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There are a lot of sports out there that have an unwritten rule that only those of a certain age can participate. Take Equestrian, for example, you need to make sure your child is the right size and has the right mental capabilities before you let them mount a horse.
Or archery, you wouldn’t let a naive child wield dangerous, sharp objects without proper training and a good few years under their belt. There are plenty of sports like this but skateboarding isn’t one of them.
The sport of Skateboarding may be an extreme sport that obviously brings with it potential danger. There are many ways that you can ease young children into the sport and build up the fundamentals to succeed before they take on the death-defying stunts.
Heck, Sky Brown is only thirteen years old and she’s an Olympic medalist so we can guarantee she was on a board before she hit grade school.
With this in mind, you may be wondering what kind of equipment you need to get your young guns involved in the sport and what board to get them.
Well, we have put together a guide that will help you kit out your little rippers in training. Making sure you give them the best chance of being the next teenage Olympic hopeful. So without further delay, here is our essential guide on what skateboard is best for a six-year-old.
What Size of Skateboard Does a Six Year Old Need?
When it comes to skateboards that aren’t a full adult size, these come in three different size ranges. These are micro decks, mini decks and mid decks.
These allow young skaters to learn the required techniques for tricks without having to struggle with huge, adult-sized decks which will only teach bad habits. However, you may be wondering what these sizes actually mean and which one is best for a six-year-old. Well, take a look at our size chart below:
These decks range from 6.5″ to 6.75″, making them perfect for kids who are 3ft 4″ or shorter and have a shoe size smaller than one. Typically this means that kids which are 4-5 years old will get the most out of these decks.
Mini decks are a standard size which is 7″. This means that kids which are 3ft 4″ to 4ft 4″ and have a shoe size of 2-5 are perfect for this board size. Kids which are aged 6 to 8 tend to fall into this bracket.
Mid decks range anywhere from 7.25″ to 7.375″ and make great skateboards for kids and adolescents that are anywhere between 4ft 5″ and 5ft 2″ and have a shoe size of 6-8. Kids that fall into this bracket tend to be 9-12 years old.
Adult decks begin at 7.5″ and depending on your preference and size, you may prefer a board that goes above and beyond 9″. However, if you are shopping for a six-year-old, you’ll want to get a mini-board to allow for the child to progress within the sport at their optimal rate.
What Are The Essentials for A Great Skateboard For a Six Year Old?
When it comes to buying a six-year-old a skateboard, it goes without saying that you don’t have to break the bank. As long as the thing rolls along the ground and looks the way it should, kids simply won’t care. However, as you are a knowledgeable adult, you need to choose a board that best suits the child in question.
Factors to consider are if your child is likely to keep the sport up long term and if your child will use it every day or every so often. So with that in mind, here are the essentials that you will need for a six-year-old’s skateboard.
Canadian Maple Board
Regardless of if you want a budget board or a state of the art one, Canadian Maple is something that you have to prioritize. This is the industry standard when it comes to making skateboards that are fit for purpose.
There are alternatives but honestly, very few of them are up to the task of absorbing impact from huge drops or, more likely in the case of a six-year-old. Smashing into falls and inanimate objects. So make sure the board you choose is made from Canadian Maple wood.
If your kid is only six years old, chances are that you will rarely take them to the local park. Kids of this age struggle with park etiquette and generally get in the way. So it’s beneficial for both parties if the child waits until a more mature age.
So with that in mind, your child will likely be riding on the street and over rough terrain. So you’ll want to kit out the board with hard wheels. Hard wheels allow skaters to ride over rough ground with less resistance and will make for a much more enjoyable time for your young ones.
Kids of this age will be overachieving if they can do any sort of flip trick. The most you can realistically hope for here is for the child to ride around, ride down curbs and maybe do some small ollies. So the act of cruising around is going to dominate their early skating experience. Which means they will probably focus on riding fast.
To allow for this, you’ll want to equip the board with a set of AC7 or AC11 bearings which will keep the wheels turning for longer and allow skaters to keep speed longer with less pushing required.
A Sick Graphic
The goal of introducing kids to skating this young is to get them to engage with the sport. So if you want to accomplish this goal, make sure that you get the child a skateboard that they love the look of. Having pride in how your board looks goes a long way towards kids sticking with the sport for longer.
You can just picture it, kids running around the neighbourhood showing their board off to their friends. They won’t do that with a bog-standard design. However, if you stretch for something vibrant or even bearing their favourite skaters name, they will appreciate it, trust us.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Just as there are essentials that every kid’s board needs, there are some pitfalls that adults can fall victim to when buying a board for a child. However, we aim to ensure that you personally don’t make any of these mistakes and have made a list of the most common errors when buying a six-year-old a skateboard down below:
Overspending on Trucks
While the components of the skateboard we mentioned above are worth investing more cash in, trucks are not one of those items.
Expensive trucks will last you years and will weather just about any storm, absorbing the impact of the biggest drops and will hold up beautifully even if you use a rail with the intention of grinding them down to a powder. They aren’t indestructible but they ain’t far off it. However, the bottom line here is that kids simply don’t need this.
Kids just need a mid-tier set of trucks from a respectable supplier which will be able to weather some curb action and allow the kid to adjust their trucks to find their preference. The brands that I would personally suggest are Venture, Tensor, Bullet Enuff and Sushi.
Do Not Buy Wal-Mart Boards
We say Wal-Mart but this extends to just about any supplier that doesn’t specialize in skate gear. These boards are cheap, badly made and will only leave your child upset and frustrated.
Common issues with these boards include bad wood pressing, cheap wood that cracks, wheels that get flat spots easy, they usually have no bearings, the boards rarely have a concave, the trucks are known to snap under minimal pressure and the bushings also break easily.
So don’t just lift the first board you see while doing your groceries. Support your local skate park or at the very least, shop smart when online.
Do Not Just Buy A Full Size Board
You would think it would go without saying but plenty of adults don’t know the difference between board sizes and settle for what is right in front of them. A six-year-old kid needs a mini-board if they want to learn and progress the right way.
With a full-size board, kids will struggle to perform tricks, navigate on the board and will also pick up bad habits that help them cope with the bigger board that will mean having to essentially re-learn the skills later down the line. So we can’t stress this enough, make a note of the size chart and follow it to the letter.
What Are The Best Boards For Six-Year-Olds?
Honestly, it’s as simple as grabbing a Canadian maple skateboard that looks good and then adding decent components from trusted brands. However, you may be at a loss and overwhelmed with the choices on offer. So allow us to suggest one great option for each component. Check them out below:
Best Mini Board: Powell Peralta Ripper One Off #239 Skateboard Deck
Full disclosure, most skate outlets won’t stock a lot of mini-boards as the demand for these isn’t huge. However, if you shop around you will find some great skate brands that offer superb decks at great prices. One of our favorites is the Powell Peralta Ripper One Off #239.
This has the classic Peralta skull design and when it comes to reputable brands, it doesn’t get much better than Powell Peralta. This brand represents the Bones Brigade, where modern skating came to be. So this would be our pick of the bunch.
Other brands to look out for here would be Almost, Enjoi, Birdhouse, Globe and Cliche. The ones to avoid would be Enuff, Fracture, Rampage, Speed Demons and Rocket Skateboards.
- Classic Peralta Design
- Canadian Maple 7-ply board
- Mellow concave, ideal for beginners.
- Kids will grow out of this board pretty rapidly
Best Trucks: Sushi Hollow Kingpin Skateboard Trucks
Realistically, you could choose any trucks from brands like Sushi, Tensor, Bullet or Fracture and you would be good to go here. However, we would say that Sushi just edges it for us.
Bullet and Fracture are more budget brands and Tensor are quite inconsistent and divisive as a truck manufacturer. Whereas Sushi makes trusted and reliable, mid-range skate products and these trucks are exactly that.
- Durable trucks
- Come in multiple colours
- Aluminium material pales in comparison to stronger trucks such as Independent
- Bushings will likely need replaced
Best Wheels: Santa Cruz Slime Balls Double Take Cafe Vomit Mini 95a Wheels
When it comes to wheels, you want hard wheels and you want vibrant wheels. So for me, that only means one brand and that is Santa Cruz and their iconic Slime Ball line.
These wheels are great for popsicle and cruiser boards. Plus, they come in a wide selection of cool, colourful designs. I personally chose these as they have a nice pop of pink which is very much to my taste and they are also priced very well which is always a bonus. However, if pink isn’t for you, there are tonnes to choose from.
Other wheels that you could consider are Mini Logo, Bones and OJ Wheels.
- Incredible, vibrant designs
- Can be used by the child the longest of all components listed.
- Various sizes and hard/soft ratios
- Surprisingly cheap price
- Burst of colour not to everyone’s taste
- Santa Cruz are not a trusted brand (For wheels at least)
Best Bearings: Bones Reds Bearings 8mm
The phrase, don’t mess with the rest, get the best springs to mind. There are a lot of great bearings out there and tonnes of brands that reportedly offer faster spinning bearings.
However, for your money, there is no other bearing manufacturer that will offer a more reliable, well-made and high-performing set of bearings than Bones. Their ‘Reds’ are the trusted bearing of the skate world and there is a reason for that. So put your trust in these little red discs right here.
- The most trusted bearing on the business
- Reliable and will last for a long time
- AC7 bearings ensure fast, slick movement
- Can be slower spinning than some AC11 brands
Additional Purchases That You Should Consider
Obviously, when buying your six-year-old a skateboard, you’ll be purchasing the board, the bearings, the wheels, the trucks, the grip tape and the hardware as standard.
However, there are some other cool items that will help your six-year-old progress faster and stay safe as they navigate their first few sessions within the world of extreme sports. Here are a few items that you should consider investing in:
Elbow Pads/Knee Pads/Wrist Guards
We would suggest all these items as a kind of package deal. If you instil the importance of padding up and staying safe when children are young.
Chances are that this will carry through until when they are grown and potentially dropping into huge vert ramps. These are also great as when a child falls, this has the potential to put them off the sport entirely. However, with these items, the chances of sustaining a very painful injury are cut down drastically. So be sure to consider grabbing these items.
While the items listed above aren’t 100% essential and can be used at your discretion, like if the child is using a mini ramp for example. We would stress that a helmet is absolutely non-negotiable at this age. For most competitions and indeed to use most parks, you will need to wear headgear until you are at least eighteen years old.
A fact that hopefully showcases the importance and wearing a helmet. One blow to the head and its lights out for good if you aren’t careful. So be sure to get one of these for your six-year-old.
Skate Training Wheels
Aside from safety gear, you might also want to consider getting your child a set of skate trainer wheels. These are silicone covers for your skateboard wheels that ensure that when you stand on the board, you don’t roll at all.
These are great for getting your child used to standing on a board without the fear of falling or slipping. Plus, they can be used to learn tricks while standing static. Think of them as the equivalent of stabilisers on a bike. Overall, a great investment for a beginner skater.
Is Six Years Old Old Enough To Learn to Skate?
Absolutely, there is no real rule as to when you get your children riding a skateboard in some capacity. However, the general consensus is the best time, and the earliest time that you should consider letting them independently ride a skateboard is at the age of five (or four, depending on the physical development and height of your child).
So by the age of six, your child could potentially have one year worth of skating under their belt and could be well on their way to becoming a future pro. So yes, six-year-olds can absolutely skate at this young age.
Buying Completes Vs DIY Builds
This is a contentious subject, as some people will argue that completes are a great option for children as this gives you a pre-made board with all the parts and none of the hassle. However, in my humble opinion, I believe that this simply isn’t the way to go if you are serious about getting your child into skating.
The problem with DIY boards is that they tend to be cheaper which at face value is great. However, have you ever question why they are cheaper? The answer is that the boards are usually put together with lesser quality components and the boards themselves tend to be pressed poorly or be factory defects.
So when you buy a complete you automatically get a lesser quality build. Plus, you forfeit the control that a DIY build offers. You can absolutely build a quality deck for the same price you would find a complete build. You can save on trucks and invest more in wheels and the deck for example.
Which gives you the peace of mind that what you are buying is the best it can be. So spend a little more time and energy putting together the deck from scratch, it will benefit you and your six-year-old in the long run.
Future Rippers In Training
As you can see from the information above, there are some important things to consider when buying your six-year-old their first skateboard and plenty of things that can go wrong.
However, thanks to the mountains of great products on offer and our guide giving you insider tips, we hope you can get a board that is fit for purpose and we also hope that your little ripper in training goes on to light up the world of skating.
If you got to the end of the article and you still don’t have the information that you need, don’t stress. We have an FAQ section that will likely answer any lingering queries. Take a look down below:
Answer: That would be the Olympic bronze medalist in Woman’s Park, the brilliant Sky Brown. The British skater competed in her first-ever professional event/competition at the age of eight years old.
However, she would have to wait until she turned ten before she would achieve full pro status. For the longest time, Ryan Sheckler held this record but it seems that the average age of pro skaters is getting lower every year. All the more reason to get your young ones skating.
Answer: While we would always encourage kids to shoot for the stars, it’s important to not get carried away. At the age of six, your body is still growing, your muscles are still developing and your motor skills still aren’t as finely tuned as they eventually will be. So with that in mind, here are some things that you can work on with your six-year-old that are attainable:
• Hippie jumps
• Sex changes
• Kick turns
• Assisted drop-ins
• Ride down curbs
Answer: Aside from them getting out there and riding, there are several things that you can do to get your kid more invested in the world of skating. Here are a few listed below:
• Watch skate videos/parts
• Introduce them to the Braille Skateboarding YT channel
• Watch professional competitions
• Take them to new, interesting parks
• Skate with them
So that is our guide on how to find a great skateboard for a six-year-old. What do you make of this article? Was this helpful and informative for you? What other skate content would you like to see from us in the future? Let us know in the comments section below and as always, thank you for reading.
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