Is it Bad to Skateboard in the Rain?
One thing that skateboards, cruiser boards, and longboards have in common is that bad weather is the number one enemy.
I recently took a trip on my cruiser board to the store while it was raining, and it all went well until I met a hard turn. The second I started slipping, I no longer had control over my board; luckily, I escaped with only a few bruises and hurt pride.
In this post, you will learn about the damage water can give your boards, different skateboard parts, and how to take care of them if they get wet.
Five Reasons you Shouldn't Skate in the Rain
Skating in the rain with fewer consequences is possible, but this usually requires unique parts that affect your skating experience.
The risk of hurting yourself also increases, so unless you are a skilled skateboarder, I advise you to stay away from skating when it is wet.
Your Bearings will Rust and Deteriorate
It is essential to keep your bearings dry, so skating in wet conditions isn't advised. When your bearings get wet, the inner parts will oxidate. When the oxidation starts, it is hard to stop, and even do bearings are cheap, it is a waste of money not to take care of them.
I once went skating with damaged bearings, and my wheel fell straight off after the first turn. Luckily I was skating slowly, but I fell off and ruined my headset.
They can last a decade if you have high-quality bearings and take care of them. But unfortunately, the lubrication inside the bearings will dissolve if it gets wet, and combined with rust, the components deteriorate fast. Luckily, cleaning them is easy and doesn't take long.
If the ground is dry after a rainy day, you should watch out for puddles; in most cases, a puddle is worse to ride in than rain when it comes to your bearings. The quality of your bearing is a significant factor in how fast your board can go, so it's essential to take care of them.
You will get a Waterlogged Skateboard
Skating in the rain has a lot of disadvantages, but the chance of getting a waterlogged board is the number one reason to stay dry. A skateboard deck consists of many ply's, generally made of maple wood but sometimes bamboo.
The ply's are layered and glued together with epoxy resin, and when water gets into these layers, the glue loses cohesion, and the layers on the board have a chance to come loose.
When a skateboard gets wet, water can get between the layers; if this happens, the deck can become delaminated, rendering the skateboard useless.
If your skateboard doesn't get delaminated, it will probably become waterlogged; if you have a waterlogged skateboard, the damage is already done. You can still ride your skateboard if it is waterlogged, but when your skateboard gets wet, water will find its way into the deck, and the wooden fibers will expand, resulting in a warped board or deformities.
When a skateboard gets wet and water gets absorbed, doing tricks will become exponentially more difficult. The board will lose its crisp pop, and the weight will increase; the pop will also be affected if the wooden fibers have expanded.
Your Wheels will have Less Grip
Since skateboard wheels are hard and small, they quickly lose grip under wet conditions; skateboarding can become dangerous fast with a wet surface and almost no friction. Even a mellow turn can make you slide out of control if you are not careful.
Longboards and cruiser boards have larger soft wheels that make it possible to skate in the rain without losing your balance, but even with these boards, you will need unique rain wheels to have enough grip to be safe.
Wet Grip Tape becomes Slippery
Grip tape is cheap, and it can take some water. The damage to the grip tape won't be massive, but you will notice that it might start to peel off the board. Another danger is that when grip tape is wet, it becomes very slippery. If your board sliding weren't enough, you would slide off the board. If it isn't raining, but the ground is wet, you still need to watch out because wet shoes will make your grip tape wet if the ride is long enough.
Even do the grip tape doesn't take much damage, the board still can't withstand water; water will seep into the wood and make your board waterlogged. If you have older grip tape, you will need to be extra careful; it will be sanded down, making it extra slippery when wet.
Your Trucks can Take it, but its Parts Will Suffer
The trucks on your board are one of the strongest parts, they can take rain without damage, but prolonged exposure won't be good for the trucks. You might notice rusty bolts like the kingpin, and parts like the axles, hangers, and washer can get affected. The trucks are resilient, but it is a good idea to dry them if they get wet.
You can Skate in the Rain!
You can skate in the rain, but I wouldn't recommend it. If you want to, I recommend either using an older board that you care less about and drying it properly afterward or using a board optimized for skating in the rain.
you could use ceramic bearings, rain wheels, and a plastic deck to minimize the maintenance on your board.
How to Take Care of your Skateboard when it Gets Wet
Your skateboard will get wet, but it might be wise to clean the inner and outer parts if it gets soaked. If you don't know how to disassemble your, I recommend checking out Skateboardershq
You start by taking out the bearings so that you can clean them properly. Use nail remover to clean them and dry them on a paper towel; re-lube the bearings with silicone lube like Bones speed cream. Make sure your wheels are dry before putting the bearings back in.
Trucks and Bolts
The trucks are more durable, so drying them with a towel should be sufficient. If you want to be extra thorough, you can take off the kingpin and disassemble the truck to dry everything. Dry the bolts and screws connecting the trucks to the board to prevent rust. The part between the washer and kingpin is made of synthetic hard rubber so you don't need to pay attention to it
If your board is a little wet, you can air dry it in the sun, but I recommend drying your board with a towel to remove the moisture from the wood. Even with a towel, you won't be able to get all the moisture out of your skateboard, and heating it will take away the bond to the wood, so I don't recommend this.
Where you can Skate When it Rains
The best option is an indoor skatepark, but not everyone lives near one or doesn't have the money. Good alternative places to skate can be, abandoned warehouses, parking garages (underground), metro stations, or any place that provides shelter from the rain.
You might run into a security guard in some of these areas; if this happens, you can try to outskate them or be polite and leave.
Tips for Keeping your Board in Top Condition
When you have finished skating, leave your board in a dry place; either take it inside or put it in a garage. Avoid all wet spots and puddles when you are riding and if your board gets wet, disassemble it if possible and dry the affected parts. If you leave your board outside, make sure you don't do it overnight.
I don't recommend skating in wet conditions, but like myself, you probably will. When you skate in the rain, the ground and grip tape are incredibly slippery, so you must be careful and wear safety gear.
If your board gets wet, you should disassemble it as fast as possible to dry the board. Don't store your skateboard outside; find a dry place like in your house or a garage.
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