Your kiddo just announced to you out of the blue that he or she wants to get into skateboarding. While you want to encourage your children to pursue their dreams and goals, you can’t quite shake the image of a surly and sullen skater wearing ripped jeans and dangling a cigarette out of his or her mouth. Granted, you realize this stereotype might be unfair, but you are still concerned about sending your child off to the skate park.
To set your mind at ease about your kid’s new hobby, let’s start with a history of skateboarding and its many benefits.
Skateboarding History 101
Back in the early 20th century, many families could not afford to buy their children bikes. While some kids had more affordable roller skates, they were often small and poor quality. To get around this situation, kids would cut one skate in half and nail each set of wheels to the front and back of a two by four. These were the first skateboards.
In 1959, the first commercial skateboard was produced by the Roller Derby Company and by the next year many surfers began taking up skateboarding as a fun thing to do after hitting the waves. The first skateboard shop was opened in 1962 in North Hollywood, California. It offered mail order boards and walk-in business. Now, many cities and towns have businesses that are devoted to skateboarding, selling everything from skateboards and longboards to helmets, knee pads and other accessories.
Now that you know the basic history of skateboarding, let’s see why it’s great for kids and teens.
It Gets Them off the Couch
When you think about how many kids only exercise their thumbs by endlessly texting their friends, it is a blessing that your kid wants to be active. Skateboarding gets kids outside and helps them burn about 340 calories an hour, according to Calorie Count. In addition, skateboarding helps with balance and it works the lower leg, hamstring and core muscles.
It Helps Kids Develop Their Fashion Sense
Skateboarding is about more than learning to do tricks. It involves adopting a certain look and embracing skateboard fashion. Most skaters wear specific types of clothes and accessories that are good for skating, such as Vans shoes. If your kid has not shown much interest in style and fashion up until now, getting into skateboarding may give him or her the needed inspiration to pay more attention to his or her appearance.
It Alleviates Stress
Between worrying about grades, dealing with skyrocketing hormone levels and maneuvering through rocky friendships, grumpy teachers and chores, being a teen is tough. Skateboarding has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. In addition to enabling your kid to free his or her mind while zipping along on the board, learning to do tricks and becoming an adept skateboarder builds confidence.
Skate Parks Are All-Inclusive
Unlike some activities where less-experienced kids may not feel welcome, skate parks are known for encouraging anyone to give the sport a try. Fortunately, the outdated image of a tough skateboarder getting into trouble is not accurate anymore. Most skateboarders are kids like yours who love what they are doing and who enjoy meeting others who share their hobby.
If you are still unsure, head to the park with your kid and spend some time observing. Chances are you’ll like what you see and will be happy to call yourself a mom of a skateboarder.