Over the last year, many parents have discovered the importance of safe, close-to-home outdoor exercise for their children. With so much time devoted to screens, a quick and easy way to get outside is more crucial than ever. With more novelty than a bicycle—and more “surfability”—the kickboard may be the key to lockdown-friendly exercise.
We love bikes but this three-wheeled wonder from Kickboard Canada allows children (and adults) a new level of mobile creativity, with an intuitive “lean-to-steer” mechanism to surf sidewalks with ease and precision.
The Maxi MICRO Deluxe Kickboard is a sort of hybrid scooter/skateboard. But unlike the latter, beginners will find it very stable and forgiving. Our five-year-old tester had learned the basics on a two-wheeled scooter prior to using the Maxi MICRO Deluxe and picked up the new kickboard technique in about two minutes. The three wheels (technically four, since the rear is actually two conjoined) should not be thought of as “training wheels.” Instead, the kickboard system is designed to do more than a regular scooter.
Experienced riders (the age range is 5-12) will quickly learn to steer the kickboard by tipping the deck left or right with their feet and body weight in tandem with the steering column to engage the multi-directional front wheels. Eventually, the rider can stand on the board sideways, skateboard- (or snowboard-) wise, thus maximizing the deck-tipping motion. Then with some strategic knee-bending, concrete-carving mastery can begin!
In the late ’90s, MICRO, a Swiss company, together with the K2 ski company, designed the original for-adults kickboard. Its popularity was such that MICRO went on to develop childrens’ kickboards.
What’s not to love? The tough polyurethane wheels offer a quiet and smooth ride. The kickboard is also suitable for indoor use and did not scratch our wooden floors—another lockdown advantage. Our five-year-old has spent many rainy-day hours kickboarding up and down hallways—staying active, engaged, and off the couch.
The easy-to-engage rear foot-brake adds stability and control. The adjustable handlebar/anodized steering column grows with your child to ensure years of use. The official load rating is 50kg (actual load rating: 70kg).
The Maxi MICRO’s reinforced fiberglass deck construction (with silicone detailing for extra grip) provides durability for everyday use while remaining very lightweight. It’s so light in fact that a five-year-old can easily carry it and move it from place to place with one hand. Once again, this is another advantage a kickboard has over a bike, which is significantly less portable.
How portable? We easily fit the Maxi MICRO in the back of our Chariot, which allows us to travel to and from kickboard-friendly areas, car-free. And the folding models are even more portable.
The foundational idea of the kickboard is that it fills a need to cover “micro” distances in urban or semi-urban areas when a car doesn’t make sense. A kickboard or scooter will thrive wherever anywhere there’s pavement and concrete. In a world where more urbanization seems inevitable–the UN estimates that 68% of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050–the importance of sustainable, health-promoting forms of transportation and recreation cannot be overestimated. A kickboard may be small, but its impact can be huge.
Kickboard Canada/MICRO Scooters Canada offer a wide array of scooters and kickboards for all ages and abilities in their e-store.