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This week's column:

Is My 3 Year Old Ready to Skate?

May 15, 2013




QHello, Bill: I have a 3-year-old son and I would really like to teach him how to skate. But I haven't seen any 3 year olds on skates in our parks in Bucharest, and I wonder if he is too young for skating? Also, could you tell me what kind of inline skates would be good for him to start on? Thank you. - Irina from Bucharest, Romania

Ask the Coach!

Hi, Irina: As long as your son wants to skate and enjoys it, there is no problem with starting him at three. I remember my daughter, Nicole, holding her mother's hand and skating a half marathon before she turned three.

That may not be the norm. But in fact, there is no right or wrong or specific age to start a child skating. It’s a beautiful way to exercise and one that parents and children can enjoy side by side.

At our club in Timaru, we have lots of young skaters. We start them on plastic inline skates with high cuffs. (Ours are provided by our sponsor X-Tech.) These skates are good because they provide plenty of ankle support, which is important because young skaters have a tendency to flop over — pronate — on their inside wheel edges.

After the kids learn to skate, we put them on size-adjustable children’s speed skates. These skates expand three sizes to accommodate their growing feet without emptying their parents' wallets.

If you can’t find boots that are small enough, get the smallest ones you can and stuff a little wet tissue paper in the toe. This will take up the slack and keep his feet from sliding around in the boot.

Good luck and have fun!

Cheers, Bill

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