7 Reasons To Take A Kid Go Kart Racing
Back in the day, Go Kart Racing was a fun, albeit terrifying and borderline suicidal, exercise. When I was little, dads would bring their kids to the “track”, which consisted of a few stolen orange cones haphazardly tossed around the school parking lot. They’d drop us off with nothing more than ridiculously over-powered karts and possibly a PP&J. There were rarely helmets, certainly no harnesses and we sure as heck weren’t signing any waivers! We would zoom around the lot, handicapped by a terrifying combination of flip flops, exhaust fumes & questionable breaks. These days, kids have these awesome indoor electric kart facilities that offer a really safe yet exciting way to get introduced to the sport. Here’s why it’s both the real deal and the best way to ensure you’re everyone’s favorite mom/dad/uncle/auntie:
1. It’s Safer
Most indoor electric go kart tracks have wonderful ways to keep kids safe while they zip around the oval. This includes full face helmets (& lice free liners), reflexive barrier systems, 3-point harnesses and remote kill switches in case of an accident. And because they’re indoor, your races won’t be rained out, snowed out or fried in the sun.
2. It’s Electric
Transitioning to electric karts from gas-powered, is kind of like getting used to music venues in a post-cigarette world. At first, you think it’s an abomination—it’s all too clean and sterile. Where’s the edge? Then you realize the only stench is adrenaline and burning rubber—and you’re hooked. Not to mention that whole environment thing…
3. They Could Become A Better Driver
Teaching 16-year-old, hormonally enraged, pimple-faced teens to drive a car can be an overwhelming, exhausting experience... or so my father keeps reminding me. But if a kid spends some time driving around a track before they venture into the driver’s seat, they will undoubtedly be more confident, more respectful and certainly more capable than starting out cold. It’s possible whatever time you spend at the track may save you a headache later.
4. They Could Secure Your Retirement
Like we covered previously in 10 Ways to Get a Start in Racing, many professional drivers start their career as kids in karts. Whether it’s Formula One, Indy or NASCAR, the majority of these high rollers first rolled on a go kart track. Early karters include Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, Danica Patrick, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jeff Gordon – all of which are reportedly doing pretty well financially. So it’s entirely possible that any cash spent at the kart track will eventually come back to the family, with interest.
5. They Could Smoke A Grown Up
Being a kid isn’t easy. Everyone else is stronger, taller and more powerful. This can cause a youngster to get angry and resentful. But in a kart, kids have plenty of advantages-- better vision, quicker reflexes and a burning desire to prove their worth to older racers. But keep in mind, the older racer that they’re dying to beat is pretty likely to be you.
6. Girls Can Rule
For some of the same reasons, girls can really clean up at the go kart track. Given that it’s a sport where weight and brute strength aren’t always a clear advantage, girls have as much of a chance of catching the checkered flag as the boys—with one distinct advantage, most girls aren’t distracted by the sight of...well ...girls.
7. It Isn’t Yours
Of course, going to a controlled, indoor environment using the facility’s karts and the facility’s helmets can wear on you after a while. The itch to have your own personal rocket ship is inevitable—but remember, at these tracks, they are also handling the electrical bill, the tires and the insurance. So, unlike parenthood, your responsibility here is minimal.
So go ahead, take a kid to a go kart track. It’ll be fun. It’ll be fast. It may even be addictive. But one thing’s for sure, it will be something you’ll never regret.