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