Inline Skating for Kids: A Parent's Guide

Hello Hello. Stephen @Whataspoon here. In this guide we will dive deep into kids skates and hopefully answer a few questions you may have about skates for children. We have a large range of kids skates in our store and on our website. Let me take you through the selection to give you a better idea, talk about the size ranges and we can also tell you ways of how to start your kids skating journey safely. A big thanks to our Slicks Skate Crew riders, Ilaria and Noah, for the photos.
@ilariadimaio_99 and @skater_noah.

Choosing the Right Inline Skates for Your Child

First of all we need to look at sizing. Luckily, for most cases, it is relatively easy to choose the correct size of skates for your child as most of the kids skates we offer come with adjustable sizing. This can come in two main forms with some having moving parts that allow the skate to get bigger, usually with the click of a button, and with others having removable insoles inside therefore leaving more room inside once removed. These particular skates will come with a size range on the box so you can safely choose the skate that has your child's shoe size on there. If your child is the last size on the range then it may be advised to go up to the next size range or to look at a different brand to see which one suits your kids foot size better. Of course you will want your child to be as close to the smallest size as possible so you can get good use out of the skate.

For example the one of the Rollerblade skates that we have for kids comes with the size range 1-4UK then 4-7UK but the K2 option goes from a 13-4UK then 3-7UK. If your child is a size 3UK then it would be advised to go for the K2 3-7UK option instead of the Rollerblade 1-4UK option.

Next we need to look at the materials used. Now this really depends on what type of skating your child will do. If they are small and delicate and want to just simply roll around in the park then a soft comfortable option would be advised. If they are more likely to smack their skates off of walls and jump on top of obstacles then a plastic boot would be a much more durable option.

Another thing to consider would be the level of your child's skating. If they have never skated before then a standard soft skate would be great for them to learn the basics but if they have skated before and already know what they are doing then you may need to consider whether you should choose an adjustable skate or not. If your kid is looking to get into a certain discipline of skating like skatepark or slalom then you might need to purchase some skates that can handle those types of activities. Slalom skates tend to have a rockering in the wheel where the front and back wheels are slightly raised making it easier to perform the types of tricks done in slalom. If your child is looking to get into aggressive skating then you may need to consider an aggressive skate with grind plates on the side so they can perform grind tricks in the skatepark.

Teaching Your Child to Inline Skate

When it comes to teaching kids how to skate, the main objective is to keep them enjoying themselves. As an instructor, whenever I teach kids, I try to motivate them with little objectives instead of simply getting them to skate. Send them to retrieve something or to go to someone instead of just simply telling them to skate. It would also help if they do not need to skate alone. If you can find them a friend, brother/sister or even yourself as a parent to learn alongside them that will certainly keep them motivated.

I would also definitely recommend lessons as instructors can kill bad habits straight away before they even start to avoid a long process. At Slick's we recommend using but there are many great instructors out there who you can use to help kick start your kids skating journey. You may even find clubs that do school holiday camps which can be a great place to take your kids to keep them active outside of school terms.

Safety Tips for Kids' Inline Skating

Get them to wear pads and a helmet. When I was learning to skate I was forced to wear protective gear or else I would not be allowed to use my skates. The pads had to be on first before the skates. This had many benefits like keeping me from hurting myself but also kept me smiling even whilst falling over. Kids are clumsy and will 100% fall over whilst learning so it would be much better for them to land on the pads, laugh, then continue rather than falling, scraping their knees, then coming to you crying. Another thing to keep in mind is the location you are skating. Avoid areas with broken glass or uneven surfaces and stick to smooth flat ground or a roller disco to start. You can even start in a skatepark assuming it's not full of huge ramps or extremely busy with older users. I recommend going at quieter times, learning skatepark etiquette or joining a club who does skatepark classes.

Now it is time for your child to enjoy the magical world of inline skating. I started as a child at the age of 8 in a skatepark with a club. I firmly believe that learning how to fall over and try again on skates worked its way into my brain allowing me to fail and try again in other aspects of life.