By Nils, founder of baby international
Sir Ken Robinson, the renowned expert on education, said: “Whether or not you discover your talents and passions is partly a matter of opportunity. If you’ve never been sailing, or picked up an instrument, or tried to teach or to write fiction, how would you know if you had a talent for these things?”
This is the story of how I developed a new line of skateboards, and in the process offered my son and other children an opportunity to discover just how much they are capable of.
A year ago I went to a store to buy my son a skateboard for his birthday. I expected to find a large selection but there were just a few boards, and all of them had some flaws. They weren’t the quality I expected (they didn’t have flexible axles for example), I didn’t like the design of the deck that much, and they weren’t easy to use. I still bought one that made a great present, but after some time it ended up somewhere on top of all the other toys my son owns.
Too bad. I think skateboarding is not only very cool, but skaters have an excellent feel for balancing and way better motor skills than most of us. And, as a friend of mine is a skater with a four year old whizz on the skateboard, I knew that kids can learn this. And so my friend and I sat together and the idea was born to create a line of boards for children to offer them a safe way into a sport that can look intimidating from the outside.
We played around a bit with ideas and eventually settled on three different boards all with their own distinct set of advantages. And as we have kids of our own, we have very critical and passionate product testers in house. And I was stunned by what happened. My son – who never wanted to use his old skateboard – started to love his new longboard as it allowed him an easier access to skating as his old more challenging skateboard.
In a few years, he will be an ace skating in the half pipe and I will be glad I gave him an opportunity to develop his talents. And that brings me to the idea that it’s difficult to skate – I was wondering about it this project, and I got a lot of similar comments along the way. I think I know why people say that. It’s because our parents might not have given us the opportunity to develop certain skills, and that which we take as facts, are just our own shortcomings.
PS: I’m also skating, now! Get a board yourself and skate yourself. Its great fun. Do something. Get awesome!