8 years old is a great age to get your first skateboard, I think I was around that age when I got my first board. My kid is (as I write this) eight years old and has a couple of board that he particularly likes.
Let’s look at some of the best skateboards for 8-year-olds tested by me and my son. I’ll also cover safety, what to look for and what to avoid. There is quite a difference between cheap and low-quality stuff and a decent skateboard.
I’ll show you a few skateboards that are great for just riding around the neighborhood and some boards that can deal with tricks. I think the most important here is that you get something reliable; you don’t want parts of a skateboard to break on day one, and it needs to provide a smooth ride.
What Size Skateboard for 8-Year-Old?
The ideal skateboard size for 8-year-old kids is between 7.25″ and 7.75″. A 7.75″ wide skateboard is a good choice up to the age of 13. This means a skateboard will last for years depending on how it’s used.
Wider and longer boards will also work, but at this age I won’t recommend getting anything wider than 8.0″. Kids will adapt to bigger boards and compensate by bending their knees, but anything over 8.0″ is pushing it. As for length, skateboards are usually between 29″ and 32″ long depending on the width of board.
From a budget perspective, you could go with a slightly larger skateboard, your kid will adjust and you won’t have to buy a new board every 2 years. A 7.75″ or 8.0″ will last for a long time and you can always replace the components like wheels, trucks, and bearings.
In the end, a smaller skateboard will make learning to skateboard a lot easier. Here is a table with some general guidelines but take it with a grain of salt:
|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|
Best Skateboards for 8-Year-Olds
I always recommend assembling a skateboard yourself but I can imagine this might be a bit of a challenge if you don’t know what you to look for. It’s easy though, applying grip tape might prove to be a challenge the first time but it’s not that difficult if done correctly with the right tools.
Shops can often help you out and do it for you, so if you have a local skate shop, pay them a visit when possible.
Keep in mind that skateboards are meant to be destroyed, the deck will wear in time, the graphics will scratch, and the wheels and bearings need replacement every 2-3 years depending on how often a skateboard is used. Skateboard parts are easy to replace, but when you take care of a skateboard, it will last for a long time.
While you don’t have to spend 150 bucks on a professional skateboard, a decent skateboard will cost between 70 and 120 USD. So let’s dive into what you need, I’ll recommend a couple of boards and tell you what works and what doesn’t.
1. Santa Cruz Complete
This Santa Cruz micro skateboard is one of the best you can get for kids. It’s stable, durable, and offers soft wheels that deal great with pebbles and cracks.
I bought this board a couple of years ago and it’s still holding up, pretty decent for a kids skateboard!
The maple deck is a bit shorter and narrower compared to adult sized skateboards which makes it easier to learn how to push. The softer wheels are very forgiving and don’t make a lot of noise. They ride great on gritty asphalt and the wheels ignore pebbles and cracks.
Last thing you want is super hard wheels, they will make it harder for your kid to keep his/her balance.
The trucks (t-shaped metal things under the deck) turn well, not too tight or too loose. The bushings are relatively soft and made with lightweights in mind. Bushings are the cone-barrel shaped tubes that help the trucks turn smoothly, the harder they are, the harder it is to turn a skateboard.
Santa Cruz offers several skateboards designed for kids. Micro sized boards (7 to 9 years old) have very soft 83A wheels and 90a bushings. Softer bushings help to make the board turn better and correct the direction.Regular sized Santa Cruz completes (>8.0”) come with 95A wheels and (still fairly soft) and 95A bushings.
This skateboard is versatile and are suitable for both skateparks and skateboarding the streets.
2. Element Skateboards
One of my favorite brands for kids because of their awesome themed skateboards. Element has several collaborations with brand like Star Wars and National geographic.
The one here is probably not available by the time you read this, but I’m sure there are many boards that are basically the same, just with a different theme. You always get the same components, only the prints vary from time to time.
Just like the Santa Cruz skateboard, this board comes with softer wheels and softer bushings. The wheels are 95A and 53 mm, making them ideal for skateparks and street skateboarding. This skateboard is more for kids who also are curious about the technical parts of skateboarding.
The wheels are a bit harder, which makes them great for ollies and flip tricks, but still soft enough to provide a comfortable ride. They are grippy and won’t easily get blocked by pebbles or cracks.
They come with colorful trucks and wheels (which will wear eventually) and if a skateboard looks great, kids (and older kids like me) get stoked by just looking at the board. Graphics are important and really motivates kids to go out there and skate!
The trucks turn great because of the softer bushings, and the deck consists of quality maple wood. The bearings seem to hold up and roll pretty smooth.
If you’re looking for a quality skateboard that is great for tricks, skateparks, and street this is a skateboard to consider.
3. Powell Peralta Golden Dragon
One of the top sellers, the Powell Peralta Golden Dragon is a decent skateboard for kids from 7 to 10 years old and comes with a dragon themed graphic.
It’s very similar to the Team Positive skateboard (number 6) but at a better price.
At 7.625″ wide it’s a great choice for 8-year-olds, the can ride it untill they are at least 10 years old. If you maintain it properly and store it somewhere in a dry place it will last for years.
The wheels harder than most of the boards here and bigger (54mm) which makes this board a good choice for riding in skateparks, BB courts, and other slick surfaces. It comes with standard trucks that can take some abuse, just don’t go and ollie a 7-stair yourself.
Solid choice for those on a budget and a decent beginner skateboard. Make sure all the bearings work and don’t make rattling noises when it arrives. Cheaper models sometimes have this issue, though it’s pretty rare.
4. Magneto Mini Cruiser
Magneto offers various kinds of skateboards for kids at a fair price. They don’t offer professional skateboards, but both beginners and kids will have a ton of fun riding these boards.
This is the Magneto Mini Cruiser, it’s not my favorite cruiser, but it works (I own a couple of really expensive cruisers, which is not a fair comparison).
This cruiser is only 70 bucks you get a fairly decent cruiser skateboard with big soft wheels that deal well with small rocks, cracks or any small object that might cause your kid to fall.
Magneto also offers regular skateboards that are quite popular for only 50 bucks. We did not test these boards, but considering this cruiser is great for kids, I assume the regular skateboards are also fine when you are on a tight budget.
The 60mm wheels have a large contact patch (the part of the wheel that comes into contact with the ground) which offers lots of stability.
The trucks are quite loose at first, but kids don’t weigh that much, so it shouldn’t be a problem. You can always adjust the tightness by turning the nut on the kingpin.
It’s easy to carry around as it doesn’t weight much and works straight out of the box. The bearings are okay (not the best) but good enough.
5. Enjoi Skateboard
What I like about Enjoi are their super cute graphics and skateboard parts with kids in mind. This skateboard is just an example, of course, but Enjoi offers a wide range of super cool graphics for both boys and girls.
I picked this board for the cool graphics, soft bushings and easy turning trucks, and of course soft wheels that perform great on rougher terrain but also provide a smooth ride in skateparks.
Cute panda’s, colorful logos, cats, dogs, themed wheel designs, and quality components. Enjoi offers great skateboards and most importantly, they are safe.
6. Positiv Team Skateboard
This is the largest board listed here, and it’s exactly 8.0” wide. Perhaps a bit too wide for 8-year-old, but your kid will adjust. If you want a board that still works when your kid reaches the age of 10/11 you could consider the Team Positiv skateboard.
Like most boards here, the wheels are a bit softer than average and provides a reasonably smooth ride. It’s usable for street skateboarding but also works well in your local skatepark.
This board gets a 5-star rating on Amazon but I wouldn’t go that far. It’s still a budget skateboard and frankly for the money you’re better off buying a Santa Cruz.
Still, it’s a decent skateboard that’s safe and durable enough for kids and the neutral graphic works for both boys and girls. I wouldn’t recommend it to experienced skateboarders, but beginners and kids will have a blast riding this board.
It’s very stable because of the wider deck and trucks and won’t snap when your kids tries his first tricks. It will wear faster than a professional setup but by the time your kid gets better you might want to consider a board than can deal with lots of abuse.
7. Arbor Pocket Rocket Artist
This is the best quality board on this list. It’s a mini cruiser skateboard with quality wheels, trucks, bearings and an awesome deck.
Even I can ride this board, though my feet stick out because of the narrow deck but it is a buttery smooth ride. Probably the safest skateboard on this list and it’s made for riding the streets and pavements, but not for tricks.
I really love this board and so does my kid, the huge super-soft wheels ignore anything that you run into and smoothly roll over rough asphalt, pebbles, twigs and even larger cracks aren’t a problem. It is like the Magneto cruiser, but with durable components that will last a decade.
The trucks feel a bit tight, so I suggest loosening them a bit if your kid has problems making turns. It comes with quality Paris trucks, Arbor EasyRider wheels (60mm/78A), a quality single pressed deck and smooth bearings.
This is a perfect skateboard/cruiser for kids that want to learn how to ride without having to worry about wheels suddenly blocking or bearings that hardly spin. You get top-notch stuff and even though it’s the most expensive board listed here, you get a lot of value for your money.
Protective Gear for 8-Year-Olds
I always recommend getting at least a helmet, kids are fragile, so make sure to keep them safe. I always wear a helmet and recently hit my head for the first time in 25 years, I could walk away but it would have been different if I didn’t wear a helmet.
I personally really like Triple 8 helmets, they are comfortable and fit really well. Protec is also an excellent choice, and if you want something on a budget, look for JBM helmets.
Knee, elbow, and wrists protection is optional but recommended. You can get bundle packs or buy them separately. Protective gear also helps to keep your child motivated, a busted knee or elbow might result in a negative association with skateboarding. That’s such a waste, skateboarding is a really healthy excercise and a great way to make new friends.
The one thing you should absolutely get is a helmet! If you want something safe and trustworthy, go for an ASTM certified helmet. Noncertified helmets or cheaper helmets also work, it doesn’t mean that they are unsafe but often they are uncomfortable.
Last, supervise your kid at all times, kids might get overconfident and so stuff they are not ready for. Perhaps you can join them, you’re never too old to skate ;).
Skateboarding, Safety, and Etiquette
Let’s talk about a few basic things to keep kids from hurting themselves and how to make your life easier. Obviously protective gear is your number one priority but there are other safety precautions and basic tips you should be aware of.
Rule number 1
Don’t skate in the rain or when the streets are still wet. Not only does it destroy the bearings and deck, it means the surface is slippery and your kid could slide and crash. Wheel lose grip when you ride on slippery surfaces and the worst thing is that you don’t see it coming.
Rule Number 2
If you decide to bring your kid to a skatepark, make sure they don’t get in the way of more experienced skateboarders. Find a spot that’s not in the direct line of other riders. Just be nice to the other skateboarders and if you ask, they are glad to help your kid to learn how to skateboard. If you are unsure of what to do just ask, skaters are usually friendly folks.
Rule Number 3
Never lose sight of a child, be present and aware and leave your phone for what it is. Kids should always be supervised when they are new to skateboarding, sure when they get better and can ride comfortably you can check your Insta or Facebook. Just keep an eye on them and don’t leave them alone.
Rule Number 4
As a teenager I often experienced parents that claimed the park for their kids, even aggressive dads and moms coming after us for just being there. If you act nice, skaters will be kind. Sure we may be a little different, but we love new skaters and still to this day I love to help kids learn how to skateboard.
Approaching skaters in a friendly way might even be useful, they teach your kid how to skate and you can relax and snap a few pics!
Don’t Forget About Proper Shoes
Shoes matter, you don’t have to buy expensive skate shoes, but sneakers with flat and thin soles make a difference. This is what we call ‘board feel’, thin soles will helps to feel the skateboard deck and how it responds. Makes it way easier to learn and safer to ride.
Kids’ skate shoes are often cheaper than adult shoes, and if you look around, you probably can get a good deal somewhere.
Even though many skateboard look the same, not all skateboards are equal. Avoid toy stores and plastic skateboards, they are unsafe and often break after a few weeks.
If 70 bucks is too much, consider buying a used skateboard. Make sure you can inspect it before you buy. The wheels should turn properly, you don’t want rattling noises (broken bearings), and the deck shouldn’t be chipped or have sharp edges.
Skateboarding is quite popular these days but many give up, this is a great time to buy a barely used skateboard for a great price.
A quality skateboard is a smart investment. You want something safe and reliable, also make sure to get a helmet!