Yes, that sounds like an oddly specific category, but tastes change monumentally between the ages of 7 and 11. What was cool at the end of third grade is so often passé by the time they’re into the spring semester of fourth grade.
They grow so fast at this point, too. They’ve evolved their visual acuity, hand-eye coordination, and their fine motor skills. They’re up for an adventure, and don’t necessarily want to have an adventure on a board which looks like it’s meant for their kid sister.
Neither do you want them roaring around on a board which they can barely get their feet across.
But there is so much choice out there, so where do you start?
We’ve picked five of our favorite boards for the kids that sit in the middle of the made-for-children product bracket. If there’s one thing that all five boards have in common, it’s that you don’t have to assemble them. You can spend your time, sweat and energy on watching them hurtling around in a terrifying manner, instead. If you’re in a hurry, hop right to the first board on our list.
If you’ve got a moment to get your thoughts in order afterward, we’ve provided a little buyer’s guide and answered some frequently asked questions.
Top 5 Best Skateboard for 8 Year Old
OUR TOP PICK
White Fang boards are cool, no doubt about it. They’re a great choice for the 8-year-olds with aspirations to pass for 10-year-olds, or for those who are taller or have bigger feet. Regardless of your child’s size, this board will give them street cred.
Let’s check out the build first. The White Fang boasts 52mm wheels made of 95a high rebound wheels with bushings of the same rigidity. It’s decked out with ABEC-9 precision bearings for that speedy, fly feel while on the move. The combination of high-spec bearings and responsive bushings makes this a smooth and sleek ride: rewarding for experienced skaters and encouraging for newbies. It’s a nimble board, yet sturdy enough to bear up to 330lb. This is great news for parents who like to teach by example.
Part of its robust feel comes from the board’s strength, made from 7 layers of Canadian Maple, and generous surface area (31.75” long by 7.88" wide). It’s designed for both beginners and more skilled riders, featuring a double kick and dissymmetric concave at each end. This helps kids to master the board faster and learn a wider range of new tricks.
Fashioned in minimalist monochrome on top and with a heat-printed transfer pattern on the base, your child is unlikely to grow out of the size or look of this board for many years. An older sibling could borrow this with no damage to their street cred (but probably under dire injunctions to return it unscathed).
- Excellent value for money
- Can handle rougher terrain
- Fast and smooth
- Great for a range of ages from 8 and over
- Robust yet light (4.8lb shipping weight)
- Could be a little wide and unwieldy for smaller kids
With this board, we’ve moved from the seriously cool board for the bigger 8-year-olds to a more universal board aimed at children across a younger age range. The Skitch is ostensibly marketed at children 4-13 years. You wouldn’t be alone in being skeptical about the suitability of the board for the extreme ends of this age range, but 8-9 year olds land in the sweet central spot, where they can boss their skating career as a beginner or a more advanced boarder.
The Skitch is fitted with high-traction 85a gel wheels and ABEC-9 bearings, the combination of which creates a buttery-smooth cruise experience on flats and turns. The board is designed to be adaptable. You can adjust the high-quality bushes to maximize (or minimize) speed and suitability for their riding style. Beginner skaters tend to bend significantly at the knees while they’re learning to balance but straighten up more as they become more proficient, much like skiers.
You don’t want bushes so springy that your children over-lean on corners, or so rigid that they struggle to control momentum from the knees down as their posture improves. The Skitch’s adjustability makes it a great long-term investment as it can grow with your child’s weight and expertise.
The board comes with a vibrant Blue Galaxy design, backpack, nifty T-tool and tote bag. This makes it a perfect birthday or Christmas gift.
- Great suspension
- Comes in a generous package (including backpack)
- Suitable for a range of skill levels
- Though the construction of the board is highly durable, the decoration takes a battering rather more quickly
- The price (if you want to buy more than 1 for siblings)
The Skatro is our second dearest product, after the Skitch. It features 3-inch aluminum trucks, 59mm diameter wheels and a plastic deck. Skatro takes a great deal of pride in two unique aspects of their board.
Firstly, their bearings are made of bearing metal rather than carbon steel, which grinds down more quickly to lose their spherical property, and thus introduce friction over time. Skatro’s bearings give you a longer ride off a single push, which is more rewarding for little legs. Those little legs will also be grateful for the waffle patterning on the deck for better traction.
Their second element of pride concerns their manufacturing process for ensuring optimum flex in their decks. The plastic fusion element involves a specialized calculation and combination methodology to ensure that the precise volumes of plastic injection are correct. Each board is then subjected to stringent pressure checks. The board should be sturdy and yet with enough flex to enable the rider to roll their weight across the board and achieve the right speed and balance.
This skateboard is designed to be adjustable. There is a T-tool included, color coded to your choice of board. The board itself is sleek and comes in seven color variations.
- Looks like a grown-up board
- Great for ensuring correct balance
- Fast and maneuverable
- Some feedback comments suggest that the trucks aren’t particularly easy to adjust, despite the provision of the tool
This plastic mini cruiser skateboard is Amazon’s choice for kids’ boards aged 6 to 12. This board suits an 8-year-old who wants something light (3.8lb), reliable, and highly visible.
It truly punches above its weight, able to handle a 200lb load. Though comparatively narrow (6 inches, as is standard for a penny board design) It’s kept nicely stable with 3.25” trucks.
A light, plastic board might lead you to assume that it will have the same strength and longevity as a toy, but this isn’t the case at all. It’s robust enough to have been CE certified, provides a lovely, stable ride for beginners, and performs just as strongly as many of the leading brands. The rear of the deck angles up just under an inch, which is enough for them to start learning a few tricks, but doesn’t provide so much of a slope at the back that they struggle to balance.
There are three unique selling points with this skateboard. Firstly, it’s a great budget option and you might be able to get two for siblings close in age for the price of a single board for a more skilled, slightly older child.
Secondly, the generous range of designs (16 color schemes) make this board nicely unisex.
Thirdly, the Meketek board has big, soft polyurethane wheels with a 78a durometer rating. They’re 60mm across the diameter and 45mm deep, which makes for a much smoother ride over less forgiving terrain. This is a significant bonus for kids who may have balance problems.
All in all, it’s a fun and safe low-cost option for beginners or nervous riders.
- One of the lightest and most portable boards
- Stable yet allows for easy leaning
- Can’t modify this to the child’s needs
Our final product sits in the middle of the price range, having been reduced from $54.99. It follows the trend of taking the penny cruiser style, is 22” in length, and 6” across the body of the board. The kicktail is generously inclined, giving control while zig-zagging a corner or slalom. The Beleev has great, soft, wide (59mm) wheels which handle terrain quietly, and without fuss. It’s made of flexible polypropylene plastic, has aluminum trucks 3.25" wide, and a waffle-effect deck surface. It also comes with an inclusive T-tool.
In many ways, this product will remind you of the Skatro. Like the Skatro, it has a winning design combination (minus the stress-testing and its more durable bearings).
The Beleev doesn’t look as grown-up as the Skatro, but then, it’s not meant to. It’s like the Skatro’s caffeinated younger brother. The Beleev is kitted out not with sleek lines and underbelly hand grips, but LED lights embedded in the wheels. They’re kinetically charged, so you’ll never need batteries. Want to see if your young ‘un is fooling around outside after dark? The wheels will give them away, even if the sound of the wheels is faint.
- Good value for money
- Cheerful design
- Long-lasting and resilient
- Big wheels for that extra stability over non-uniform surfaces
- Although the board can support considerable weight (up to 220lb), it does feel unstable for bigger kids with a little too much flex.
Best Skateboard for 8 Year Old Buyer’s Guide
There’s our quick run-through of our five favorite boards. As promised, here’s a consolidated list of the factors to take into account when choosing what to buy.
Kids shoot up like rockets these days, and it’s not uncommon to take them shoe shopping and find, with horror, that they’re already filling a size 7 shoe. If your 8 year old happens to be on the taller size, or if they have size 6.5 feet and above, then perhaps steer away from the penny glider style and look for a longer, broader board of 7” board or wider.
Agility and Balance
Some kids are just plain agile. They can race along beams barely three inches wide and make you reach for a stiff drink when they hurdle things which should not be hurdled. You will have a pretty good idea of how long it will take your child to outgrow a board which comes with fixed settings, and which is intended for a beginner. If you think that a beginner’s board will have a short active lifespan in your home, then go for one which is adjustable.
If your child has residual balance issues, this does not mean that they shouldn’t try to skate. The movement involved in training their core muscles to help with balance is good for developing the vertical and horizontal stability they need for day to day comfort. Perhaps aim for a beginner’s board which can be adjusted as they grow more skilled, and where possible opt for wider trucks and wheels.
Let’s assume for a moment that the board itself is tough, the casters and trucks sturdy, and the bushings and bearings as good as new even after two or three years. Even the surface is still grippy.
But will it still look good in a year’s time? Will it become vintage, or just tatty? Will it be carried proudly as a retro item, or disowned and left in a small cupboard? The aesthetic design is something to take into account if you want your child to remain interested in it, or if you want to be able to gift this to a younger sibling until they get a board of their own.
Minimalist designs are unlikely to go out of fashion at any point, whereas a board which is styled for a particular fandom (like those in the Playwheels range) can fall in and out of favor as rapidly as the characters they’re celebrating.
Make Skateboard Bushings work for your child
Skateboard truck bushings are rubbery rings (usually made of polyurethane) that enclose the kingpins which connect the truck (housing the axle) to the board’s baseplate. There are four bushings on each skateboard, two on each kingpin.
The bottom bushing sits between the kingpin hole in the truck and the baseplate. The top bushing sits between the kingpin hole in the truck and the wheels. It is these (the top bushings) which help your board trucks to pivot smoothly. Skateboards will come with their own bushings, but they can be bought independently and swapped out to suit your needs. They’re all the same size, but they provide a different degree of rebound.
So, how do you know what kind of bushings your board comes with? There are two scales for measuring the rigidity (or hardness) of the material in the bushings. The Durometer A scale goes from 1-100, 100 being the least flexible.
A soft wheel: anything from 78a-90a
A standard, responsive wheel: 90-98
A hard wheel: 99a and above
It is easier to turn on softer bushings, and easier to balance on softer wheels. Skateboards specifically designed for beginners usually come with a 90a wheel. If your child is already an experienced skater for their tender years and wants to learn tricks, they might want a harder bushing. Anything from 90-95a will help a beginner learn their new hobby without too much frustration. As their skills evolve and they develop a better sense of how their board responds, you can even buy them different types of bushings for the bottom and top, or teach them how to customize their boards.
You may occasionally see references to the Durometer B scale, which measures 20 points lower than A. A 95a measurement is equivalent to a 75b measurement.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much should I spend on my child’s skateboard?
The prices range from $25 for store own-brand pick-up-and-go boards and Amazon budget options up to about $100. For a board which will last at least a year and be safe enough for your child to ride without you having to hover nervously, we recommend that $60-$100 is a realistic budget for a good quality board.
What is this ‘ABEC’ rating on the bearings?
ABEC stands for “Annular Bearing Engineering Committee”, which sets out to provide standards for bearings. It measures the precision of the bearing through how close together the moving parts are (their dimensional tolerance). There are five ratings: 1,3,5,7 and 9. ABEC-9 bearings are commonly touted as being super-fast, and indeed they can be. That said, An ABEC rating is not intended as a singular indication of speed.The higher the ABEC rating, the lower the tolerance (distance between bearings) and more precise a ball bearing will be. However, depending upon other contributing factors such as vibration, load-handling and materials, an ABEC-7 bearing could well run faster and more effectively than an ABEC-9 bearing. In short, don’t dismiss a board because it gives the impression of having a “slower wheel.”
How do I teach my kids tricks? I have the coordination of a drugged centipede.
Well, don’t let them hit the road immediately. It’s a good idea to put the skateboard on carpet first and let them work out the correct foot positioning and balance. Then take them outside. The skateboard enthusiasts at barmagera.com provide more suggestions for a structured series of lessons.