If you have a young child or teenager that is interested in trying skateboarding, there are a few things that you can do to help them along. While you don't have to spend a fortune to have a good board, there are somethings to be aware of so that your child can have the best possible shot at experiencing what skateboarding is all about.
1. Do not buy a skateboard from WalMart, Canadian Tire, etc. These are generally of inferior quality compared to equipment made by actual skateboard manufacturers. In Essex County, you can find a few retailers who sell quality products. Basic setups (complete) run around $100.
2. I personally recommend helmets, knee pads, elbow pads and wrist guards, especially for the very young and beginners. Some public parks require helmets. All private, indoor parks require helmets.
3. For the new skater, there are a lot of things to learn before you can start thinking about tricks like kickflips. "Learn to Ride a Skateboard" is an excellent FREE resource online that starts you from the point you first touch a skateboard. As for learning tricks, I personally recommend the "Skateboarding Made Simple" series over at Braille Skateboarding. These lesson are broken down into each mechanical elelment for each trick, with lots of slow motion step-bystep.