As back to school is almost here, dad of two Mark Jennings and his children, Amber, ten and Jacob, three, take some scooters out for a test ride.
With September fast approaching, that only means one thing for kids... Back to School. If you have a tween then you'll know they grow up so much quicker these days and want independence far sooner than when we were kids.
This includes the gradual process of your beloved child backing off from giving you kisses and hugs when you drop them off on the school run, to them not wanting you do be within a 10 meter radius in fear of embarrassing them in front of their friends and then not wanting you to walk them to school at all.
At first our daughter Amber, ten, wanted to ride her bike to school, but with not much experience at cycling, we weren't convinced she would be steady enough on a big bike and this would detract her concentration from the traffic. So (still slightly reluctant) we compromised. She could come home from school on her scooter. No soon as confidence on both parts was restored, Amber was moaning that her scooter wasn't up to scratch (it was on old scooter of mine that my wife bought me when they became fashionable in the early noughties) and the back wheel had started to fall off, so what great opportunity to try a few models out.
Zinc Chozen 'Team Series' Scooter - £149.99
The first of 3 differently priced stunt scooters Amber tried out was the 'Zinc Chozen' available in 4 colours, it simply looks awesome with it's colour coded parts and cool graphics. The 10mm high bounce wheels make for a smooth ride and you can pick up a fair bit of speed thankfully kept under control with the fender brake. Spec includes 50cm chro-moly 'sea gul' steel handle bars that turn 360 degrees held in place by an chunky aluminium quad clamp. The dual down-tube makes for a solid scooter built for skate parks, so you can be totally confident in it's durability being able to take up to 100kg in weight! For further information please visit: www.zincsports.com
Mongoose Stance Stunt Scooter - £59.99
Another stylish and colourful medium budget stunt scooter is the Mongoose 'Stance'. The Mongoose brand has been with BMX since the 1970's and pride themselves on being an 'aggressive brand with products that push the limits of what a rider can do'. The steel 360 degrees handlebars are a Y-Bar in design and slightly narrower than the Zinc Chozen at 47cm held in place by a triple clamp collar. With extra grip on the flat down bar as well as the alloy deck gives you some extra standing area and steel brakes make for steady but controlled breaking. For further information please visit: www.halfords.com
Evo Stunt Scooter - £29.99
For a budget option and ideal for beginners, the Evo stunt scooter won't do anything to harm your child's street cred with it's striking black and orange colour scheme. Lightweight yet strong it picks up on all the needs of more expensive scooters. Quick and easy to assemble this is great value for money if you're on a tight budget. For further information please visit: www.houseoffraser.co.uk
Micro Floral White Scooter - £159.95
Now, for something a little more lady-like, the Micro White Floral Grey Scooter not only brings elegance but practicality as it can fold up for easy storage and carrying. Larger 20mm wheels produces a more comfortable ride and having a bigger frame makes it more agreeable for taller riders. Other attentions to detail include a front mud guard to protect you from the British weather and a stand gives you that more grown-up impression instead of just leaning it against a wall. This scooter is not just ideal for pre-teens but adults too, with petrol prices sky high (and if you're brave enough) why not use it for the short daily commute? And men haven't got the excuse it's 'too girly' as it come in a black and white option too! For further information please visit: www.micro-scooters.co.uk
The Amazing Spiderman Folding Scooter - £29.99
One for the little ones now. Our son Jacob, three, didn't need to be asked twice to try out the Amazing Spiderman folding Scooter by D'Arpèje. Suitable from the age of 4 this bright and colorful scooter not only has the famous web-shooting superhero livery, but cool light up 12mm wheels too! Very easy to set up and fully adjustable you'll be sure to get the right height handle bars for your young child and being foldable you can easily keep it in your car to keep him or her entertained when you're out and about. This sturdy scooter is ideal for younger kids and great value for money. For further information please visit: www.ebuyer.com
...and let's not forget safety helmets
We now accept that children should wear helmets when they ride their bikes, but I still see many kids not wearing a helmet when scootering. Some of these stunt scooters can go pretty fast, so it's important to get the message through to the kids that safety comes first!
Both Kiddimoto and Micro Scooters offer an amazing range of cool helmets that conform to en1078 safety standards which will convince even the most stubborn child that it's cool to wear a helmet.
For example, the 'Official Evil Knievel' helmet (£34.99) from Kiddimoto is quite frankly retro-tastic and you'll be the envy of your peers at either home time or at the skate park, I would have loved one of these in the not so safety conscious 70's! And the pretty 'Mirrored Purple' helmet (£24.95) from Micro-Scooters is simplistic but very striking in the way it catches the natural light.