Buyers' Guide for Kids Skateboards

10 year old child physical development - girl on skateboard
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If you're in the market for a skateboard for your child, there are some general points to keep in mind: A complete skateboard is one that comes fully built, size doesn't matter, and as with all things you buy, you get what you pay for. Conventional wisdom says to go with a good-quality board that will last longer and is safer. Here are some good choices to check out.

There are three types of skateboards: classic, retro, and snake. Classic boards are the most common and what you generally find when you go shopping. Retro boards are longer and have larger wheels. They are great for skating long distances but inferior to classic boards for doing tricks. A snake board is not appropriate for kids since it requires intensive balance and has only one wheel.

Boards have three parts: decks, trucks, and wheels. The deck is the top part you stand on, the trucks are the metal parts that attach the wheels to the board, and the wheels, yes, you know what those are.

Last, you want your kids to be safe. They should skate only with a helmet and knee, elbow, and wrist guards. If you want to go all out, add special skateboarding shoes to the list.

SkateXS makes high-grade skateboards for kids ages 5 to 10. While some of the other brands listed here make smaller, kid-size boards, SkateXS does the same but with the high-quality pro-grade parts. When you buy a SkateXS complete skateboard, you get real, high-quality trucks, wheels, and bearings.

The SkateXS deck is made from bamboo, which isn't usual; most skateboard decks are made from maple. This makes the decks lighter and gives them more pop. Bamboo is the perfect choice for younger, lighter skaters.

The World Industries logo used to be the marker of a diehard skater, but recently it's gotten into the children's skateboard market too. Because of the brand's long history and trusted reputation in the skateboard community at large, the boards are generally good quality. However, remember that the brand usually caters to hardcore skaters; some parents may not approve of some of the brand's imagery. 

Termite is focused on making skateboards for children and beginners, along with pads and other gear for kids. Termite's graphics feature family-friendly cartoon bugs. They also sell "value packs," which include a complete skateboard, pads, and helmet. More »

The Positiv Skateboard team's mission is to make high-quality skateboards available to skaters of all levels, especially those who are looking for a great value on their first skateboard. Positiv skateboards are designed and manufactured by Skate One, a company with decades of experience in building top quality skateboards.

Build a Skateboard From Scratch

For a truly special gift, consider building skateboard for your kid. Yes, this is a lot of work and won't be cheaper, but it's a lot of fun and makes for a unique and treasured item. For step-by-step help in picking out the right parts, read the Skateboard Buyers Guide.

Remember to also pick up a helmet and look into skateboarding shoes if your child doesn't already have them. Some of the companies listed in this article make helmets and shoes and can give you a great deal. For the shoes, most tennis shoes work, but skateboarding shoes are made with flatter soles and other features to help with skateboarding.