So you have a child that wants to skateboard. You are one of the good parents, so you support them in whatever they want to do. But, you might be hesitant about skateboarding. You might be worried about the price or the safety aspects of it. Well, we’re here to educate you on all aspects of skateboarding, so you can feel comfortable while your child learns how to skate.
Why Skateboarding Is A Good Hobby
As a parent, we feel your concern about everything you might have heard about skateboarding. Some of these could be about the skateboarding culture and the “mean kids” at the skate park. Or how it doesn’t have any of the benefits of a team sport.
Well, we’re here to tell you that skateboarding is a fun and creative outlet – one that has many great aspects to it. While there’s no team involved, you can build meaningful relationships with other skateboarders. On top of that, skateboarding for many is just pure freedom. They don’t have to go to practice or wait for others, they can just go whenever they want and have fun.
Supporting your child in skateboarding is a great idea! Below, we break down some common barriers that might present themselves, along with some ways to support them. We hope you this post helps you!
Price of Skateboarding
To start, let’s talk about the price of skateboarding. In the grand scheme of things, it’s actually a pretty inexpensive sport. A good, high quality complete skateboard is about $150. When just starting out that skateboard will last at least a year, if not 2 or 3.
The cost of skate shoes will probably be the biggest expense. These can be anywhere from $60 – $100. Yes, you can find cheaper skate shoes, but you also will want to go with quality. Skate shoes will wear and tear depending on how much they get used, but a good rule of thumb is about every 4 or 5 months. But don’t worry, there are plenty of options out there!
This is also a great first step to supporting your child in skateboarding. If they already have a skateboard, quality skate shoes are the next best thing to get them.
As a parent, the safety of your child is the most important thing to you. Don’t worry, it is for us too! That’s why we wrote an entire article dedicated to skateboarding safety gear. We highly recommend skateboarding safety equipment, especially as they’re learning. This ensures that no matter how hard they fall, they will be protected and won’t get hurt.
Now, the biggest push back you’ll see is safety equipment isn’t “cool”. Most pro street skaters aren’t rocking a full set of elbow and knee pads when they’re riding. That’s because they’ve been doing it for so long and have taken a lot of falls. They’re practically fearless, and feel they don’t need them.
Would safety equipment help them? Absolutely. I’m sure there would be a lot less injuries if that were the case. Sadly, it’s become some sort of stigma that if you wear safety equipment, you’re not “cool”. But hey, some of the biggest pros like Tony Hawk, Danny Way and Andy Anderson all wear helmets.
With all that being said, here are the main pieces of skateboarding safety equipment:
- Elbow Pads
- Knee Pads
- Wrist Guards
Helmets are the most popular as they provide good protection and are generally pretty inexpensive. Knee and elbow pads help protect your arms and legs and provide some extra support. Wrist guards are restricting, but protect you from really hurting yourself when you fall. They provide that extra support, so if you put your hands out when you fall, you won’t badly injure your hand.
Now that you’re at ease with the safety aspect of things, how else can you support your child in this adventure? Well, the first is simply to become interested in it. When they come running in screaming in excitement on how they landed their first ollie, congratulate them! Make sure they know that you support what they’re doing.
Here are some basic tricks and explanations of them so you can know what all the cool kids are saying:
- Ollie: a basic jump on a skateboard. Often the first trick that beginners start off with.
- Kickflip: When you do an ollie, but the board flips under you and land on it.
- Pop Shove-It: A trick where the board rotates 180 degrees under you and land on it.
- Drop In: This is done on a ramp and is simply where you start on the edge of the ramp and literally drop into the ramp on your board.
As time goes on, they will probably show you and explain these. You’ll be caught up to speed on the whole skateboarding world in no time!
On top of that, ask them about what trick they’re working on. Watch them skate and ask them to show you what they can do. Take them to the different skate parks and spend time there. Encourage them to keep going and practicing when they’re having trouble mastering their next trick. Be excited when they learn a new trick. Just overall be a fan of skateboarding and push them to skate and practice all the time. Obviously, after they’ve finished their homework or fed the dog. That’s top priority.
One of the best ways, however, is to actually learn how to skate with them. Many parents have started skating with their children because they used to skate. It’s a fun sport that many parents, even at age 50 or 60, are picking up. So, you might as well pick yourself up a board yourself and discover the magic of skateboarding!
But, even if you can’t skate yourself, you can still be supportive in many other ways. Let’s take Tony Hawk for instance. His dad never set a foot on a skateboard himself, but he helped Tony in many ways. He took him to skate parks and spent countless hours with him as he learned to skate. And he became the most well known skateboarder of all time. It also goes to show how amazing parents are.
The Sport Aspect of Skateboarding
If your child has picked up a board, chances are they’re pretty active. Most kids that learn to skateboard are, because it requires a lot of energy. The great thing about skateboarding is it gives them outlet for all that energy.
With all that energy, they can put it to good use. Skateboarding gives them the freedom to use that time and energy into something productive. And ultimately, that’s something that’s really helpful. Both for you, and for them. So, as the parent, supporting your child on this adventure of skateboarding will be helpful and fulfilling!
So, learn about what they are doing. Ask about their tricks. Chances are, as they learn you will too. They might not know all the tricks yet. If you ask and are interested, they will be happy to tell you. You will probably be fascinated by what you find out.
I hope that this gives you some insight into how you can help your child in their skateboarding. To recap, it’s a lot safer, cheaper and creative than you might have thought. So make sure they know that you’re supportive of this awesome adventure into skateboarding.
Do you have a child that’s learning to skateboard? Leave a comment with some tips that you’ve learned along the way. We’d love to hear what you have to say! You can also post to Instagram and tag @brailleskate, #brailleskate and #brailleskateboarding.
If you have a child that’s learning how to skate, definitely check out Skateboarding Made Simple. It’s the most detailed lesson plan for skateboarding that exists. With 7 different volumes, they’ll go from learning how to ride on a board, to skating skateparks and landing more advanced flatground tricks in no time!