How to Skate Parents

Skating is Playing. Learning is Fun.


Skating’s gotta be fun. It’s playing. That’s why learning it is so unlike learning other sports, with the drills, practice, lessons and other stuff that’s more a part of school than a sport. In skateboarding, trial and error is a big part of learning, but that doesn’t mean coaching can’t be part of it.

The “error” in trial-and-error style learning is actually the best mind training there is. As Daniel Coyne talks about in “The Talent Code,” making small errors and detecting them is actually the best type of rehearsal and practice a person can do – whether it’s for a sport, a musical instrument, or any activity. By detecting small mistakes safely and re-trying multiple attempts at a movement, we train our brains to do it effortlessly. That’s the secret behind muscle-memory and true mastery.

In skateboarding, we learn how to fall safely, out of necessity.


Starting Kids Out Skateboarding

A great stance, and a real skateboard

If you’re looking to safely start your son or daughter out skateboarding, here are 5 tips to get you going in the right direction. While these are common-sense tips for most skateboarders, as a non-skateboarding parent you might not realize that you can easily make some common mistakes when getting your young skater started.

  • Buy a real skateboard. You may think that to invest one-third or half of what skateshops charge for a complete skateboard is a good idea to start your son or daughter out skateboarding. Don’t do it! You could actually be messing them up. Toy skateboards from sporting goods stores have plastic wheels which are slippery and unpredictable, as well as plastic trucks that don’t turn as well. Even first-timers should have a real skateboard from a specialty shop.
Equipment Parents

Parents – buying a skateboard for kids

Skateboarding's fun for young ones too!

Browsing the content from our coaches manual below, you’ll see that it’s easy to make the mistake of buying a “toy” skateboard at a big box store or sporting goods store. A new skater, especially those who are smaller in size, perhaps ages 4 through 8, can benefit from having a “real” skateboard, and one that’s sized-down. At a skateshop, you can find a “mini,” or a smaller skateboard for kids.

The biggest problem with the imitation skateboards you can find at non-skateshops, is that the trucks don’t turn as well as real skateboard trucks, and the bearings don’t spin as well. These two factors hinder the new skateboarder’s learning almost immediately, making it harder for them to learn how to turn the board. Kids on these “toys” will also form the bad habit of bracing against wheel that don’t roll freely, hindering their learning later, and promoting falls that could have been prevented had they been on a real skateboard from the beginning.