Skateboarding & Kids: Q&A With The Owners of the Longboard Company

Recently, my son (almost 5) has gotten really into skateboarding.  And by “really into it”, I mean it’s an actual activity he asks to do, rather than us making him do it. As I’ve seen him progress, I keep thinking what a great exercise, balance building, and just plain fun hobby it is.

When I heard about the new shop, The Longboard Company – Located in the Sheridian Shoppes in Davie, FL., I was not only excited to bring my son for a visit, but also curious what they had to say about teaching him properly.

The store itself is great, they offer rentals for customers to test drive – which is especially great for a kid. You can see if they dig it or hate it before you purchase, and it only costs $25 (which, if you like it, can be used towards the same-day purchase of a board).  The store also offers skate/surf clothing brands including Roxy, Volcom, Nixon and more – my husband loves surfer-style button downs, so this was a great element also.

The owners of the store, David Malamud and Michael Keane, were kind enough to answer all of my pertinent kids and skateboarding questions.  It really does sound like a great activity to have your kids start with (which made me feel super validated. Yay me.)

Q: What age can kids start Skateboarding?

 Skateboarding can be picked up at any age. Board technology has grown to the point that any rider can find equipment to fit their ride style or experience level. For example, Penny offers a micro board that is perfect for young riders, or skaters that don’t want to lug a large board around. On the other end of the spectrum, Longboard skateboards provide an opportunity for adults to pick up or return to their love of skateboarding. The rigid and sturdy design promotes stability and control allowing for any variation of skill level.

 Q: What kind of skateboard should a kid start with/which different boards are appropriate for what age?

There’s no easy answer to finding the right board. Every rider is different, and boards come in a variety of styles, shapes, appearances, setup, etc. When shopping for a board, it’s important to do your homework. At The Longboard Company, our staff are skaters themselves, and love to share their passion with customers. Riders can come to the shop and actually touch, feel and experience the different types of boards. This is truly the only way to find the perfect board.

 Q: How far is it safe to let your kid skateboard (like same as a bike? a scooter? on foot?)

Like any form of travel, skateboarding can quickly get you from point A to point B. Parents should view a skateboard as any other method of travel for their children, and should implement the same boundaries. All children should be supervised while learning to ride, and we always recommend a good set of pads!

 Q: Do they need to wear helmets for skateboarding?

Helmet laws vary state to state, but we highly recommend a good set of pads whenever you plan to ride. At the very least, it’ll save you a few bumps and bruises which can deter you from progressing, but it can also save your life.

 Q: Where can they go (best skate parks?) to start honing their skills?

The best place to learn how to skate is right in your own back (or front) yard. The beauty of skateboarding is that you can turn the world into a skate park. Start by getting your balance, and learning to push. After that, you can practice tricks in the grass for a soft landing on those mistakes. The Longboard Company also encourages its customers to stop by the store and pick up a few tips and tricks. Our staff truly love the sport and are happy to show anyone the ropes.

 Q: What are the best benefits (i.e. balance, muscle strength, et al) of skateboarding?

Skateboarding is fantastic for connecting the mind, body and soul. Physically, your building strength, endurance, balance and more. Your also training your mind in that skateboarding is all about physics. Each trick you learn teaches you a little bit of science. If you don’t believe us, check out any slow motion skateboard trick on YouTube. You’ll be amazed at what’s happening below your feet. Skateboarding also brings you closer to nature, allowing you to get outside, enjoy a beautiful day and find the perfect rail to grind into nirvana!

About owners David Malamud and Michael Keane:

Owners, David Malamud and Michael Keane are Entertainment Retailers that know how to add an edge to the retail experience. In 2011 they created Aqua Shop Indoor Surfing, introducing the world to the Flowrider, an Indoor Surf Experience that seemingly harnesses nature for an awesome experience for any rider. Aqua Shop has redefined the way people view shopping by creating a culture and identity within their stores. Pros from around the world visit the shop to strut their stuff, or spend some time showing amateurs the ropes.

The Longboard Company- 15651 Sheridan St. Unit 900, Davie, Florida 33331, 954-252-5410

WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL – One for the Fam

Wine & Food Festival is coming up – which is always a fun time of year for Miami.  While the festival does bring some extra beach traffic (not as much as the boat show, but more on that complaint another time), I do love the energy and excitement it brings to our city.  I don’t love the extra four pounds it always brings to my ass, though…

I’m covering a few events and will report back with fun details, but for those who aren’t budgeting hundreds of dollars to wait 45 minutes for a hamburger, and can’t get a sitter to watch our kids for 5 hours in the middle of the day while we get drunk at a “tasting” (and come back the next morning), I wanted to share this event that involves the whole family and isn’t too expensive.

On Saturday the 23rd and Sunday the 24th, Jungle Island will play host to The Fun & Fit Family Events.  Join your favorite chefs and culinary talent for two fun-filled days of food, fitness and learning at Florida Blue presents Fun and Fit as a Family sponsored by Carnival featuring Kellogg’s Kidz Kitchen at Jungle Island. Children will have the chance to explore the food garden, play sports on the beach, get their hands messy in the interactive kitchen and explore the animals of Jungle Island while learning the basics of preparing nutritious meals and having fun doing it. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO AND TICKETS. 

I’ve been to this event before and it’s definitely fun.  It has been getting more popular each year, so ARRIVE EARLY.  Another tip – if you want to watch the cooking demos – Giada, Robert Irvine, Rocco, etc. get a seat at least 20 minutes before the start. It fills up fast!


Crafting Adventures

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m really bad at arts and crafts.  And not in a self-depricating “look at my toilet paper roll turned into Mt. Rushmore…isn’t it horrible?” way, but in a – this stuff really sucks way.

Luckily, I find my kids don’t care about the results, they just love the process.  So, last weekend we were up really early and found ourselves at Michaels buying supplies at 9:30 a.m.  Yah, I’m that cool.  M wanted to make a spider, of course, and we had just finished a carton of eggs, so I researched egg carton spider crafts. Literally.  Luckily, a lot of results came up.

Our efforts produced the below.  The scene: Our craft/snack/breakfast-while-watching-TV-when we’re being bad parents table….and graffiti painted wall in the background.  My kids are trendy like that.

I’d do a step by step but I think it’s pretty self explanatory. You need – paint, egg carton, glue and pipe cleaners. We also got some cute little googly eyes, which added a lot of fun. You also need to be smarter than I am and poke holes for the legs BEFORE you’ve painted the egg carton, making it wet and flimsy.


So, again, not the coolest craft ever but the kids really enjoyed the process (including the trip to Michaels), and even played with the spiders and lady bug for a while!


Young at Art Museum

I recently got a membership to the Young at Art Museum in Davie, and I have to say, it is the BEST play/museum/activity place we have been to thus far. In ALL of Miami.

Last weekend, we went to their Winter Festival and had a great time playing in fake snow, seeing Santa (the kids were NOT into him), listening to a special musical drum performance, and making a Gingerbread House (I’ve mentioned before my craft issues, so you can guess – ours collapsed…apparently you are NOT supposed to ice the entire roof).

This was in addition their usual amazing offerings – a great play room for kids of all ages (the 1 year old loved it!), crafts, crawl spaces, etch and sketches, kids art to look at, and more.  I’ve now been three times and each time we only get to sample all there is to offer.

I couldn’t recommend this one more highly, definitely worth the drive, and if you live close enough, they also have after-school activities that seem great…

Construction Paper

So, I’m REALLY Bad at art. Like, so bad that I was the only kid in school who did not think their elephant painting was good.  I knew it sucked. If you think I’m being self-depricating, check out my recent drawing of Spiderman and the Green Goblin below (insisted upon by Max).  My husband asked me why they’re rapping.  I don’t know the answer to that.


My 3 and a half year old, on the other hand, really likes doing art projects.  So I’m trying my best to work with him. I actually love the idea of doing projects, I just suck at the execution. Now, I use the term “project” loosely, as these undertakings often end up with us sitting down, setting up paint, water, paper, and brushes and he:

a) Piles the various colors of paint on top of each other into a brown blob that rips a hole in the paper and leaks onto the table (IKEA table & chairs  – the best $19.99 I’ve EVER spent

b) Paints his inspiration onto the wall behind him – what we’ve now designated the “art wall” (if we make it sound purposeful and creative, it’s not actually ugly blobs of paint that we’re too lazy to wipe off).

c) Spills the water everywhere so the project amounts to us wiping up dirty paint water and wasting a lot of paper towel

Nonetheless, every time we paint it’s a nice chunk of time doing something quiet, creative and together.  And we always laugh.  (Max told me today I “don’t draw things in the right place”…yah that’s one way of putting it).  So, I’m trying to learn other cool crafts we can do.

My mother in law is something of a master in the craft arena, but I just never think of these ideas naturally.  It’s just not in my DNA.  I have other talents (maybe) but Van Gogh/MarthaStewart I am NOT.

So, I decided to start from the beginning.  I bought a pad of construction paper which, kindly, actually includes instructions on what to do with it – genius.  We also bought glue and kid scissors.  And we did the most basic project – make a chain of “dudes” (that’s what we called them) and color accouterments on them such as eyes, ears, smiles, and of course,  a Batman & Robin.

The result ain’t pretty but It was really fun.  We might almost be ready for step two of crafting – tissue paper? Clay? Rubber cement I can sniff and make booger balls with?