Sunday, November 29, 2009

Etnies is so serious about safety...I might actually let my son skate. Maybe.

He wants a skateboard. I want him to keep his body intact. So, for years, I have vetoed the skateboard requests. Well, not exactly vetoed, I have simply said, "When you're older." He doesn't get that I am putting him off. He first started asking when he was 7. Visions of scrambled brains fanned across the sidewalk filled my head when I answered: "When you are 10." It seemed a long way off at the time. Now that he is 11, he is asking again, repeatedly. We're at an impasse, and I have to take him seriously. But I am worried.

EtniesImage via Wikipedia

Understand that I am the mother who made her oldest daughter sit in a booster seat until past the 6th grade because she wasn't tall enough or heavy enough to sit without it. When they say 8 years or 80 lb. I take that seriously! My littlest one, at 8, is still in a booster seat and will be for the foreseeable future. I was the mom who made the kids wear bike helmets long before it was law. I have seen too many of those brain-crushing YouTube videos to feel comfortable otherwise. And what about stubbed toes, broken feet? I am thinking of ordering bubble wrap to wrap around the kid to keep him in one piece.

So when Etnies, an Orange County-based sports shoe and apparel company, invited the bloggers from OC Family to visit their headquarters, I have to admit I didn't know what to expect. I know many swear by skateboarding, but when the force for skateboarding can be 17x that of standing still? Well, call me over-protective, but I am not a happy mama. I am concerned about safety.

Fortunately, so is Etnies. With the only biomechanics lab for skateboarding in the world, they are concerned with safety and performance for skateboarders. With features in their shoes like a reinforced toe box to protect feet from impact, and patented cushioning in the shoe as well, it helps me feel just a bit better about protecting my son's extremities. The owner Pierre was a professional boarder, and many who work there are serious about the sport, too. The company is all about innovation. The employees at etnies clearly are passionate about what they do. Clad in jeans and flannel (oh, the flannel!) they seem happy to be there. They were kind, helpful and gave us cupcakes!

And? The shoes are nice looking, with a ton of variety. Because face it, it doesn't matter how well-made or what safety features are involved if the kid thinks the shoes are ugly and won't wear them. Once I get a chance to get pads, helmet and bubble wrap, my son may just find a skateboard underneath the Christmas tree this year.

Even mama couldn't resist the shopping spree and I had a hard time deciding which shoe I wanted. (I will tell you that their womens' shoes seem to run a bit narrow, so if your foot is on the wider side, like mine, you might want to order a size up, or even try on a pair first. Because they have such a molded footbed, they don't give a lot of room for wider feet. However, because I love the shoes so much, I'm ignoring that. I have to do that with a lot of shoes, it is my curse).

In any case, don't say I never gave you anything, because etnies is giving you a special deal, too. Just in time for Christmas. Click over to my review blog, Sweet Talkin' to get your deal.

T, who loves to showcase local businesses

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