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I am lucky to have friendly neighbors, including the two teen girls who live directly across from my home. They always make time to say hello to my 4-year-old and ask her about her day, which essentially makes them rockstars in my toddler’s eyes. That’s why I was terrified the first time I saw them riding skateboards down the street. Do I love seeing strong, female role models daily for my young daughter? Of course. Do I have any idea of how to teach my kid how to skateboard? Absolutely not.
My daughter has asked for a skateboard approximately one million times since seeing the cool neighborhood girls shredding on their boards. Her scooter and balance bike, which she’s mastered, are now of no consequence. It’s skateboard or bust in our home. Neither my husband nor I have ever skateboarded, so how do we teach our kid?
As with most parenting quandaries, I am far from the first person to experience this one. That’s why someone much better at skateboarding than me created the Ookkie Skateboard.
What Is The Ookkie Skateboard?
The Ookkie Skateboard has been dubbed the first learner skateboard for kids. Skateboarder and dad, Daniel De Gaye, created the Ookkie after teaching his 3-year-old to skateboard and noticing some improvements that could be made to a standard board.
- Recommended Age Range: 2-6
- Recommended Rider Weight: 20kg/44lb
- Skateboard Weight: 3.8kg/8.3lb
- Children Handle Height: 41-60 centimeters/16-23.5 inches
- Parent Handle Height: 81-86 centimeters/31.8-33.8 inches
The Ookkie skateboard comes with an adjustable Parent’s Handle, similar to the design often found on tricycles, which allows parents to control the Ookkie. A Children’s Handle gives riders a spot to hold onto while they work on their balance.
The Ookkie has four modes. It can be used with the Parent’s Handle and Children’s Handle, just the Parent’s Handle, just the Children’s Handle or as a regular skateboard without any handles.
The board is available in five solid colors with a matching Children’s Handle and Parent’s Handle. Ookie also sells a helmet and protective gear, which includes elbow pads, knee pads and wrist guards.
Benefits of the Ookkie Skateboard
There’s a lot to like about the Ookkie, including its fast assembly and the quality of skateboard and safety gear.
Assembly: I put the Ookie together in about two minutes, with my two kids hanging off me. Five stars for easy assembly.
Storage: The Parent’s Handle and Children’s Handle are easily removed, which is convenient for storage and fitting in the trunk of a car or even a suitcase when traveling.
Ease of Use: It was easy to go at the speed my daughter was comfortable with as she progressed with the board. There’s a foot difference in height between my husband and me and we were both comfortable using the Parent’s Handle. We did find that it was best to use the Ookkie on a solid surface, like a road or path. Going too slowly on a sidewalk could cause the wheels to get caught in the cracks.
Quality: The skateboard and two included handles all felt high quality. After several uses, the board has not shown any wear or tear on the deck or wheels.
Safety Gear: The safety gear for the Ookkie is excellent. My daughter typically wears a Nutcase helmet and the Ookkie felt similar as far as protection, comfort and ease of use. The safety gear also looked and felt impressive, and sticking to black rather than bright colors or patterns might make it easier to pass from one child to the next.
Lifespan: Having four modes means the Ookkie can be used by my eldest child until she’s comfortable skateboarding without assistance. It also means my younger child will be able to use it when he turns 2. The Ookkie looks and feels like a high-quality product, so as long as it lasts, I should be able to use it for both kids, which is a parenting win.
Downsides of the Ookkie Skateboard
Turning is an issue with the Ookkie. Parents are unable to turn using the parent handle. When my daughter shifted her weight from her toes to her heels, there was a slight turn, but this is a tough concept for a lot of kids to grasp and only resulted in a slight veering. The Ookkie is great for going straight, but taking your child on a walk with several turns could be a pain.
I would also like to see more informational videos on the Ookkie site for customers who are new to skateboarding. As mentioned, my husband and I have never skateboarded. And while plenty of general skateboarding videos exist online, we would have appreciated some tips on how to explain to a child what to do when it’s time to kick, push, turn and stop on their own.
Buying the Ookkie safety gear was a bit frustrating. While the quality was great, the sizing is confusing. The company sells sizes XS and S but does not provide any dimensions or age guidelines, so customers are left guessing which size to buy. It’s also difficult to distinguish between knee and elbow pads, which should be labeled.
Lastly, the price. The Ookkie comes with a big price tag, but the company is relatively new and on the smaller side, so the price may come down eventually. Despite that, when comparing the Ookkie to a kid’s scooter, which essentially has the same basic parts, even the most high-end model is still under $100.
A Few Thoughts About The Ookie Skateboard
The Ookkie has a recommended age range of 2 to 6. In many of the reviews for the board, parents have shared that their children as young as 10 months old can use the Ookkie. I have a baby who is 10 months, and even though he is strong and has excellent balance, I would not feel comfortable putting him on a skateboard. Getting him outfitted in the protective gear alone would be a nightmare. Ookkie’s recommended age of 2 and up is a much more realistic and safe starting point.
The Ookkie has a recommended rider weight of 44 pounds, which my 4-year-old is close to hitting. The board feels substantial and strong enough to hold a slightly heavier child, so I think it could work for a five or six-year-old who wants to learn to skateboard.
Verdict: Should You Buy The Ookkie Skateboard?
If you have a child interested in learning to skateboard, I recommend the Ookkie Skateboard. The alternative would be using a short board and holding your child’s hands while they balance, which is a killer on the back. The Ookkie helps kids get comfortable with their balance and foot placement and can eventually be used as a regular skateboard. Plus, parents can control the speed of little ones, which is always helpful for tiny daredevils who love to race towards the street.
Having the Parent’s Handle and Children’s Handle also means both adults and riders are comfortable for longer stretches. As most parents know, easy breezy walks next to their child on a scooter or bike can often turn into the parent carrying the item when the child gets tired. The Ookkie is easy to push, and kids can hold the handle without doing any work (no pushing or kicking) even when tired, so parents won’t have to carry the skateboard home.
Although the Ookkie is pricey, it has the quality, longevity of use and smart design elements to back it up. It’s also the only option on the market right now that helps kids learn how to skateboard without sacrificing their parent’s backs.