Many parents find that their kids would rather spend all day on a skateboard or bike than go to baseball practice and they find this concerning. However, the children who prefer solo sports such as these may find their niche in extreme sports rather than structured team sports. Rather than trying to get your child off of the bike and onto the ball field, encourage his interest and find ways to further his skills; you may have a future extreme sports athlete on your hands.
Like most things, there are certain extreme sports that are more suitable for kids than others, and taking necessary safety precautions is of utmost importance. Keep in mind that most extreme sports can be suitable for kids so long as they are mentally and physically ready to handle every aspect of the sport. If your child is not completely prepared, both of you could be in danger. While the following list is certainly not comprehensive, it does provide a general idea of some of the extreme sports that children most commonly participate in.
If you’ve got a child who rides his bike until his legs turn to jell-o, you can help add some challenge and thrill to his passion by introducing him to mountain biking. The rough terrain offers a number of challenges which adds a nice little adrenaline rush; perfect for any thrill-seeking child. This is one of those extreme sports where one thing could lead to another and your child could have a knack for BMX or even motocross. Keep in mind that the person who broke the world record for the longest motorcycle jump was a 12-year-old little boy. Mountain biking is relatively safe so long as your child does not attempt to venture out on their own and they are equipped with proper safety gear.
Some kids seem to be permanently attached to their skateboards and parents have a hard time understanding why. What in the world makes a board with wheels attached so much fun? Whether you understand it or not, skateboarding is an extreme sport that took the world by storm and is now a huge money-making industry. There are a variety of skateboards that are now specifically aimed for children too so equip your child with safety gear and let ‘em roll!
If you are someone who enjoys the outdoors and maybe a little bit of adrenaline every now and then, rock climbing could actually be something that you could enjoy as a family. This particular extreme sport requires a great deal of strength, balance, and skill as well as critical thinking as you plan your next move. So long as your child is physically capable, rock climbing is definitely a sport that would benefit them in more ways than one. Again, teaching proper safety is crucial.
If you’re lucky enough to live near beaches, you can put your child’s excess energy to use with nothing more than a surfboard. Surfing is an excellent extreme sport for those who love water as well as a challenge. Kids are beginning to start surfing at younger and younger ages and it’s truly amazing what some of the tiniest children are capable of. Of course you will need to make sure that your child is a strong and confident swimmer and that they are under constant supervision, but surfing is definitely an extreme sport with a million possibilities.
Children as young as eight can try scuba diving for the first time and proper courses are offered from the age of ten onwards by both PADI and SSI. Scuba diving is an expensive extreme sport but if you have a child that can’t get enough of the water this could be the perfect opportunity for them to hone their skills and meet new friends. For more info on scuba diving for kids check out our ‘Is it Safe for Kids to Scuba Dive‘ article.