Skateboarding is an outstanding sport for children, it gets them outdoors,
it keeps them active, it develops discipline and self-esteem.
Yet, ignoring the obvious benefits, parents tend to encourage more 'organized' activities instead.
The physical exertion level associated with longboarding exceeds that of many, more traditional activities for children. As a parent and a skater, I personally prefer to see them longboarding and here are some reasons why:
Longboarding bolsters independent creativity and critical thinking skills. It takes thought to look at a pile of debris and turn it into a skate park. It takes intense focus to learn a new trick or technique. While true that team based activities demand the same level of dedication, it is associated with a culture of allegiance.
Any parent with active kids will agree that scheduling can be a nightmare; when skateboarding, you can forget worrying about scheduling conflicts. Longboarding can be practised at leisure and most invest more time, for they control the schedule. The only scheduling factor results from participation in events.
Continuing the trend of independence, Longboarding requires no coach. As a parent, one of the things I find dissatisfying about organized sports is certain coaches demands of the children, combined with the rigid scheduling, it be difficult at the best of times.
Although longboarding requires the purchase of appropriate equipment for age and ability, I believe that it is less expensive long-term than more organized alternatives. After the initial investment in a quality longboard, helmet and safety gear, longboarding is virtually free and does not require commuting to a rink or field.
Longboarding and its community of participants begets a lifestyle of lifelong friendships that span the globe. The Toronto community readily embraces new skaters, providing a safe environment to learn. Longboarding is an activity all parents should consider for their kids, especially if neighbourhood friends are already active skaters.
Feel free to call or drop by the shop with questions about what longboarding has to offer your children, one parent to another.