Mini Skateboards

Getting it off my chest: Mini Skateboards

I often get asked for beginner skateboard recommendations, so much so, I wrote a whole piece about them. But I need to address the matter of mini skateboards.

These have a deck that’s about a foot long with regular-sized trucks. If you’ve got a particularly small child then I’d completely understand why you’d be inclined to buy one. They’re the cheapest possible skateboard you can buy.

Not too long ago I was asked by a family member if I could recommend a skateboard for their child. I scoured the web for a good-quality complete at a reasonable price and sent them some options with a variety of graphics.  

But when their boy’s birthday arrived I asked to see the board she had got him and, much to my disappointment, she pointed to one of these poor excuses for a skateboard.

Why did they opt for a mini-board? “I wanted to see if he was into skateboarding before I spent the money on a proper one”. I understand the logic but unfortunately, there’s a fatal flaw to it.

What have I got against mini skateboards? Where do I start? 

Mini Skateboard in Jail

To begin with, they’re poor quality. They’re cheap for a reason. They have wheels made of plastic that fail to grip the ground and slide around on smooth surfaces. The bearings are awful so you’ll it will struggle to even roll. The trucks will be plastic so turning won’t be an option. And the deck will be made of some crappy wood that won’t stand the test of time. 

None of that will even matter though because…

They’re lethal! The main piece of advice I give to beginner skaters is to keep your feet wide apart and bend your knees. 

The wider your base, the easier it is to stay upright. The more you bend your knees, the easier it is to adjust your weight and the lower your centre of gravity is, both helping you stay on your board.

These skateboards make it IMPOSSIBLE to keep your feet wide apart, even competent skateboarders find them extremely difficult to skate on. 

They’re not scaled-down versions of normal skateboards because the trucks and wheels are normal-sized, making it far more likely that you’re going to hit the floor when trying to use one.

Skateboarder falling down the stairs

But don’t worry, I’ve found a practical use for them! They should never be used in the place of a real skateboard but while researching for this piece I had a look at the reviews for one on Amazon and I made an amazing discovery.

Among the 52% of five-star reviews (yes, 52%, what the hell?!) I found a lot of people using them to aid their recovery after having had knee replacements. So they do have a practical use but, no surprise, it has very little to do with skateboarding.

Amazon review of mini skateboards.

If you would like to get a small child a small skateboard then be my guest but please don’t get one of these. It’ll do more harm than good.

You’ll be glad to hear that despite my family member opting for one of these death traps for their little one for his birthday, she eventually caved into my requests and got him a proper skateboard that he’s capable of balancing on.

Even better, I haven’t seen that mini-board since.

Getting it off chest: Mini Skateboards

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