Bad weather is a bummer for skaters. Whether you have a longboard, cruiser, or a traditional street skateboard, inclement weather can ruin your day. Even worse, it could end up ruining your skateboard if you aren’t careful.
Sure, it might be tempting to ride in the rain if you only have a short distance to travel, or you are feeling bored, but it can come back to haunt you. It can cause serious damage to the skateboard wheels and other parts of the board.
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Why Should You Stay Off Your Skateboard In the Rain?
Whether you are a beginner or you have been skating for years, there’s always that itch to get out and skate. It provides you with the freedom you can’t get elsewhere. However, just because you think you can handle the wet conditions doesn’t mean that you should try it.
Riding in the rain is dangerous, and it can end up causing a host of issues for the components on the board. Even if you have wheels that claim they can handle wet conditions, you have to think about the rest of the board. The best wheels could still start to lose their grip when the surface is slick.
The Deck Will Become Waterlogged
Consider how much you spent on your deck. You won’t want anything to damage it if you can help it. You wouldn’t drop heavy free weights onto your deck, so you shouldn’t allow it to come into contact with water, either.
Rain and puddles can cause serious problems. Even wet shoes could end up causing damage. The deck is made from several plies of maple wood in most cases. It’s all glued and bonded with epoxy resin.
If water gets between those plies, it will start to destroy the bond. This means that some of the layers can start to come loose. If the board is delaminated, you will no longer be able to use it.
Even if it isn’t delaminated, the board might become useless because it will be waterlogged. This will eventually cause swelling, which will warp the deck. It will be impossible to ride properly after that.
Slippery Grip Tape
Grip tape doesn’t cost a lot, but it can be a problem when it gets wet. Older grip tape tends to have this problem because it’s worn down.
The biggest problem here is that it will cause your deck to become slippery. Even with good skate shoes, there’s a chance you’ll lose your grip, slip, and fall.
When the tape gets wet, especially older grip tape, it might start to peel, so you will need to replace it. Of course, if you have a wet skateboard, it likely means that the wood is also going to be damaged.
Related: How to Clean Grip Tape
You Will Damage Your Bearings
You never want to let your bearings get wet. While they might be affordable, you don’t want to keep replacing skateboard bearings because you are riding in the rain. As soon as a little water gets into them, they will start to oxidize. This means you’ll end up with rusted bearings.
You can’t fix rusted bearings. They need to be replaced. If they aren’t, your wheels could have some serious issues. They could lock up or even fall off. When you take care of your bearings, though, they can last for a long time without issue.
Wheels Lose Grip
Skateboard wheels can be a huge problem when they are wet.
Even though the water might not cause damage to them per se, it can mean losing your grip on the road and sliding uncontrollably. It will be next to impossible to make turns with them without falling.
Longboards tend to have softer wheels that will do better in the rain, but even longboard wheels can have problems. Street skateboard wheels are harder and smaller. They will not be able to handle the rain and wetness.
Your Trucks Could Start to Rust
As long as you have high-quality trucks, they tend to be durable. They can last for a long time, and if they are wet, it shouldn’t be much of a problem, as long as it doesn’t happen regularly.
However, with enough moisture, they will start to rust. The kingpin and nut will likely be the first parts that oxidize. However, the axles and hangers could start to rust, as well.
Even though the trucks might be durable, the rest of the board will have problems in the rain. Therefore, you should avoid riding in the rain.
Related: How to Skateboard in the Winter
Can You Ever Skate in the Rain?
It’s always a bad idea. There’s no getting around the fact that the conditions could make it more difficult to handle the board and you could be injured. You don’t want to fall and bruise your hip or break your wrist because you couldn’t wait for some sunny weather.
If you still can’t help yourself, you need to use an old skateboard setup that you don’t care about at all. Consider all of the ways discussed above that your board could become damaged by the weather. Riding in the rain is a bad idea no matter how skilled you might be.
What If Your Skateboard Gets Wet?
You can’t control the weather, and this means that sometimes, you might get caught out in the rain with your skateboard. Even if you try to avoid puddles, you might eventually go through one. When your skateboard gets wet, what should you do?
The most important thing is not to neglect the board and assume it will be fine. You need to make sure that you remove all of the parts from your board. Disassemble the board carefully.
Take out the bearings and make sure they are cleaned using some nail polish remover. Let them dry and then add some new lube to them. Bones Speed Cream is a good choice that works well.
If you don’t take care of your bearings, they are going to start to rust. You’ll notice that your skateboard starts to sound like a rusty shopping cart as you’re rolling down the street.
The skateboard wheels should be relatively easy to take care of since you just have to dry them off and make sure they aren’t caked with mud. Make sure the wheels are dry and clean before you put the bearings back into them.
You need to remove the trucks and dry them off using a towel. If you aren’t constantly out in the rain with your trucks, they should be okay. Just be sure to dry them off.
If you want to be more thorough, you can disassemble them and check the kingpin nut to ensure it isn’t wet or starting to rust. Disassembling the trucks will also ensure that you can dry all of the areas properly.
You don’t want your maple wood deck to absorb water, so dry it off with a towel as soon as possible. Ideally, you will leave it in the sun so it can dry, but that’s not possible if it’s raining out. Get as much of the water off with a towel as you can.
Don’t make the mistake of putting it into an oven to dry it off. This could damage the wood’s bond, which could destroy the skateboard deck.
Consider an Alternative
Since you can’t skate in the rain, what can you do? The options are limited, but there are still things to keep you busy when it’s raining out.
Naturally, if you have an indoor skate park in your town, this is the best alternative. You will be able to skate no matter what the weather might be like outside. These parks have a lot of features that can work for different types of skaters, and they are a good place to meet people.
Of course, you might not be fortunate enough to have one of these parks in your area. What do you do then? You have a few more options. If you have any parking structures or similar areas that are out of the rain, they could work. Just be aware that they might not allow skating.
If you have a basement or a garage that’s large enough, you could do some simple skating just to get the feel of the board under your feet. You won’t be able to build up speed, but you might be able to practice a few tricks.
Sometimes, you just have to give in and let the rain win. Consider spending some time checking out skateboarding documentaries and videos online. Maybe start to learn the basics of how to perform a new trick for when you can ride again.
This way, you’re still doing something skating-adjacent while you wait for Mother Nature to finish with the rain.
Store Your Board Carefully
Your board could be damaged by water even when you aren’t the one bringing it out into the rain. You want to be sure that you are storing your board safely. This means keeping it out of the hands of small siblings that might want to use it to scoot through puddles.
It also means keeping it out of areas of the house that might flood if it rains. Put it in a dry location and make sure it’s out of the way. Never leave your board outside overnight. It could rain, but even the fog and morning dew could end up damaging the board.
Even after the rain has passed, you need to be careful. Avoid puddles, putting the board down on wet grass, or putting your wet feet onto the board. While they might seem like small issues, they can cause serious problems for your skateboard.
Stay Dry and Stay Safe
The rain can’t last forever. When it’s wet out, just hold off on going out with your board. If you have to get somewhere, don’t ride the skateboard wet. Take a car or walk. It’s better than realizing that you have to replace your board.
Not only that, but the risk of injuries goes up when you are riding in the rain. Give it some time and wait until the sun dries up all that rain and water. Your body and your board will be glad that you did.