I know I’m showing my age by admitting it, but the first thing that came to mind when I heard that this scooter was called “Landshark” was “Candygram.” Regardless of whether you got that reference or had to Google it, though, your kids are going to love this thing.
The design appears deceptively simple: The Landshark is, essentially, a board with four wheels, handlebars, and padding. But the handlebars aren’t just for hanging onto — they turn, letting the rider steer the Landshark, and they have an easy-to-use handbrake. It’s not a conventional scooter, leading some people to refer to it as a “kneeboard,” which is more descriptive of its use, since the rider is meant to put one knee on the padding, hold the handlebars, push off with the other foot, and then bring the other knee onto the padding.
My kids took to the Landshark like a dianoga to a trash compactor. I had them try it on the sidewalk in front of our house first, just to get the hang of steering and braking. Then I let them use it around our neighborhood, and they had an absolute blast. Handling it quickly became second nature to them, and to the other neighborhood kids who upon seeing it immediately begged to try it out, too. I was pleased that it came with a tall safety flag that attaches to the board, because otherwise the profile of a child on the board would be low enough that they could easily be missed by drivers, especially on backing out of a parking space.
It looked like enough fun that I really wanted to try it out for myself, but I wasn’t quite confident enough in its ability to handle my weight and, more importantly, in my ability not to fall off of it, that that seemed like a good idea. My kids have been asking to play with it practically every day after coming home from school, and I expect that once school’s out for them (later this week) they’ll be playing with it even more.
The Fuzion Landshark by Nextsport retails for $79.99, but can be found many places (including Amazon) for $69.99. Of course, anyone using the scooter/kneeboard should wear a helmet at all times — my kids just wear their bike helmets. I was not able to find a suggested age range for the product, but the one I have has been successfully used by kids aged six to nine without problem, and there’s no reason older kids couldn’t continue to use it.
Wired: A lot of fun, and incredibly easy to use. The handbrake and flag will give parents some peace of mind as to its safety. If you take the flag off, the device and the flag are easily stored in a closet, without taking up much space at all.
Tired: Not much, really. If it seems a bit pricey, keep in mind that it’s very durable and should last your kids for quite a few years.
Summary: A lot of fun for kids — enough that you’ll probably want to try it out, too. Whether you should or not is your choice.
(Full disclosure: I received a free Landshark for review purposes.)