Your kid loves skateboarding Here's how you can surprise him with just the right gift.
Getting gifts when I was a kid was one of the best things ever. It made every birthday and Christmas worth waiting all year for. The best gifts were the ones I could make use of. Whether they were new trainers I could go play Basketball in, or new trucks and bearings for my skateboard setup. Sturdy skateboard decks for your kids are definitley worth investing in, too.
They were the best because they were useful and had sentimental value to them. They came from someone who understood my needs and wanted to see me succeed.
There are a lot of skateboard accessories out there and you really want to be careful not to get the wrong thing.
I will explain how you can get the right skateboarding gift for your kids, whether they are complete beginners or have a bit of experience, I'll go through it all and walk you through a process.
The first steps to figuring out the appropriate gift are to answer some relevant questions:
New or experienced little skateboarder?
For new skateboarders:
1. What level of skateboarder are they?
2. What type of skating they do or would like to do?
3. The state of their equipment?
4. What if they already have everything?
Find out what type of skating they want to do.
There are various ways to do it. You could go to the skatepark with them and ask someone if they can ride on their board or check it out and look for feedback.
If your kid wants to cruise around, get them a cruiser, penny or a longboard. These boards are great for cruising. They have big wheels and specialized trucks that allow them to roll and turn smoothly.
They could also use them to get to the school or the park, and is a good way to keep them busy in the summer and during free time.
For example, a drop down longboard is a good beginner board, they are easy to push, stable and easy to stop.
If they want to do sliding tricks and go downhill, a longboard and safety accessories is what they need. For example a helmet and slide gloves at the least. Knee and elbow pads would also be ideal.
If skateboarding is their thing, simply a skateboard deck and a helmet would do.
As with everything, the boards suited to each purpose have different shapes and this can be easily discerned,
If possible get them the full package. A board, knee pads, elbow pads, a helmet and a tool. If not, a board and a helmet will do just fine.
Girls vs Boys?
Longboards and skateboards are gender non-conforming in general, but the ones labelled "Longboards for girls" have traditional girl colours which some people might like.
As a caveat, there are longboards for girls beginners but I wouldn't trust the companies to determine that for me. There are definitely longboards better suited towards girls, but due to reasons like the size, shape and turning ability of the board. Other things like colour do not affect the board's performance at all.
For kids with some experience skateboarding
They probably already have their own board lying around.
The right gift for them might be an accessory, an upgrade to their equipment or simply a replacement for a part on their board.
To figure out if they need parts replaced, just take a look at their equipment. If it looks worn out and old then the answer is probably yes. Even if you might be wrong, parts come and go in skateboarding, they will definitely be used further down the line.
What type of skateboarding do they do?
This matters because different disciplines have different needs. Understand the type of skating they do will stop you from getting the wrong gift.
1) For the skateboarder, you could buy a new deck, trucks, bearings, skate shoes a subscription to Thrasher magazine.
Street and park skating is a very wear intensive discipline of skating, so everything needs to be replaced every now and then.
For eg. A deck wears down because they use it to pop tricks against the road which slowly sands the deck down.
A good gift would be finding out what brand they like to skate and getting some top of the line equipment from them.
Lastly, shoes are a safe gift to get. As a parent, you have probably bought a few pairs already. Getting some skate oriented ones would be a good move.
Some skate shoes in action:
2) For the longboarder, a new set of bearings, bushings, wheels or after-market trucks would go a long way.
It is not as wear intensive as street skating, but different parts change how the board feels and can improve they it skates.
For example, bigger wheels (>70mm) would roll over road imperfections like pebbles and cracks very easily, and produce a smooth ride. After-market trucks will typically be more stable and perform better and new bearings can seemingly give new life to the board.
If they do downhill sliding, a new set of slide gloves or wheels would be a good gift. These items tend to wear the most and need to be replaced once in a while. Finally, a fresh set of bushings would also work. These act as the suspension in the trucks, changing them can change how the boards turn and how stable it is.
If you are at your wit's end, don’t forget you can ask their friends or siblings to ask about what they want.
Other accessories you can get:
If they already have all the parts they need, there are still some accessories that would be good, these don’t directly improve how they skate, but would still be nice to have as they add to the overall experience of skater culture:
- And finally tickets to a related events (the X games etc)
Its nice to wear a t-shirt from your favorite brand or have cool stickers for your helmet and board. These always add another level of personality and individuality. Also kids
In the end?
It can be a tough decision to make, but picking the gift is down to you. Only you know what your child really likes and can make the best decision. I recommend doing some light reading on the gift you are interested in. Even if it's not perfect, any gift that has some thought put into it will be well received. A safe bet for any experienced skater would be a new deck and a cruiser board for any beginner longboarder.
About The Author
Ritch is an adventurous young skateboarder. Besides extreme sports, he’s also an enthusiast about writing and traveling
.One place you can find him is his blog heelsidechill.com, where he and his friends share longboard stories, gear recommendations for beginner riders.