Does your child want to learn how to skateboard? We should always encourage any type of physical activity our children have an interest in. Sports participation is declining in Canada and our children need to get outdoors and get active!
As a father, who has spent more than 30 years skateboarding at parks all over North America, I know how a little bit about what you need to have a good experience skateboarding. Here are 5 tips to make the time spent at the skate park the best it can be.
1) Bring a litre of water and a snack; it will be consumed either during the session or on the ride home. Dehydration leads to heat stroke and impaired operation of the scooter, bike or board being ridden, which can lead to more serious accidents.
2) Sunscreen and a hat are very important. When the helmet comes off, the hat goes on. Skate parks are often exposed to direct sun so wear sunblock and cover up.
3) Get to know the park, for example assess which obstacles and ramps are for the more experienced rider. Talk to your son or daughter about knowing their limits and safe risk calculation. If you want to try the park out with no one else will be there, go early Saturday or Sunday morning. The parks are usually empty before 9:00am.
4) Bring safety equipment, go online and check out the park requirements, hours of operation and facilities. It is very frustrating to get kicked out of a park or get a no helmet fine, just because you forgot your helmet or ID.
5) Bring the appropriate tools to adjust/repair boards, bikes or scooters. This is also a good way to make acquaintances, who need to repair their boards, bikes or scooters at the park.
Skateboarding is an excellent aerobic work-out and it is not as dangerous as you might think. There are many other sports that cause more injures. It is an independent activity that costs a lot less than most other organized sports. It builds confidence and facilitates creative thought. Get out there and have fun!