6 Different Types of Skateboards for Kids - VerbNow

6 Different Types of Skateboards for Kids

kid's feet resting on a skateboard.

If you were thinking about gifting your child a skateboard, there are a few things you’ll need to consider. As a parent, I completely understand that we want the best for our little one, so join me, and I’ll show you the world of skateboarding and what types of skateboards are available for kids!

Types of skateboards for kids include regular skateboards, Longboards, Cruisers, Mini-Cruisers, Double-Kick Skateboards, Steep-Kick Skateboards, Toy Skateboards, and other variants within those. They each have skateboard styles that dictate the best way to use them.

Picking the right skateboard is often defined by the type of ride kids want to do; that’s why you get different kinds! Skate along as we see which type will best serve your purpose.

Table of Contents

Types of Skateboards for Kids

Before you decide on which skateboard is the perfect fit for your child, you must consider these few things:

  • The skating that your child wants to do (cruising / tricks/traveling)
  • What type of environment they’ll be skating in (smooth/rough surfaces)
  • Size of the skateboard (determined by the skater’s height)
  • Types of wheels (they can help a lot to smoothen the skating experience)

For young skaters, learning the fundamentals of skating requires a decent skateboard that provides outstanding balance and stability. Choosing the incorrect skateboard can make the learning process more unpleasant, off-putting, and negatively impact skaters’ progress.

Regular skateboards are the most common ones that are used on the street or at skate parks. They are specifically designed for performing flips and other tricks, so their wheels are smaller and harder; they provide more grip and last longer than softer wheels.

Longboards are the best choice for kids skating to school or who need to travel long distances, such as around town. They are generally longer and provide a smoother experience. In addition, they are also the choice for downhill skating and come in three distinct styles: Drop deck, Drop through, and Top mount.

Cruiser skateboards strike the perfect balance between regular skateboards and longboards. They were designed for flat surfaces and can perform the same tricks as regular skateboards, yet they skate very comfortably and are quite speedy. Their small bodies allow for a more aerodynamic approach, allowing for quicker and easier turns.

Furthermore, there are also specialized skateboards like double-kick skateboards and mini-cruisers. Double-kick skateboards tend to have a nose and tail angled upwards, making for easier jumps and hops.

Mini-cruisers are essentially miniature versions of the regular cruiser skateboard, but much smaller! It’s fantastic for very young kids or complete beginners because it’s so lightweight that turning and maneuvering it is a breeze.

The Longboard Type of Skateboard for Kids

APOLLO Drop Through Longboard Skateboard - Longboard for Girls - Longboard for Women - Longboard for Beginners and Pros - Cruiser Board Skateboard Long Board for Teenagers Girls. Longboards Skateboard

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Longboards are, well, longer than regular skateboards. Their measurements typically range from thirty-four to forty-six inches in length and eight and a half to ten inches in width. These measurements result in longer wheelbases, which is the distance from the front wheel to the back wheel of the skateboard.

Longer wheelbases give it a sturdier framework and more stability at higher speeds. Depending on the type of longboard, it can be quite flexible in the middle, where it acts as a kind of suspension for riding over bumps or potholes in the road. Furthermore, it also gives you the ability to ride smoothly without tipping over.

Longboards are intended specifically for commuting. However, since they are more stable than their counterparts, these boards are better suited to long-distance travel or high-speed downhill riding and getting around town.

Longboards are best suited to skaters aged nine and older since they adopt a similar movement and style to surfboards and snowboards. As a result, longboards can be more difficult to control and are an excellent choice for older children.

Longboard decks are usually built from plywood, comprising two to eleven layers of birch, bamboo, maple, koa, or oak wood. Each type of skateboard has its benefits and drawbacks, depending on the skater’s technique or personal preferences.

Designers and producers strive to make downhill-oriented Decks as rigid and light as feasible. “Drop decks,” “top mounts,” and “drop throughs” are the three most common downhill board designs.

The “drop deck” features a lower foot platform that rests below the height of the trucks (the metal T-shaped components that attach to the skateboard’s underbelly), resulting in a lower center of gravity that increases stability but decreases traction and agility.

The “drop through” longboard has a lower base that provides more stability, but the grip decreases because the wheels are close to the axle, and the turning potential is also slightly reduced. “Top Mount” longboards have increased grip and turning maneuverability but a higher center of gravity and reduced stability.

The Cruiser Type of Skateboard for Kids

Beleev Cruiser Skateboards for Beginners, 27 Inch Complete Skateboard for Kids Teens Adults, 7 Layer Canadian Maple Double Kick Deck Concave Trick Skateboard (Pink)

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Cruisers are built for comfort and gaining the most with the least amount of effort. They have a typical length of twenty-eight to thirty-four inches, typically eight to ten inches wide. Cruisers are often described as the perfect mix between a skateboard and a longboard because they can do tricks while still being very comfortable to ride.

The wheels on cruises are usually softer and wider than regular skateboards. Softer wheels provide a smoother experience when riding on the street because they absorb pebbles, bumps, and other uneven surfaces.

Cruiser skateboards are short, light, and simple to transport, as well as very agile. Furthermore, they are suitable for skaters who usually skate on streets and roads since they are designed for skating on flat terrain.

One of the biggest advantages of cruiser skateboards is their great portability. Their size makes them very easy to carry around, which is especially important for skaters who live in a densely populated city area. If shopping is on the agenda for the day, this compact board won’t get in the way, and you can even strap it to a bag if you need to.

Due to their smaller sizes, cruisers can make much tighter turns than their counterparts. It can greatly contribute to the learning experience and help to build confidence in new and young skaters.

The noses of cruisers are usually a lot more pointer than those of regular skateboards or longboards; this makes them a lot more aerodynamic. This attribute allows them to speed up quite nicely and reach around ten to twenty miles per hour.

You have the option to take cruisers to skate parks, which may not be the case for longboards (although not entirely impossible). They can perform a lot of the traditional tricks that a regular skateboard can, with similar maneuverability.

The Regular Type of Skateboard for Kids

Magneto Kids Skateboard | Maple Deck with Components - Designed for Kids and Teens (Checkered)

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Skateboards are the “normal” or “regular” types of skateboards designed specifically for doing tricks. Their length can be anywhere from thirty-one to thirty-three inches, and they have a width of seven and a quarter to eight and a half inches. They have been created to have the most aggressive nose and tail so that you can perform tricks.

Smaller, harder wheels are typically used on regular skateboards because they allow for much easier powerslides and other neat tricks.  Their two opposite ends are “kick-nose” and “kick-tail,” with an upward angle. Furthermore, the concave on the board’s surface turns inwards, allowing for a more stable board and easier balancing.

The Mini-Cruiser Type of Skateboard for Kids

Skateboards Kids Mini 22 inch Cruiser Beginner Skateboard Boys Board for Girl Youth Children Toddler Teenagers Adults Patinetas Dog (American Flag)

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Mini-cruisers are another excellent alternative for very young skaters and beginners! They are even smaller than standard cruisers and extra-compact while yet being ideal for flat-road riding.

You would want to get a Mini-Cruiser (a cruiser works well, too) because they are great for “pumping.” “Pumping” is the act of leaning to the side of the skateboard or doing quick turns and using aerodynamics to your advantage to pick up speed. It adds a lot of versatility to skating and allows for more speedy endeavors.

A mini-cruiser skateboard crosses between a cruiser and a mini skateboard, having bigger, softer wheels and a narrower deck. They’re also great for new riders, especially kids, because the bigger wheels give stability and appropriate size for younger riders. It can be the perfect choice for building up confidence for bigger skateboards.

The Double-Kick Type of Skateboard for Kids

WhiteFang Skateboards 31 Inch Complete Skateboard Double Kick Skate Board 7 Layer Canadian Maple Deck Skateboard for Kids and Beginners (Skate-Lane)

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A double-kick skateboard is the greatest choice for your child who wants to learn tricks and be able to ride in skateparks. A skateboard with a double kick has an upturn at either end of the deck. These upturned ends are great for tricks on either end of the board, and they’re also a lot of fun in skate bowls.

A double-kick skateboard is fun for kids of all ages. Young riders and beginners may learn and perfect various tricks on this board, which is also a good option for flat routes.

A double-kick skateboard has the same basic shape as a street skateboard, but both the front (nose) and back (tail) of the skateboard are tilted up, making tricks and freestyle simpler to accomplish while riding. They feature stronger decks and tougher wheels to withstand the force of contact when you and the board take off and land.

The Steep-Kick Type of Skateboard for Kids

Steep-Kick skateboards were made specifically for jumping. The point that the skateboard balances at the back and the front is narrower when compared to regular skateboards. It means that although you can jump a little easier, it can be more challenging to maintain your balance when you go for the landing.

What Kind of Wheels is Important for Kids’ Skateboards?

Close-up look at a skateboard's wheel.

When considering which wheels are the best pick, pay careful attention to the size of the wheels and the hardness of the wheels.

In essence, the wheel size refers to the diameter of the wheel, and it greatly affects the overall skating experience. Wheel diameter usually ranges from one-point-eight to two-point-three inches.   

Narrow wheels have less top speed than wider wheels, although they have vastly superior acceleration.  On the other hand, wider wheels have higher top speeds but lack quick acceleration speeds. These features affect how easy it is to do tricks or to jump and turn with the skateboard.

Smaller wheels are better for technical street skating, while larger wheels are more suited for skate parks or cruising around. Furthermore, harder wheels work well on streets because they slide easier and last longer. Soft wheels are better suited for parks and skate parks because they grip better and reach higher speeds.

Unless you are very specific about what you want, the best choice would be to get the best of both worlds; get wheels that are about two to two-point-two inches in diameter. It will ensure that the skateboard starts and travels quicker and doesn’t feel heavy, and it will also be easier to maneuver.

The hardness of the wheels is known as the durometer. It affects how easy it is to slide, your speed, how long your wheels last, and the surface’s impact on which you’re skating. Durometers are measured between seventy and one hundred, with harder wheels having a higher number and softer wheels having a lower number.

What Size Skateboard is Right for Kids?

Little girl riding a skateboard.

When thinking about the size of a skateboard, one of the best things to consider is the skater’s height.

A short skater on a bigger and wider skateboard will have difficulty doing tricks because the skateboard is heavier and comes with a lot more mass. As a result, it will be harder to kick-flip because it requires more pressure to lift and maneuver the skateboard. However, it will be a lot easier to land on because of its wider surface area.

On the other hand, a thin skateboard will be easier to flip-kick for kids who have smaller feet yet are harder to land on. Bigger skateboards also require your feet to shuffle around more often to get into the correct positions, and this can lead to becoming tired a lot quicker than with a smaller skateboard.

A smaller board is lighter, requiring less effort to flip, whereas a bigger board is heavier and requires more effort to flip.

Why Should You Consider the Surface of Kids’ Skateboards?

Top view of a foot resting on a skateboard covered in sandpaper.

The skateboard deck is the top of the board that you ride on. The majority of the boards are constructed of plastic or wood, most often Canadian maple. Grip tape, a sandpaper-like tape, is frequently used to cover the surface of wooden boards.

That tape is used on boards for riders of all ages and skills to protect their feet from sliding off. Some skateboards do not come equipped with grip tape, and these are largely a personal preference.

Skaters have stated that some tricks are harder to do without grip tape because depending on your footing when you land (like if your foot is too close to the edge), your feet can easily slip off and cause you to tumble to the ground.

Skateboards for Kids: Adjustable Parts

A closer look at a skateboard with green wheels.

Remember that skating is a very personalized sport, meaning a large part of the enjoyment is derived from feeling and experience. If your child shows you that the wheels on their skateboard seem unsteady or spin too quickly or slowly,  use a skate key to make a few modifications.

A skate key is a little wrench that may or may not be included with your skateboard, but it is essential for modifications. Keep in mind that a board with a tighter turn will be simpler to learn on. You may loosen it up to your child’s desire once they feel comfortable and want to push past their current limits.

Skateboards for Kids: Get the Right Shoes

Nike Mens Zoom Stefan Janoski CNVS 615957 028 - Size 13

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The Nike Stefan Janoski shoe is considered one of the best skating shoes because of its superior grip. There are many variations of this shoe, and they all share a low-profile vulcanized rubber sole with a solid grip pattern at the bottom for maximum hold. Its long toe cap and reduced toe stitching mean they are very durable against ripping.

Vans Kyle Walker Pro Shoes 9.5 B(M) US Women / 8 D(M) US Black/White

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Vans Kyle Walker Pro shoes use Van’s new “waffle-cup” design, a combination of a cup sole and a vulcanized skate shoe. The Kyle Walker Pros are slightly heavier than their counterparts, but they have superior padding and cushioning around the front and the ankle area.  The shoe is made from suede, canvas, and leather materials.

Converse Unisex Chuck Taylor All Star Pro Ox White/Red/Na Skate Shoe 4 Men US / 6 Women US

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The Converse All-Star Pro shoes are great skater shoes because of their sturdy insoles. They’re made from suede, which adds to their durability and extends their lifespan by a fair amount. However, the toe has been rubberized for flexibility and extra toe support.

Lakai Oxford Grey Heather Textile 6 D (M)

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Lakai Manchester shoes look surprisingly normal, but it is vulcanized and come equipped with a toe cap and almost no stitching. There is a surprising amount of cushioning in the toe and ankle area, and it has elastics that prevent the inside from shifting around as your feet move with the skateboard.

adidas Boy's Busenitz J Sneaker, Core Black/Running White/Metallic/Gold, 2 M US Little Kid

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Adidas Busenitz is a perfect all-around shoe. It has a sturdy amount of cushioning around the foot, particularly in the ankle area. The tongue area (the part protruding at the laces) can easily be tucked in for maximum comfort. In addition, the laces are far back so that they can be tucked away safely and don’t rip easily.

Etnies Unisex-Kid's Marana Skate Shoe, Black/Gum/White, 5C Medium US Big Kid

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The Etnies Marana shoe can be bought in both cup soles or vulcanized versions. It has a fused-on rubber toe cap that significantly boosts the durability of this shoe. Furthermore, the Etnies Marana has an impact-resistant foam mid-sole that is much softer than the standard skate sole. Its padded interior makes it great for jumping, too.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Toy Skateboards

A close-up look at a flipped toy skateboard.

The first advice for parents looking for the right skateboard for their children is to avoid buying inexpensive toy skateboards unless they want to risk endangering their children.

Toy skateboards are not designed to support a child’s weight who is doing flips, jumps, and turning maneuvers; the components wear out quickly, and the child might get seriously injured when the skateboard breaks during a trick.

Because a low-quality skateboard might cause fatal damage to your children, parents should take their children to their local skate store to receive the best advice from the sellers.

Children’s skateboards are not required for practice, which may surprise many parents; a regular skateboard can suffice. Your children will be able to skate if they can stand on the deck with one foot on the front bolt and the other on the rear of the board.

However, the only benefit of a child’s skateboard is that it has broader and larger boards. As a result, your children must spread their feet on the deck, bend their knees, and keep their center of gravity as near to the ground as possible. The riders will be less prone to tumble and will maneuver the board better if they maintain this posture.

What Else to Consider for Kids’ Skateboards?

Top view of a foot resting on a skateboard.

According to several physicians, the age of a child greatly impacts the risks involved when skateboarding. At that age, parts of kids’ bodies haven’t fully developed yet, and some skateboarding injuries can become permanent.

You can discover a board that’s appropriate to your child’s unique height and skill level once they’re of age, but don’t start them any earlier.

In addition to selecting a skateboard for children, it is critical to select high-quality safety equipment. Most skaters wear a helmet, but young skaters and beginners may require additional protection, like elbow guards or pads, in the event of a fall. While learning basic balance, safety equipment might be beneficial.

Some children may be able to learn to skate on standard skateboards. Older children and those who are taller or heavier may not require a specific skateboard designed for children. Some people can learn fine on a simple cruiser with no bells and whistles, and they may not even need a smaller board.

Conclusion

Deciding on the right skateboard will depend on desire and purpose. For primarily doing tricks, a kid would enjoy a regular skateboard. If they want to cover long distances, a longboard is the best choice to make, and cruisers are the sweet spot in between that has features of both.

References:

USA TODAY: 8 awesome skateboards for beginner boarders

The Drive: The Best Skateboard For Kids (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021

Space Coast Daily: How to Pick the Best Skateboard for Beginners, For Kids and the Recommended Brands

MomJunction: 13 Best Skateboards For Kids In 2021

The Spruce: The 8 Best Skateboards of 2021

Ronnie Sarmiento: Best Type Of Skateboard For Beginners

Shred Shack: Longboard vs Skateboard vs Cruiser (Comparison)

Skate Box: 5 SKATEBOARD MEASUREMENTS EVERY SKATEBOARDER SHOULD KNOW

Wikipedia: Longboard (skateboard)

Ogden Sikel: Why YOU should get a CRUISER BOARD and NOT a Longboard!!

Braille Skateboarding: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FREESTYLE AND REGULAR SKATEBOARDS

Jonny Giger: DO SKATERS REALLY NEED GRIPTAPE?!

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