I started riding BMX at my local skatepark when I was 12 years old. Initially my parents weren’t sure about this "new sport", which is fair enough really.
BMX (or Action Sports in general) certainly aren't "mainstream" sports - like cricket, AFL, swimming etc. All of these sports, Parents know, trust and understand - while skate parks (and Action Sports) are a bit of an unknown.
The truth is, riding skate parks (on your BMX, scooter, skateboard etc) is as good a sport for kids as anything - it's just a bit different!
So, with that in mind, I wanted to share 6 really positive reasons that you should consider taking your kids to the Skate Park:
1. It gets you physically active.
Like any sport, you can’t do it sitting on the couch. Action Sports gets any kid up and moving, which improves the overall health and wellbeing of any child. They also encourage the development of basic skills like coordination, balance and strength.
2. It combines Athleticism and Creativity in a way unlike any other sport.
Most people think of sport as athletic and art/music as creative. I think Action Sports offers both. As mentioned above, it aids physical development, but the very nature of the sport encourages a level of personal creativity not offered in traditional “stick & ball” sports. There are no rules and no set way to do things. You can create your own style, invent a trick, be different to your friends and leave your own impression.
3. It builds self confidence.
Trying a trick, working on it relentlessly, and eventually landing it is a great feeling. It's an accomplishment and helps kids develop faith in their own ability. The development is as clear as day - last week I couldn’t do that, now I can. Along with this, it teaches persistence - no one ever landed a tail-whip first go...
4. It teaches calculated risk.
Like any sport, there are risks involved. But, unlike football, for example; where the risk is mostly out of your control (that other guy just decided to stomp on your head or tackle you high for example), the risks are largely within the control of the participant. You learn to start small and work your way up to things. Bit by bit, your skill set grows, and so does your tolerance for risk. No one starts off on a 10ft ramp, they start on a 2ft ramp and work their way up. By the time they use the 10ft ramp, it's no longer a huge risk, just a natural progression of what you’ve learned already.
5. You’ll meet great people and make friends for life!
Skateparks are social places. People like to hang out there, they like to see others progress and everyone gets stoked on each others riding. One of things we’re super proud of at Rampfest is the vibe of our park - its friendly, fun and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. If you’re new, chances are someone will say hi. If you ask for advice, 99 times out of 100 you’ll get some great tips off a total stranger, just because they’re keen to help you. You’ll make friends at the skatepark and you’ll become great friends quickly as you learn together, push each other and progress.
6. It's FUN!
Overall, riding, skating or scooter-ing at the Skate Park is great FUN. And who doesn't want to get out and have more fun in their day! Maybe the parents can give it a go too... no such thing as a age limit at the Skate Park...
I hope this article has shed some light on the positives of taking your kids to the Skate Park next time. And remember, if you need some help getting started, you're always welcome to visit Rampfest! We offer:
These are all a great way to get going at the Skate Park - or, if you want to learn on your own steam, check out our First Timers Guide to get started.
If you’ve got any other questions or comments, feel free to get in touch and ask away!