After buying and testing many skateboards, it’s time to review the best kids’ skateboards that are safe. Because there is so much poor advice out there, I want to get you some real info. Even though me and my kid aren’t exceptional skaters, we love to ride and know a thing or two about skateboards.
Over the years, I bought many boards that work well for kids. They are a bit more expensive than those cheap plastic skateboards, but they are reliable, safe, and fun to skate.
I won’t be recommending those $40 boards other ‘skateboarding’ sites and ‘advisors’ talk about, it’s low-quality and unsafe. This is a dedicated skateboard blog run by a few skateboarders with over 60 years of skateboarding experience.
I would like to point out that you do not need a kids sized board. Only between the age of 5 and 7 you could consider getting a smaller board, but still it isn’t necessary because kids will adapt.
Anyway, let’s look at a few skateboards that are reliable and safe for kids. They aren’t perfect because the best skateboard is the one you assemble yourself. After that I have a few tips about safety, assembling a custom board for kids (seriously consider this), and I’ll explain some of the jargon.
This post contains affiliate links, it helps me to buy new stuff and test it so that you get the best products.
Best Kids Skateboards
Since I can’t tell how old your kid is, I selected a few boards for different ages. I already covered many skateboards from ages 6 to 12, and I urge you not to buy a skateboard for kids under 5-years-old. It may seem cute, but their bodies can’t handle the stress, seriously don’t!
Fist let’s go through skateboards we tested and then I’ll show you the right protective gear and what to look for in a quality board. Just keep in mind that you need a board with softer wheels, sized between 7.0″ and 8.0″ wide depending on their age.
From the age of 12 and up I recommend assembling a skateboard yourself. A skateboard is an awesome gift and you could change the course of a kids’ life, however at this age you really need some quality stuff. All the board listed here are fine, but almost all completes have some issues. Please check my buyers guide at the bottom of this page.
We tested all the skateboards here to the extreme just to make sure they won’t fall apart easily.
Last, I apologize for listing so many boards; it makes the choice a lot harder but I’ll give you the lowdown:
- Best kids skateboard for cruising: Arbor Pocket Rocker (number 4)
- Best looking board: Element National geographic (number 6)
- Best board for older kids (12+): Arbor Recruit (number 9)
- Best all around kids board for any age: Flip Skateboard (number 8) and Santa Cruz (number 3)
- Best kids board for kids under the age of 12: Powell Peralta Golden Dragon (Number 1)
- Best board for kids under the age of 8: Enjoy (number 10)
- Best quality budget kids skateboard: Stoked Complete (number 5)
1. Powell Peralta Golden Dragon
Let’s start with a board that I expected to be underwhelming. You often see this board promoted, so I bought one and tested it. To my surprise, it’s actually a pretty decent skateboard. The trucks carve well and wheels are pretty forgiving and it feels like a solid skateboard overall.
This board is 7.6″ wide and suitable for kids aged 7 to 12. It can even deal with impacts without falling apart.
It’s actually made by Powell Peralta, one of the best skateboard brands and famous for their quality products. The trucks turn well and the bushings aren’t too soft but depending on your kid’s weight you might want to tweak them a little. In the video you can see the trucks are a bit to lose at first but after riding it for a while it gets better.
For less than 80 bucks you get decent wheels, sturdy trucks, mediocre bearings, and a reasonable deck. This is a great quality board that will last for a couple of years.
- Heavy but sturdy 7-ply maple deck
- Trucks hold up fine even after testing them to the extreme
- Reasonably soft wheels that work well in parks and concrete, less on rougher surfaces
- The bearings aren’t great, use some silicon lube to improve their performance
- Great for kids under the age of 12 that want to learn tricks or just learn to ride
- Might feel too loose straight out of the box so tweak the trucks
Available at Stoked Ride Shop.
My kid really loves this board, mainly because of the graphic. ‘Wow dad, there’s a dragon on this board’, was the first thing he said and he immediately wanted to try it out.
It’s one of the smaller boards in this list, at 7.625″ wide the deck is suitable for kids under 12 years old. The shape and concave are suitable for both riding and tricks. It’s a budget skateboard, and the pop is rather mediocre but this isn’t an issue for kids who want to explore skateboarding.
If you like to take your kids to your local skatepark, or have a reasonable smooth pavement outside, this is an excellent choice. It’s a decent board that will last for a long time but it’s rather heavy.
Reliable mini logo trucks that are fine for kids. One thing that makes this board stand out from the others are they way they carve. We didn’t notice and deformations when doing tricks meaning the bushings are hard enough and don’t require much tweaking.
My son was able to ride and correct his riding direction when needed, still one of his favorite boards even though we have many pro skateboards lying around.
The wheels are grippy and stable; they are softer compared to professional skateboard wheels which is a good thing. We tested the wheels on asphalt, steel, concrete, and wood and they hold up fine.
Sure, if your kid is a really skilled skateboarder, the wheels won’t suffice. For example, a trick like a powerslide will cause tiny flat spots on the surface of the contact patch (the part of the wheel that comes into contact with the riding surface). But if you worry about that, you better get the kid a professional custom setup.
Standard bearings that work fine, not too fast and not too slow. No weird sounds or wheels blocking because of faulty bearings. I advice to use some silicon lube to increase their performance, just a tiny drop will make a difference. When riding on rougher surfaces (like in the video) it requires more effort to get some speed, still manageable though.
2. Magneto Mini Cruiser
Not a trick skateboard but a great cruiser for kids at a very reasonable price. It performed way better than I expected even though it isn’t the best quality board you can buy.
My kid needed some time to get used to the loose trucks, but we fixed this after adjusting the trucks a bit. This is a great board for kids to learn how to ride without having to worry about cracks, pebbles, or anything blocking the wheels.
The wheels and bearings aren’t the best, but not an issue for kids. Adults should avoid this board but kids under 13 will have a blast.
- Very light deck
- The trucks turn well but require some tweaking
- Great cruiser on a budget
- Not the best bearings but the large 60mm wheels compensate for that
- Wheels are okay, they roll smooth and provide enough grip
- Not meant for tricks
- Great for kids up to 13 years old
Currently available at Amazon
After riding many cruisers, the deck looks a bit cheap to me but it offers enough room to get into a comfortable stance. The transparent grip is durable and offers a decent grip but it ‘s also easy to adjust the foot placement. The concave of the deck is medium plus, which allows for quick stance adjustments while carving or riding over rougher surfaces.
The nose doesn’t really have a purpose, but the kicktail allows kids to really dig in at higher speeds. We didn’t experience any wheel bite so the wheel wells work properly.
Wheel bite is when a wheel comes into contact with the bottom of a skateboard deck when carving. This often causes you to fall because the board suddenly stops moving.
The wheels are quite big and soft, but don’t ride as smooth as the Arbor Pocket Rocket which I’ll address later. To me this makes a tremendous difference but less so for kids as they don’t weight that much.
Overall, the 60mm wheels handle cracks and rough surfaces really well and no issues when kids run into gravel. They just plow through like the pebbles aren’t there.
The trucks are fine for kids but I advise tightening them a bit because they feel really loose at first. If you ride this board straight out of the box, it will feel unstable. Very easy to fix by tightening the large nuts on the trucks. The back trucks should be looser than the front for optimal performance.
Not the best compared to the Arbor Pocket Rocket but they work well with the larger wheels. Overall the board rolls smooth and does not require too much effort to keep it going.
3. Santa Cruz Classic Dot
This is the 4th Santa Cruz board in 2 years that I bought, not because they don’t last very long. I just want more boards to test and not a single one has let us (me and my son) down so far.
Santa Cruz was the first official skateboard brand in the world and produces high-quality skateboards for all ages. This skateboard, however, is great for kids from 8 to 14. It’s 7.8 wide and comes with 52mm quality OJ wheels at 92A.
The Bullet trucks can handle abuse and can even handle the weight of adults. They are budget trucks but as always; we tested them and they can handle almost anything.
We tested this board in our local skatepark and on a bike lane. As you can see in the video this isn’t the fastest board when riding rougher surfaces but it can deal with tiny objects and cracks.
This is a trick skateboard but also a decent start skateboard that checks all the boxes. The bearings aren’t that great but you’ll notice this less on smoother surfaces like you can find in concrete skateparks.
One of the better boards on this list and they come in various sizes and graphics but the hardware is always the same. Just make sure you pick one with OJ wheels!
- Great all around skateboard
- Quality wheels that aren’t too soft or too hard
- Rides well on rougher streets and skateparks
- Works for kids aged 8 to 14
- Small pebbles won’t block the wheels, making it a safe ride
- Quality brand with decent components
Santa Cruz unfortunately gets their board from China these days. that doesn’t mean the boards (or decks) are bad. Not at all! This board is both great for kids who just want to ride, and kids who would want to learn tricks. Very stable and durable deck with a mellow concave (the curvature across the deck’s surface) that can handle lots of ollies and kickflips.
These decks are single pressed, this means you don’t get a warped board because pressing 12 decks at a time causes deformations and warping.
The trucks are slightly smaller than the deck, the wheels don’t stick out so no worries about feet hitting the wheels when pushing forward. Bullet trucks are fine for beginners and kids, they are comfortable when turning, don’t make these squeaky noises, and help your kid correct any minor mistake when riding.
Santa Cruz makes sure they offer the best bang for your buck, the trucks are inspected during production and so far I never had any Bullet trucks fail me on arrival.
The OJ slimeball wheels are great for skating streets and skate parks and the hardness is around 97a. This makes the wheels grippy and less noisy, but this also depends on the surface you ride. The diameter is 53mm which is exactly right for a skateboard this size. No risk of the deck coming into contact with the wheels on sharp turns.
The bearings aren’t super fast and require kids to push harder on rougher asphalt. When riding in skateparks they perform much better. You can make them a bit faster by using silicon lube.
4. Arbor Pocket Rocket
This isn’t a trick skateboard but a great board for a comfortable and stable ride, my kid absolutely loves this board! The large super soft wheels can handle most of the cracks and pebbles and provide a buttery smooth ride.
It’s quite small, so great for younger kids and easy to carry around. I must admit I had quite some fun riding this board and so did my son.
One of the better options if kids just want to learn how to ride but you want something that is durable and reliable. It’s very versatile and will do great in skateparks, mini ramps, and can handle almost any surface.
Currently available at Stoked Ride Shop.
- Best cruiser for kids on this list that offers a very smooth ride
- High-quality components
- Trucks are a bit stiff at first, loosen them a bit and they’ll respond faster
- Big soft wheels that ignore cracks, twigs, pebbles
- It’s fast and doesn’t require much pushing
- Not made for tricks
A stiff and rather tiny deck, but super strong and comfortable to ride. It comes with wheels well to prevent the wheels coming into contact with the deck when carving (wheel bite).
It doesn’t have a lot of concave but enough to get a firm grip which helps to control the board. It has a pointy noise and a small kicktail to hop over curbs or to get into a more aggressive stance.
I love the Arbor Bogart wheels, one of the better cruising wheels you can get and they can handle anything. Combined with the Arbor bearings they perform great on gritty asphalt but also are grippy enough to handle slick surfaces.
If you worry about small objects or cracks blocking the wheels, don’t. These wheels will not come to a sudden stop when riding over cracks or annoying tiny rocks. I actually experienced the wheels just launching pebbles forward or they just ride over it without any problem.
The wheels are 61mm and 78A (hardness), the huge contact patch or riding surface makes them very stable and grippy.
The Arbor Pocket Rocker comes with Paris Street trucks that are carvy and strong enough to last over a decade. The main issue is the tightness. It won’t turn well straight out of the box, so I suggest loosening up the trucks a little. It will take some time before they break in, but a bit of tweaking will speed up the process.
It also comes with riser pads which helps to prevent wheel bit but also allows for sharper turns.
Arbor offers great budget bearings that last for years, as long as you don’t ride in wet conditions or encounter lots of dust and sand. They are fast, spin for a long time, and the large and soft wheels plus the Arbor bearings work very well together.
5. Stoked Complete
I’ll keep this one short because Stoked Ride Shop is your best bet for a cheap and quality skateboard. You get high-quality Paris Street trucks, decent Fireball bearings, questionable no brand blank wheels (99A/53mm) that ride smooth and are grippy enough for both asphalt, pavements, and skateparks.
The deck is made of quality maple wood, but it lacks a graphic to save costs. This is the only skateboard that comes with a skate tool which allows you to tweak the trucks or replace parts when needed. Anything between 7.5″ and 8.0″ will be fine for kids. Check Stoked Ride Shop for availability.
- Quality skateboard on a budget
- Durable trucks
- Wheels could be better
- Bearings roll smooth
- Lacks a graphic
- Comes in different sizes but an 8.0 works for all ages
We’ve skated this board for a couple of months and the deck keeps its pop for a long time. No signs of chipping or delamination, also no pressure cracks or warping.
One of the better decks on this list, but it doesn’t come with a graphic to keep it affordable. To make it more appealing, consider slapping a few stickers on the bottom.
Blank 99a no brand wheels that provide enough grip and stability for younger riders. Not great for cruising but they perform well in parks and streets.
You can either get Independent trucks or Paris trucks. Independent are the best trucks you can get but in my opinion the Paris street trucks are a better choice for kids. They are cheaper but just as good as many professional skateboard trucks out there. They turn great but you might want to loosen the trucks a bit, they can feel rather stiff out of the box.
It comes with fireball dragon bearings that are a lot better than most of the setups listed here. Perhaps not for the demanding skater, but fine for beginners and kids.
6. Element National Geographic
Another really, really cool skateboard for kids! This graphic might not be available when you read this but element often does collaborations like Star Wars, National Geographic, and more. This makes them one of the coolest boards for kids, but graphics say nothing about the quality.
It’s an eye catcher, I took this board to my local park with a couple of other skateboards and most skaters were specifically curious about this board. It just looks great which helps to keep your kid motivated, great graphics on a skateboard just want you to go out there and skate.
The color of the trucks and wheels compliment the overall design and I personally think this is the raddest looking board on this list. My kid now rides this board quite often and it’s one of his favorites.
Currently available at evo.com
- Great design
- Poppy deck
- Very soft bushings that require some tweaking
- Wheels feel a bit hard but perform well in skate parks and on smooth surfaces
- Bearings aren’t great
- Decent skateboard for kids between 7 and 14
The deck is super poppy, most kids won’t notice but once they are ready to learn to ollie (jump) the deck will do fine. I also really like the grip tape with the National Geographic logo.
Designed with kids in mind, the wheels are small but soft and very forgiving on rougher surfaces. This also means it doesn’t make a lot of noise and it will be easier for kids to keep their balance.
Soft enough for slightly gritty asphalt, less likely to block when running into pebbles, and the wheels ignore small cracks if not riding too slow. They also perform well in skateparks, and are grippy enough on concrete, metal and wood.
The trucks might feel a bit loose at first. I advise tightening the kingpin nut a bit, and repeat this after a few hours of skating. The bushings are rather soft which isn’t a problem but even my kid felt like they turn too much. Easy to fix by using a skate tool or wrench, just tighten them a bit.
Also check if the trucks are attached properly. We tightened the bolts that attach the trucks to the deck a bit because it someone was sleeping during their job ;). Again, not a problem, but it’s wise to inspect a new skateboard before riding it.
The trucks are durable and can take lots of abuse. I had one of our locals skaters test this board and besides that the trucks feel very loose; they handle tricks like a champ.
Completes usually come with cheaper bearings. Element is no exception. Buying a complete means some components will be of lesser quality. It isn’t really an issue; they perform well and you can use some silicon lube to increase their performance. Probably not needed, and it’s easier to learn how to ride a skateboard that doesn’t have super fast bearings.
7. Alien Workshop
Alien Workshop have been at it since 1996 and are known for their outstanding graphics. This particular skateboard is great for kids of any age, I even tested it myself and was impressed.
At first, the bushings we’re a tad soft so we tweaked the trucks a but by tightening the nuts, after that it performed great. It doesn’t weigh much, responds quickly, and is super poppy.
The video is a bit short but my kid got tired, we’ll make a better one soon!
The shape is suitable for the more serious skater kid that wants to learn tricks. It comes in two sizes, 7.75” and 8.0”, both are excellent choices though 8.0” is more standard these days. If your kid is under the age of 12 go for a 7.75, 8.0” works well for kids over the age of 12.
It has a mellow concave, a crispy pop and can handle tricks such as ollies, kickflips, and board slides. Both kids and an adult tested this board, and it passed the test.
They could have done a better job with the grip tape. Some of it peels off in time, rather quickly actually, but we pushed it to its limits which most kids probably won’t do until they learn how to do tricks.
It comes with small 52mm/97A wheels that work well in skateparks and street. The wheels are a bit softer which makes the ride more stable and easier to maintain balance. They don’t feel great when riding gritty asphalt, but to be fair, only the cruisers on this list can handle rougher surfaces. You need big soft wheels for that.
It comes with Xenia trucks with super soft bushings. The trucks require some tweaking and I suggest tightening the kingpin nut a few times.
After me and another adult ollied and kickflipped this skateboard a few times, we noticed the bushings squished a bit so we had to tighten the trucks a little. After a few rides the bushings break in and they will work properly.
It takes some time to tweak it just right. Don’t worry if this happens, bushings require some time to work properly.
The flexibility also depends on the weight of a child but one of the kids said that it was too turny, while another liked how fast it could turn. Personal preference I guess.
As for the rest of the trucks, we didn’t notice any tears or cracks after an adult skated it for a while so they will hold up fine.
Not the best, not the worst. Kids need to push harder on rougher surfaces but they perform well on slick surfaces like concrete, wood, BB and tennis courts.
8. Flip Skateboards
Flip offers a skateboard that almost ticks all the boxes. Pro quality deck, great trucks, wheels perform well but the bearings could be better. Every board has a one or two parts that aren’t great but in this case you really get a great beginner kid’s skateboard.
It’s 8.0″ wide which works for all ages, so if you want a board that is still usable when kids grow up, this is a very safe choice.
- High-quality deck that can deal with impacts
- The trucks turn well and quickly snap back into position
- Bearings could be better, silicon lube makes them roll faster
- Decent wheels that are great for skateparks and street skateboarding
Flip offers a skateboard that almost ticks all the boxes. Pro quality deck, great trucks, wheels perform well only the bearings could be better. Every board has a one or two parts that aren’t great but in this case you really get a great beginner kid’s skateboard.
It’s 8.0″ wide which works for all ages, so if you want a board that is still usable when kids grow up, this is a very safe choice.
The wheels perform great in parks and street, but are a bit hard. Not really an issue when riding concrete or smooth asphalt though. It makes landing tricks easier as they don’t bounce around much.
I never heard of HKD trucks but it’s owned by Flip skateboards and they perform great for such an unknown brand. They work straight out of the box, don’t require much tweaking and the bushings don’t squash when you test it to its limits.
They snap back into position rather fast which makes it’s easier to correct the riding direction while still remaining your balance. Tested by kids aged 7, 8, 9 and 14 and they all were very positive about this setup.
The only downside of this board is the bearings, they don’t spin very well at first and need some time to work properly. Add a bit of silicon lube if this is causing problems.
For kids just starting out it’s actually beneficial, the board won’t go super fast which makes it easier to control.
9. Arbor Whisky Recruit
The Arbor Whiskey Recruit comes in 3 sizes; 7.75, 8.0″, and 8.25″. Keep in mind that 8.25″ might be a bit too wide for kids under 14, but 7.75 works well for kids over 6 years old. 8.0″ is great for 8+, 16+ with large feet would benefit more from an 8.25.
What I like about the Whiskey are the very soft wheels, quality trucks, and soft bushings. The wheels super soft and give a very comfy ride At 90A they are great for rougher surfaces and handle small obstacles well. I’ve tested several Arbor wheels over the year and they never disappoint.
As for durability, we tested this board and pushed it to the limits, but it never failed. One of the safest and most reliable boards you can buy! This board is available at evo.com (7.75″). For wider versions check out Stoked Ride Shop.
- Very soft (90a) wheels that offer a smooth ride
- Quality maple deck, it’s stable and can handle abuse
- One of the few boards that comes with spacers (plastic tubes that protect the bearings)
- Smooth rolling bearings
- Quality Ace trucks that turn really well
It’s a standard 7-ply maple deck of good quality. Because of the mellow concave, there is more room for foot placement making is easier to maintain balance.
It can take quite some abuse and won’t crack when jumping off stairs and can handle professional tricks. My local crew tested this board the to extreme and it won’t break from simple tricks.
The wheels are very soft (90A) and offer a very comfortable ride. Super quiet and perform well on gritty asphalt, concrete, or any surface that’s still in reasonable shape. Great for kids and adults that want to learn how to ride a skateboard.
They are a bit wider than average, which means they offer more stability. The downside is that they might feel a bit bouncy when performing tricks.
Another unique feature is that this board comes with Ace trucks. Ace trucks turn very well so it’s easy or your kid to makes corrections and avoid larger cracks. These trucks are very durable and compete with the top brands like Independent and Thunder trucks.
The Arbor bearings are better than most of the standard complete skateboards, the roll pretty smooth and don’t break easily. Sure there are better bearings but your kid won’t need $50 bearings, this will do just fine.
10. Enjoi Pizza Kitten Youth
If there is one brand that offers awesome skateboards for kids, it’s Enjoy. This particular board might not be available when you read this because the graphics change often.
I love the themes Enjoi comes up with. When I came across this board I just had to buy it, I mean a kitten on a pizza, what more would a kid need? The graphics don’t say much about the quality of a board, but this one is great for kids between 5 and 7.
My son it used to wider boards so he had trouble getting used to its small size.
- Smallest board on this list, not for kids over 8-years-old.
- Trucks turn well but you might want to tighten them a bit
- Great wheels, can deal well with pebbles and cracks
- Mediocre bearings, use silicon lube to improve their performance
This the smallest skateboard on this list, and very lightweight. It’s 7.25 wide which is great for younger kids. The benefit of a smaller board is that kids are less likely to hit the rear wheels with their feet when pushing the board forward.
The concave is very low which means its easier to maintain balance but harder to do advanced tricks. Most kids at this age just like to ride a little or even sit on the board, so that’s perfectly fine.
Enjoi 92a/51mm wheels which means your kid won’t have issue when encountering gravel, pebbles or small cracks. Even though the wheels are small, they handle rougher surfaces pretty well. This will help your kid to balance on this board without falling as often.
It comes with standard Tensor trucks and from our experience they are reliable and strong. They won’t fall apart after a few weeks and will last for years. I had a couple of locals test these trucks and they weren’t able to break them even after jumping a 7-stairs.
Another big plus are the soft 92A bushings that are perfect for kids. These are the plastic cone-barrel shaped parts that help the trucks (and your kid) turn. Very easy to adjust and correct the direction of the board.
I advise to tweak the trucks a bit, depending on your kids preference you might want to tighten the kingpin nut. Because the bushings are soft, they might feel to.
Nothing special, they spin but that’s all. Use a bit of silicon lube to make them spin faster, it will make the ride more comfy. Easy to replace by the way.
The Problem With Most Kids Skateboards
Almost all the boards here have a few issues, I think the best thing to do is assemble a skateboard yourself and it won’t even have to cost more. During our tests many boards had the following issues:
- Low quality bearings which require kids to push a lot and not get much speed. This can also be a good thing though, easier to control the board.
- Some boards have wheels that are just a tad too hard making the ride less comfortable.
- The bushings are usually very soft (which can be fixed) and rewuire some time to function properly
Of course, complete skateboard are convenient but be ready to tweak them a little. You don’t always get top quality parts, but usually it’s fine for kids who are just starting out. Make sure to check the following before riding a new skateboard:
- Check the deck for delamination or warping, it doesn’t happen very often but sometimes you can get a faulty deck.
- Check if the wheels spin properly, they don’t have to spin for 30 seconds but they should at least be able to roll. If not, check if the bearings aren’t blocked or damaged.
- In many cases you probably need to tighten the trucks a little. The bushings can be very soft and depending on the riders weight, they can feel too soft. Too soft means the board will rock all over the place and it will be hard to maintain balance. Very easy to fix with a wrench or skate tool.
Stay Away From Cheap Kids Skateboards
Toy skateboard may look like real boards but they quality is inferior. I’ll let you in on a little secret, I can see what people buy on Amazon (completely anonymous, don’t worry) and the most returned boards are the ones other sites recommend. Usually they are under 60 bucks.
They hardly move, feel sluggish and break often without even doing crazy stunts. The trucks fall apart, the bearings break and they aren’t fun to ride. Sure, kids can learn how to ride these board but it will be frustrating and they might give up.
Don’t fall for the Amazon ratings, they are often rate by grandparents or parents that don’t know much about the quality. Also i would try to ignore the recommended cheap skateboards, these are paid ads.
What About Skateboards For Girls?
There’s no such thing, skateboards are for all genders (not talking about the graphics) but you can shop around and see if you can find a girly graphic. Most of the boards listed here also have different designs, I know Santa Cruz has a couple of great skateboard for girls but just make sure you get the same board I listed here.
There are a couple of professional female skateboarders that offer skateboard parts specifically designed for girls (as in graphics). Check these trucks for example, the graphics are designed by Nora Vasconcellos (super badass female pro skater).
Want to make a teenage girl really happy? Order these parts and assemble the board yourself. You might need to shop around a little.
- Girl 8.0 Skateboard deck or any reputable skateboard brand with an awesome graphic.
- Krux Nora Vasconcellos Animal Kingdom Standard 8.0
- Jessup Grip tape
- Enjoi Hardware (8 bolts and 8 nuts)
- Bones Reds bearings
- 4 spacers
- Spitfire classic wheels 99a 53mm
This is a quality setup and way better than any boards listed here. For younger girls, check out Skate XS. They offer quality skateboards for a fair price. You can even add a name as long as the characters fit. Still you can do it yourself for a lot cheaper and better quality parts.
Skateboard Parts Explained
So I mentioned many details that might be confusing. Is a skateboard really that complicated? Well yes and no, for kids most boards will work but there are ways to make a ride safer and ways to make learning how to skateboard a lot easier.
Let’s dig in, if you came this far don’t back down. You are on you way to get the absolute best skateboard for kids but it will require some work. Let’s explain the components and then I’ll make some suggestions about what parts to pick and why.
Wood works great, plastic sucks. Why? Plastic might last a long time but it’s slippery, flexible, heavy, and not suitable for tricks. Wood is lightweight, sturdy but won’t last as long as plastic.
On the other hand, skateboards are meant to be destroyed, you can replace the deck by getting the same size and it will be in mint shape.
Over the years we tested many wheels. Quality matters, maybe less so for kids under 11, but as soon as they are really into skateboarding you better get some decent wheels from reputable brands like Spitfire, Bones, and OJ.
Trucks are the metal T-shaped components that help you to carve and do tricks like grinding. Complete skateboards usually come with lower quality trucks but most can handle abuse.
Good quality trucks can last for years, low quality trucks can break as soon as you do an ollie. None of the trucks tested here had these issues.
The bushings help to make a board turn, the softer they are the easier it is to turn BUT it also makes the board unstable. Not an issue for 6 to 11 years old kids, but once kids get bigger it is an issue.
You can easily tighten them by adjusting the nut on the kingpin!
Metal cup-shaped rings that hold the bushings in place. Often overlooked but very essential, all trucks come with washers.
Speed Rings or Washers
Washers or speedrings are the small rings that are placed on the axle of the trucks, they prevent the bearings from wearing. All trucks come with speedrings!
Bearings are the donut-shaped metal rings that makes the wheels spin. There is a lot of difference in quality and most complete skateboards come with mediocre bearings. To increase their performance, you can add silicon lube (just 1 or 2 drops) and it will make them spin faster. Always check for faulty bearings when you buy a complete!
Bearings are easy to replace and you can even clean them, though cleaning them will remove the original grease and it will require you to clean them more often. Might as well get new bearings.
The sandpaper on top of a skateboard deck. Grip tape quality varies but most kids boards come with reasonably smooth grip tape. Grip tape is also quite easy to remove and replace.
Riser pads add some height between the deck and the ground. This allows for deeper carving. Riser pads aren’t needed for kids skateboards. Shock pads help to make a ride a bit more comfortable, the are made of a rubber-like material to absorb shocks. Only needed when riding rough terrain but the difference is negligible.
The bolts and nuts to mount the skateboard trucks. They come in different sizes but usually 7/8″ bolts work, except if you added riser pads.
Small tube shaped cylinders that sit between the bearings. They prevent wear on the bearings and reduce friction, they also keep dirt and dust out of the inside. Most complete skateboards don’t come with spacers even though they are very cheap.
How To Assemble a Skateboard Yourself
If you don’t like any of the boards listed here, consider assembling one yourself. Most completes have a few cons like very soft bushings are wheels that are too hard and don’t feel very comfortable. For a detailed guide follow my instructions here: how to assemble a skateboard
It’s easy and I can help you out quickly. To assemble a skateboard you need:
- A 7-ply maple deck, any brand will do
- A pair of trucks
- 1/8 hardware (Philips or Allen)
- 4 Wheels
- 8 Bearings + spacers
Tools to assemble a skateboard:
- A skate tool or a wrench
- Screwdriver or Allen wrench (depending on the bolts)
Now you have 2 options:
- Go to your local skateboard shop and ask if they can build one
- Get the parts online and do it yourself
You do not need a kids sized skateboard, just don’t buy a deck over 8.0″ wide.
Cheap basic option for kids over 8 years old:
- 8.0 blank deck: $30-$35
- Mini logo Trucks 8.0″ Raw (set of 2): $39 or Bullet trucks: $25
- 7/8″ Hardware: $6
- 4 Spacers: $3
- Bearings: mini logo bearings: $10 or better quality Bones Reds: $18
- Wheels: Ricta clouds 52mm/92a: $35 Or OJ wheels 52mm/87A: $35. Not too soft and not too hard, perfect for kids.
- Jessup griptape: $5
Total cost around 130 bucks or 115 id you get the Bullet trucks. This setup will work for kids from 8 to 16! The only downside are the hard bushings that come with the mini logo trucks. They need time to work properly and you really need to tweak them a bit.
Putting Skateboard Parts together
I’ll replace this with a video soon, for now this has to do.
The only challenge is applying grip tape, but if you have the right tools its fairly easy. A Stanley knife works but make sure the blade is sharp enough, this will make the cut a lot easier.Let’s start with the grip tape:
- Apply the grip tape on top of the deck, make sure there aren’t any bubbles. If that happens just puncture them using the Stanley Knife.
- Use the side of screwdriver and scrape the edges
- Cut the grip tape and hold your blade in an angle. Puncture the holes.
- Attach the trucks
- Inset a bearing, then a spacer and then the other bearing. Use the truck or a tool to force them in properly. I always use a few drops of lube to make this process a lot smoother.
- Screw on the truck axle nuts but not too tight, wheels need to be able to spin.
- Sand down the grip tape with the left overs.
It will take you less than 30 minutes. I usually assemble a board in about 10 minutes but I’ve done it many times.
Skateboard Protective Gear For Kids
We tested quite some gear over the years and so far I like Protec, Triple 8, and TSG the most. The most important thing to get is a helmet, and it should fit properly.
If you skate yourself, lead by example and wear a helmet. This will make it easier to convince a child to wear one. Mine doesn’t want to ride without a helmet and the same goes for me. It just takes some time to get used to and a comfortable quality helmet makes it more likely for your kid to actually wear one.
Of all the brands tested, TSG seems to fit the best because of the convenient helmet shape. You get extra padding in case there’s a bit of room left on the inside.
Enough coverage on both the front and back of the head and light enough so it won’t feel annoying. Comfort will also contribute to kids willingness to wear a helmet.
The standard straps and plastic buckle can be adjusted but don’t strap it too tight. Just make sure the helmet stays put and won’t take off when tumbling over. Here’s what I like about this helmet:
- Great fit and room for growth
- The extra padding allows to adjust the fit and comfort
- Very comfortable and it doesn’t move around, one of the better fitting helmets we tested
- Covers the back of the head which is rule n1 for skateboard helmets
If this helmet is over your budget, consider a JBM helmet. Although we haven’t tested this helmet out selves yet, it’s safe and should do the job.
Knee pads, Wrist Guards, Elbow Pads
Again I recommend TSG. Recently my son crashed when we we’re riding down a slope. I expected him to break down and cry, but he actually smiled and told me he was okay.
The knee pads didn’t shift at all and stayed in place so he was able to slide on his knees and the palms of his hands. Without these pads and wrist guard it would have been a nasty fall.
Nothing happened, just some scratches on the knee pads and wrist guards, really glad I got these!
There are cheaper options like JBM, and Protec also offers decent sets, but in my opinion it’s just not as good as the gear TSG offers. Check out the gear in action:
The Kids Skateboard Size Myth
I admit, I bought into it a few years ago but size really doesn’t matter as long as the board isn’t wider than 8.0″. Kids adapt and adjust their stance, my kid is perfectly able to ride a wider board and nowadays he actually prefers it because it just gives so much more stability.
Just get an 8.0″ and it will last for years, kid sized boards are a waste of money and you don’t want to buy a new skateboard every 2 years. Better to replace the parts and slowly upgrade.
You often see tables like this:
|Kids age, height, and skateboard size|
|Age||Kid height||Skateboard width|
|5 or under||3’4 or under||6.5″ to 7.0″|
|6 to 8||3’5 to 4’4||7.0″ to 8.0″|
|9-12||4’5 to 5’2||7.5″ to 8.0″|
|13 and over||5’3 or over||8.0″ and wider|
But my kid was perfectly able to ride an 8.0 when he was 6 years old, and now that he’s 8-years-old he still rides an 8.0″wide deck without problems. It is a marketing ploy in my opinion.
Tweaking a Skateboard
You probably noticed I mentioned tweaking the bushings a lot. Complete skateboards often come with very soft bushings, the urethane cone-barrel shaped stuff that help to make a skateboard turn, placed in the trucks.
Often they are way too soft, not a problem for kids under 10, but really and issue for kids 11- to 16. I recommend not getting a complete skateboard but assembling one yourself (with the exception of the Stoked Complete)
Skateboard Tools Aren’t Needed, but They Are Convenient
Skate tools come as cheap as 5 bucks, the more expensive the tool, the easier it is to assemble a board. I personally am a huge fan of the Silver Skate tool, saved me tons of time assembling skateboards.
Easy to carry around and store in a backpack, and fixes issues within seconds.
Taking Care of A Skateboard
Take care of a skateboard and it will last for a long time. Leave it out of the rain, sun, store it in a dry place, and avoid sand and dust. Store it somewhere high so nobody steps on the board when not paying attention.
If a board get wet, dry it with a towel. Water is devastating to bearings and wood so make sure to avoid that. If interested, here’s more about how to maintain a skateboard. It dives into proper maintenance and how to replace parts.
Skateboard Shoes For Kids
Often overlooked but rather important and it doesn’t have to cost much. Just get a pair of sneakers with thin soles. Runners won’t work well because kids need to be able to feel the board. Thick soles will make it harder to control a skateboard so see if you can find some shoes on sale.
Recommended skateboard shoes for shoes for kids:
I’ll update this part soon I really need to stop writing.
Teaching A Child How to Ride A Skateboard
- Inspect the board first, make sure everything is working properly.
- Strap on safety gear, at least a helmet (seriously).
- Place the skateboard on a patch of grass to prevent it from moving.
- Now it’s time to jump on and off the board, feet should be near the bolts.
- Ask the child to bend their knees knees and lean in all directions to learn how the board responds.
- See if you can find out if they are regular (75%) of goofy (25%). Left foot in from is regular, right foot in front is goofy. This might take some time but will become clear soon.
- Time to ride. Gently push your kid, just place your hand on their shoulder. Knees should be bend, face to the riding direction. Make sure they keep their stance centered. They should not lean forward or backwards.
- Once comfortable ride them around while holding their hands and find out which foot they prefer in front. Ask which direction they feel most comfortable with.
- Stand next to your kid and let them place their preferred foot near the bolts of the trucks.
- Tell them to slowly move forward by just walking using one foot (push foot), do this for a couple of minutes. You can either hold their hand or let them do it themselves. Always stay close.
- Once they can ‘walk’ a little tell them to take one step and put the other foot on the board. Rinse and repeat and they will pick it up.
There is so much more to this but I honesty would need to write an entire different post.
Learning how to Balance
Start with the basics and kids become familiar with a board quickly. A patch of grass really works wonders, it also help to figure out if the board is working properly.
Recommended Age for Skateboarding
Kids under 5 should not ride a skateboard, their bodies can’t handle the stress and their little skeletons aren’t ready (link to scientific study). I often see these extremely talented kids skateboarding on popular Instagram channels and it makes me die a little inside. Sure it looks cute, but it’s irresponsible to let a kid ride a skateboard at such a young age.
Don’t take my word for it, check out the guidelines over at and see what I’m talking about. Sure not all kids are the same, but be a good parent, uncles, aunt, sister, brother or whatever and wait until a child hits the right age.
But Wait, Isn’t Skateboarding Dangerous For Kids?
Not at all! Sure kids can get bruises and minor abrasions, but so long as they wear protective gear it’s completely safe. Most of the kids that get injured aren’t wearing a helmet. Want to learn more? Check out why skateboarding isn’t dangerous and how to make it safer.
Most injuries involve new skaters. usually because they are trying stuff they aren’t ready for. Always skate to your abilities, so you better keep an eye on your kid.
Here’s how to make skateboarding safe:
- Pad up, helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards.
- Make sure they wear proper skate shoes.
- Keep an eye on them at al times and stop looking at your phone 😉
- Make sure the area they skate is safe; smooth surface and no traffic.
The best skateboard for kids isn’t for sale, it’s the one YOU assemble depending on their age, weight, shoe size and preference.
Prepare to pay over 100 bucks because for less you won’t get a decent skateboard. You also need a helmet and if you still have some money left, knee pads and wrist guards.
Seems expensive right? It really isn’t. Sure the whole package is quite an investment: skateboard, protective gear, shoes, tools, it adds up. If you’re kid is really into it it’s cheaper than a basketball, football, or any sport out there. It’s also safer compared to the most popular sports, really? Yes really!
Skateboarding is super fun, your kids will challenge themselves, get more confident, and make new friends. Just keep on eye on kids when skateboarding, and I dare you to learn skateboarding yourself!
Last tip: Don’t push kids because it only will backfire, all kids are unique and some learn faster than others, it’s all about fun. If a kid needs time to gain confidence, let them watch other skaters and help them out when they feel ready. Just be supportive and stop looking at your phone ;).