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5 Tips for Teaching your Child to Ride a Skateboard

When a parent thinks of skateboarding, it's easy to imagine cuts, sores and even broken limbs, but skateboarding can be a fantastic sport for young people to partake in. Some children learn as young as four years old and can be beneficial for developing gross motor skills.

So how do you get started with teaching your child how to skateboard safely? First of all, make sure they have a helmet, elbow, knee and wrist pads and then you're good to go! Find a smooth private area and clear away any stones or debris from their path.

Here are 5 steps to make it as easy as possible for parents and children:

  1. Put your best foot forward: Ask your child to put the most dominant foot - we'll refer to it as the leading foot to follow easily - on the flat part of the skateboard near the front wheels.
  2. Get them to use their other foot (we'll call this the floor foot) to slowly walk it forward, bending both knees slightly. They need to practice this as much as they can as this will help them feel comfortable with their balance on the board. When they are a pro at walking with the board, they can now move onto the next step!
  3. Stand still, hold their hand and practice keeping the leading foot on the board and putting the floor foot behind the leading foot (near the back wheels). Do this a few times to give them more confidence in this movement as it may be scary to feel the board go back and forth.
  4. Let go of their hand and start again with walking the board, now get your child to push a little with the floor foot and quickly put that foot on the board behind the leading foot. Do this slowly at first and keep practising until the child feels comfortable.
  5. Practice, practice, practice and you will be amazed at how quick it works!

Some extra tips...

When the feet are both on the board, the leading foot should be near the front wheels and the floor foot near the back wheels, with a gap between them for optimal balance. Your child may start with putting their floor foot directly behind the leading foot, this is okay, you can slowly teach them to have that gap after a few attempts.

This practice takes time, do not let your child rush it as that will lead to them giving up easier if they're not getting it right away. When learning to skateboard there are plenty of accidents that are likely to happen, if your child has the necessary pads on, these will be minimised. If you are anticipating accidents, hide it from your child as they will sense your fear and feel it too! Make the training sessions short and fun - if you feel you're too nervous or your child is getting frustrated, leave it for another day.

Most of all, enjoy! This is a really fun activity to do with your child and brilliant for their gross motor skills. article written by Ciara Morgan