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I've got a skateboard-crazed 9-year-old boy who's having no luck picking up skills on his own. I tried getting lessons/private tutoring for him through Berkeley Parks & Rec with no luck at all. Asked the folks at 510 for recommendations and came up empty again. He needs help with the basics. Are you/do you know of someone who could help? A teenage skate nut would be fine. I'm thinking 1-2 hours a week until my son gets a solid start would work. Feel free to contact me directly. timsmom
I'm looking for a skilled skateboarder to teach my husband how to ride. I know there are local coaches who teach at the CAL camp and at the Berkeley skate park.. but the focus is on youngsters. I'm hoping to find someone who is PATIENT and knows how to explain the techniques... plus someone who won't roll their eyes because their student is older and not as agile as a six-year-old. (Our six-year-old will be taking lessons later this Spring and my husband want to be able to ride with him) Thanks
I've checked both the advice and reviews archives but I guess other parents have been more successful at avoiding skateboards.
Our 9 year old's dad and I have finally agreed to succumb and I'd appreciate any advice. We are planning to sign him up for Berkeley's skateboard camp this summer. In the meantime, he's pretty small for his age -- do we get a full-size board? Some of them seem like the size of a small surf board. Can we buy a pretty cheap one? Is there one generic style that's better? Anything in particular to look for?
Is there a safety difference between skateboard and bike helmets? If we do need to get a skateboard helmet (which we might do anyway because this is a birthday present and he will probably want the ''look''), can he use it with his bike? We've got knee, elbow, and wrist protection.
Thanks for any advice (even if I didn't know enough to ask it). Someone told me to go to the high-end shop, 510, on Telegraph but it doesn't seem right to go for advice if I'm not going to shop there. Since I'll end up at a chain store, I'm not expecting expertise from the staff.
thank you! Anne
They also do not allow anything other than ''real'' skateboarding pads and advise against wrist guards altogether because they've had issues with compound fractures higher up on the forearm. I know that 510 offers a discount if you bring in your Cal camp receipt.
I had one friend whose son couldn't skate on day 1 of camp because he didn't have the right equipment. It's a shame to waste a day as the camp isn't cheap as it is.
The good news is that the good skateboards really do last. 510 fan, not a personal friend
You should remember that the skateboards sold at a skate shop have interchangeable parts - meaning that as wheels or bearings wear out or break, they can be replaced without buying a whole new board. This might not be the case with department store boards. Something to consider if you think that skating is something that your son will stick with.
I found (15+ years ago) that it was often cheaper to buy sakteboards via mail order. I see that one of my favorite catalogs, California Cheap Skates, is still around at www.ccs.com. former skateboarder
The reasons for this are that besides the fact that generic skateboards are not considered safe for anything more than very basic riding back and forth on flat ground, they also do not perform like a legitimate skateboard - they're difficult to maneuver and the wheels barely spin. For the most part, generic skateboards are more like toys, and would be the equivalent to sending your child to guitar lessons with a toy guitar. While generic skateboards can be okay for very young children to start on, a 9 year old will very quickly become frustrated when his board barely rolls and won't turn when he leans.
A 9 year old should get a regular sized board on the small side - 7.5'' wide or so. Skateboard helmets must be CPSC/bike certified now, so either a bike or skateboard helmet will work fine for both a bike and a skateboard.
Don't be afraid to go in to 510 and talk to someone about skateboards even if you ultimately decide not to buy one there - if your son ends up loving skateboarding, it will actually be less expensive in the long run to get him a good skateboard to start with. You might be surprised at how little the price difference actually is between a good skateboard and a generic, and it will make all the difference in your sons experience of skateboarding.
Feel free to email me if you have more questions - firstname.lastname@example.org. -Dandelion Harris - Local mom and co-owner of 510 Skateboarding
So hit the 510 skate shop on Telegraph, they will custom make your future Tony Hawk a board and have junior pads, the boards are big but there is a difference and these guys are cool and have made boards for my smallish 7yo and my almost 10 yo. Your gear and a good helmet(sometimes they have pads/helmets by Razor at Target for LESS) will run about $200-THEY MIGHT SMASH THE BOARD (deck) but all the components can be re-used for a while. sk8tr gurl
My daughter's wish is finally coming true -- she will soon get a skateboard for her 8th birthday. She's pretty athletic, but I've never been a skateboarder and am scared to death of the darned things. I think I've heard of some place that gives classes on skateboard technique, safety, etc. Any recommendations? Thanks, Skater Girl's mom
Hi - my son has been in awe of skateboards since he was 2 years old. He desperately wants one for his 4th bithday which is coming up soon. I don't want to buy a cheap one from a toy store, I know it needs to be good quality but not sure where to start... Advice on skateboard size for a 4 yr old and local skate stores etc. would be really helpful. (Please, no posts about safety/danger.) Thanks!! Cathy
Almost all my early falls were due to my skateboard wheels hitting a pebble or small twig, which caused the board to stop suddenly throwing me forward onto the ground. In my youth I just lived with this and eventually just learned to avoid pebbles, but ask the guys at the skateshop if there are some wheels more prone to sudden stops than others. Aran
On advice from skateboard shop owner, we got him a full size board. You want an ''adult'' board when kids first start so they can get their balance- the larger boards are best for this.
Once your son has his balance down and is solid, you can look at purchasing a shorter board which makes it easier for the smaller kids to practice tricks (lighter then the full size board).
Visit your local skateboard shop- they will have suggestions for you and you might want to request the name of any kids that may give lessons. Most of the camps won't take kids under six, so you are looking at private lessons ($15-$20/hr) to help your son get the basics. My husband skateboards, so they both go out every weekend and I take him out a few times a week. He loves skateboarding and gets lot's of practice- combination of balance and confidence.
We have a few different size boards, but he still likes and is more comfortable on the full size one. And he is not a big kid- just start with the full size board and go from there.
Have fun and of course get him a couple full sets of pads. I use one set of elbow pads for knee pads and this works quite well. Get a decent helmet- Protec is the one I've been really happy with- don't just stick a cycling helmet on him. And always reinforce wearing safety gear- if my son even goofs around on his skateboard at home without a helmet on it's gone for the rest of the week. Hope this helps. RTL
My 8YO son is desparately hoping that we can find a great camp for next summer where he can learn Fencing, Archery and Skateboarding. He's never had a chance to do any of the above, so we need an introductory-level setting. Other than that, some swimming, art and building/science time would be wonderful. We know about Sports and Science camp, but it appears they won't have archery or fencing for his age group in summer of 2008. We hope to find a full day camp between El Cerrito and Oakland-- any suggestions? Mom of Modern Knight
For parents of SKATEBOARDERS: if you have a kid (over 10 years) who needs something to do this summer, there's a brand new skateboard clinic at the Alameda skateboard park starting June 18. Runs through Aug 31st. Weekly sessions 10-3:30pm. They are signing up kids now. Call 510/666-1140 for registration forms, etc. Lynn
July 2004 update: a parent reports that no one answers this phone number, although she did find a listing using google.
Where is the hottest skate park in the Bay Area? Oakland/Berkeley would be best but willing to drive. m
I would appreciate suggestions for places my 12-year-old can skateboard safely and legally. We are familiar with the Albany and UC Berkeley skateparks, but would like recommendations on places that are closer to North Berkeley/El Cerrito and have less restricted hours. Do any schools allow skateboarding on their paved areas after hours? Thanks. Cheryl
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