Thursday, June 6, 2013

Stunt and Folding Scooters - A guide for confused parents

When I was choosing a scooter for my 6 year old boy last year I stupidly decided to 'research what was out there' . Big mistake. Do you have any idea how many different types of scooter there are? I came away with less of a clue about which one to get than before I started. He had decided on a two wheeler one so my tried and tested three wheeler Micro Scooters were out. So I turned to Twitter and got a wealth of advice which proved invaluable, but the lesson was - there's more to buying a scooter than picking your favourite colour. A bit like cars... Who knew?

For any other parents out there who are a little confused here's a little guide from some experts...


Unless you’ve spent the mornings of the last few years watching Jeremy Kyle in a tea-stained dressing gown, you’ve probably noticed something a little different about the school run.

Scooters are everywhere. Bikes still have their place, sure, as does the humble art of using one’s two feet. But scooters are definitely having a ‘moment’.

The great thing about scooters (which, I suppose, alludes to their success) is that they’re extremely inclusive. Most kids can potentially ride one, from toddlers on three-wheelers, to teenagers on custom-built beasts that are worth more than some people’s cars.

Although the diversity of scooters means that they make a great hobby and a popular gift, it can also make them a bit of a minefield when it comes to choosing the right one.

For complete newbies, the easiest way to categorise scooters is via these two groups - ‘stunt scooters’ and ‘recreational scooters’. Stunt scooters can be used at a skate park (or anywhere) for jumps and tricks. Recreational scooters are purely a mode of transport and aren’t designed for any kind of extreme use.

Although most retailers will advertise a scooter as being for one of these groups, recreational scooters are easily identified by the fact that they fold for portability. As a hard and fast rule, stunt scooters don’t fold, as it creates a weak spot that will bend and potentially break under the strain of stunts.

If you’ve been wincing out the kitchen window while your offspring attempt to clear crudely-constructed jumps in the back garden, put your hand up! You’ll be needing a stunt scooter.

After a brief period of research, you’ll find that the amount of stunt scooters available to you is pretty vast, as are the potential price brackets. In truth, you don’t need to spend the earth on your child’s first stunt scooter. You can generally find something decent at around £70 - £100. The more you pay, the better the quality, but realistically, most children won’t need to look at the £200-mark models until they’ve got a bit of experience and are trying more complex tricks. And by that time, they’ll no doubt be telling you what to buy.

Remember, you’re paying for strength and durability, so most stunt scooters should last a reasonable amount of time under average pressure. However, no scooter is indestructible and they all come with consumable parts (handlebar grips, grip tape, bearings etc). You should expect to replace these parts over the life of the scooter, regardless of how much you pay.

If your kid isn’t a budding extreme sportsman and is more likely to just scoot to school and back, a foldable scooter should do the job just fine. You can purchase one of decent quality for about £50, so it won’t break the bank. As mentioned earlier, most recreational scooters fold, which makes them perfect for throwing in the boot of the car (preferably with your child not still on it), or over the shoulder with a carry strap. In addition, many folding scooters have size-adjustable handlebars, so growing sprogs can benefit from having the same scooter for some time (or share it with a sibling - because all kids love to share, right?!).

No matter which scooter you choose, be sure to add a protection kit to the order. Helmets are a must for all skaters, big and small, extreme or not. Then, and only then, are you good to go!

Disclosure: This post was produced by who specialise in scooters, skates, bikes and wheels of every sort. A fee was paid for the hosting of the article. 

For more scooter related info check out my other posts:
Micro Sprite review - a 2 wheeled scooter for a 7 year old boy.
Maxi Micro scooter - a 3 wheeled scooter for an 8 year old girl
Mini Micro review - a 3 wheeled scooter for a 3 year old boy
Create your own Micro Scooter

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