We have a lot of kids boards to pick from in the shop right now - And we know that choosing the right one for your child can be confusing!

So to help clear things up we've put together a quick guide to our cruisers and longboards from a kid's perspective, plus some hot sellers from the shop racks.

Here's a quick list of our go-to boards for younger riders from here in the shop. If you're able to visit us, you'd likely end up with one of these:

  1. Landyachtz Dinghy
  2. Lush Fuel
  3. Lush Longboards Dart Short Drop Through Longboard
  4. Lush Minnow
  5. Carver 26" Shark Shredder C5 Surfskate
  6. Carver 27" Zapper Snapper C5 Surfskate
  7. Santa Cruz Kids Skateboards

When should kids start skateboarding?

We highly recommend pregnant women to stand next to the skatepark, blasting Fu Manchu, to start warming up that future shredder...

But in seriouesness, ASAP! Skateboarding is a little harder than riding a balance bike or a scooter, and requires a bit more coordination - but most kids should be able to roll around from 4 or 5 years old.

Having the right kit will make it a whole lot easier and more fun... read on.

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When should kids start skateboarding?

What makes it a kid's skateboard?

What makes them a kid? Aside from picking up skills frustratingly quickly, compared to adults they're:

  • Shorter
  • Lighter
  • Bouncier

So a kids board needs to work for that.


It may be obvious, but give a 5' longboard to a 4' child and they're going to have a hard time!

So, most boards recommended for kids will be on the shorter end of the scale - think 30" and below.


Leaning and turning is the most fundamental skill of every type of skateboarding.

Weighing so little, it can be almost impossible for a child to turn a corner on a regular board set up for an adult.

Therefore, here at Vandem we personalise every board that goes out the door with bushings suited to the rider - for kids, this means going softer.

Just choose the weight category of the rider before you add to cart and we'll personalise the bushings for you, so you can be confident they'll have the best start possible.


Don't shy away from the kicktail - you may be surprised how quickly they get the hang of it despite "not being interested in tricks" at first!!

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What makes it a kid's skateboard?

What type of skateboard is best for kids?

There are a few options that make it easier to learn on, and depending on what you (or rather, they) are after you'll find yourself with one of the following:

  • Longboard
  • Cruiser
  • Surfskate
  • Skateboard


Long, it's in the name. Not immediately what you'd give a child, perhaps, but in this day and age there are plenty of shorter longboards that are suitable with the right bushing setup.

Longboards are the most stable option of the lot, and mostly designed with cruising and carving in mind - the wheels tend to mostly stay on the floor. They have big wheels and roll super smooth, but won't ever be quite as easy to turn as a...


As seen to the right here, cruisers are a fusion between longboard and skateboard, taking the best bits of each. The soft wheels, smooth roll and nice turning of a longboard, on a shorter deck that is lighter and more manageable for children, as well as allowing some tricks - manuals, ollies and beyond.

Probably the best place to start for any type of skateboarding, a perfect platform to learn the basics before taking it to the skatepark/gentle downhill/anywhere you like.


A bit more niche, but certainly an option especially for those barefoot, feral ones who seem happier in the ocean than back on the beach!

A surfskate has a different front truck system designed to imitate how one turns a surfboard. A bit of a must-have for all landlocked surfers these days.

A super tight turning circle and less stability than the others... but loads of fun!


Back to basics - the type of thing you see in the skatepark... or the Olympics!

If dropping in, riding the park, learning to ollie, kickflip and beyond is what the little one wants to do, then we recommend starting either on a cruiser or right away on a skateboard.

They won't roll as well on the driveway/cul-de-sac/local car park, but they'll roll way better in the skatepark itself, and have a full nose and tail to get learning the basics right off the bat.

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What type of skateboard is best for kids?

Can kids ride longboards?

Certainly - you'll want something on the shorter side for them to have the most fun.

Generally we recommend a cruiser at first, but a longboard can be a great choice if:

  • You live somewhere with lovely flat cycle paths or promenades with less obstacles
  • There's really no interest in the skatepark
  • Carving down gentle inclines could be on the cards
  • The focus will be on smooth rolling and cruising, rather than on being super agile and doing tricks

If that sounds about right, we have two suggestions down below that have proven popular in the shop over the years.

Don't forget to choose the bushing setup to suit your little one - of everything we've mentioned here, it absolutely makes the most difference of all.

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Can kids ride longboards?

Should kids ride cruiser boards?

Our honest opinion - it's a great place to start!

Shorter, lighter, more nimble and easy to turn - they're basically longboards under a small child already with all the benefits that brings: lots of space for the feet, lovely to lean and turn... and with the added benefit usually of a kicktail.

Whether the little one wants to just cruise, go downhill, dance, or represent us in the Olympics at the skatepark, a cruiser is probably the most comfortable start they could have into skateboarding.

Just make sure to choose the right bushing setup, and we've done everything we can.

The rest is in your hands... but beware! Most parents end up coming back for a board of their own...

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Should kids ride cruiser boards?

Are surfskates good for kids?

Surfskates are a bit more radical - you'll certainly notice how much they lean and turn straight out the box compared to anything else.

Therefore, if you or your child aren't sure about this skateboarding thing and would like a stable start, it probably isn't the right choice.

However, we know from experience that there are a whole lot of surfing families out there with kids who make it look easy!

For onshore days or landlocked times, a surfskate is a great companion for anyone whos spent time in the ocean and the kids will learn to rock them better than we ever could.

There are even specific surfskates for kids now with lower trucks, softer bushings and lighter decks for them to going easier than ever before.

Lots of fun to be had here!

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Are surfskates good for kids?

Can kids ride skateboards?

Of course they can!

With a full nose and tail, this is where they'll want to be if ollies, kickflips and park riding are on the cards.

If I had to pick a disadvantage, it's the smaller, harder wheels. When compared to a cruiser or longboard, they won't roll as smoothly or as far over tarmac.

However, those small hard wheels ride way faster and better in the skatepark itself!

So on the whole - less good if the majority of the riding will be done on tarmac. But much better if it'll be done in the skatepark or similarly super-smooth surface.

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Can kids ride skateboards?

What board do you recommend for my child?

Read on!

Below you'll find options for each:

We've tried to break down the differences and what makes them especially good for kids - as well as why you might want to look for something different.

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What board do you recommend for my child?

Landyachtz Dinghy

Landyachtz pretty much invented the whole cruiser category with the Dinghy, which has been a staple of their line-up for many years now. It's a popular mini cruiser for adults but its compact size and narrow width make it a great choice for kids, and it's easy for them stash under a school desk or in a locker.

The deck

100% Canadian maple, 28.5" long and 8" wide. Small enough for the little ones, but with plenty of scope for them to grow and still be comfortable.

A functional kicktail, fairly strong concave and little scoop nose make this a practical setup that can ollie, trick and carve hard.

Wheels, Trucks, & Bearings

The Dinghy comes complete with high quality Polar Bear trucks and Hawgs wheels. Different wheel colours to match each graphic make these boards really look the part.

The narrow trucks should be fairly easy for lighter riders to lean and turn, and the wheels are nice and soft with no core - they're about as smooth as it gets for a wheel of this size.

How does it ride?

Light, nippy and nimble, the Dinghy is a great board for kids to get their first taste of skateboarding!

It's smooth to cruise but equally ready to take things further into the realm of tricks - whether its manuals and ollies with the good kicktail, or powerslides thanks to the strong concave.

The Landyachtz Dinghy is good because...A Landyachtz Dinghy might not be right for you because...
  • Quality construction and components
  • Awesome graphics and matching wheels
  • Compact size easy to carry and store
  • For every board they sell, Landyachtz plant a tree
  • You're not sure they'll stick at it... it's not the cheapest option
  • It's small size means its less stable at speed
  • There are a lot of great alternatives for a bit less cash
  • You hate nice graphics and wish your board was super boring

Lush Fuel

The Lush Longboards Fuel is a little board with big ideas. At 28.5" x 8" it's spot on for kids, and comes in a at a price that won't break the bank.

It's a mini cruiser similar in shape to the Landyachtz Dinghy above, but with with a couple of notable differences...

The deck

Lush designed this board with a flat nose rather than the scoop on the Dinghy. That means the front truck can be further forward - giving them more space for their feet, inspiring confidence as they work things out.

It also means that the wheelbase is longer than most boards this size, which makes it more stable and forgiving to skate than most other mini-cruisers and kids boards.

The mellow concave is super comfortable on the feet making it great for a full day out on the board, and, whilst there is no nose so it won't be the easiest board to learn to kickflip, it still has a functional tail that can get you up and down curbs and airborne as their confidence increases.

Wheels, Trucks, & Bearings

The Fuel comes built in two options:

The Elite Complete is a premium minicruiser, featuring Sabre Built-In Labyrinth Bearings for a fast-rolling, maintenance-free ride, and legendary 65mm Cult Chronicle wheels. The slightly larger 65mm diameter of these wheels gives the Fuel Elite build an unmatched rollover, really increasing its ability to deal with rougher roads and making it a lot more comfortable over any kind of distance. The whole thing turns on Sabre Street Trucks at 127mm, specced out with Sabre's aftermarket bushings.

The Pro Complete is amazing value, with 60mm Cult Nova wheels and Vandem Value ABEC 5 bearings. Still turning on Sabre 127mm trucks - the bit that really matters.

How does it ride?

The Fuel is an awesome nippy little mini cruiser and a great introduction to skateboarding. All of us here agree we wish we'd had one of these aged 3! It punches well above its weight where value for money is concerned too, proving you don't have to break the bank to give your kids the gift of skateboarding.

As with other boards, make sure to choose the extra soft bushings when you add it to cart - without this all your research will be wasted!

The Lush Fuel is good because...A Lush Fuel might not be right for you because...
  • It's the best quality for the lowest price that you'll find - anywhere
  • Well designed shape, comfortable and easy for beginners
  • Compact size easy to stash in a bag or under a school desk
  • The little one is dead set on skating the skatepark - a nose will help in that case
  • All they want to do is bomb hills - a longboard might be a better option

Lush Longboards Dart Short Drop Through Longboard

Short, low, and lively, the Lush Dart is an awesome drop through 'mini longboard' that's great for kids. The Dart offers easy pushing and footbraking due to being so low to the ground - not to mention the stability of a lower centre of gravity. This makes the Dart way easier for kids' smaller legs. Compared to the other boards in this category its a breeze to push around on and a joy to carve.

The deck

The Dart features a mellow concave thats just enough to keep your kids feet feeling cradled, and giving them good board control, yet not enough to start aching the feet during a day out. The gentle rocker is like a hug for the feet - they'll be locked in to carve to their hearts content.

Being drop-through it's very stable and as well as being easy to push and footbrake, offers a great carving feeling akin to snowboarding that's also easier to push out of traction than other boards on this page.

Wheels, Trucks, & Bearings

Available in multiple build options built with Sabre trucks and Cult wheels, you know you're getting quality parts, and can choose the build which fits your budget.

The Pro is the lightest, and easiest to slide.

The Elite rolls forever, smoother than previously imaginable.

The Precision is likely overkill for a child but hey, if you want the best, it's there for the taking!

How does it ride?

The Dart is a great choice for kids looking for a carvy, stable low ride without the length of a full size longboard.

As with other boards - choose the right bushings at checkout and they'll be off to the best start with a big smile.

This is even more important with a drop-through which has less of a direct feeling when leaning than a topmount.

The Lush Longboards Dart Short Drop Through Longboard is good because...A Lush Longboards Dart Short Drop Through Longboard might not be right for you because...
  • Low ride height makes pushing and footbraking easy for small legs
  • Cut out shape means there's no chance of wheelbite
  • It's got a snowboardy feeling when carving
  • It does weigh a bit more than a smaller cruiser thanks to the smooth but chunky wheels
  • They're wanting to go to the pumptrack or skatepark - they'd be better served by a cruiser in this case

Lush Minnow

The Minnow is a "Mini Pintail" - combining the advantages of a smaller cruiser board with the larger standing platform and easy skate of a full-sized longboard. The Minnow is a short longboard rather than a cruiser, which means it will be more stable and easier to skate due to its longer wheelbase, and give that smooth deep carving feeling.

If your kid wants to skate to school, or you've got quiet safe roads or bike paths to cruise near you, then you can't go wrong with a board like the Minnow.

The deck

The Minnow is a simple and effective surf-inspired shape, It has a comfortable mellow rocker concave. There's no kicktail and the wider shape creates a surprisingly large standing platform considering the deck size.

At 36" x 9.75", it's a great size for older kids - long and stable without being too much of a handful.

Wheels, Trucks, & Bearings

Like other Lush boards, you can specify your setup to meet you budget. The "Elite" is the best value - killer Cult urethane, strong and turny Sabre Trucks, and fast-rolling Sabre built-in bearings. To see bearings with built-in spacers at this pricepoint is unique - they last much longer for little to no maintenance.

How does it ride?

The Minnow is pretty much spot on as a longboard for kids - though if they're still 5 years old it may still prove a bit heavy.

At 36", it will feel much like a nice big pintail would feel to an adult. There's a nice flex to the deck, not too much concave and the setups are responsive - all the ingredients you need for a great cruising longboard.

The Lush Minnow is good because...A Lush Minnow might not be right for you because...
  • It's great value!
  • It's versatile - stable but turny, works on the bike path and on the pumptrack
  • Mellow rocker concave is comfortable underfoot
  • It's not as easy to stash or carry compared to a smaller mini cruiser
  • Heavier than the smaller boards - probably more one for the older kids age 9+
  • No kick tail for tricks

Carver 26" Shark Shredder C5 Surfskate

Now on to the surfskates! This 26" mini-surfskate is light, agile and fast thanks to Carver really taking the design to the next level with kids in mind.

Featuring their C5 truck, it's low to the ground and easy to get started, but can really take a beating whether that's at the skatepark or simply in the sandy car boot.

Carver recommend this one for ages 5-9.

The deck

It's small at 26" - the smallest we have in the shop, in fact! Perfect for little legs to get pumping. It's also pressed with one ply less Canadian maple to make it lighter and still have a gentle flex under the light weight of a child.

The nice wide shape inspires confidence and allows for full weight-on-rail turns and the kicktail means that extra level of agility is always within reach.

Wheels, Trucks, & Bearings

Carver C5 trucks are their lower, skatepark-ready truck - no maintenance, super carvy and hard wearing. But what's really nice about this one is that they've changed the bushings in the factory to suit the kids - they're super soft and will allow them to get turning straight out the box. We love it, it saves us changing them!

Carvers Roundhouse wheels ensure it rolls smooth and grips as necessary through pumps and turns.

How does it ride?

Light, nimble, super fun! This surfskate is fully tailored to the younger kids and is a dream to ride. From the beachfront promenades, through the after-surf sunset sessions to the bowl corner carves, this board will handle it all.

The Carver 26" Shark Shredder C5 Surfskate is good because...A Carver 26" Shark Shredder C5 Surfskate might not be right for you because...
  • It's a surfskate fully designed for younger kids - what's not to like?
  • Light, agile, snappy
  • Sure to get your kid surfing in the WSL...maybe
  • Your child is looking for a stable board to learn the basics
  • They're terrified of sharks

Carver 27" Zapper Snapper C5 Surfskate

This radical shred machine is sure to get the juices flowing, they'll be slashing copings and whipping cutbacks in the pocket in no time - just look at it! At 27" it's still small, but Carver recommend this one for kids age 10+.

With a bit more confidence and weight behind them, they'll be able to get this thing really moving.

The crazy 80's design makes me wish I was 10 again, asking in all the surf shops for free stickers...

The deck

27" long and 9.18" wide, it's got a nice amount of space for the feet to be planted, but also to move around to find that sweet spot - ever important as they work out how to get the most out of a board.

A kicktail means its functional as an everyday skateboard/cruiser, though you might not want to go down too big of a hill on these.

As a bonus, this one is built with 7 ply maple which is plenty for mum or dad to give it a go as well!

Wheels, Trucks, & Bearings

Carver C5 trucks are the perfect match for a kids surfskate - lower and lighter than your average surfskate truck, designed by the mind of the most successful surfskate products on the market. They'll take everything you can throw at them, and these come with softer bushings for the little ones - a great move by Carver to really make these as inclusive as possible.

Their classic Roundhouse wheels finish it off, this time in black to match the crazy graphic.

How does it ride?

It's called the Zapper Snapper for a reason! As you can tell by the video on the product page, these things mean business. That's not to say they don't work for beginners - but that the young guns will be able to improve and grow with the board over the years.

The Carver 27" Zapper Snapper C5 Surfskate is good because...A Carver 27" Zapper Snapper C5 Surfskate might not be right for you because...
  • You want a surfskate that will grow with them
  • Super fun and versatile for a surfskate
  • They appreciate all things totally radical
  • They want something stable and safe to get the hang of things
  • They want to go down hills - look at longboards instead
  • They do not appreciate all things totally radical

Santa Cruz Kids Skateboards

They're an easy recommendation - Santa Cruz have really gone to town on this collection to give kids of all ages and sizes the best start possible.

A well thought out, high quality range of boards at a great price.

The deck

The decks in this range are split into the following sizes with a guide to the age to go along with it:

  • Super Micro (Ages 3-6)
  • Micro (Ages 4-8)
  • Mini (Ages 6-10)
  • Mid (Ages 8-12)
  • Full (Ages 10-14)
  • Large (Ages 14-16+)

The range starts at a very small 27" x 7.25" and each board gets progressively longer and wider to suit the average size and weight of children of that age.

This makes it super easy to pick out an option that you know will be just about right for your child.

Wheels, Trucks, & Bearings

Even more astute than sizing the deck to match different ages - Santa Cruz have taken it one step further by tailoring the wheels and bushings as well!

We offer this service at Vandem for every board - it is the single most important factor in whether a board will feel good - but with these boards, we don't have to!

The smaller boards come with soft 85a bushings and soft 83a wheels designed to be easier to turn and more forgiving for little ones to learn to ride.

The larger boards come with (still soft, but harder) 90a bushings and 95a wheels that are still noticeably softer than your average skate wheel.

The wheels are all OJ Wheels or Slimeballs so you know you're getting the good stuff on these completes.

How does it ride?

Being a fully grown adult, at least physically, I have hesitated to jump on and test these boards.

However from our experience, we can say that compared to any standard or cheap complete skateboard out there, they're going to feel amazing under a childs feet.

Being able to lean and turn makes the whole learning process much easier, and is the building block for every trick in the book.

Lighter, well sized decks means that little legs have an easy time pushing them around, as well as getting them airborne when the time comes.

We think a lot about these details in the shop and if we were to come out with a range of boards for kids, I'm not sure we could do it much better than this. Epic stuff from Santa Cruz - everything you need.

The Santa Cruz Kids Skateboards is good because...A Santa Cruz Kids Skateboards might not be right for you because...
  • Kickflips are on the menu!
  • You have a local skatepark
  • Your offspring is a future Olympian
  • Tricks are not the priority
  • You'll be skating on rougher surfaces
  • You don't like super well designed product

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