and skateboarding with fun - and be much more likely to stick with it.
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The Younger They Are, The Easier It Will Be
If you start your child early, they will think of skateboarding as just a mere extension of themselves. The longer you wait, the steeper the learning curve will be.
Even if your child is too young to skate, you can take them with you. They'll see you having fun at a skate park, and want to emulate you.
However, it's also important not to push them too hard, too fast. They could get hurt very badly - and then they won't want to skateboard at all.
Taking It Slow
Even though kids can be very eager to learn, and pull off big stunts - please have them learn the basics first. If they don't, they are very likely to severely injure themselves.
While it's obviously way more fun to get some air off of a ramp or bomb a hill, this won't be possible if they don't know how to even stay on the board itself. Think of it like swimming - they can't go off the diving board until they know how to not drown in the water.
Go When It's Slow
In the morning, there are far fewer people in the skate park - making it much easier to teach and learn. You also should make sure the park is clear of any obstacles (broken glass, twigs, etc.).
Go by the saying, ”Leave it better than you found it”. Clean up after yourself and do some cleaning if needed when your their, you will start to get the respect of other locals who frequent the park often.
How To Teach Them To Skate Downhill
Downhill can be scary at first, so make sure they go slow, with you helping them. We wouldn't recommend starting at the top, either.
Start about 25% of the way up a hill, and go from there. If you want to go downhill, it's also imperative that you get them a high quality board.
However, the good news is that once they go downhill, they will have a much easier time transitioning to other types of skating. It will also make it easier if you go downhill with them.
In fact, skating with your kid will make the whole process much more enjoyable. Try to always be skating next to them as they learn, if you can.
Make It Interactive, By Taking Videos
These days, everyone can record everything. So be sure you keep fun memories, by recording their every move on a board.
While it may not seem like much now, it will be super fun to look back at these videos 30 years from now. The kids will likely want to watch them as well, so they can improve their form - or just look cool.
Kids are obsessed with Tik Tok, Snapchat, Instagram and more - so you have to help them make skateboarding a part of that world. If they're old enough, let them post a Tik Tok or Instagram Reel of them skateboarding - it may just make them pretty popular.
When They're Ready, Have Them Do Vert
So it should go without saying that 5 year old kids are not ready to ride giant vert ramps. That first drop in is always scary, no matter your age but once you commit to it the first time and get that feeling under your legs, it will get easier. However, older kids can start hitting ramps once they feel confident.
We always recommend helping your kids learn the bigger tricks, and also be sure that they are safe in the process. Make sure they are wearing full protective gear, at all times.
How To Choose The Right Size Gear For Them
It's crucial to also choose the right size gear for your kids, that way they don't get hurt. 22 inch boards to 30 inch boards are ideal, as well.
Make sure they don't run into any other children while boarding, as these kinds of crashes can be particularly vicious. And make sure they always keep their helmet on, as this will protect them from harm.
If they resist, be sure to remind them that even Tony Hawk wears protective gear and a helmet. It's also good to make sure they work on their balance, as balance is possibly the most important quality for a skateboarder to have.
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Does Your Kid Skate Switch, Goofy, Or Regular?
It's important to decide if your child skates goofy, switch or regular - this decision can make or break their experience skateboarding. Put them on the board, and see what position they naturally go with.
Once you determine what stance they prefer, they will then need to learn how to push. Here is a great primer on how to start pushing on a skateboard.
What Is A Good Age For Kids To Start Skateboarding?
While under 5 years old is probably too young to start skateboarding, experts agree that the sweet spot seems to be between 6 and 10 years old. Kids at this age can usually learn almost anything easily and quickly.
Anyone younger than 5 will probably have a very hard time skateboarding, not to mention the danger factor. It can be quite risky for children younger than 5 to skateboard, so don't push your luck.
If your kids are over 10 years old, this is a great time for them to learn as well. Heck, even 30 to 40 year olds can easily learn skateboarding - it may just take them a little longer to learn.
If you need some inspiration, there are a lot of great skateboarding films out there. Some of our favorites include Gleaming The Cube, The Lords Of Dogtown, and Minding The Gap.
[Here are the best skateboards for 6 year olds.]
10 Best Children's Skateboards
This awesome board has tons of five star reviews, and is also very affordable. Since it's 22 inches, it's not that great for adults - but kids will love it.
This is a perfect board to learn on, especially for the really tiny ones. While you can certainly spend more, reviewers are unanimous that this is a great solution for any small beginners out there.
This 22 inch board is perfect for little boys and girls alike. It has lots of great reviews, and is a great way to get them started.
Be sure to always make sure your child is safe as well. Helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, wrist guards - the whole array is needed to keep little kids from getting hurt.
This awesome Spider-Man board is super sleek, and very affordable. Of course kids will love it, with the Spider-Man branding - but adults will love how safe it is.
Certainly not good for advanced riders, this board still remains perfect for small beginners. We love the huge amount of good reviews as well, which makes this another solid choice for any newbie.
This nifty 2-in-1 skateboard and scooter is a nice way to surprise your daughter. If they get tired of boarding, they can use the scooter function, and vice versa.
It's not exactly the best board in the world (as you might expect, given the price). However, for little kids, this is a perfect choice - as the myriad of great reviews suggests.
This board not only has an awesome design - it's very well-reviewed. Affordable and fun, it's an excellent way to get a child started on a skateboard.
Unlike other child's boards, it's not made out of plastic, it's made from wood. This gives it some extra durability, and makes it even more fun to ride.
This awesome and affordable board is great for any young kids. We love the black and white design, and your Vans checkered shoes will go perfectly with it.
Made from maple, it's sturdier than plastic boards, and the price is hard to argue with. It's also very well-reviewed, making this another solid recommendation.
This board is inexpensive and great for very little kids. While it's hard to do much beyond the basics on this board, for the tiny ones it's great.
There are also a wide variety of colors available, and a ton of great reviews. If your child is 1-5 years old - they will probably love this thing.
This awesome set has a backpack, skate tool, and board - and the price isn't even high. It also has tons of great reviews, and will make any little kid happy.
We personally like the blue galaxy color, but your mileage may vary. If your child wants to take their first trip to the skate park, this is an excellent choice.
WhiteFang hits it out of the park again with this little kids board. Well-reviewed, and with a very low price point - it makes a perfect gift. While 10 year olds and up may not love this - the little ones likely will.
It comes in a variety of cool colors, and will allow you to perform basic tricks. If you just want to get your little one up and out on a board - make it this one.
This awesome board has great colors, and works well no matter what your goal is. It's also reasonably priced, and makes skateboarding a whole lot of fun for the little ones.
This will make a perfect gift for any child. It will also make it easy to learn - so we highly recommend it.
Other Factors To Consider
First time skaters will always have a learning process, so make sure their first skateboard is memorable. If you want the best skateboard for kids, we’ve already listed the ten best above.
Make sure you opt for a good quality skateboard, no matter if your child’s skill level is low. Young children might want to ride longboards, or push off on their right foot - just make sure they have a local skate park that’s safe to learn at.
They can read lots of tutorials and watch YouTube videos, but until they go out in a parking lot and learn how to skate on a flat surface - they’ll just be bystanders. If you know how to ride a skateboard, it should be fairly easy to teach skateboarding.
Make sure you also give them the right skateboard to do it, whether it’s from Amazon, or another skateshop. Whether they want to push off their back foot, ollie with their front foot, or transition from snowboarding - we’ve got them covered.
If you have a beginner skateboard, you may not be ready for a kickflip, or be a pro skater - but you can still learn. Make sure you get a good skateboard deck, and make sure you also have solid grip tape, shoes, and the other essentials.
[Grab the best skateboarding gift ideas.]
The Bottom Line - How To Teach Your Child To Skateboard
There you have it - how to easily teach your child how to skateboard. Whether you want to introduce them to the sport, or just have them balance on a board - we've got you covered.
Adults can learn how to skateboard too, but it definitely takes a little more effort. We hope we've taught you a thing or two today, and it helps makes your skateboarding experience better.