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Top 10 Common Questions for Parents of Skaters

Common questions and answers for parents of skateboarders

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Being the parent of a skateboarder, you can come up with a lot of questions. I've collected here some of the best and most common questions for skateboarder parents, with some good info and tips to help you and your son or daughter. If you don't find the answer you're looking for here, please e-mail me and let me know!

1. Is skateboarding a bad influence?

Father teaching a son (10-11) skateboard
Karen D'Silva/Taxi/Getty Images
One of the most frequently asked questions I get from parents is, "Is skateboarding going to make my child into a punk / jerk / bad kid?" This is a great question - it shows that you actually CARE! So far, just with that much, your child is already well on the way to growing up just fine. But are there actually any benefits to skateboarding? And isn't it dangerous? And aren't most skaters "bad kids"? Read this FAQ to get some answers!

2. What kind of skateboarding parts should I buy?

Skateboard parts have gotten a little complicated! With all of the sizes and measurements, buying the right parts or the right skateboard can be scary. This article walks you through all of the parts, measurements and what they each mean. It should be a lot of help!

You can also walk into a local skateboard shop and ask them for help, if seeing the stuff right in front of you would be more helpful. I know it is for me sometimes!

3. Does my skateboarder child really need all of this equipment?

Does my kid really need all of this stuff (skate shoes, helmet, expensive skateboard and pads) in order to skate? I get questions like this from parents who are concerned that they really don't need to be spending all of this money. Making sure that you aren't wasting money is smart - here's some things to help you think about this.

4. How do I make skateboarding safer?

Skateboarding is a dangerous activity - there's just no way around it. But there ARE things that you can do to improve your child's safety while he or she skates. Here are four ideas to keep in mind, or steps that you can take with your skater to help improve the kid's chances!

5. Are breaking skateboards and tearing shoes normal?

Skateboarders tend to break a lot of stuff. Skateboards tend to be at the top of the list, skateboard shoes get blown out and ripped up, pants get ripped... parents can often wonder if this is normal! After all, if you're the ones paying for all of this, you probably want to make sure your skater isn't just being too rough, and isn't being foolish.

6. What size of skateboard is good for kids?

Marcie, the mom of a 4 year old skater writes, "I'm wondering if there is a size difference between kid & adult skateboards?" She doesn't mind paying the extra price for a full size board, but is that a good idea? What size of skateboard should kids ride?

7. My daughter wants to skate, but is uncomfortable...

I get e-mails from girls from time to time, asking questions about what they should do. Skateboarding can be an intimidating place for girls. It can feel like a boy's club, and that women aren't allowed. If you are a female skater, you might feel uncomfortable skating in public, or out on the street with the guys. And a lot of women feel nervous about going to skateparks. As the parent of a skateboarding daughter, what should you do to make things easier for her? What things can she do to help herself?

8. How do I find contests for my son or daughter?

Getting your son or daughter into contests is a great way for them to meet other skaters, and to challenge themselves. However, finding contests can be tricky. There are several competitions out there for amateur skaters who don't have sponsors yet and who want to compete in skateboarding. Read this skateboarding FAQ for more info.

9. Am I too old to learn to skate with my kid?

Probably not. And you rock for even being interested! But read this FAQ for some more insights, to read a personal testimony from a guy who started skating at nearly forty, and to find out what you can do to help increase your chances of having a good skateboarding experience!

10. What should I do to help my kid become a pro skateboarder?

I received an e-mail from the mom of a skater. Her son is good at skateboarding, and wants to be a pro skater some day. She wanted to know what to do, to help her boy along. What should you do to help further your kid's skateboarding ability? Where should you start now if you want a pro skateboarding career in the future?
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