The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Skateboarding for Parents and their Kids

Skate boarding family

The world of skateboarding can be very daunting if you do not know what it is all about, how to get on a skateboard, where to start, which is the best skateboard for you. 

While we cannot promise you will be a complete skateboard pro after reading this, you will be able to understand how to start in the sport, how to make it safe and enjoyable for you and your mini cruiser, where to skate, how to get the most out of private lessons and classes with your GOSKATE instructor. 

Children from the age of 3 years old can be taught by GOSKATE instructors, either in classes or private tuition. We will teach any skateboarder from the very start, with no prior skateboarding experience needed, so you do not have to be an advanced skater to get in contact with us!

What is skateboarding?

The sport of skateboarding originated in California in the 1950s as a way for surfers to practice their moves on land. However, the first skateboard was made in the 1940s by attaching roller skate wheels to a wooden plank.

Skateboarding is a sport and recreational activity that involves riding and performing a trick or two on a skateboard. Some may think it is similar to roller skate as a sport, but they are very different. 

A skateboard is made up of a flat board with four wheels attached to the bottom of it. Usually anyone who is taking part in skateboarding, either at a leisure level or professional level wears knee pads and elbow pads and a helmet for safety, along with flat souled shoes for grip on the skateboard. The act of skateboarding can be done on various surfaces, including streets, parks, skate parks and even in specialized indoor facilities.

The basic skills of skateboarding involved balancing on the board, pushing with one foot and steering with the other foot. Once more advanced, the sport involves performing various tricks and stunts, such as ollies, kickflips, and grinds, which require a combination of skills, technique, and creativity.

Skateboarding has evolved into a popular and diverse sport with many different styles and disciplines, including street skating, vert skateboarding, longboard, freestyle skating, and downhill skating. It is also a cultural phenomenon with its own fashion, music, and art scenes. The sport was also introduced into the Olympic Games at the Tokyo 2020 Games. 

A couple of fun facts about the sport include; 

  • The highest recorded skateboard jump is 45 inches (114 cm) and was achieved by Aldrin Garcia in 2011.
  • The longest distance skateboarded in 24 hours is 453.6 km (281.7 miles) and was achieved by Rob Thomson in 2017.
  • The largest skateboard ramp ever built measured 21 meters (70 feet) high and was constructed by Danny Way in 2002.
  • The fastest speed ever recorded on a skateboard is 143.89 km/h (89.41 mph) and was achieved by Mischo Erban in 2012.
  • The skateboard industry is estimated to be worth over $5 billion globally.

Skateboarding equipment

A skateboard itself is a small, narrow board with four wheels attached to the bottom. It is designed for riding on flat surfaces and performing tricks in skating parks or on other terrain.

While the equipment needed for skateboarding may seem simple enough, the skateboard itself is made up of different components. 

The skateboard deck is the main part of the board. The skateboard deck typically made of wood or composite materials. It comes in different shapes and sizes to suit different styles of riding. It is typically made of layered wood or composite materials and the deck width is usually around 28-33 inches long and 7-10 inches wide.

Skateboard parts

The wheels and trucks are also important components of the skateboard. The trucks are the metal parts that connect the wheels to the deck and allow the rider to turn the board are adjustable and allow the rider to turn the board while maintaining stability. They are adjustable to customize the tightness of the turn. Each wheel is typically made of urethane and come in various sizes and levels of hardness depending on the intended use. The larger wheel size are better for cruising and transportation, while smaller wheels, harder wheels are better for tricks and skate park riding. It would be better for a beginner skateboard to have a softer wheel that are larger to give more confidence to begin with.  Within the wheel section, the bearing section is made up of small metal components that allow the wheels to spin smoothly on the axels. They come in different levels of quality and speed, such as the different wheel size, softer wheels, hard wheels, smaller wheels. 

A skateboard deck can be customized with a wide range of graphics and designs on the bottom, and riders often personalize their boards with stickers or other decorations. Skateboarding has evolved into a popular sport and culture, with its own unique style, language, and community.  

Skaters tend to use grip tape on their boards as it is a gritty, adhesive material and is applied to the top of the deck to provide traction and prevent slipping. Having flat soled shoes and heavy grip tape will help keep traction while skating along. Grip tape comes in various colors and designs to create individual board designs. 

There is also protective gear that is needed for safety. A helmet that fits your head properly and securely, making sure it has a well fitted strap around the chin. Knee pads and elbow pads to avoid injuring these areas when you fall off (sorry, it will happen!) and wrist guards to give extra support to the joint. 

Shoes are also key for skateboarding. Skating shoes are designed for performance and durability, with features such as reinforced toe caps, grippy and flat soles, and cushioning for impact protection. 

It is important to choose a high quality skateboard that is appropriate for your skill level and intended use. From a beginner skateboard, to an advanced skater, it is important to have proper maintenance and care of your equipment can also extend its lifespan, performance, and safety.

What age can you start skateboarding?

There is no specific age requirement for skateboarding, and people of all ages can enjoy the activity. However, young children may not have the necessary motor skills or coordination to safely ride a skateboard and may need more supervision and guidance. 

Generally, children from ages 3 and up can begin learning to skateboard with adult supervision and proper protective gear. It is important to start with small, basic movements and gradually progress to more advanced techniques as the child develops their skills and confidence. Each child will be ready at a different time, so it is important to remember that they may be too young at 3 due to development stages, and that is okay.

Sky Brown GBR Skateboarder

Older children and teenagers can start skateboarding independently but should still be supervised by an adult and wear appropriate protective gear. Adults of any age can also start skateboarding and may find it to be a fun and challenging way to stay active and improve their balance and coordination. 

Regardless of age, it is important to start with proper instruction and to prioritize safety when skateboarding. Essentially, skateboarding is an activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels.

Is skateboarding a safe sport?

Skateboarding can be a safe and enjoyable sport if proper safety measures are considered, and if the skateboarder follows the rules and regulations of the sport. However, it is important to remember that like any sport or physical activity, there is always some level of risk involved. 

To minimize the risk of injury while skateboarding, it is important to wear safety gear such as a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards. It is also important to learn proper skateboarding techniques and to always be aware of your surroundings, including other people and obstacles.

Safety equipment is essential

Skateboarding injuries do look quite extreme, but remember, the ones that you will see on TV and YouTube will be done by  trick skaters, experienced skater, using ramps and going hard at the skate park. The beginner skateboard kid or adult won’t be at the level. Doing a trick will not end in injury, unless it is done wrong, so listen to your GOSKATE instructor and learn the basics before trying something above your skill level. It is important to skate within your ability level and to avoid attempting tricks or maneuvers that are beyond your skill level. This can help prevent falls and reduce the risk of skateboarding injuries. 

Skating within designated areas such as skate parks, enclosed areas with reduced external risks (such as humans or animals), can help you avoid accidents with yourself and pedestrians or vehicles. It is wise to skate with others who can help you stay safe and provide support in the event of skateboarding injuries. 

By taking these precautions and being mindful of the potential risks, you can help make skateboarding a safer activity for yourself and others. It is important to always exercise caution and to be mindful of the potential risks involved.

I’m a parent and want to skateboard with my kid, but how can I do this?

Skateboarding can be a fun and engaging activity for both parents and children to enjoy together. Here are some tips for parents who want to get into skateboarding with their kids:

Parent and child learning to skateboard
  • Start with the basics: If you are new to skateboarding, start with the basics. Learn how to balance on the board, push, turn, and stop before attempting any tricks. Your child can help with these skills, or you can take lessons from a local skateboarding instructor together.
  • Get the right gear: Make sure you have the right safety gear, including a helmet, knee pads and elbow pads, and wrist guards. Also be aware that these come in different sizes, so get the right ones for anyone taking part in skateboarding. This will help prevent injuries and build your confidence on the board. Your child should also have their own safety gear, and make sure both you and your child have properly fitting skate shoes. 
  • Find a safe space: Look for a local skatepark or a flat, smooth surface where you can practice skateboarding safely. Avoid busy streets or areas with a lot of traffic. If you live in a quiet cul-de-sac, you could try learning around there, provided it is safe. 
  • Start small: Don’t feel pressure to try big tricks right away. Start small with simple moves and gradually work your way up. Remember, the goal is to have fun and enjoy the experience, not necessarily to be the best skateboarder in the world. 
  • Practice together: Practice skateboarding with your child regularly. You can take turns trying different tricks, or work on improving your skills together. This is a great way to bond with your child on improving your skills together. This is a great way to bond with your child and learn new things together. 
  • Stay positive: Skateboarding can be challenging but try to stay positive and encourage each other. Remember that it is okay to make mistakes and that everyone learns at their own pace. 
  • Have fun: The most important thing is to have fun! Skateboarding can be a great way to get active, spend time with your own child, and try something new. Enjoy the experience and do not take yourself too seriously! 

How to be a supportive skateboard parent

Being a supportive skateboard parent involves understanding and encouraging your child’s passion for skateboarding while also prioritizing their safety and well-being. Here are some tips on how to be a supportive skateboard parent:

Always support your kid with their activities
  • Learn about skateboarding: Educate yourself about the sport, including its culture, terminology, and equipment. This will help you better understand your child’s passion and engage with them in conversations about skateboarding. Make sure to pay attention during their GOSKATE lessons, so you know what is going on too to help them if they need it.
  • Encourage your child: Show interest in your child’s skateboarding by attending their events, asking them about their progress, and providing them with positive feedback. Encouragement can go a long way in building your child’s confidence and motivation.
  • Provide necessary equipment: Make sure your child has the appropriate safety gear, including a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads. Safety should always be a top priority when it comes to skateboarding.
  • Find safe skate spots: Help your child find safe and legal skateboarding spots, such as skate parks or designated areas for skateboarding. Avoid areas that could pose a risk to their safety, such as busy streets or public property.
  • Support their social life: Skateboarding is often a social activity, and your child may have a close-knit community of fellow skateboarders. Encourage your child to participate in these social activities and events, such as competitions or skate jams.
  • Be patient: Skateboarding requires practice and patience, and your child may experience setbacks or frustrations along the way. Be patient and supportive during these times, and help your child maintain a positive attitude towards their progress.

Remember, the most important thing is to support your child’s passion for skateboarding while also prioritizing their safety and well-being.

Should I learn to skateboard with a private instructor or in classes?

Whether you learn to skate with a GOSKATE instructor in private lessons or classes, you will be a confident skateboarder in no time! Learning to skate in your own time, your location, and at your level will get you up and skating in no time! 

Skateboarding lesson

Learning to skateboard with a GOSKATE private instructor can provide several benefits, including; 

  • Individual attention: With a private instructor, you get one-to-one attention (or yourself and your child get the full attention), which means that the instructor can focus specifically on your needs, skill level, and goals. This can help you progress faster and more efficiently than in a group setting. 
  • Personalized lesson plans: Your private GOSKATE instructor can tailor the lessons to your individual needs and goals. This means that you can work on specific skills and or tricks that you want to learn, at a pace that suits you. 
  • Immediate feedback: Immediate feedback on your technique, posture, and form can be provided. This can help you correct any mistakes and avoid developing bad habits that could hinder your progress. 
  • Safety: You will be taught how to skateboard safely, including how to fall currently and how to use protective gear. This can reduce the risk of injury and give you confidence as you learn new skills. 
  • Accountability: Having a private instructor can provide a sense of accountability and motivation to stick to your skateboarding goals. Your GOSKATE instructor can help you track your progress and set achievable goals that will keep you motivated and continuing to improve.

However, you might prefer to learn to skateboard in a group class session, GOSKATE instructors have over 14 years of experience, and are certified by ASA (The American Skate Association) for safety and skills. Some benefits of learning within classes rather than individual are: 

  • Social interaction: Group lessons provide the opportunity to meet and interact with other skaters who are learning alongside you. This can be motivating and fun, as you can share your progress and experiences with others who are also passionate about skateboarding. 
  • Learning from others: In a group setting, you can observe and learn from other skaters who are at different skill levels. You may pick up new tips and techniques that you can incorporate into your own skateboarding. 
  • Practice time: Group lessons typically provide structured practice time, which can be helpful for beginners who may not have a lot of experience or confidence on a skateboard. The presence of a GOSKATE instructor and other skaters can provide a supportive and encouraging environment for practicing new skills. 
  • Team spirit: Group lessons can create a sense of team spirit and camaraderie, which can be motivating and fun. This can help you stay motivated and committed to your skateboarding goals.

Whether you choose to go for individual or group lessons with GOSKATE, you will not be disappointed. Learning to skate in your own environment, the basics will be learnt along with the essential safety basics, you do not have to have any previous skateboarding experience to start.

Key health benefits of skateboarding

If you are looking to start skateboarding with your kid, but you need some more convincing, we have some health benefits that skateboarding can give you and your kid. 

Cardiovascular health is improved through skateboarding as it is a physical activity that gets your heart rate up, which in turn helps reduce the risk of heart disease. The act of doing physical activity also helps with weight loss and management. Skateboarding burns calories and can help with weight management and loss, provided it is combined with a healthy diet.

Staying healthy, having fun skateboarding

A young skater usually has great flexibility, due to being younger, but adults have less, so using balance and coordination can only benefit the body at all ages. The legs are used a lot in skateboarding, for movement and direction, so these become stronger over time. The core, and upper body also have greater flexibility and strength over time with skateboarding. Better balance and coordination come hand in hand with skating, due to having to control different parts of the body in order to stay on the board, or turn it or even do tricks. 

There is enhanced cognitive function by using a skateboard because of the focus and concentration required, improving memory and cognitive function. Along with this, like many sports, mental health can be positively impacted by taking part in physical activity. It can release endorphins, improving moods and reducing stress and anxiety, helping both adults and kids.

Overall key tips for skateboarding beginners

There has been a lot of information in this article, so here is a quick round up for skateboarding beginners. Skating can be a fun and rewarding activity, but it can also be challenging for beginners. Some tips to keep beginners on the right path:

Learning to skateboard
  • Get the right equipment for you: The most important piece of equipment for skateboarding is a good quality skateboard. Look for the best skateboard that suits your height and weight, and that has the right size and shape of wheels and trucks for your intended use. Wheel size is important, smaller wheels for the cruiser life, hard wheels for the experienced skater. Getting the right equipment is very important. 
  • A quality skateboard will help with confidence. Relying on your equipment is key to confidence, the complete skateboard set up needs to look great, feel great, and be safe to use!
  • Do not forget to get proper protective gear such as a helmet, knee and elbow pads, and wrist guards to prevent injuries. Even the advanced skater wears their protective gear, it’s important!
  • Start small: As a beginner, it is important to start with the basics and practice on flat surfaces or small inclines before attempting more challenging terrain. You can start by practicing balancing on the board, pushing off and stopping, and turning. 
  • Practice regularly: Like any new skill, skateboarding requires practice and repetition to improve. Set aside time each week to practice and gradually increase the difficulty of your exercises are you progress. 
  • Learn from others: Watching videos or observing an experienced skater can be helpful for learning new techniques and getting inspiration for your own skating. Joining a skateboarding community or taking lessons with a GOSKATE instructor can be a great way to learn from more experienced skaters. 
  • Be patient: Skateboarding can be frustrating at times, but it is important to stay patient and persistent. Do not be discouraged if you do not see progress immediately and celebrate small achievements along the way! 

Remember that safety should always be a top priority when skateboarding. Always wear proper protective gear and be aware of your surroundings. With practice and dedication, you can become a skilled and confident skateboarder.

Time to get started!

GOSKATE offer both individual lessons and group classes to beginners, intermediate, and advanced skaters. You can choose to pay as you go, pay for as many classes as you want. Whether you want to master the basics in a week or take a full year to learn everything, it is entirely up to your wants and needs. We will meet you at any public skate park, or your driveway nationwide! We can bring a complete skateboard set up for you as well, so do not worry about having the equipment!

Get in touch with us today to start your skateboarding journey for you and your mini cruiser today!

We have a lot of related articles that can help get you on your journey, teach you where to go for the best ramps near you, which size skateboard to go for, if you want a plastic skateboard, cruiser board, longboard, or even just a regular skateboard. We have you covered with our related articles here!

Mimi Landström

Mimi Landström, based in the UK, is a beginner skateboarder and is here to answer beginner skateboarding questions! Skateboarding is a great, fun, and energetic activity and she can’t wait to go on this new journey with our lovely community!