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How to Choose a Skateboard for Your Child | Safety First

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Kids skateboards are all about, size, safety, and quality. Obviously price matters and don’t rule out graphics. A cool graphic is highly motivating to go out there and skate.

When buying a skateboard for a child make sure that you don’t buy a cheap toy skateboard (unsafe). Get a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, and skate shoes.

Go to your local skate shop and let them assemble a skateboard, or buy a complete skateboard online. A kid skateboard costs around $50 and up, look for anything between 7″ and 8″ wide and length 27″ to 31″ depending on how tall they are.

If you don’t have any knowledge about skateboards don’t try to assemble one yourself. Complete setups are fine for kids and you won’t make the mistake of buying incompatible components.

Kid-Sized Skateboards Make it Easier to Learn

child holding a skateboard

The pros of a kid-sized skateboard are that they are easier to control. Kids can take on a more natural stance and place their feet shoulder-width apart. A wider and longer deck requires a child to place their feet further apart making it harder to balance.

A kids skateboard Just feels more natural and kids don’t have to overcompensate.

On wider and bigger boards kids compensate by bending their knees more and keep their center of gravity low.

My kid did way better on a normal sized skateboard than on a smaller board at first, because a wider deck has more room for his feet. He did struggle more when we moved onto actually riding.

Child Skateboard Size Chart

My chart is different than most out there because of my personal experience, your miles may vary.

Normal size skateboards are around 27″ to 31″ in length which isn’t even that big. As for width anything between 7.0″ and 8.0″ is recommended depending on the height of the child.

AgeKid heightSkateboard width
5 or under3’4 or under6.5″ to 7.0″
6 to 83’5 to 4’47.0″ to 7.5″
9-124’5 to 5’27.5″ to 8.0″
13 and over5’3 or over8.0″+

Safety First: Protective Gear, Helmet, Shoes

kid in skateboard protective gear

I know you’re only looking for a skateboard but it worries me that parents often forget to buy protective gear.

In my local skate park there are tons of scooter kids and 95% of them are not wearing a helmet or knee pads. This often leads to injuries.

Protective gear needs to fit snugly but not feel too restrictive. You want knee pads and elbow pads to stay in place when a kids falls. Decent brands like TSG, Protec, and Triple Eight offer good quality protecive sets. A combo set get you the most value for money.

Here’s a link to my recommended protective gear sets for kids page, and most importantly, a quality helmet.

Often overlooked but very important are proper shoes. Skate shoes make it easier to control a skateboard.They offer more grip and connection to the deck.

How Much Does It Cost

skateboard helmet, shoes, and protective gear

Kids’ Skateboards costs between $30 USD (unsafe) and $130 USD (high quality). You also need to pay for protective gears and preferably skate shoes.

Helmets are $30 to $50, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards cost $25 to $40 USD (if you get a combo pack). Shoes are often on sale and cost $30 to $50 USD.

What Is a Good Age for Kids to Start Skateboarding?

baby sneakers on a hand skateboard

Generally speaking, kids under 5 years old shouldn’t skateboard. Make sure you supervise your kid and stay close. It’s not just me, doctors actually recommend not to let kids skateboard under the age of 5.

There are some exceptions though, often you see these talented kids do insane tricks. Those kids are guided by experienced and professional skateboarders.

Skateboarding isn’t recommended at the age of 3. Muscles haven’t really developed yet and especially the neck muscles are weak. If you do want to get one make sure you always stay near your kid at all times.

4 Years Old Is Still a Bit Young for Skateboarding

Still a bit young, but when they reach the end of age 4 you could think about getting them a skateboard. Get the smallest junior-sized protective set and buy them a helmet.

There are many 4-year olds that skateboard when you look at Youtube. Often they are really talented and get guidance from professional skaters, not really the average child.

5 Is a Proper Age for Kids to Start Skateboarding

Kids at the age of 5 have more developed motor skills and their muscles are strong enough. You still should stay close to them at all times, and make them wear protective gear. You can either pick a smaller sized skateboard are just a regular one as long as the width is between 6.5″ and 7,0″  you’re fine.

Check out the skateboards we tested for 5-year olds

6 to 10 Year Old Is the Perfect Age to Learn Skateboarding

When kids turn 6 you still have to watch them at all times, up to the age of 10. We tested quite a few kids skateboards in this age range and found a couple of great boards. Every year my son get exactly one year older (weird right?), he’s 11 now so we had quite a few years to test al kind of boards, here are the results:

Types Of Skateboard For Kids

a cruiser and a skateboard next to eachother

Typically we recommend a cruiser skateboard or a classic popsicle shaped skateboard for kids.

Cruiser skateboards have bigger and softer wheels and make it easier to learn how to ride. The big soft wheels usually don’t block when riding over small obstacles. They are not meant for tricks.

Popsicle skateboards have a nose and a kicktail and come with small hard(er) wheels. They perform great in skate parks and allow kids to learn tricks. Kids sized popsicles skateboards usually also have slightly softer wheels, if you pick the right one.

Here’s What a Skateboard Is Made Of

To educate you a little on what a skateboard consists of, take a look at the image and the list below. All parts can be replaced once they start to wear.

Skateboard components
  • A 7-ply maple wooden deck. Compressed together in a mold.
  • Grip tape to prevent slipping off the deck
  • The T-shaped trucks that carry the wheels. The truck consists of a baseplate which attached the truck to the deck, bushings that allow making turns, and the truck hanger that holds it all together.
  • Wheels.
  • Bearings to make the wheels spin.
  • Spacers to protect the bearings from damage.
  • hardware to attach the trucks

For Your Kid’s Safety, Don’t Buy A Toy Skateboard

minority skateboards suck

I already wrote a post about why you shouldn’t buy a Walmart or Target skateboard. They are made out of cheap materials and can break easily. Amazon also offers cheap (Chinese) and unsafe skateboards, please avoid these ‘brands’ for your kids safety:

  • Minority
  • White fang
  • Merkapa
  • Hikole
  • Puente
  • Cal 7
  • Krown Wolf
  • KPC Pro
  • Beleeve

I actually bought all of these boards, spend over $600 dollars and the worst ones are the ‘Amazon’s Choice skateboards’ from unknown brands.

It may seem appealing because they’re really cheap but you’re not doing anyone a favor. A good skateboard outlasts a cheap board over 8 times. Cheap skateboards are unsafe and your kid can get injured when a wheel, or truck breaks.

If you don’t know the difference between a toy skateboard and a real one remember this:

  • They always come as a complete setup sealed in plastic.
  • The deck is usually made of cheap birch wood which bends. A deck should be stiff.
  • They are often quite heavy.
  • The wheels hardly spin and stop rotating within 1 or 2 seconds.

I (and my son) tested most of the skateboards listed here so I can safely recommend them. I selected a few cheaper and a few expensive boards, but all of them are suitable for kids.

I picked boards with softer wheels that provide a comfortable ride and soft bushings (plastic cone-barrel shaped tubes that make the trucks turn). Softer wheels are more forgiving and won’t get blocked by twigs or pebbles. Softer bushings make it easier to maneuver a skateboard.

Note that I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.

SkateXS Skateboards

SkateXS kids skateboard

Want something custom, safe and durable? Your kid’s name on a skateboard? SkateXS offers custom boards for both boys and girls in various designs.

They make their boards from bamboo which is durable and more environmentally friendly. Not cheapest skateboards, but one of the few that offers custom skateboards specifically designed for kids.

SkateXS Kids Beginner SKateboard
SkateXS Kids Beginner SKateboard
SkateXS Kids Beginner SKateboard
Our Score

SkateXS Kids Skateboard

Performs great on sidewalks, concrete, and asphalt. Offers a smooth and reliable ride straight out of the box.

  • Custom Designed for kids
  • Can handle pebbles and cracks
  • High-quality Parts
  • Excellent customer support
  • Safest skateboard we tested

What I like about these skateboards is that they are assembled with young kids in mind. This means softer wheels, a quality maple/bamboo deck with awesome graphics, quality bearings, and decent trucks.

The wheels are soft and perform well on slick surfaces but most importantly, they can handle crusty asphalt, cracks, and pebbles. Kids are less likely to fall riding a skateboard that roll over small obstacles.

You have the choice between basic and premium skateboards, their basic skateboards are a great choice for beginners and offer lots of stability. They come in a couple of neat designs for both boys and girls from age 5 to 12.

Boy on a skateXS skateboard

SkateXS also offers excellent customer support and really care about kids having a positive skateboarding experience. They may be a bit more expensive but looking at the components, it really is a decent price. You might also want to pick a helmet.

Check out their skateboards at SkateXS or read my full SkateXS review.

Santa Cruz Skateboards

Santa Cruz Complete skateboard classic dot

One option is getting a smaller sized skateboard, like the one my son rides. I picked this Santa Cruz Skateboard for kids.

This is a great skateboard with quality components. Santa Cruz is one of the oldest skateboard brands and makes quality boards. After 2 years it is still in good condition and we pushed this board to its limits.

The OJ wheels are perfect for street skateboarding, the soft wheels deal well with rough surfaces and can handle small rocks and twigs.

The added bonus is that the soft wheels don’t make so much noise and reduce vibration. I highly recommend this board but it’s a bit more expensive, note that the graphics may be different.

Check Amazon for Availability.

Enjoi Skateboards

Enjoy kids skateboard

Enjoi offers a wide range of skateboards and the graphics are especially appealing to kids. The board I got has a cat on a pizza, I mean what more do you want?

My son absolutely loves the graphic and the first thing he said was “aw a kitten, ON A PIZZA!” Enjoi is a reputable brand that also produces skateboards for the pros.

Enjoy complete skateboard

The softer bushings help your kids to steer and correct their stance without losing balance. The smooth wheels makes it easier to control the board on rougher terrain

Cute panda’s, cats, dogs, colorful board/wheel designs, and quality components, Enjoi is a great and safe choice.

Magneto Mini Cruiser

Magneto mini cruiser longboard

My kid loves the Magento Mini Cruiser and despite the rather low-quality bearings, it’s a great choice for kids. Mini cruisers are just meant for riding and not for technical tricks. They come with big soft wheels that plow through anything, great for rough terrain.

It’s rather small which makes it less suitable for adults, you might also want to get a skate tool to adjust the tightness of the trucks. My kid needed some time to get used to this board, but it only took a few minutes. Pretty decent cruiser for kids and a fair price.

Check out my review if you want to learn more or check for prices on Amazon.

Meow Skateboards

Meow kids Skateboard

The Meow complete comes it all sorts of sizes for both kids and even adults. Meow offers great quality parts though the bearings could use an update. I tested this board some time ago and was impressed by the quality. I also love the cute and artistic graphics.

The 53 mm 99a wheels which are great for both skating street and skate parks, though rougher asphalt might feel a bit uncomfortable. The bearings are rather slow and of lesser quality than most of the boards mentioned here.

Considering the build quality and price, this is an excellent choice. Click here for availability (link to Amazon).

Skateboarding Is a Ton of Fun and a Healthy Exercise

girl riding a skateboard for the first time

Skateboarding is a healthy exercise. Kids get to do some physical activity which is important when they grow up. It strengthens their muscles and improves motor skills.

You might be worried about their safety which is understandable, but it’s not as dangerous as perceived. Just make sure they wear at least a helmet and monitor them closely.

You could consider going to a skate park when they progressed a little. Just don’t hijack the park and stick to skatepark etiquette, respect the skaters and they will respect you.

Go early in the morning when it’s less crowded so your kid won’t feel too intimidated. Ask some of the girls and guys there to help your kid, many love to give tips and pointers! Even if you’re not really interested in skateboarding it’s just fun to watch your kid having a good time.

Replacing Skateboard Parts

So I’m pretty familiar with skateboarding and know when it’s time to replace a skateboard deck. If your kids tell you they need a new deck, don’t immediately dismiss it. Often parents say “you have a skateboard and you don’t need a new one”.

That’s not always the case. A good skateboard deck is made out of maple wood and wears down.

The back of the skateboard can get sharp (razor tail) and the skateboard can get chipped. You can usually keep a board until it wears down, but at some point, parts have to be replaced.

The tails get really sharp which can cause deep cuts, other wear like chips and cracks appear over time.

Last Words

Make sure your child isn’t too young, wait until they’re about 5 years old. Avoid toy stores and if possible visit your local skate shop or else buy something online from a reputable brand. Check out our recommended skateboards for kids.

Buy a used skateboard if you want but pay close attention to the boards condition. Make sure your kids wear proper protective gear at all times and stay with your kid when they are still at a very young age.

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