At the age of 5 kids are old enough to start skateboarding but an adult-sized skateboard might be too challenging. Even though kids can adjust their stance, it’s recommended to get a smaller skateboard at this age.
Smaller skateboards have benefits and at such a young age I recommend getting them a quality skateboard for many reasons which I will address shortly.
So let’s dive into what you need, I’ll recommend a couple of boards and added a few safety tips. All the skateboards here are great choices and tested by me and my son.
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What Size Skateboard for 5-Year-Old?
The best skateboard size for a 5-year-old is between 6.5″ and 7.00″. If your kid is a bit taller than average go with a 7.25″. It will make it easier to learn how to skateboard at such a young age.
Note that in skateboard sizes we always talk about the width of a skateboard, length varies but kids skateboards are shorter and narrower in general.
At the age a 5 a kids-sized skateboard is recommended and they do have a couple of benefits. My kid started out on a regular-sized 8.0″ deck but mainly just sitting on one knee and pushing with his other leg. For this purpose a regular skateboard is fine and to be honest, this is how most skateboarders started out at a young age.
The benefits of shorter and narrower skateboards are often overlooked. For one they don’t have to adjust their stance, on a regular-sized skateboard (8.0″) kids have to bend their knees to an almost crouch-like position making it harder to control the board.
Kids adjust though, but one other benefit I noticed is that when kids ride a smaller skateboard, their feet don’t hit the wheels when pushing it forward. This causes your kid to stumble and fall, but with proper protective gear, there’s nothing to worry about.
In the end, a smaller skateboard will make the process of learning a lot easier. Here is a table with some general guidelines:
|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 7.5″|
|9-12||4’5 to 5’2||7.5″ to 8.0″|
|13 and over||5’3 or over||8.0″ and over|
Skateboards for 5-Year-Olds
You can either go for a cruiser type of skateboard or a regular skateboard but I would advise against cheap or plastic boards.
The problem with the cheaper skateboards is that components like trucks and bearings can break. This results in blocking wheels and the board coming to a sudden stop. Low-quality boards delaminate and chip fairly easy, not to mention that they quickly develop a sharp tail, also known as razor tail.
Fortunately, all the components can be replaced, you don’t have to be a complete new skateboard if parts are showing signs of wear and tear. Here are a couple of boards I recommend:
Santa Cruz Skateboard
Santa Cruz is one of the most reliable and oldest skateboard brands and has decades of experience building skateboards. Founded in 1973 by NHS, they are still very popular to this day.
Santa Cruz builds quality skateboards that are reliable and safe, they offer a wide range for kids of every age. This is the exact skateboard my kid rides and he’s having a blast. I really like that it doesn’t make much noise and can deal with rough surfaces and cracks.
The wheels are quite soft and roll over small rocks without any issues, you don’t want the wheels to block and proper wheels really make a difference.
The deck is made of the highest quality maple wood and produced by Dwindle (DSM), a woodshop known for its quality boards. They stand for their quality control and their decks are constantly monitored and tested during production.
The maple deck consist of 7 layers of wood held together by epoxy resin and are single pressed. It has a medium concave, which is the curvature across the deck’s surface and helps to maintain grip when moving your feet around.
The trucks perfectly match the width of the deck, so no wheels sticking out and no risk of your kid’s back foot coming into contact with the wheels when pushing the board forward.
Bullet trucks are reasonably good trucks, they are checked for any deformation and don’t cause a skateboard to steer in one direction. Low-quality trucks on cheap skateboards are often deformed which can lead to less balance and unpredictable behavior.
The OJ slimeball wheels are great for skating streets and skate parks. The hardness is around 97a which makes them grippy and less noisy. 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.
Standard ABEC 3 rated bearings, hardware, and grip tape. Check for prices and availability of Santa Cruz skateboards on Amazon.
SkateXS offers quality kids skateboards and has one of the best skateboards for 5-year-olds but they are a bit more expensive. What I like about these skateboards is that they are assembled with young kids in mind.
This means soft wheels (90aA), a quality deck with awesome graphics for boys and girls, reasonable bearings, and acceptable trucks. The more expensive SkateXS boards come with better trucks but the basic version is just fine, no need to spend more.
The decks are partially made of bamboo, this means the board is lighter than regular 7-ply maple decks. Bamboo is a bit more environmentally friendly in general depending on where it was produced.
The wheels are softer compared to regular skateboard wheels which makes the ride more forgiving on crusty asphalt or rough surfaces. They also perform well on slick surfaces but most importantly, they can handle cracks and pebbles. Harder wheels can be blocked by small obstacles, but these wheels won’t have any issues. Check for prices on Amazon.
Enjoi offers many skateboards for kids between ages 5 and 12, great quality parts, and safe for kids to use. They offer several graphics suitable for both girls and boys like panda’s, cats, dogs, and butterflies (nothing inappropriate).
They can be a bit more expensive but you get a great setup and. The boards are made of quality maple wood and standard trucks, wheels, and bearings. Enjoi not only offers kid-sized skateboards but also larger boards for adults.
They are skate-ready, right out of the box but I recommend checking how it rides first and tweaking the trucks a bit. You can make them tighter or looser depending on what your kid prefers, this impact how well the board turn.
Loose trucks make skateboards turn more but at the expense of stability. Tighter trucks will make it less jittery and more stable. I suggest experimenting a bit after your kid skated for a few hours.
Powell Peralta Golden Dragon
This is a very popular board for kids. I think they did a great job with the wheels, they are perfect for riding rougher streets and don’t make a lot of noise. It comes with standard trucks and 99a 54 mm wheels. 99a stands for the hardness or durometer which basically means they are soft and grippy.
This is a good choice for beginners and kids but if you can, spend 30 bucks more and get a skateboard from a reputable brand like Santa Cruz. It’s a decent board but not as great as the other ones listed. A great choice for a 5-year-old though. Make sure to inspect the board when it arrives.
Make sure the wheels spin properly and inspect the trucks for deformation. Available on Stoked Ride Shop.
In general, 5 years old is still a bit young to start skateboarding but with proper supervision and the right gear, it’s certainly possible to start skating at such a young age. Usually, kids just sit on a skateboard with one knee and push the board forward with their other foot.
Depending on where you live traffic can be dangerous. Kids are so small that they are easily overlooked so please keep your eyes on your child and not on your phone. To make your child more visible I would recommend bright protective gear and clothing like my kid is wearing in the image above.
Stay away from the really cheap stuff. You often see these $30 complete skateboards which look really cool, but the reality is that they are unsafe. They consist of super hard wheels that make a lot of noise, terrible bearings that often don’t even spin, and trucks that either or very loose or very tight.
It’s up to you of course, but there’s a big chance you’ll return the board because of broken bearings, slippery wheels, or deformed decks. Lastly, stay away from those cheap plastic skateboards, these are accidents waiting to happen. Sure, only 30 bucks may seem like a good deal, but they are unstable and don’t have grip tape on the top making which makes them slippery.
There is a huge difference between an quality skateboard and cheap plastic knockoffs. The only time my kid injured himself was when he was riding a cheap plastic skateboard. He’s used to premium quality boards (the benefit of having a skateboard blog) and didn’t realize the $15 skateboard he was riding was unsafe.
He was okay though but it gave me a good scare, even though he was wearing a helmet he managed to bust his lip and nose. Cheap boards are very unpredictable, please avoid that stuff.
Helmet, Knee Pads, Wrist Guards
It’s not only a skateboard you have to buy, the most important gear you really should get is a helmet. I also recommend knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards. Skateboarding is no more dangerous than basketball but you really want your kid to be safe.
Buying proper protective gear is a must, it will also keep your kid motivated. Once your kid makes a nasaty fall without proper protective gear there’s a possibility they’ll give up.
I always recommend getting a combo package, you also have these complete sets over at evo.com which saves you quite some money. You get a quality kids skateboard, a helmet, knee pads, wrist guards, and elbow pads.
It might seem expensive but it’s a one-time investment. When you get a complete set you’re done. For the complete sets check the evo.com website, if you just want to buy separately, check my recommended gear over at this page.
There are many options these days for 5-year-old beginner skateboarders. Avoid the cheap skateboards as they are frustrating to ride and often delaminate.
While a kid-sized skateboard isn’t always necessary at the age of 5 it’s really hard for a kid to ride adult-sized boards. Make sure to get some decent protective gear, at least get a helmet!
Supervise your kid at all time and make sure they wear bright clothing and protective gear.