Are you ready to get behind the wheel of a go-kart and race around an indoor track at top speeds? Before gearing up for your first kid-kart race, you need to know what age kids must be to go-karting.
It turns out there isn’t a straightforward answer—and it can differ from facility to facility. We’re here to offer the details on the age requirements for kids’ kart racing, no matter where you are, so your kids can make their dream come true and have a new hobby or even become the next Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen.
In this article, we’ll help you understand what the different age restrictions mean and which types of activities may be best suited for children of certain ages.
Plus, we’ll share some helpful tips on how to find out more information about an individual facility’s policies so you can make sure your kids are properly equipped—and allowed—for their next go-karting adventure.
Understanding the age brackets for go-karts
Go-karts can be an incredibly exciting way to spend an afternoon or even a day. Whether you’re kart racing around the track with your friends or family, the thrill and adrenaline rush are unbeatable. But before you can enjoy this thrilling experience, it’s essential to understand the go-kart age requirements.
The age limit for go-karting will depend on the location and may vary from state to state. Generally, as long as you are at least 7 years old and have parental permission, a kid will be able to enjoy go-karting at most destinations.
Some locations have even lower age limits, such as 5 years old or lower, so it’s always best to double-check with the venue before booking your day of fun.
Additionally, some safety requirements may need to be met before you can get your car engines revving. For example, a valid driver’s license is often necessary for most tracks and helmets are mandatory to ensure safe driving and racing conditions.
Following these guidelines will ensure that your go-kart experience is both safe and enjoyable.
It may be interesting for you to read more information in the article – Go-Karting Dangerous or Safe?
Differences between single and double-seat go-karts
When it comes to go-karts, one of the biggest decisions you’ll make is whether to buy a single seat or a double seat. While both are designed for safe and fun go-kart racing, there are significant differences between them.
To start, single-seat karts are typically much smaller in size and offer less stability than double-seat options. This means they can usually drive a go-kart faster, with superior handling and agility on the track. But since they have only one seat, this also means that single-seat go-karts can’t be used to race with friends or family.
Double-seat karts, on the other hand, tend to be bigger, heavier, and wider than their single-seat counterparts. This provides more stability and therefore may not be as fast as single-seat rental karts options.
However, double seats allow you to race with friends—which is why these types of karts are often seen at family-friendly events like birthday parties or corporate team-building events.
Safety factors to consider for go-karting
If you’re considering getting into go-karting, safety is a top priority. So let’s talk about just what these features are and why they matter. There are a few factors to keep in mind when it comes to go-kart safety.
- Safety gear
The first factor to consider is safety gear. All go-kart racers should wear helmets and protective gear, such as gloves, neck braces, and elbow and knee pads. Eye protection is recommended, as well. A racing suit can provide additional protection from the elements like wind or spilled oil on the raceway, so do your research and find one that fits your needs.
- Go-kart maintenance
Another factor to consider is regular maintenance on your go-kart. Check all nuts and bolts every week, as well as tire pressure and brake fluid levels, to make sure everything is safe and in top condition before taking a ride.
Also, make sure you use the correct type of fuel for your specific go-kart model – this can vary depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Track conditions
Finally, it’s important to be aware of track conditions. Make sure you check for obstacles or hazardous spots before beginning each practice session or race – even if you know the track like the back of your hand. Never take unnecessary risks – if something looks wrong with the racetrack surface or conditions, it’s always better to err on the side of caution.
Additional equipment needed to ride a go-kart
Before you hit the local track, you’ll need to sort out some additional equipment. First and foremost, Kids must be aware of other drivers and grasp the need to be hyper-aware behind the wheel of a potentially dangerous machine.
Safety gear is a must-have — it’s better to be safe than sorry, and getting clobbered by a go-kart can sting.
Here are the basics:
- Helmet and face shield
Your helmet should fit snugly and be approved by an accredited body, such as the Snell Memorial Foundation or the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). A helmet with a face shield gives you an extra layer of protection that can make all the difference in an accident.
- Suits and gloves
Kart racing suits come in two or three pieces, and they either have built-in padding or slots for stand-alone shoulder, back, chest, and hip pads. You’ll also want to grab some gloves — they can be leather or fireproof fabric — which will give you better gripping power when turning corners.
- Shoes and neck braces
Finding shoes that are comfortable but still grip against the pedals of your go-kart is key. You also might want to consider getting a neck brace to protect the spine while riding at top speed around curves.
Getting all of this additional equipment isn’t mandatory, but it’s something worth considering when starting with kid-karts. Trust us — a few scrapes here and there are inevitable when you’re up for the challenge of go-karting!
Junior and cadet classes explained
Ready to get racing? You’ve got different classes of karts your kids can get involved in if you’re a beginner: junior and cadet classes.
While they may sound similar, they each have a few distinct differences that make them ideal for different types of racers.
- Cadet class
Cadet kid karts are great for beginners who want to test the waters without too much commitment. But don’t let their small size fool you—these are still high-performance machines that require serious dedication and skill to get around the track.
- Junior class
Junior class karts are great for the young and upcoming racers (age brackets 7-12). These karts are slightly bigger than the cadet, so you get a bit more speed and maneuverability with them. Junior kids’ karts will typically have a bigger engine than those in the cadet class, with more top speed and more torque.
Deciding if a go-kart is the right option for you
When it comes to karts, you’ll want to consider a few things before getting started. The good news is that the go-karting age is no longer just for adults; kids as young as 5 can start getting comfortable with the kart racing experience. But before putting your little ones in the driver’s seat, you’ll need to make sure a go-kart is the right option for them and your family.
First and foremost, safety should always come first when it comes to kid-karting. Kart racing will have greater speeds than those used by kids and is only recommended for drivers aged 16 years or over.
Kids should use electric-powered karts with a lower maximum speed until they have developed the necessary skills required for higher speeds. You should also make sure that the driver has access to proper safety gear (like helmets, protective clothing, and gloves) before heading out on the local track.
- Appropriate age limit
The next thing to consider is your kids’ age, as this will determine if they’re ready for a go-kart experience or not. Most manufacturers recommend 12 years old as a safe starting age range due to physical size, reflexes, and ability to understand the basic rules of safe driving – so keep this in mind when deciding if it’s the right time for your child or not.
Finally, budget plays a big role in choosing which type of go-kart is best suited for you and your kids. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for, so make sure that you’re getting a quality go-kart that won’t leave you stranded on the side of the race track after only several lap times.
All in all, the go-kart age is an exciting time full of possibilities. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran, there’s something for everyone in the world of go-karts.
From building your own kart to competing in a race, it’s the perfect way to get your feet wet in the world of motorsport. And with the right guidance, you can learn all the skills necessary to be an expert in this thrilling new hobby.
So go on – get started!
You have a few questions about getting started with kid karting and you’re not alone. We’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about the age range for go-karting.
The age limit for standard-speed rental go-karts is typically 8-10 years old, depending on state, provincial, and local regulations, as well as the minimum weight and height requirement.
For lower-speed junior go-karts, some facilities also accommodate younger children. Usually the age bracket goes from 5 to 7 years old. Kids in their formative years are excellent learners, and they acquire and recall more knowledge and absorb safety briefings better than most adults.
You can always check with local raceways or tracks to see what their age requirements are before visiting.
Aside from local regulations, the minimum height, as well as minimum weight requirements of each facility, typically affect what age is allowed to operate a go-kart.
Typically, go-kart tracks don’t allow anyone under 4’6″ to drive standard-sized adult karts and require weights of 100+ lbs just for safety reasons. Additionally, raceways may also include an assessment during sign-up that includes questions about skills, experience, and knowledge in kart racing.
Most tracks have an onsite orientation session that covers etiquette, safety briefings, and regulations such as no bumping or weaving on a raceway before guests are allowed to drive a go-kart so keep that in mind when planning your trip.
The general rule of thumb is that, if your kids can fit in the driver’s seat and abide by the safety rules, then they can go-karting. That being said, you should consider their experience level and driving ability before letting them get on the track. Some tracks also might require drivers to be at least 8 years old, so it’s best to double-check with the track beforehand.
Of course! Starting karting at 18 years old is a great opportunity to learn the basics, familiarize yourself with techniques like racing lines and braking points, and refine your skills on the track. So whatever age you are, if you want to start going karting then go for it.