I always wanted my child to be a great skateboarder. My age does not let me learn beyond some limits. Therefore, it was my extreme desire that my child starts skateboarding at an early age. However, I never put my desires ahead of his interests. I took my kid along when I practiced skateboarding. I made sure he was enjoying it. And eventually, he asked me to gift him a skateboard for his 7th birthday.
Then begins a whole journey of me teaching him skateboarding. Here is the complete adventure written on how I taught my kid to skateboard. If you are a parent like me, or your kid has shown a desire for skateboarding, you landed on the right page. Here I will tell you How to teach a kid to skateboard. Gird up your lions to be a skater’s parent.
How to Teach a Kid to Skateboard
Defining it in one word would be “Patience”. Patience and practice are all it takes to teach your kid skateboarding. Yet there are several other things as well. Choosing the right skateboard for beginners is equally important. I would suggest you do thorough research before taking your kid skateboarding. Here is how I did it.
1. Gear up with Right Equipment
To be honest with my feelings, I was also scared at first. However, you need to understand that your kids will fall, and they will get hurt. You have to keep your hearts big. Those bruises are a sign that they are learning. Using protective gear can of course be helpful. Having knee pads can help your child to learn confidently. Riding with safety gear will put them in the right mindset. It will allow them to try selflessly without getting scared.
Ideally, a mini-board can fit the requirement of skating for your child. However, you should make their comfort a first priority. If the board feels wider than his shoulder, you should try some other board. Maybe the penny board can help. Well, you don’t need to get panic to find the right board for your kid. Leave that to the manufacturers. I got my kid a mini-board at first. Later he didn’t even ask me about buying it. The simple rule is that if your kid is comfortable with a board let him be.
2. Get them Balanced
At first, I thought it would be so hard to teach him to balance because a kid rarely stays in a position. However, to my surprise, kids are amazing at it. If the activity is of their interest, you have to put a little effort into it.
The first step in learning skating is to balance. Just take him outside, to some grassy place I would recommend, and tell him that it’s a balanced practice today. If your kid has the guts to learn at a smoother place, do not take it seriously. Because even though he has courage, he might not have the strong muscles to bear the injury.
Balancing on a skateboard requires the synchronization of knees, feet position, head, and body weight. I know it sounds like a lot. However, it’s in human nature that he can do this job easily. Especially the kids, they are blessed with minds that are capable of absorbing a lot of stuff at the same time.
Tell them to place their feet on the bolts of the trucks, head straight forward and knees flexible. Make them lean forward and backward. This will help them in getting confident with the board.
3. Observe their style
Their dominant hand will not tell you anything about their style. When you place a skateboard in front of them, their style naturally reflects their feet’ positioning. Goofy or regular, that will not tell you how talented your kid is. Therefore, leave it to their natural choice.
Once they learn to balance a bit, change their position on the skateboard. You will find out instantly. They will get either even better or worse at balancing at once.
I remember when I was teaching my kid to learn skating, I asked him to put his foot on a skateboard. That was to see what foot he puts on the skateboard first. It’s OK if he is the goofy rider. It is not going to change anything about him except for the facing direction.
4. Start with Baby Steps
I know how much it takes to make your kid learn skateboarding but believe me, that’s worth it. Teaching your kid to skate is hard and requires a lot of patience.
It’s time to get out of the grass and move to a smoother surface. A skate park for sure. The first step after learning to balance is to start pushing. I used to grab my kid’s hand and let him push with one foot on the ground. Slowly and steadily, I let him do this on his own. He managed to learn to stay balanced by constantly pushing himself in a moment of time.
Told you that kids are surprisingly good at sports than we are. They are more adaptive to new moves. Their body is more flexible. They are determined and most importantly they have time.
There are two important things to note here. The first is to position the front foot facing forward on the board and put all the weight on it for some time. The second is to push the board with the rare foot and hop it back on the board. It’s the game of rotating your front foot 90 degrees from pushing to cruising.
5. Give a Tutorial
Being a skater mom/dad is a plus point. But it doesn’t mean you necessarily need to be one before teaching kids to skate. Showing some live tutorials to kids can help them grab some important tips. If you know skating, show them how you do it in slow motions. Make sure to teach them all the important stuff patiently and softly.
Being ignored by your own kid would be the last thing you want. You can take them to skate parks and sit around for some time. Observing how other people are doing it, and learning from their mistakes is a great way to learn.
Make sure you keep them motivated throughout. It might get exhausting sometimes. Kids take time to understand what you want them to do. Therefore, don’t lose hope and don’t get tired if you aim to make them learn skating. Tapping their back and boosting them up with good words will help you and your kid a lot.
6. Teach the First Trick
My child’s first trick was different from mine. That’s because I started it wrong. Rather than teaching them those famous tricks, teach them tic-tac. Trust me it is going to be a crazy start. Your kid will learn to roll on the board for a longer time, without pushing himself repeatedly.
Balancing and pushing require not more than 4-5 days. It’s time to move forward to learn tic-tac. This is pushing the skateboard without actually pushing it. Show your kid some tutorials. Show him someone doing it. Ask him to put the weight on the tail and lift the nose upward, pivoting it to the right. Balance yourself, and then do the same for the left side. Keep repeating it several times, and that’s it. Don’t forget to give good remarks at the first roll of your kid on skateboards. They are going to remember it forever.
Once they do it well, you can be free of tension now. Leave the rest to them. Make sure they wear protective gear. Don’t leave them skating without supervision.
- Be aware of Sharp Kids
Don’t brag at the sharp kids. Rather you have to be more careful with them. Such kids try to learn more on their own. They may end up getting hurt badly. Because when they do it without learning it, it gets dangerous.
- Start Slow
Don’t let your kid try fakies and slides at the initial stage of learning. That can be a lot risky. Try with some static moves first, such as Ollie, Shuvits, kickflips, etc. The more they learn, the more they can update their tricks with time.
- Don’t Miss Out on Steps
Remember when your kid learns to slide and wants to slide through the stairs, let them know that they are missing many steps. Kids have this Rushing nature. Teach them patience and firmness along with skating.
- Schedule the Activity
Observe them when they are skating. Sometimes, kids get obsessed with it that they start ignoring other important stuff. To keep them on track, fix the time for skating and other activities.
- Don’t Rush
As a skating parent, you might want your kid to be your partner. I know you are impatiently waiting for them to grow and that’s necessary. The below five are not recommended for skating. Their bodies are not strong enough to bear the injury.
- Look for Interest
Look for their interest before yours. I know many parents who want their kids to be skaters because their family kids are or it’s trendy. Don’t push your child to any sport they are not ready for. Make up their mind. See even if they find it interesting or not. It’s not about you, it’s about them.
- Make Progress
Making a progress report is always helpful. It is a great way to track your kid’s performance. It either encourages your kid to learn more or helps them find their weak points. You should always celebrate the small steps he is taking forward.
- Safety first
No matter how passionate you are about your kid learning skating, you will never want him to get hurt. Therefore, use the right-sized protective gear. Make sure they are wearing it every time they move out to skate. This will not only keep you away from tension but also helps the kid to ride more confidently.
What age should a child start skateboarding?
Kids older than 5 years can skate according to AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics). Below that age can be dangerous for them to skate. Till 10 years of age, they should be skating under supervision.
What size should I get for my 7 years old?
The size of a skateboard doesn’t actually depend on age, but rather on weight and height. For a beginner, a skateboard as wide as 7.5 inches is fine. A bulky person should get an even wider skateboard.
Are penny boards good for 6 years old?
Penny boards are definitely a perfect choice for kids. They are smaller in size as compared to the regular board. More maneuverable and compact for kids. You will find many kids riding a penny board because it fits better on their body size.
The sooner you realize that teaching kids skating is fun the better he will get with time. Kids are more flexible with absorbing new skills. I realized that I would teach my kid skating because I loved to skate. Getting a company was my motto.
It may require extreme patience to teach your kid to skate. However, it is not completely impossible. Several people ask me how to teach a kid to skateboard. My answer to them is to learn patience and then move on with the tips. Keep in mind those points that I have mentioned to be safe from any rough experience. Being parents is amazing, but being a skater’s parents is awesome. Don’t miss a chance to experience this feeling.