The Board Blazers Blog


Skateboarding to School

You’ve seen plenty of kids biking and walking to school, so why not skateboard? Alternative forms of transportation are great for the environment, and they get the heart pumping! But before you ditch the car or the bus, there are a few things to consider. Is your child ready to ride all the way to school? This question is especially fraught if your kiddo’s commute to the classroom is solo. Allowing your child to go anywhere unsupervised is an enormous decision, and deeply personal. But today we hope to help ease that decision-making burden and shed some light on how to tell if and when your child is ready to ride their skateboard to school and potentially alone. As is always the case with matters of safety, we urge you to listen to your gut and use common sense to make the safest decision for your family. Now let’s jump right in…

Skateboarding to school brings many advantages over biking. One of the largest is that the opportunity for theft diminishes significantly since your child can likely bring his or her board into their classroom or store the board in their locker. On the whole, bikes are far more likely to be stolen than skateboards, so choosing to opt for the board better protects your investment! Not just a sound investment, skateboards can also increase your student's style amongst their peers (all the cool kids are doing it, mom!), especially when their board is outfitted with the sickest accessories! And ultimately, concerning safety, many parents prefer skateboards to bikes for school transportation since bikes are relegated to the street, and skateboards are better for the sidewalks. This increases the distance from car traffic to your child, making them inherently safer.

And while we are all thrilled about skateboarding being safer, there are still many factors to consider when deciding on a commute. How can you know when a child is ready to use a board to commute to school? If the child is traveling with you, your main concerns will be the child listening to you, and whether the child is physically capable of pushing the board all the way to and from school while wearing his or her backpack. Try taking a few practice walks together. Does your kiddo quickly tire of the board and ask to walk or be carried? Do they listen when you ask them to stop or slow down? A child who is ready to board to school should enjoy longer jaunts on their skateboard and listen attentively when they are given instructions, particularly when car and pedestrian traffic is involved.

But what about determining when your child is ready to commute to school alone? As we mentioned, this is highly personal, and this article isn’t meant to be prescriptive. But we will offer you a few strategies to help your family make the best decision. First, you should be sure that your child knows the necessary traffic and safety rules. Looking both ways before you cross the street is a great start, but traffic safety is much more complicated. Your child should be well versed in the standard hand signals (turning left, turning right, stopping, slowing down, etc.) as well as knowledge of traffic patterns. Skaters should always ride with traffic – never against it! Anyone who walks or rides on a heavily trafficked street should also have respect for vehicle traffic and always assume a vehicle will not be looking for them on the sidewalk. A child who is cavalier about car traffic is not ready for this freedom.

You will also want to determine the best and safest route for your child to travel while commuting. Just because the route is shortest does not make it the best. When choosing their route you should consider the following:

  • How many times will your child cross a minor or major street? 
  • How heavily trafficked are the streets along the route? 
  • Are crossing guards are available?
  • Is the sidewalk wide enough and in decent condition?
  • What is the total distance your child will travel?
  • Should your child become hurt or afraid, are there ample resources around for help?


Finally, you will want to asses your child’s personal level of responsibility. This is inherently hard to quantify, but when your child travels alone, he or she should have a healthy respect for and skepticism of unknown people and situations. You may want to use the following questions as a guideline for determining responsibility and safety readiness (often called the Test of Twelve):

1. Does your child know how to honor his feelings? If someone makes him uncomfortable, that's an important signal.
2. Are you as the parent strong enough to hear about any experience your child has had, no matter how unpleasant?
3. Does your child know it's okay to rebuff and defy adults?
4. Does your child know it's okay to be assertive?
5. Does your child know how to ask for assistance or help?
6. Does your child know how to choose who to ask? For example, he should look for a woman with children to help him.
7. Does your child know how to describe his peril?
8. Does your child know it's okay to strike, even to injure, someone if he believes he is in danger, and that you'll support any action he takes as a result of feeling uncomfortable or afraid?
9. Does your child know it's okay to make noise, to scream, to yell, to run?
10. Does your child know that if someone ever tries to force him to go somewhere, what he yells should include, ''This is not my father''? Onlookers seeing a child yell or even struggle are likely to assume the adult is a parent.
11. Does your child know that if someone says, ''Don't yell,'' the thing to do is yell? The corollary is if someone says, ''Don't tell,'' the thing to do is tell.
12. Does your child know to fully resist ever going anywhere out of public view with someone he doesn't know, and particularly to resist going anywhere with someone who tries to persuade him?

While these are decidedly unpleasant things to dwell upon, they are essential qualities to assess. While your child will hopefully not encounter anything sinister on their commute, readiness is necessary in case the situation ever arises.

Whenever you determine that your child is capable of commuting to school solo, we always recommend a cell phone, if only for emergencies. If you live close to your child’s school in a heavily residential area, you may be able to send them to school solo at a younger age versus a dense urban area. Whatever the case, take the time to make an informed decision that fits your particular family.

Skateboarding to school brings incredible freedom and fun for your child! Suddenly meeting up with friends before or after school becomes more accessible. Commuting becomes less like a chore and something to actually look forward to. Whenever your child is ready, we can’t recommend it highly enough! If you find yourself needing recommendations for skate gear (think safety, moms and dads!) head over here for our very top picks!


Let's hang out!

Hit us up in your favorite spot.

Drop into Discounts!

Snag secret savings, super sweepstakes, and sweet swag!

Got the write stuff?

Now welcoming guest posts from our skate fam! Send us your topic ideas.

10 Life Lessons From Skating

 The sport of skating can offer so many benefits to those who are willing to attempt it. Like many other mostly individual sports (golf, tennis, etc.) it can teach us a myriad of things about life, our community, and ourselves. Today we bring you ten of our favorite life lessons from skating!

 



1. Taking Risks – When you picture a skater in your mind are they engaging in any of these risky behaviors: skating down enormous flights of stairs, grinding on park benches, perhaps using their younger siblings as jumping obstacles? They probably are! And while that can seem frightening and dangerous, risk-taking is an ART that is necessary for success in our society. You can’t go from having the next big idea to running a Fortune 500 company without learning to take and manage risks. And skaters are learning and perfecting this skill from the moment they begin. Just daring to place both feet on a single rolling piece of wood is a risk for many! From there we learn how to turn, jump, ollie, kickflip and so much more.

2. Safety – Hand in hand with risk-taking comes this necessary life skill. While many of the physical risks of skating can seem huge, it’s easy to mitigate them with gear (helmets, pads, etc.) and proper preparation. While injury can happen, skating is physically one of the safest sports out there! No one is repeatedly hitting you in the head like a football player, and there is no risk of a fastball to the face like in baseball. And while it might be riskier than the chess club, the skater is in control of his or her own risk. The control allows a skater to be as safe as they want to be. To be extra safe while skating at night, we always recommend Board Blazers to help light the way!

3. Exercise – Skating is incredibly physically demanding, while simultaneously being great fun! It’s one of those sports where you can exercise without even realizing what a sweat you’ve built up. The mental and physical benefits of exercise are well proven, and we couldn’t possibly list them all here, but among them are a longer lifespan, lower blood pressure, better mental health and relationships with family and peers. Skating can be just as beneficial as exercise as any other sport!

 


4. Ingenuity – The world is a skater’s playground. “Could I skate that?” is a familiar refrain for skaters. While other sports often take place on a predetermined court or field, any place can be a new challenge for skaters. It takes creativity and imagination to keep skating exciting and fresh. Did you catch our post about where to skate without a skate park? Read it here!

5. Grit – There are so many names for this: follow through, stick-to-it-iveness, staying the course… Grit is one of the least understood but most valuable traits in our culture, and real skaters have it in spades. All skaters will tell you that “inborn talent” is a total myth. Do you want to be a great skater? Get out and work your butt off. It takes time, after time, after time, after time (etc.) to land and then perfect just ONE skill. Skaters know it’s all about the journey and the effort you give to the sport. Skaters are some of the most dedicated people out there.

6. Respect – While skating culture can get a bad rap for being irreverent, skaters know that respect is an essential part of skating culture. You have to respect the board, respect your self and your limitations, respect other skaters, respect property, and maybe most importantly, respect gravity! While skaters do maintain tons of control in their sport, there are still outside forces for which they have to learn deference.

7. Recovery – Everyone wipes out; it’s part of skating. And while it can be tempting to walk away after repeated failures, skaters know that you’re always just one solid try away from landing that next trick! You’ll never find anyone as committed to perfection as a skater, and that requires getting up off of the ground after you flop for the 10th time. If you fall 10 times, you must get up 11 times.

 



8. Passion – Skaters develop a love for the board, for how it rides under your feet, for that feeling of hang time, for the rush of finally landing that trick… And developing a genuine love for something outside of yourself sets you up for success in just about every other arena of life. Be it personal relationships, or business skills, your best hope at success is putting your passion behind whatever you do.

9. Lifetime Hobby – When is the best time to start skating? NOW! You can begin to skate at literally almost any age (We can prove it to you here!). Kids can skate as soon as they walk, and Tony Hawk is famously quoted as saying, “I won’t quit skating until I am physically unable.” Think you’re too young or too old to skate? Think again!

10. FUN! – Skaters, OF COURSE, take their sport very seriously. But they have a ton of fun and loads of laughter while they’re at it. Skating is exciting, risky, and challenging, but at the end of the day, it’s a BLAST.

There’s so much to learn from this crazy great sport we love. And while we would never have time to tell all of the great life lessons from skating, we hope we covered a few that you love. Have we missed any? Hit us up on Instagram at @BoardBlazers and let us know!

Image 1, Image 2, Image 3


Let's hang out!

Hit us up in your favorite spot.

Drop into Discounts!

Snag secret savings, super sweepstakes, and sweet swag!

Got the write stuff?

Now welcoming guest posts from our skate fam! Send us your topic ideas.

7 Benefits of Skateboarding

While we all know it’s fun, skateboarding has even more benefits that you might not expect. In fact, many fail to realize the potential and beautiful advantages that skateboarding can bring. Therefore, we’ve come up with some of the main reasons why you should skateboard and the benefits of skateboarding.

1. Staying Fit and Healthy

Like any other sport that encourages us to get outside and put our muscles to work, skateboarding is a way to stay fit and healthy. Constant practice can provide a heart-pumping cardio boost. It can also reduce stress and fatigue levels. If you have healthy joints and enough courage to take to the streets, skateboarding is a sport easy to master and requires minimal equipment. This Men’s Fitness article lists just a few reasons why skateboarding is such a good workout.

Skateboarding is a full-body, muscle-building workout. When skating you engage muscle groups throughout your body, as seen here:

Muscles Used While Skateboarding

Thanks to Brandon for providing his custom infographic, and learn more about the muscles used for skateboarding on his site!  

2. Transportation

Skateboarding is definitely linked with the urban environment and becomes a great way to explore it. As you switch between streets, sidewalks, or parks, there is no other means of transport more suited for the unpredictability you will find while cruising around the city. One of the greatest benefits of skateboarding is not skating at all: you can always walk and carry your board without the hassle of locking up a bike! For some commuters, skateboarding can be a practical decision, as you no longer need to worry about finding a parking space or a way to keep your bike safe from theft. Skateboarding thrives around college campuses as well as many pedestrian-friendly urban areas.

(Photocred: http://xgames.espn.go.com/)

3. The Ultimate Tourist Experience

Exploring a city shouldn’t be a “by the book” activity. Forget about the city tour that links some major monuments and the most iconic buildings. Pass on any guide telling you where to take a right turn and where you can find the best meal in town. Every city is much more than the sum of its highlights. One of the benefits of skateboarding is being able to see the environment around you in a different light, through the eyes of a local. Thus, skating around the streets of a new metropolis can be the ultimate tourist experience. While driving doesn’t offer the same intimate connection, walking is definitely too slow to allow you to cover enough ground in a limited amount of time. 

4. Learn Street Smarts (Literally)

Despite a reputation of danger, skateboarding can be much safer with the right safety equipment. For someone hitting the streets on their own for the first time (like a child), skateboarding is a great way to learn traffic rules. Therefore, another benefit of skateboarding is learning traffic interactions and becoming more aware of your surroundings. The more knowledge and experience that is accumulated from a young age, the safer driver you will become. Seeing the road from a different perspective than behind the steering wheel can be a blast, but here are some applicable traffic rules for those that bicycle or skate along the streets.

(Photocred: http://kroq.cbslocal.com/)

5. Meet New People

Needless to say, skaters are some of the most interesting, quirky, and inclusive people you’ll ever meet. At the skatepark, a shared love of a skating brings everyone together. Skateboarding can bring a child closer to his/her parent or even set the foundation of new neighborhood friendships. Where there is something free to be enjoyed together, friendships and other positive relationships flourish. Skateboarding can build bridges between generations and different social backgrounds, ultimately bringing people together and offering a great outlet to meet new people.

6. It’s Fun!

Regardless of the other benefits, we can definitely say that skateboarding is a major source of fun and quality time. The mix of speed, hanging with friends, and getting outdoors to enjoy your city are an awesome combo. Each ride becomes a new experience, a chance to see the city and its people in a different light. For some, skateboarding represents skateboarding provides an identity, a social group, and a creative outlet that is irreplaceable.

7. Skating’s Cool

For most kids, the idea of riding a skateboard has nothing to do with staying healthy, learning traffic rules, or exploring the city. Most of all, skating is cool! Skateboarding can offer acceptance, respect, and a peer group. Skateboarding’s not just a hobby or a sport – it’s an entire lifestyle.

Why do you absolutely love to board?

 

About The Author:

Yogin Patel HeadshotYogin Patel is a serial entrepreneur who currently attends Arizona State University. At the age of 16, Yogin became an independent marketing consultant, along with an avid blogger and online marketer. In the past year, Yogin has worked with several small businesses, including local restaurants, hotels, and personal brands. He builds clean websites, ranks businesses on the first page of Google, and manages social media for brands. In his free time, Yogin likes to read thought-provoking books and play basketball with friends. To learn more about Yogin, or to get in touch with him, go to YoginPatel.com, or add him on his LinkedIn. Yogin blogs at Doolid.com.


Let's hang out!

Hit us up in your favorite spot.

Drop into Discounts!

Snag secret savings, super sweepstakes, and sweet swag!

Got the write stuff?

Now welcoming guest posts from our skate fam! Send us your topic ideas.