Skateboarding and Skateparks aren’t typically the first things you’d think of when trying to come up with a family-friendly activity, but I’m going to tell you why they should be.
At first, I was reluctant to take my kids to our local skate park, thinking it’d be filled with punky teenagers doing nefarious activities and being bad influences. I was totally wrong. If you go to a skatepark these days, you’ll find it is filled with kids around 2 or 3 years old up to adults. Kids on skateboards, scooters, balance bikes practice their coordination without the risk of rogue pebbles or cracks in the pavement derailing them. Some parents look on, giving beginner skateboarders enthusiastic thumbs up and words of encouragement, some parents are right in there with their kids, passing down ideas and tips from when they started skateboarding.
Recently at our local skatepark, a teenage boy approached my son (6) and showed him the best way to keep his feet on the board for balance, and for when he is ready to start doing tricks. Since this was a cool, older kid, my son obviously hung on every word. Another time a group of teenagers on skateboards all cheered and clapped for another much younger kid who had landed a new trick. Everyone takes turns, watches out for each other, and are quick to give compliments and encouragement. So awesome.
Another reason skateboarding is the perfect family activity is because once you have a cool Carter SB skateboard and helmet, it’s free! Skateparks don’t typically cost a thing, and they get you outside and staying active. There are some indoor skate parks which are cool too but can cost a minimal fee per use.
Here are a few tips that we've picked up along the way and make hitting the skate park super easy:
- Keep your board and helmet in the car! Keeping this stuff in your car means you are ready whenever the mood strikes, or the kids have energy to burn. Have 20 minutes to kill? Find a cool hill or parking lot. Pencil in a few extra minutes to stop at the local skate park before heading out to your errands or dinner.
- Don’t be intimidated! Skate parks have everyone from beginner skateboarders to experienced riders practicing. Everyone is still respectful and takes their turns, and it gives your kids a chance to see what they can do on their boards if they keep practicing.
- If you are traveling to a new city, look up local skate parks before you go. Work in a little extra time to your schedule and go check them out. They all have different hills and bowls so it’s cool to try a variety.
- Visit an indoor skate park if the weather isn’t good. These parks have some awesome ramps and an encouraging group of people to help you, whatever level skater you or your kid might be. If you are in the Seattle area, we like All Together Skatepark.
And here are a couple of good resources for finding skateparks:
- Dan’s Skate Page: Dan’s website is super basic, but he has visited an unbelievable number of skate parks, and was nice enough to make a list of them with big pictures of each.
- GoSkate.com: GoSkate is a cool resource to find skateboard lessons, instructors, but also has a pretty comprehensive Skate Park directory you can search in your area.
- CarterSB.com: And of course, Carter SB. Be sure to pick up a cool, old-school inspired board and teach your kid about the art of skateboarding before you hit the skatepark! Have fun! 😊