How to Teach a Kid to Skateboard: Parents Should Read
Have a kid who's eager to learn how to skateboard but don't know where to start?
Skateboarding is not only a fun sport, but it is also an excellent way for kids to improve their physical coordination. Don't be afraid of letting your child fall a few times. It's all part of the learning process.
With the right guidance, your child will be whizzing off on their board in no time.
In this post, not only will we give you guidelines on how to teach a kid to skateboard, but we'll also provide some need-to-know tips for all first-timers.
Let's get right to it then.
Things You Need Beforehand
There are a few things you need to know about before we give you tips on how to ride a skateboard for kids:
Regardless of whether you're an adult or a child, safety is one of the first things you need to consider. When learning how to skateboard, your child is bound to fall the first few times, which is why it's important to prepare your child for these falls.
Protective gear is the best way to tackle falls. Make sure your child has the correct safety gear. Their helmet should fit securely around their heads.
Anything too small or big will fail to do its job correctly.
In addition, elbow and knee pads can protect your child from getting scratches on their arms and legs. They also help lessen the impact of falls.
Wearing the right shoes can also help ensure safety. When practicing how to ride a skateboard, your child should wear closed-toe shoes instead of slippers or sandals. Moreover, make sure the shows have a good grip.
Getting the Right Board
You can't learn to skateboard without the board. To ensure a smooth learning experience, getting the right board is crucial.
Don't get a cheap skateboard from the nearest store. You need to make sure the board can withstand impact and won't break in half just after a few rides.
Try looking for a board that provides grip and is durable. The board size should also be suitable for your child. A mini-board that measures around 7-inches in width and 28-inches in length should be fine.
When purchasing a board, make them stand on the deck, with both their feet on the trucks' bolts. Normally the distance between their legs will be a bit wider than their shoulder length. However, if it looks like their legs are stretching too much, look for a smaller board.
The skating environment can also have an impact on your child's skating experience. If the surface is too slippery or too uneven, your child will have a harder time learning to skateboard.
We suggest starting in grassy patches or on carpeted floors. These surfaces will lessen the impact of your child's fall.
Also, make sure the place you're practicing at doesn't have many people or objects around. It would be best if you minimize the probability of collision.
Another thing that can be helpful for you and your child during the learning process is goal setting. Think about all the techniques your child wants to learn and set up a goal for each technique.
For instance, you can set up a two-week learning period to help your child perfect their stance on their skateboard.
Another thing you can do is come with a routine with your child. Maybe set up a specific time when you both practice together and another time when they practice on their own.
Once they get a better hang of riding their board, you can also ask them to accompany you on your walks.
Recording the Process
Recording the process is an extremely useful way of keeping track of progress and improving techniques.
You can video record as your child first stands on the board and starts moving. Later on, you both can watch the recordings to figure out the mistakes and how to improve.
As kids improve, they'll feel proud looking at the recordings and seeing how far they've come.
Learning How to Skate
Now that we've covered all the need-to-know basics, it's time to learn how to skateboard for kids.
The first thing your child needs to do is figure out their stance. You can help them figure it out by giving them a slight push (literally). Whichever foot they use to steady themselves is their dominant foot.
If they use their left foot, their left foot should be on the back of the board and used for pushing. This also means they'll be riding goofy.
On the other hand, if they put their right foot at the back and use it for pushing, it means they'll be riding regular.
Next, you need to get them up on the board. Ask them to place their feet parallel to the width of the board. Their back foot should be on the bolts at the back while their front foot on the bolts at the front.
Don't move the board. Let your kid get comfortable with balancing themselves on the board.
Once they've gotten used to the position, ask them to bend their knees and shift their weight to their heels. This position will help lower their center of gravity, making it easier to keep their balance when they try steering later.
Now that your child knows how to balance themselves on a stationary board, it's time to get moving. Make sure you have enough open space for your child to practice moving forward in a straight line.
They can begin by placing their front foot on the board, so the tips of their toes are on the front bolts.
Next, ask them to use their back foot to push the board into motion. As soon as the board starts moving, they need to place their back foot on the back bolts.
This might be a bit difficult to accomplish the first few times. It might be easier to break down the process, so they spend some time practicing each step individually.
For example, start by practicing pushing without putting their foot on the board.
Once they get the hang of it, they can practice placing their foot on the board after pushing.
Now, your kid has learned how to move the board. The next step is to teach how to pick up the board. This is something your child can also practice alongside other techniques as well.
After learning the regular pick up, your child won't have to bend down to pick their board up all the time.
To ensure that, the skateboard shouldn’t be too heavy or too big for your child. Otherwise, they might get hurt while trying to pick up.
To pick up, ask your child to place their board vertically with the tail directly in front of them. Here’s what you should ask your kid to do:
- Apply slight pressure onto the board’s tail using the back leg
- As the nose rises in the air, use the front hand to grab the skateboard.
Remember to tell them to remove their foot out of the way after they've kicked it. Otherwise, they might get injured.
After your child has become comfortable pushing and moving on their board, a fun trick to learn is the tic tac. Not only will your child find this trick impressive and fun, but it will also be good practice for maneuvering.
To perform a tic tac, ask your child to place the back foot on the tail's curb while the front foot is on the bolts. Tell them to put their weight on their back foot so that the nose lifts off the ground a little.
They then need to use their shoulders to propel the board towards the left. They can repeat the steps to propel the board towards the right.
It would be easier to try propelling left and right without moving.
If your child is comfortable on their board and can propel their board a little, it's time to step up the game. Slopes are a great way for them to learn how to steer their board as they ride in speed.
Choose a small slope. It's better if the slope isn't steep. However, just in case, make sure your child is wearing all their safety gear.
You can walk up to the top of the slope with them. Then help them get on their board. Once they're comfortable, tell them to give a little push.
You can run alongside them as they go downhill, so if they were to fall or lose control at any point, you could run to their aid. Let them practice this a few times.
A great way of teaching kids how to skateboard is to ride along with them. As you teach your child, you can bring along your own board, demonstrating each step to them.
Also, remember falling is a big part of the learning process. So, don't let it stop you or your child from learning how to skateboard. Just keep encouraging them and help them wherever you can.
We hope our post helped give you the guidelines you needed to learn how to teach a kid to skateboard.