8 Health Benefits of Scooters for Kids: Why Scooting is the Best Exercise for Kids
Scooting comes with many health benefits, especially for kids as they learn and develop. Yes, of course like any sport it comes with some risk of injury, but with the right equipment and supervision, the benefits far outweigh the bumps and scrapes. Once you’ve found the best kids scooter for your child, or if you’re still considering getting one – consider these great benefits of scooters for kids!
Learning and developing a sense of balance is key to any child’s development. That’s why scooting is so great. It requires the child to stand upright and balance with one leg while kicking with the other.
Motor Skill Development
Scooting requires the rider to use the arms and legs independently from each other helping to fine tune their motor skills. One foot kicks while the other balances, and the hands are on the handlebar balancing the scooter.
All this occurs while the head and eyes are watching where they are heading and looking around for possible obstacles. If the child wants to stop, they will use one foot to press the rear fender brake pad, while simultaneously turning the scooter, or slowing enough to safely put the other foot on the ground.
Balance requires core muscle strength, propelling the scooter with the foot requires leg strength, and the quick decision making skills require mental strength.
Kids riding scooters are developing their muscles every time they ride. When the child pushes off from a dead stop, the ankle, the calf, the hamstrings and the glutes are engaged, and re-engaged every time they push to pick up speed.
Staying upright means their core muscles, including abdominal and lower back muscles, are working. Scooters for kids are a great way to promote muscle strength and development.
Along with motor skill development comes good coordination. Being able to steer, kick, balance and brake simultaneously works wonders for a growing child’s coordination.
When they progress to a two wheeled scooter, their coordination development will kick into high gear when they start to time their movements to not break up their momentum, avoid obstacles, brake and stop and learn to do tricks.
Decision Making Skills
Believe it or not, riding one of these kids scooters requires critical thinking and decision making skills.
Every child riding a scooter is tasked with choices that need to be made quickly – when to slow down, when to stop, when to turn, how much to lean into the steer without falling over. Looking out for obstacles and deciding how best to avoid them is a great example.
The child will need to quickly think how much force to apply to the brake in order to stop in time, or which way and when to turn to avoid it. Scooters for kids are a great way to help your child learn to make decisions, and weigh their options quickly.
Once the child has graduated from a 3 – wheeled scooter they will want to go faster, and to go faster, they need to kick harder. The harder they kick the more blood their hearts need to pump and the more their lungs work to get oxygen. The real benefit here is that it’s so fun, they don’t even consider it exercise!
Kids scoot together, and kids who scoot will seek out other kids who scoot. It’s a great way to build confidence and social skills to watch and learn from other riders. Whether it’s at school, in the park or at the skate park, there will be lots of precious human interaction!
Scootering – Overview
Scootering is a game that demands presence of mind rather than the physical power. It is popular because of the fact that people of any age group can play it. Scootering comes under extreme sports. Through this tutorial, we will try to learn the basics of scootering.
In scootering, a rider has to ride the scooter and has to perform extreme stunts upon the streets, walls, rails and other objects through various tricks. Both male and female can participate in this sport.
Scootering is also called as scooter riding or simply riding. It is a part of extreme sports, where the players ride stunt scooters and perform freestyle tricks. The tricks in scootering look like those of combination of BMX sports and skateboard.
Internal Scooter Association (ISA) is the governing body of the scootering championships that organizes the scootering competitions all over the world. Initially in ISA scooter championships, 10+ countries have participated. Some of the major countries who have dominated scootering events include: New Zealand, Austria, Australia, USA, Netherland, UK, Canada And Ireland
Scootering – Equipment
For scootering, a scooter is the primary requirement which includes bars, forks, brakes, wheels, headset, pegs, and decks.
Handle bars which are essential for a scooter are usually made up of 6061 aluminium or chromyl. Now-a-days various designs of bars are used which includes “T” bars or standard RAD “OG” bars. Besides these, there are also bars of other variations are used with different angle measurements and styles.
Generally maximum forks are thread less. Thread less means there is a compression system which is used to hold the scooter bars and deck to the fork. But threaded forks have not vanished from the market. They are still available. But threaded forks make the rider’s scooter wobbly and it is also not as strong as a thread less fork scooter.
Flex fenders are the most popular among the brakes that are used in scooters. Beside flex fenders, there are also many brakes available in market. During race, the rider can depress it against the rear wheel which slows down the speed of the scooter.
Wheels of early stage scooters were made of plastic at core and urethane at outside which were unreliable and it often broke or cracked. As we know necessity is mother of invention so to overcome this, researchers developed metal-core wheels which are highly reliable and are greatly used by today’s riders.
The metal core which is used in today’s wheels are manufactured with a machined aluminium core and with a durable urethane tyre. The companies that produce metalcore wheels are Fasen, RILLA, Proto, Envy scooters, Madd gear, Root industries, Havoc, River wheel co and Eagle Sport wheels.
Headsets on freestyle scooters are similar to those on BMX bikes. The scooters used in scootering sports are designed to fit a 1 1/8” sized headset. For threaded forks, a threaded headset is used.
There are very small numbers of brands who are specialized in making pegs. They make pegs by using both alloy and chromyl. The name of these brands is 81 customs, Tilt, District, Havoc and Ethic. For stalling on ledges and other obstacles, scooter pegs are used. Scooter pegs appearance resembles a smaller version of BMX pegs
Initially, first razor ‘A’ decks were being used by the riders, since then decks of free style scooters came a long way. There was folding mechanism but now the scooter decks are usually constructed without any folding mechanism. Most of the modern day decks consist of two or three pieces of metal which are welded or bolted together.
How to Scooter
There are various techniques involved in scootering. In this chapter, we will discuss these techniques in detail.
Pogo is a technique which is performed by the experienced ones. It is not for the beginners because in this method, the rider has to hold down his brakes and at the same time he has to hop on his back wheel.
The experienced players used to perform this because they are aware of this technique. The beginner ones have to practice a lot to gain expertise in this method. The experienced players have to keep practicing it because it is a tricky method and a dangerous one also.
Pogo was a difficult trick but hippy jump is an easy one. Pogo can be performed by the experienced ones but beginners have to practice a lot. Hippy jump is so easy that anyone can perform this trick. The trick is that the player simply need to jump off the deck and he has to leave his wheels on the ground.
There are certain variations observed as the player can switch his stances by turning. At the same time, the rider can do different techniques like Rodeo or air walk. Rodeo is the pose where the player does styles by holding the scooter on one hand and the other hand is set free.
Earlier we have mentioned that hippy jump is very easy and anyone can do it but it does not mean any unprofessional player will hold the scooter and perform the trick. The rodeo or air walk needs special practice to perform.
Bunny hop (Ollie, jay hop, etc.)
Bunny hop is the beginner’s guide book for almost all the scooter tricks which we have discussed earlier and which we are going to discuss later. To perform this trick, the player needs to pull up on the handle bar he is having and at the same time he has to jump while his feet should be on the scooter. So at the time of performing the job, the wheels of the scooter will leave the ground.
The main idea behind bunny hop is to just jump with your scooter. This is the basic process to learn because if you will not jump then how you can cross a hurdle. After performing this trick with confidence, the player can try to move onto the next higher level tricks.
Bunny hop is the beginner’s first guidance because maximum tricks are derived from this trick and X-UP is among those derived tricks which is often used. To perform the x-up trick, the player first need to perform bunny hop with full confidence and then he can twist his handlebars 90 degrees in mid-air. At last, he can straighten the handle bars before landing.
Manual trick is an easy trick in which the player just has to lean back and balance on his back wheel. Then he has to keep on riding.
Again masters of the bunny hop trick will perform this trick with ease. At first, the player will perform the bunny hop trick and then kick out his deck to the side with both feet at 45 degrees. At the time of landing, the player has to keep in mind that he has to straighten the deck out before landing on the ground.
Nose Manual (Endo)
Nose manual trick has resemblance with the manual trick. But nose manual is opposite of manual trick. Manual trick is a simple trick. Here the player just has to lean back and balance on his back wheel and will keep on riding around. But in nose manual, the player has to lean forward and has to balance on his front wheel. So players need a lot of practice in order to perform this trick.
In no foot technique, the player need to do Ollie. Then he has to take both of his feet off the deck. This move is similar to that of hippy jumping technique. In this trick, we can also do an air walk and rodeo.
Grind is another technique in scootering and also a very famous one. It is very simple, but it has the capacity to easily put the performer in trouble. All you need to do is Ollie and turn your deck 90 degrees and land on the rail steadily and safely. After this, the player can grind for as long as he needs, then Ollie off.
Bar spin is also a useful trick. Hard to learn but can lead to many other trick combinations. This trick is difficult and is performed by the experienced and most importantly the interested ones.
Tail whip is also hard to learn can also lead to many other tricks or combinations. First the player has to kick the scooter deck and then can advance in the competition. For safety purpose, shoes are recommended for the players’ toes.
Scootering – Types
Scootering can be played in various places like parks, streets, flatland etc. Some of these venues are as follows −
Scootering on streets is the most challenging one because here the riders will ride in the inner city and will use the structures such as stairs, ledges, handrails and gaps.
The street riders or the inner city riders mainly focus on technical tricks such as sliding down handrails or stair sets. Riding on the streets is very challenging for the riders as streets are versatile and the riders will come across many challenging obstacles starting from traffic to stairs, ledges and gaps so to tackle this he must perform tricks such as gap jumps, rail slides.
There has been a huge push or advertisements for more people to play or ride scooters on the road since 2013 as like the skateboarding in the 90’s. Many scooter riders generally ride street when they want to film a video part.
The experienced scooter riders utilise the scooter to ride on the rails, boxes, ledges, walls, half pipes and even the vertical ramps whichever comes on their way. One would normally find all these in a skate park. To learn new tricks, many riders enjoy riding fly out.
To conquer on different obstacles like fly boxes, spines, quarters, rails, ledges, stair sets, hubbas, and ledges, the riders follow different techniques which are cultivated from the fly out technique. A-frames, euro gaps and banks are also involved among these techniques. There are also many advanced tricks which are usually performed in a park. Among these footless rewinds, briflips, and flips are the famous ones.
Among all the terrains we have discussed above, flatland terrain is the simplest of them. Here the competition takes place on a flat surface. The scooter riding takes place on a flat surface such as parking lots, tennis ball courts, basketball courts or on driveways.
Among all the grounds flatland is the simplest one but the tricks use to ride and compete is same. On flatland, the players generally prefer to link smaller tricks up in combinations. Some examples of the combos are tail whips, manuals, bar spins, fakies, sliders, briflips, and hang fives.
Scootering – Rules
For safety of a player, he has to practice as much as possible because practice makes a man perfect. There is no other option than practice. One of the biggest mistakes players may think that they can instantly do things without any practice. This thinking comes in the mind of the experienced players because they have the experience and they know how to play the game.
Rules for Newcomers
Scootering just for the sake of fun can lead to serious injuries. Newcomers should acquire sufficient knowledge before handling a scooter. They should first go to some local skate park to try out the tricks and experiment with other new ones. It is highly recommended that you wear a strong helmet because accidents are not uncommon in scootering.
Rules When a Player Falls
If you fall, then make sure that you will spread out your body and roll on the field so that you aren’t hurt badly. If you get hurt, then arrange some first aid. It is safe to keep it inside your sports bag. The most important thing is make sure that you have good wheels without flat spots.
Rules for Wet Ground
A big advice to all the players is that they should never ride on the ground which is wet because the rider’s wheels may get too slippery, and his brakes may not work at the right moment. Many players have fallen on grounds which are wet.
Maximum of the scooter riders do not strictly play in street or park. However, a survey has shown that players find park riding more enjoyable than street riding. The reason behind this is street riding is more dangerous than park because of challenging obstacles like traffic.
Rules for Protecting Head and Feet
One should wear a helmet and put a pair of shoes as these are the foremost safety guideline in modern day scootering. By wearing a helmet, the rider can save his head if accident occurs. Shoes are important because all the kicks are made by the foot so if there will be no shoes on the foot it may get hurt and one cannot advance in the competition with full potential.
Scootering – Champions
Scootering is an enthusiastic game which is a combination of BMX and skateboarding. In this game, the players have to perform various trick on streets, parks and other venues. In this chapter, we will discuss about some of the champions of Scootering and their careers.
Jordan Clark belongs to England and has been riding scooter since four years. Currently, he is the world champion of this game as he has scored 89.66 points in Extreme Barcelona Competition 2015.
Jordan is sponsored by Grit Scooters who discovered him in 2014 through Grit Academy. In his first World Championship, he performed in such a way that people began to know him. He has also won Scootfest Cup and got second rank in UK Nationals.
Alexis Letellier is a rider from Paris. Currently he is living in Paris. He made his debut into this game in the year 2008. Ethic, DTC, All is Possible, and Black pearl are his sponsors. His favourite trick is flair.
FISE is the best event of his career until now. He is the winner of Montreux Scooter Contest. The first scooter on which he started his riding was Jd Bug which was similar
to Old Razor.