Off-road skateboarding: Crazy or cool?

If your child is a blooming thrill-seeker, they may have already noticed the increasing trend of off-road skateboarding. While traditional skateboarding is great for getting around and even doing flips and tricks, it takes a certain level of practice and skill to master it. Off-road skateboarding tends to be much easier to pick up, and it is a great way to get kids off of their devices and into the outside world for some physical activity.

Off-road skateboarding is also a great way to help kids develop dexterity and coordination abilities, as well as an easy way to get kids out of the house and into the fresh air. However, there are some considerations that go along with this purchase – and we’ve got all the information you need to make an informed decision.

What’s the difference?

While regular skateboards are very popular on the street and at skate parks, an off-road board offers the freedom to ride in a variety of different terrain: grass at the park, the sand at the beach, a gravel road, or a wooded trail. Riding on this type of terrain promotes physical balancing abilities, and it actually makes for a great source of exercise.

Motorization

The biggest difference between all-terrain and standard boards is that the electric all-terrain skateboards will have (you guessed it) an electric motor. The power of the motor allows riders to be propelled forward, even on rough ground. The motors on most standard off-road boards keep a charge for at least 10 miles before having to be recharged. This gives kids a good amount of riding time before they have to head home — good news for both of you.

Durability

All-terrain skateboards are built to withstand rough rides. From the materials used to the board’s construction, durability is a key difference that will keep the board in one piece even on some wild terrain. While standard skateboards will become damaged, scratched, or rusted, off-road skateboards will last a long time.

Tough wheels

Your kids won’t be able to get very far if their wheels aren’t up to the task. Not only are the wheels on all-terrain skateboards tough and durable, but they’re also built to help keep riders balanced and prevent them from falling off of the board.

electric skateboard closeup on pavement
Photo by Liam Martens on Unsplash

What are the downsides?

Off-road skateboards are super-durable and can handle rough rides, but do come with some negatives. While they’re not necessarily deal-breakers, it’s important to be informed when making any purchase, especially one for your children.

Price

When compared to a standard skateboard or scooter, an electric off-road skateboard is a lot pricier. All-terrain skateboards can cost anywhere between $400 and $2,000, depending on the specs. The higher the speed and the longer the battery lasts, the more expensive the skateboard will be.

Heavy and bulky

Since all-terrain electric skateboards are built for durability and equipped with a self-propelling motor, they tend to be pretty heavy. This means that small children may struggle to maneuver them and will definitely struggle to carry them should the battery die when they’ve ridden farther away.

Safety concerns

Of course, with any skateboard, there are concerns with safety. Injuries are prevalent due to the nature of skateboarding, and there are even more concerns with electric off-road skateboards. Since many models can reach speeds between 20 and 30 mph, falls could result in more serious injuries.

How can you ensure your child’s safety?

Falls are a risk when using any skateboard, so keeping speeds manageable while on an electric off-road skateboard is crucial. Make sure your kids understand that extreme caution should be used, especially when riding downhill. Additionally, make sure they have proper-fitting safety gear and that they never ride without a helmet and knee pads. Safety gear might not be the most stylish, but it beats a serious injury.

At the end of the day, only you can know whether an all-terrain skateboard is an appropriate new toy for your child. While there are safety risks, educating children about them and encouraging the practice of safe playing can go a long way in preventing them. The benefits that your child will get out of an off-road skateboard, like enjoyment and exercise, along with the benefit of building up their dexterity and coordination, could be enough to outweigh the risks.

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