Mastering the Art: How to Teach Your Child to Skateboard Efficiently

Dive into a unique skateboarding guide. Learn how to help your child master balance, push off, and bond over your shared love for the board.

Are you stoked to hit the pavement with your mini-me on a skateboard but unsure how to teach your child to skateboard safely and effectively? Perfect, you’re in the right place. Teaching a kid how to skateboard isn’t just about handing over a board and praying for the best; it’s a journey, a unique bonding experience wrapped in a blanket of safety considerations, patience, and fun.

In this post, you’ll zigzag through the skateboarding world from a kid’s perspective. We’ve curated a roadmap that covers everything from finding a safe starting point to figuring out their dominant foot and facilitating their first push. From my experience teaching my 6-year-old son, I’ll share practical techniques and pointers that I’ve picked up along my skate journey.

What’s the best age to start skateboarding?

Perhaps you’re wondering when I should introduce my child to skateboarding. Based on my research and experience, waiting until your child is at least five is probably best. Kids under 5 have somewhat fragile bodies; their skeletons are still developing, and they usually can’t quite handle the falls inherent in skateboarding yet. Not to mention, they aren’t always equipped with the coordination required to skate.

Image of children learning skateboarding with skaters in a park. Source: pexels
Image of children learning skateboarding with skaters in a park. Source: pexels

However, every child is unique and develops at his or her own pace. If your kid shows an early interest and you believe they’ve got the balance and reflexes, nothing should stop them from stepping on the board under close supervision. The keyword here is: don’t rush it!

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My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

Mastering the art: how to teach your child to skateboard efficiently | 61vn95mf7ql. Ac sl1184 | skateboard salad
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

I had my board stolen a few years ago and was forced to quickly replace it with a complete. I got one with an Enjoi deck and loved it so much that I still buy the Whitey Panda deck each time I need a new deck. This complete with budget-friendly, beginner-friendly parts, but I still swear by it.

What safety gear is essential for a child learning to skateboard?

Safety gear is crucial for children learning to skateboard to protect them from injuries. Here are the essential safety gear items:

  • Helmet: A properly fitted skateboarding helmet is the most critical piece of safety equipment. It should meet safety standards like CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) or ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials). Ensure it fits snugly and covers the forehead.
  • Elbow pads: Elbow pads protect your child’s elbows from scrapes and impacts. Look for pads with hard plastic caps for added protection.
  • Knee pads: Knee pads are essential to prevent knee injuries when falling. Like elbow pads, they should have durable caps.
  • Wrist guards: Wrist guards protect wrists from sprains or fractures in the event of a fall. They should be snug but not too tight.
  • Mouthguard: While not always considered essential, a mouthguard can help protect teeth and jaws during falls. It’s a good idea, especially if your child is practicing tricks or at a skatepark.
  • Padded gloves: Gloves with palm padding can reduce the risk of hand injuries when your child reaches out to break a fall.
  • Proper footwear: Ensure your child wears closed-toe shoes with good traction. Skateboarding-specific shoes are designed for grip and durability.

What are the fundamental skateboarding techniques for beginners?

For beginners, learning the fundamental skateboarding techniques is crucial for safety and building a strong foundation. Here are some key skateboarding techniques that beginners should focus on:

  • Stance: Start by helping your child determine their skateboarding stance. Most people are either regular (left foot forward) or goofy (right foot forward). Have them stand on a skateboard with both feet and see which foot naturally goes in front.
  • Balancing: Begin with stationary balance exercises on the skateboard. Teach your child to balance on the board without moving. They should practice shifting their weight from heel to toe and maintaining balance.
  • Pushing: Teach your child to push off the ground with one foot to gain momentum. They should push with their back foot while keeping their front foot on the skateboard. Encourage them to practice this skill until they can push comfortably and maintain balance.
  • Turning: Show your child how to make basic turns by leaning in the direction they want to go. Initially, focus on gentle carving turns to get a feel for how the board responds to their weight shifts.
  • Stopping: Teach your child how to come to a stop safely. This can be done by dragging the sole of their shoe on the ground, known as “foot braking.” Emphasize the importance of practicing stopping techniques to avoid collisions.
  • Kick turns: Introduce kick turns once your child is comfortable with balancing and pushing. These are sharp turns made using the skateboard’s tail to lift the front wheels off the ground while shifting their weight.
Image of a young boy wearing green protective clothing while skating. Source: pixabay
Image of a young boy wearing green protective clothing while skating. Source: pixabay

My opinion

Just a heads up: these are my two cents based on my personal experience, not hard and fast rules. I reckon taking your time and being patient while teaching your kid skateboarding is vital. Remember, it’s all about having fun and bonding over the shared love for an insane sport, not about becoming the next Tony Hawk overnight.

“You see, skateboarding is more than a sport; it’s a dance where the pavement is your canvas and the board, your partner. The goal isn’t to rush, it’s to synchronize your rhythm with the board’s and create a sweet symphony.”

And who knows, they might just pick it up faster than you’d expect—kids these days seem to have the knack! Also, it’s always wise to keep an eye on their deck. A worn-out deck could be unsafe, so understanding when to replace a skateboard deck is essential!

Advantages and disadvantages of teaching your child to skateboard

Introducing your kiddo to the skateboarding world can be both a challenge and a blessing. It’s a unique journey with opportunities for little wins, thrilling moments, and constructive failures. Like any other sport, skateboarding comes with its rewards and risks.

Advantages

  • Custom-built for fun and exhilaration, skateboarding can become your child’s go-to recreational activity.
  • Skateboarding demands intense focus and concentration, which nurtures mental fortitude.
  • It’s an excellent way to improve balance and coordination.
  • Skateboarding can significantly contribute to enhancing physical fitness. Who knows? Your child might lose some weight while shredding!
  • Skateboarding can instill self-confidence as your child masters new tricks and skates agilely.

Disadvantages

  • Skateboarding falls can lead to injuries, however minor they might be.
  • The learning curve can be steep and slightly overwhelming for some kids.
  • In the early stages, children might get discouraged by persistent failed attempts.
  • Skateboarding requires constant supervision initially, which can be a challenge for working parents.

Dos and don’ts of teaching your kid to skateboard

Unveiling the ins and outs of skating to your youngsters needs a tactful approach. Be mindful of these dos and don’ts when embarking on teaching skateboarding to your little ones.

DoDon’t
Choose a safe learning environment, preferably a patch of grass or a carpet.Don’t rush the process. Be patient with their progress.
Make sure they are equipped with appropriate protective gear.Don’t forget to supervise them, especially in the beginning.
Gradually introduce them to new tricks once they are comfortable with the basics.Don’t push them too hard. Allow them to have a fun and positive experience.
Monitor their skateboard’s condition regularly.Don’t neglect the importance of replacing worn-out skateboard decks and wheels.
Dos and don’ts of teaching skateboarding to kids

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

I get it; being a skateboarding parent comes with many queries. I’ve compiled a list of FAQs to quell some of your concerns about this skateboard teaching endeavor.

Is there any age limit to learning to skateboard?

There’s no concrete age limit for pick-up skateboarding. All enjoy this rad sport, from toddlers to your friendly neighborhood grandpa. However, one should always consider their fitness level and personal comfort first. Check out my thoughts about being considered ‘too old’ for skateboarding.

Can skateboarding help my child become more social?

Absolutely! Skateboarding often leads to local community parks or skateparks, where your child will likely find friends sharing the same passion, making it a social activity. Skateboarding is celebrated globally, providing opportunities to connect with a wider community.

Is skateboarding considered a dangerous sport for kids?

Like any sport, skateboarding has its share of risks, particularly if performed without necessary protective measures. However, most reports indicate that the rate of severe injuries is quite low. The key is to ensure your child is equipped with the right protective gear and follows safe skating practices. Have a detailed look at my post on how skateboarding is dangerous for further insights.

Can skateboarding be considered a regular workout for my child?

Indeed, skateboarding is a super-efficient cardio workout that also contributes to building strength and flexibility. Your child can potentially lose weight while shredding up street spots or park ramps!

Final thoughts

Teaching your kid to skateboard can be one of the most rewarding experiences, full of hysterical laughter, little heart-fluttering wins, and unforgettable bonding moments. Remember, the goal is to create an avenue for fun and growth while ensuring safety, not to churn out a professional skater in a fortnight. Do you have any cherished stories from your skate-parenting journey? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below. I read and reply to every comment. If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and don’t forget to swing by my blog for more skateboarding tips and insights. Thanks for joining my skate family!

Key takeaways

This article covered how to teach your child to skateboard. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Start skateboarding lessons once your child is at least five years old.
  • Begin on a safe platform, like grass or carpet, to avoid scary slips.
  • Engage your child in simple exercises to understand the balance on the board.
  • Gradually introduce the motion of pushing with one foot.
  • Encouraging a healthy learning environment, patience, and positivity are paramount.

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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