Scooters have been a kids’ favourite for well over a century, and their popularity shows no sign of slowing down. From their humble beginnings as planks of wood with roller skates attached; modern versions are constructed from steel and aluminium. Some higher-spec models even feature an adonised finish that reinforces resistance to corrosion and wear, while also improving the scooter’s appearance.
As well as being great fun and a quick and easy way to get around, scooters are simple to maintain (no chains or gears) and help children to learn about speed and balance, which sets them in good stead for sporting activities and learning to ride a bike.
What types of scooter are available?
Not all scooters are limited to two wheels. Innovative manufacturers like Globber produce a range of models to suit every scooting style.
Beginner scooters and three-wheelers
Three-wheeled scooters are a great option for young children who haven’t yet perfected their balance. They use a steering system that’s controlled mostly by leaning for intuitive scooter control, while the large decks enable riders to put one foot on the ground without the other one slipping off.
For a great beginner scooter, check out our 3-in-one Evo Comfort scooter – also available in pink – which features three innovative transformation styles (pushchair, walking bike & full scooter) that enable customisation and adaptation as your child grows!
Folding scooters typically feature metal frames (steel or aluminium), durable rubber wheels and a mudguard over the rear wheel. The foldable feature enables convenient storage options (cupboards; bags; car boots), making them a handy, stylish alternative to skateboards and bikes.
Stunt scooters are compact and durable, and while they can’t fold away, their ruggedness ensures they can withstand bigger impacts than three-wheelers and folding scooters. Their lightweight construction and tough wheels enable tricks to be performed, such as rail grinding and wheeling over steep ramps. In short, stunt scooters are well suited to older and more adventurous kids seeking a thrill.
Essential parts and accessories
Many scooters can be customised with a range of parts – everything from shopping baskets to stunt pegs. Below, we’ve collated the safety essentials you’ll need to supplement your child’s scooter.
The most important accessory, bar none. While they may be unpopular with some kids, the vast range of helmets available ensure they’ll find a design they’ll be proud to wear.
While a few bumps and scrapes are to be expected, robust safety pads (elbow, knee, wrist) can guard against cuts and bruises.
Essential in winter, scooter lights can easily be attached to the scooter’s handlebars, handlebar column or back brake. Check out the Globber Elite, which features vivid multicoloured lights that combine flair with practicality.
Fitting a bell to your child’s scooter is a useful, inexpensive way of alerting pedestrians to their presence on the pavement, therefore minimising the risk of a collision.
Keeping your child’s scooter in optimal condition ensures it’ll perform better and last longer. A small amount of cycle oil on the scooter’s moving parts (wheels, axles etc.) is recommended as it’ll eradicate friction and prevent stiffness, resulting in increased efficiency.
A central consideration for any purchase, you’ll need to establish your budget prior to selection. If your child’s after a high-spec stunt scooter, for example, be prepared to pay more than an entry level three-wheeler. However, if you’re seeking a standard two-wheeler for the sunny weather, a lower-to-mid-priced option should suffice.
Ability and age
As mentioned, it’s best for younger children and scooter novices to start out on three-wheeler/beginner scooters to improve their balance, before upgrading to more advanced two-wheeled models. Below is a simplified guide that correlates the rider’s age and experience to a scooter’s purpose.
Young children – 3-wheeler
Pavement riders – Regular or foldable
Teenagers at the skatepark – Lightweight stunt scooter
Most scooters have a maximum rider weight and exceeding it can seriously impair performance and cause damage to its parts (deck, handlebars, axles) – not to mention the rider! If in doubt when selecting your child’s new scooter, it’s better to err on the side of caution and order the next size up so they can use the scooter for years to come.
Where kids can ride scooters
Now we’ve covered the buying basics, it’s time to clue yourself in on where and what the kids will be doing on their new scooter.
Can kids ride their scooters on the pavement?
In short, yes! Scooters are permitted on pavements as long as the rider is sensible, which means no speeding or trick attempts. However, electric scooters are not permitted for use on the pavement under any circumstances.
While the kids may be allowed to ride their scooters on the pavement; tricks are prohibited. So where should they go if they want to test their skills?
The UK is home to a plethora of indoor and outdoor skateparks, with many featuring huge ramps, bowls and rails to grind. Some establishments also offer lessons and competitions, enabling kids to learn new skills and compete while assimilating into a thriving, supportive community.
Our top 3 must-learn tricks
Now they’ve learned the ropes of riding and visited a skatepark, it’s time to learn some tricks! Read on to discover three essential scooter tricks that any scooter-enthusiast should know.
The bunny hop
Borrowing the term from the BMX sphere, the bunny hop sees the rider jumping in the air with both wheels leaving the ground. Start them off with small stationary jumps before allowing them to execute the move over obstacles or ramps. Remember though, the most important part of the trick is making a safe landing.
The rider lifts the front wheel while in motion, allowing them to glide along on their back wheel. As well as being able to maintain excellent balance and concentration, the rider must learn to raise the front wheel to the correct height. The learning process will likely see your child initially planting the front wheel down prematurely, or tipping the scooter too far backwards, both of which will result in a tumble. Don’t worry though; this is all part of the learning process.
Last but not least, the most complex trick on our list: the tail whip. This intricate trick sees the rider flicking the deck a full 360° as they soar through the air. To perform this stunt, your child should have mastered the bunny hop. However, some ramp-assistance may be required in order for them to attain the hangtime needed to perform the full deck rotation.