Firstly, this isn’t a general buying guide. This is specific to very small kids, around age 5. You can find a beginner buying guide on another of our pages. I’d also add we don’t make any money from linking to products here, and we are impartial.
|Oxelo Play 120 Kids skateboard||Blind Soft top skateboard|
|Wheelbase||11.375 (at smaller width)||11.375|
Both have the same wheelbase so are good for small people. There’s nothing worse than seeing a kid struggle to kick turn a board because they are trying to lift something that is half of their weight.
‘Kids’ 3-7 years skateboard play 120 skate’
The Decathlon board has been drilled so you can set it up two ways, the default being a super long wheelbase so it’s really stable to learn to push & carve, much like a longboard. This is smart, and will get the child pushing along with stability more quickly. Why do this? Well, often, with trucks set up conventionally, the front foot will creep onto the nose, and as such the board will pivot there whilst pushing, and you’ll fall off. I will say that when you change the truck to the conventional position, so you can learn to kickturn, you will have the same struggle. You are just putting off the inevitable.
I read this on the product description:
‘With the trucks at the nose and tail, you no longer have a lever effect, which means no goofy or regular positioning – which is why it has a symmetrical shape.’
Don’t worry if this makes no sense. It makes no sense to me either. They seem to be referring to what I mention above, but it doesn’t matter where you put trucks on skateboard, you need to put one foot on the back, and one on the front, or you’re going to be doing a lot of falling over. If you are putting a foot on the front, and a foot on the back, you will be assuming a goofy or regular stance. The above statement is nonsense. Ignore it.
The Decathlon board was much much easier for kids to learn to carve. Many of the completes targeted at this age range come with bushings that are too hard and these kids struggle to get the trucks to flex and carve. But going beyond this, the problem is that as soon as said kid picks up some speed, they’re going to get the speed wobbles. So you’re going to need to tighten the trucks, which didn’t do anything on this board. You need to change the bushings for some harder ones.
The age range on the Decathlon is labelled as 4 – 7. I’d suggest it’s more 3 – 5. But thinking in the terms of age isn’t helpful. It’s really more about ability, and once you’ve got past the pushing and carving part then you need to change things up, because the kids are going to want to go faster – which this board is not built for.
As a coach the footprints on the skateboard are super helpful because you don’t have to do so much explaining about where to put your feet (we draw footprints on our skate school boards). This is great for kids aged 5 and under The foot prints are colour coordinated which is handy because you can ask the child to put their back foot on the blue/yellow footprint accordingly to whether they are regs/goofy.
Blind 6.75 OG Soft Top youth complete skateboard
The Blind complete is a premium setup, with Tensor trucks. Both brands are well established in the skate community.
The Blind complete is much narrower than the the Decathlon board, which initially I thought would mean it would be easier to carve, but quite the opposite was true. The bushings in the Decathlon board were super super soft. Even when you loosened off the bushings all the way on the Blind board, smaller, lighter kids were not getting any turn when they tried to carve. You’ll need to break the bushings in yourself (as an adult. A few hours riding time!?) or get some super soft bushings and change them out (do this). It’s a bit frustrating but this is a common problem.
The selling point for the Blind is the soft foam grip tape. This makes it nicer for the child to hold and play with. If they want to roll face down, OK. No scabby faces when accidents happen. Yes there’s less grip but what do you need this grip for? The Ollie. At this age range the Ollie isn’t a priority, and most kids just want to have fun rolling around. Yes, you can change the grip over when they are ready for more grip.
As a coach, it was easier to move the feet to the right place because the soft surface.
If you buy the Decathlon it’s good for learning to push and great for carving right out of the box, the super basics, but going beyond this, you’ll need to swap out the bushings for some harder ones. The plastic trucks are no good for grinding – but let’s face it, this is pretty advanced stuff for the age range it’s targeted to.
The Blind is a very nice board, with great components, akin to a pro setup, and it’s good to get the kids onto a board of this quality early on if you can afford it. Where it falls down is the bushings. They are too hard. Pick up some super soft Bones bushings and change them out. This bushings problem is something you will find in many many completes targeted at this age range.
Whatever you do, please try and support the local skate community. Go to your local skate shop if you can.