Some kids are OK with scooting from point A to point B in a stylish fun way without killing themselves. But the regular kids kick scooter isn’t strong enough for the amount of abuse active tykes throw at scooters. Enter tricks scooters and problem solved.
Related: Best Scooters for Toddlers
The best stunt scooters for kids are lightweight micro-mobility devices with a super sturdy alloy frame and wheels with a metal core. They’re built to take abuse.
Unlike regular foldable kids kick scooters, scooters for tricks and jumps have a fixed T-shaped handlebar. Not being foldable may seem like a bad thing, but it’s a design decision that fosters scooter safety when energetic kids are out there pushing their agility limits.
Which is the Best Kids Stunt Scooter?
What’s more, this tricks scooter looks nice. And kids love things that look nice so they can show them off to their friends.
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Mongoose is best known for its bikes, but it’s also become quite popular in the freestyle scootering world.
The Mongoose Rise 100 Youth & Adult Stunt Scooter came out on top.
What makes this scooter a good bet? Its 4-bolt neck clamp that holds the bar firmly and securely, relatively hard PU wheels with an alloy core, a seriously sturdy and roomy deck, a great rear fender brake for safety, and even pegs that makes doing tricks that much easier.
Well, it may not be the cheapest deal out there, but it’s not pricey either. What’s not so great about the Mongoose Rise 100? The wheels could be larger, and IHC compression needs tweaking from time to time to keep the headset nice and tight.
The best part is that this device isn’t too expensive. For the price, you’re getting great quality that translates into great performance and durability.
What’s not so great about the Mongoose Rise 100? The wheels could be larger, and IHC compression needs tweaking from time to time to keep the headset nice and tight.
Standard Kick Scooters vs Stunt Scooters
While regular kick scooters are used to roll from point A to point B reasonably fast, safely, and in style, stunt scooters are primarily used for performing all sorts of tricks and jumps. Compared to standard scooters, tricks scooters have a lighter yet stronger frame. Also, the wheels have a metal core instead of the typically plastic core of conventional kick scooters’ wheels. This strong core helps them retain a round shape despite constant abuse.
Another key difference is that stunt scooters are not foldable, and the handlebar sits at a fixed height above the ground. Since the handle/T-bar welds to the scooter’s frame and the stem doesn’t adjust upward, you can’t adjust handlebar height. So be sure the person you’re buying for will be comfortable riding at that height.
How Do You Choose a Good Kids Tricks Kick Scooter?
There’s a few things to watch out for when shopping around for a stunt scooter for your kid. Below is a list of what to look for:
1. Frame Design, Weight, and Strength
Streamlined Scooter Design
Like race road bikes, stunt scooters come in a streamlined design because the rider needs to go very fast. That’s why these scooters have a slim design without accessories. You won’t even get a carry handle on these scooters for this very reason.
Kids don’t have much muscle strength and their bodies aren’t strong enough to carry heavy play gear. For this reason, they need lightweight stunt kick scooters. But what use is an ultra-lightweight if it is weak? It’s no use.
A Lightweight Yet Super Strong Frame
Trick scooters take tons of abuse. That’s why they need to have an extremely strong frame. The most common frame materials are aluminum alloy, steel alloy, and titanium.
Titanium scooters are super light yet very strong, and they’re normally found on high-end options. Steel would be the best choice for the frame if this metal wasn’t too heavy. Still, there’s such a thing as lightweight steel frames.
Frame Materials: Aluminum, Steel, or Titanium
For absolute beginners, a lightweight aluminum alloy frame should suffice. But pros who do massive jumps at skateparks and during competitions may need an extremely lightweight titanium frame with an equally streamlined design for unhindered performance.
2. Kids Stunt Scooter Deck Material, Deck Width & Length
A scooter deck is usually made from lightweight but strong aluminum. Tricks scooter manufacturers heat-treat the deck’s aluminum to make it even stronger for impacts.
Most kids from age 8 can ride a stunt scooter with a standard sized deck. A standard sized kids’ scooter deck measures about 4″ width-wise and 20″ in length.
The wider the deck, the more stable the ride and the easier to control. Scooters used for school runs and commuting in general tend to have a standard sized deck. Pro scooters on the other hand tend to have a narrower deck. A narrower deck means increased maneuverability and agility when performing technical scootering tricks, especially bar spins.
Don’t overthink deck width when buying a stunt scooter for a young child who’s a complete beginner. And if your kiddo is a pro, I imagine they’ve already decided what deck width works best for their skill level and scooting style.
3. Stunt Scooter Handlebar Width
What’s the best handlebar width for my child? Every kid is different and may have a width preference. Most kids scooters have bars measuring between 18″ and 22″.
Nearly every guy hubby scoots with (he scoots park and street but mostly street) prefers size 22″ handlebars. But smaller riders (kids and smaller adults) may want to choose narrower bars.
Super wide scooter handlebars make handling the scooter more difficult. And the odds of accidents increase significantly with reduced ride control. That said, pro scooter riders who like getting their hands off the handle and going up for big air prefer wider handles.
As a general rule, park riders prefer narrower scooter handles while street style scooter riders favor wider handles. In the end though, it’s a matter of personal preference.
It’s hard to say what handlebar length is right for which age, but smaller kids definitely need narrower handlebars. So don’t worry too much about what handlebar width to choose for your kiddo’s stunt scooter. Because you can always cut the bar and make it shorter.
If you’re unsure how to cut the bar, take the scooter down to your local scooter shop and pay them a little fee to do the job.
Don’t have a scooter shop in your area? Don’t worry, the guys down at the local bike shop should be able to handle it. But it’s not too complicated and you don’t need complex tools or metal working skills.
You may also buy a new bar and remove the existing one if your kiddo outgrows it. You have options dad/mom, so buy whatever the thing, have your tyke test the ride for a while, and make handlebar width adjustments as needed.
4. Kids Stunt Scooter Handle Height
Many parents have trouble deciding on the correct handle height for their child. This is usually because these loving moms and dads aren’t sure where this measurement starts and where it ends. Do you measure from the deck to the handles or from the ground to the bars?
Most kids should be comfortable with a waist-level handle height. At this height, they’re able to maneuver and control the two-wheeled vehicle with confidence. If the bars are too low, comfort vanishes.
And if the handles sit too high above the waist/hips, there’s a chance that the little rider with hit their soft face on the T bar. It’s best to stick to the deck-to-waist scooter height if your kiddo’s not yet developed a height preference.
Age vs Height: What Matters More?
It’s common for parents online to ask what handlebar height is good for a 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old, 12 year olds and so on. But the correct question to ask is: Will this stunt scooter suitable for my child’s height. He’s 4′ 11″ tall and I don’t want to buy them anything that won’t be comfortable for their height.
Here’s a kid’s height/age size chart for sizing a kick scooter. It’s a general guide though.
5. Wheel Size, Core, and Material
The wheels on stunt scooters are smaller and harder than those on normal kick scooters. How big are the wheels on kids’ stunt scooters supposed to be? The wheels on kids’ trick kick scooters usually have a diameter of 90mm-110mm. That said, scooters for adults and older/bigger kids usually have 110mm-120mm wheels.
Stunt Scooter Wheel Core
Wheel core is another critical consideration when shopping for a kids’ stunt scooter. Many standard scooters have wheels with a plastic core. And that’s OK.
But a plastic core doesn’t work well with stunt scooters. These scooters have to deal with tons of force from jumps and various kinds of scooter tricks. And a plastic core isn’t tough enough to soak up these forces. Make sure that the option you’re checking out features aluminum or steel core wheels.
Scooter Wheel Material
There are two kinds of scooter wheels to consider namely polyurethane scooter wheels and pneumatic wheels. Each material outperforms the other in particular situations.
For example, the overall performance of air-filled rubber scooter wheels suffers a big blow when you throw asphalt at them. But when you’re scooting off the beaten path, pneumatic tires are the real deal.
So, where will your kiddo mostly ride their trick scooter? If it will mostly be in the skate park, stay away from pneumatic wheels. You rarely see stunt scooters with pneumatic tires in skate parks. What you see pretty much all the time is polyurethane wheels. Similarly, you rarely see hard PU scooter wheels rolling over off-road terrain.
Stunt Scooter Bearings
Because stunt scooters are high-performance kick scooters, you need to have high-quality ball bearings inside of the wheels. ABEC 7 or ABEC 9 rated bearings is what works best for this use case. Highly rated scooter bearings usually translate to great tolerance and allow for incredibly precise moves in the skate park. I recommend steel bearings because they’re extremely tough and don’t ratchet up overall scooter cost loads.
6. Braking System
Stunt scooters for kids and adults typically rely on the rear wheel fender break. This is a basic braking mechanism that works by pressing it down using one foot. Using this brake can feel pretty awkward at first, but once your kiddo gets used to it, using it is easy and effective.
This stopping system relies on the friction that builds up between the metal fender and rear wheel. This fender can get really hot sometimes, so your kid needs to avoid wearing shoes with thin soles.
Some scooters have a handbrake, but stunt scooters normally don’t use this break type. A handbrake of any kind makes increases the weight of the scooter, making it clunky, something no scooter tricks doer ever likes.
Stunt Scooter Price and Brand
What’s affordable to me or someone else may not necessarily feel affordable to you. Let your budget decide which scooter to purchase for your little one.
There are good $100 kids’ stunt scooters and good $200+ options. Here’s a general rule to guide your decision making: the pricier the stunt scooter, the better the quality and vice versa.
Why Are Stunt Scooters More Expensive Than Standard Scooters?
All other things being equal, you can expect a $250 trick scooter to be better quality than a $100 model from the same company. But is the price difference justifiable?
Yes. If a stunt scooter is more expensive than another, it’s sometimes because it comes from a big-name brand. But pro scooters cost more mostly because they have great components and performance-enhancing features.
A high-end pro scooter usually comes with a thread-less fork versus a threaded fork for cheaper options. It also comes with bigger wheels that roll faster while lasting longer. Also, more expensive scooters are lighter yet stronger and tend to outlast their budget counterparts.
Threaded vs Thread-less Scooter Forks: Which is Better
Pros always prefer a scooter with a thread-less fork over one with a threaded fork. This is because a thread-less fork is much stronger than a threaded one because its design includes compression. This fork type takes jumps and other scooting impacts much better than a threaded option.
There are 6 Different kinds of kid’s stunt scooter compression systems namely:
1. HIC (Hidden Integrated System)
2. IHC (Integrated Hidden Compression)
3. SCS (Standard Compression System
4. ICS (international Compression System)
5. ICS10 compression
6. Mini HIC compression
Each of these compression systems describes how the deck, bars, and forks of a particular trick scooter mechanically work together and attach to the scooter.
These attachment mechanisms aren’t created equal. Each has pros and cons, and the following sections contain these details.
1.Hidden Integrated Compression System (A Cheap & Light Choice)
The RAD Scooter Company invented the HIC compression system. This company also gave the scooting world the first-ever single-piece T bar as well as the first scooter bar with backsweep.
HIC is one the lightest and cheapest compressions available. Little wonder it’s pretty common in many kids’ stunt scooters and budget adult stunt scooters.
It consists of a shim, topcap, starnut, and bolt and it works best with ALL HIC and SCS forks. However, you can modify an ICS fork for compatibility with HIC. This modification involves installing a starnut into the ICS fork. To do this, you must cut off the topcap of the ICS fork. But starnuts aren’t that strong.
Note that HIC ONLY works with oversized steel bars and DOES NOT work with aluminum bars. The clamp has the slit on the oversized steel bar to thank for allowing it to lock the HIC compression system in place thanks. Unfortunately, the slit on the bar weakens the structural integrity of the system over time.
Compared to most compression systems, HIC stays nice and tight for longer. Price range: $10-15.
Finally, installation and maintenance are easier compared to ICS compression.
Overall, this system keeps scooter weight pretty low while offering reasonable reliability at a great price. It’s a great buy.
Advantages of HIC System
- Compatible with ALL HIC forks
- Works with ALL SCS forks
- Can work with ICS forks if you cut off the topcap and install a starnut
- Super-light and affordable
- Compared to ICS, it’s easier to install and maintain
- Quite strong unless you’re using a modified ICS fork
- Offers a great balance between price and reliability
Disadvantages of HIC
- Bars with a slit weaken over time
- Doesn’t work with aluminum bars
- Only works with oversize steel bars
2.IHC Stunt Scooter Compression
Originally designed by Blunt and Envy Scooters, it’s a lighter version of HIC. Unlike HIC which only works with oversize steel bars, IHC allows you to run standard sized aluminum bars and standard sized steel bars.
One difference between IHC and HIC is that the former comes already built into IHC-specific forks. So the deal includes both compression and a compatible fork.
IHC DOES NOT work with standard sized non-HIC forks of any kind. These forks have a smaller diameter than the oversized ones used with HIC systems. They’re standard sized forks, after all.
IHC consists of a topcap, compression bolt, and a shim but no starnut. Since the forks in this system are slimmer, the compression bolt works with integrated threads instead of a starnut. And because there’s no starnut, IHC are stronger and lighter than HIC systems.
However, the aluminum and steel bars that plug into this system need to have a slit on them. Due to this fact, the overall integrity of these bars weakens over time. And because the forks are thinner, they’re prone to breakages especially if used by heavier scooter riders.
Its popularity’s been growing over the past couple of years because it gives scooter riders a lightweight affordable compression system that’s pretty strong, reliable, and easy to use.
Price ranges between $50 and $85. Evidently, this option is significantly costlier than HIC. But that’s just the way it is with lighter, stronger components.
What’s not so great about IHC compression: This compression requires you to use a fork-specific headset compression ring. Industry standard headset compression rings DO NOT work with the forks this system’s compatible with.
Fortunately, most IHC-specific forks come with a compatible compression ring. Don’t lose this compression ring when fixing headset trouble!
Another con is that if you’re using non-Blunt and Envy compression/fork, you’re not always certain that these forks will work with all aftermarket shims.
One of the lightest if not the lightest compression out there.
- One of the lightest compressions out there
- Quite easy to work with
- Compression system comes with an IHC-specific fork
- Quite affordable
- Lighter than HIC systems
- Bars need to have slits which weaken them gradually
- Only works with standard sized aluminum and steel bars
- Some non-Blunt and Envy forks may not be compatible with some aftermarket shims
- Not ideal for heavy riders or very hard impacts
3. Mini HIC Compression
This system is similar to IHC and HIC compressions as far as design and function. The only difference between Mini and IHC is that the fork tube diameter is slightly smaller. But this small difference means a lot — you CANNOT use Mini HIC shims or forks with IHC compression and vice versa.
It’s not super popular amongst scooter riders because they experience more parts compatibility issues than they do with HIC and IHC systems.
The Mini HIC shim slides over the slightly smaller diameter fork tube, making it standard size. It’s a lightweight system, easy to put together, and easy to maintain. And since the bars need to have a slit, the compression loses some of its initial strength as time passes.
If you’re a pretty heavy scooter rider or are buying for a chunky teen, this may not be the best compression. Since this mechanism works with smaller diameter fork tubes, scooter breakages happen frequently. If you see yourself, your big teen or kiddo doing all sorts of big jumps with your new stunt scooter, choose an option with a different system.
BTW, the Mini HIC compression is designed for compatibility with a bunch of entry-level stunt scooters. It’s typically found in Crisp, Phoenix, and Grit beginner pro scooters.
- Works with several scooter brands: Phoenix, Grit, and Crisp scooters
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Easy to maintain
- Not a good option for big kids and heavy scooting daredevils
- Tons of compatibility issues with other compression systems
4. ICS (Inverted Compression System)
ICS was the first compression system sold in the stunt scooter market. It’s also the cheapest and lightest compression you can buy. But it has a big downside — it’s the weakest compression system ever invented.
It’s the most common compression in kids’ stunt scooters because it’s the lightest choice and quite affordable. It comes with a 11/4″ starnut installed into the scooter’s handlebars. In this system, an inverted compression bolt underneath the fork compresses the front end.
Some companies use a shorter compression bolt to make an ultra-light ICS compression system. In such a system, the scooter manufacturer adds a topcap onto the top of the steer tube.
But using a short bolt poses a problem. When tightening the compression bolt, you need an 11″ Allen Key, but the 11″ Allen Key isn’t easily available. If you choose this type, be sure the package includes an Allen Key because not all forks do.
Other scooter companies prefer a longer compression bolt. When they opt to do this, they build the topcap into the fork’s bottom just above the arms.
One drawback of ICS is that it’s not the easiest to use. You can’t loosen or tighten this compression without removing the front wheel. The problem with this is that it’s easy to strip or even break the bolt or starnut when taking off the front wheel.
Also, this compression doesn’t stay tight for as long as others.
ICS uses scooter bars with a slit. And a slit is definitely a point of weakness in the construction. It’s compatible with ALL aluminum bars and standard sized steel bars. Aluminum bars normally have a standard sized inner diameter while the outside diameter is oversized.
Advantages of ICS
- Lightest choice and pretty cheap
- Compatible with standard sized steel bars
- Compatible with ALL aluminum bars
Disadvantages of ICS
- Challenging to maintain especially if it has a shorter compression bolt
- Since it uses a starnut, it tends to be relatively weak
- Having a slit cut into the bar compromises its strength over time
- The front end loosens up a lot quicker than other options
5. ICS 10 Compression System
The ICS 10 compression is primarily found in Addict and Ethic DTC scooters. It’s similar to its predecessor the ICS, but it uses a compression bolt with a bigger diameter. Another difference is that the starnut comes with larger threads. ICS 10 ONLY works with ICS10 forks made by Ethic DTC and Addict. Since the compression bolt is thicker for ICS10, this system tends to outlast regular ICS systems.
Maintaining ICS 10 isn’t easy because the system uses a shorter inverted compression bolt. You need an 11″ Allen Key, which is hard to find. Also, the front wheel needs to be removed during maintenance. And this can have damaging effects on the bolt and starnut.
Running ICS 10 requires you to use standard steel bar or ANY aluminum bar that has a slit cut into it. And slits become points of reduced strength over time.
The front end of ICS 10 compression systems stays tight longer than ICS compressions. However, it comes loose sooner than most systems.
Pros of ICS 10
Pros of ICS 10
- Lightweight and affordable
- Works with ALL standard sized steel bars
- Compatible with ALL aluminum bars
- More durable than regular ICS because the bolt is thicker
- Stays tight longer compared to ICS 10