Whether you’ve simply driven past a skate park on the weekend or been with your own kids during the school run, you’ll know that scooters are the mode of transport for children at the moment, even overtaking the popularity of bikes.
The chances are, your child has asked for a scooter in the recent past. Perhaps it’s going to be their first scooter, ever. Or maybe they’ve grown out of their first and need something stronger, suitable for tricks, not just casually riding to school. And there are always some kids who just want the latest, shiniest release.
With such a wide range of styles (let alone prices) of scooter for kids on offer, it can be difficult to know what to choose. Everyone wants value for money, but is the most expensive always the best?
The first thing to consider when buying a scooter is the purpose for which it will be used. If it’s just a commuter tool, to take a kid from A to B, then you don’t need to pay the Earth for quality. A firm favorite with younger children is the JD Bug, which has stood the test of time with regards to popularity and reliability. Available in a host of different colours and styles, there’s something for everyone. The JD Bug Original Series is great for the majority of children who just want to scoot to school, with the added ability to fold the scooter for storage as well as carry it on a shoulder with the attached strap. Once the kids have been dropped off, a JD Bug is even strong enough to carry the average adult, so there’s no reason why Mum can’t have some fun riding it back home!
If your child is just a toddler and not even at school yet, you may worry about their ability to balance on two wheels. For added stability, you could consider a scooter with three wheels for safety. The JD Bug Kiddies Tri-Scooter is perfect for little kids who are just getting into the sport.
As scootering has become increasingly popular, the use of scooters for tricks (especially on ramps at skate parks) is often the next step for children who want a little more excitement than just riding to school and back. When looking at what’s known as Stunt Scooters, you will also often see a hike in price and wonder if it’s really worth it. In short, it’s definitely worth paying a little more if your child wants to learn tricks and put their skills to the test. You will often find that an Extreme Scooter will not be foldable and have a one-piece deck. Although perhaps considered a little less functional, this is actually crucial to make sure that the scooter does not have weak spots that could bend and break.
Similarly, you may choose to consider a scooter with metal core wheels, which are stronger than a wheel with plastic spokes. You will often see a massive range of prices when it comes to Extreme Scooters – Anything between £50 and £250 upwards. You will often find that the more expensive scooter is not only more aesthetically pleasing to the average teen, but is also made of stronger, lighter parts, to make learning and performing tricks that bit easier.
Madd Gear has been reigning king at the skate park for quite some time, with a range of models and prices to choose from. £109.95 will buy you a respectable VX2 Pro, while £274.95 will bring home the beautiful Nitro Extreme She Devil, complete with impressive graphic artwork adorning the deck and handlebars. Madd Gear (MGP) is far from the only choice out there however and has tough competition from Crisp, Grit, Slamm and Razor. Even the kiddies’ favourite, JD Bug, has a decent extreme scooter setup in the shape of the JD Bug Pro X.
Just remember, although Extreme Scooters are built to be put through their paces, no scooter is indestructible and you should expect to replace parts over time, as they wear down or break through use. You don’t need to worry, though, as there is a wealth of scooter parts available from most skate specialists. Your child may even choose to customize their scooter for the sake of it, in order to make something as original as they are.
As much as flashy advertising and impressive price tags may attempt to sway your decision with regards to the perfect purchase, there’s one key thing to remember – Nobody knows a scooter like the boys and girls who rides them. So, the best people to advise you are generally the kids themselves… They are, after all, the harshest critics!