PKT believes that the most important thing in karting is safety. Karting is a motorsport and all forms can be dangerous. It is not only important that the driver has the proper personal safety equipment but also that the kart is mechanically safe and has passed your tracks safety tech. When at the track, it’s always a good idea to inquire about their particular safety rules. Having an EMT on staff or an ambulance on site are things worth knowing before the need arises.
Full face helmet that has a Snell Foundation current year rating of SA2020 or K2020. These helmets are good through 2030. You should expect to pay between $100 to $400+.
Driving suit made from or with Cordura and are skid resistant. You should expect to pay between $100 and $600.
Neck Collar $25 to $150+.
Driving Gloves $25 to $100.
Rib Vest / Chest Protector with SFI rating. We strongly recommend one and most tracks require them. $80 to $150.
Driving shoes are similar to wrestling shoes and many beginners will opt for the wrestling shoes as they are generally less expensive.
First Test Drive
After your driver is outfitted with the proper safety gear, the adult (that’s you) must insure they have a safe environment in which to drive. One common mistake we see is when the child is allowed to drive in a local parking lot or in the subdivision. Please understand, the kid kart is a 40 mph racing vehicle and needs to be on the track. Street driving is full of hazards like curbs, mailboxes, fences, trees, parked cars and dirty surfaces (which typically will make the kart slip and slide). Even though it may be a coin toss on who is more excited for the karts test drive, you or your driver, it is important to wait until you can get on the proper track.
First Time at Track
When you arrive at the track, find the track owner and tell them it is your first time out with your kart. Many tracks offer a beginner class for your driver that gives them a chance to learn the basics before even letting them get on the track. You may think it is obvious to your driver which is the gas pedal and which is the brake pedal but you have been driving for some time and may be amazed to discover just how many new drivers are not sure. We have seen kids who become afraid of the kart and do not want to drive it anymore after a confidence losing incident.
Once they have completed the beginners class ( if one is available), it just comes down to driving, driving and then driving some more. This is commonly referred to as 'seat time’. You may want to start your driver off in the kart with the throttle 30% open so that the torque and top speed are reduced. The track most likely will have your driver on the track for a little while by themselves. Some tracks will allow your driver on the track with others but may place an X on the back of their helmet to notify other drivers that they are beginners and most likely traveling at a slower speed. Your driver will most likely be going about 10-15 MPH at first and other kids could be going as fast as 40 mph. Because other karts zipping by could potentially spook your driver and again potentially ruin their fun, letting them know what to expect on the track makes for a good practice session.