You sure can ride a skateboard in the rain provided you have a decent rain-only skateboard and are a pretty good skater. However, you really shouldn’t expose your birch deck or maple deck skateboard to water as this could waterlog the deck, deteriorating the pop and reducing the board’s overall longevity.
Also Read: Can I Ride a Skateboard When It’s Windy
If you ever get caught in the rain riding to a maple or birch deck skateboard, stop riding and get under a roof until the showers subside completely. Then catch a cab home, skateboard clutched in hand.
Whatever you do, just don’t ride an expensive skateboard through puddles. But if it’s a board you don’t care much about, skateboarding when it’s drizzling shouldn’t be a big deal.
Related: Best-ever Skateboards
I Skateboard to Work And Winter is Finally Here
If you live in the UK, Canada, many parts of the US, or any other country that experiences winter, should you quick skateboarding until the wet season ends?
You can wait out the wet weather, which can take a couple of months. For example, if you live in rainy UK, you’d have to use other means to work until around April next year.
But that’s an awfully long time to not be skating. The good news is that it’s not a hopeless situation altogether if you’ll read on for the tips I present below.
7 Things to Do When Skateboarding in the Rain
Skating when it’s drizzling might be totes adventurous for you, but it does zero good to your skateboard or longboard.
1. Don’t Skate in the Rain
Seriously, don’t skate in the rain unless you’re certain you can do it safely. The ground gets all wet and slidey as does the deck on boards with meh grip tape.
It’s pretty easy to lose your footing and crash, breaking some bone, or two. If you’re a beginner, riding a skateboard in the rain or skateboarding when it’s extremely windy is a terrible idea.
2. Ride An Old Skateboard
If you must ride on wet roads, wet sidewalks, and other wet surfaces, spare your best board for more forgiving weather.
I bet you have some old skateboard lying around the house. Grab that and head out the door the moment the first drop of rain hits the ground.
Make this old skateboard your skating-in-the-rain board.
3. Build Out a Rain Board
If you’ve decided that nothing should ever stop you in your pursuit of happiness, get an extra skateboard and dedicate it to riding in the rain or wet weather skating.
So, which is the best skateboard for skating in the rain? I’ll be honest with you: the best rain board for the money is a pretty expensive option that doesn’t even exist in the skate marketplace.
If you want a skateboard that demonstrates decent wet weather performance, you’ll have to build it out yourself.
How to Build the Best Rain Skateboard
Below are the components you need to build a rain skateboard. It won’t be cheap, but you’ll wind up with a board you’ll be able to get around on when the weather gets all rainy and wet.
Deck: Go for the best waterproof deck you can get. Trust me, that isn’t the ubiquitous maple or birch deck. These won’t last you past the season.
I’m talking about Sector 9 and Landyachtz decks here. These decks won’t last you more than one season. They’re best suited to the drier months of the year.
Get a solid deck, one that endures anything that rain rides throw at it and last 2 to e seasons. I vouch for ThreeSix Downhill (more about ThreeSix Downhill below) and Moonshine decks.
Ask around and you won’t find any real skateboarder who recommends anything outside of these two options.
And if you’d rather use an aluminum deck for your wet weather setup, get a Rogers Brothers aluminum deck or a Beercan aluminum deck.
These decks of course don’t get waterlogged, and they’re not like too heavy. What’s more, they last, but you definitely won’t buy them on the cheap.
But a deck such as ThreeSix Downhill comes with holes, which means your wheels can spew tons of muddy water onto your legs, grip tape, and shoes.
To solve this problem, get a no-hole deck or use wheel shields. Beer Can skateboard decks are solid boards without holes; get something like that.
Oh, and remember to carry an extra pair of shoes and socks besides wearing something over your pants if you’re skateboarding to work.
Remember to throw a dry towel as well as clean socks into the backpack, too. This suggestion applies even when you wear waterproof shoes.
I’d recommend a plastic deck as well, but Penny Board doesn’t sell them separately. You’ll have to purchase a complete, but it’s not like they cost loads.
Wheels: Definitely get the best rain wheels for a skateboard you can afford. Whispers in your ear: the finest rain wheels aren’t the cheapest, which surprises absolutely no one.
Get wide wheels for stability. And make sure they have a grooved surface, not unlike the zig zaggy grooves seen on car tires. The Powell Peralta Snakes come highly recommended.
You can find wheels whose design incorporates grooves. I’ve found 3mm wide and 3mm deep grooves to work best, at least for me. And stop wondering what’s the ideal number of grooves; make it at least 3 and you’re at a pretty safe place.
But if you’re great with your hands, and have the right tool such as a table-mounted drill and a face mask to protect against “urethane dust”, you can cut grooves in your Orangatang wheels (or other wide rain wheels). Actually, that’s what Harfang Wheels people do.
Get wheels that grip wet surfaces great: when it comes to skateboarding in the rain or wet slick surfaces, not all skateboard wheels are created equal.
Some options grip wet surfaces better, and these are what you need. Get durometer 75A wheels as these are pretty soft and grip better than anything you’ve seen before.
Bearings: Ceramic bearings are great for skating through puddles, but only when no part of the wheel is made from steel.
As far as I know, most skateboard wheels on the market today have quasi-ceramic wheels and not 100% ceramic ones. Most of the wheel is ceramic, but the races are steel.
Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard to find them in online skate stores and even skate shops, but you may have some luck in hardware stores.
Why ceramic skateboard wheels for riding in the rain? Because they roll fast and as smooth as butter, and they’re quite easy to maintain. But speed isn’t important when it comes to skateboarding in these kinds of conditions.
Also, all-ceramic wheels don’t rust as much as steel ones. But they IMHO wear out somewhat faster.
For rain skating, you can use cheap steel Zealous bearings. Dry them and lube them after a soggy skating session and they’re good to go. Don’t worry too much about them getting water and rusting because you can easily replace them.
Can you find bearings with shields on both sides? Get those ones. The shields prevent grit and water from getting into the inner components of the bearings. Plus, such bearings are serviceable.
Griptape: Get a grippy waterproof grip tape to prevent your foot from slipping around the deck during rides, which can be dangerous.
3. Ride a Plastic Penny Board
For me, the onset of the rainy season is a sign from Mother Nature that it’s time to put my favorite plastic penny board to some good use.
The beauty of riding a plastic penny board when it’s pouring is that the deck never ever gets soggy. A plastic deck won’t rot the way a birch deck or a maple deck rots after being waterlogged.
Do this if you choose to ride a Penny board in the rain: plaster good grip tape on its deck. If you don’t do this, your foot will slide an awful number of times when riding through wet weather conditions. Show your wrists and elbows some love and lay a waterproof grip on that slippery plastic deck.
4. Apply Automotive Grease/Bike Grease to Steel Parts
Apply a reasonable amount of bike pr thick automotive grease to the bearings. Doing this prevents moisture from getting in and kicking off a lifespan-reducing process namely rusting.
Rusting wrecks havoc on trucks, axles, bolts, and nuts. So apply some grease on these parts as well for the same reason: rust prevention.
5. Wear Weather-appropriate Clothes
Wear a proper rain jacket, waterproof rain pants/overpants to protect your clothes from dirty sprays, and the best waterproof skate shoes for the money.
I suggest that you go for leather waterproof skate shoes or suede ones. There are also waterproof canvas skate shoes, but these aren’t the best bet when the going gets watery.
With that being said, most waterproof skateboard shoes seem to overpromise and underdeliver. Many promise a whole lot of protection, but they almost always default on the promise during wet road rides on a skateboard, cruiser, or longboard.
Prepare for the weather instead of expecting too much from your riding shoes. Pack an extra pair of socks, a towel for drying your feet upon reaching your destination, and clean and dry shoes.
6. Skate Under a Roof
One way to skate when it’s raining and not get fine grit into your bearings is to not skate in the rain. Find a place with a roof such as a basement, an abandoned building, or any other enclosed spot and have fun. It’ll still be raining outside, but none of the water will end up having your skateboard.
7. And Once You Reach Home…
If you’ve ridden through puddles for any length of time, make sure to get as much water out as you can. You can use your foot to spin the wheels to get the water out
Unless you want to deep clean your rainy weather skateboard, there’s no need to remove the bearings or disassemble the trucks.
Simply shake the board or spin the bearings to remove the water and then use a dry cloth to dry them before applying lube.
As you apply your favorite lubricant to the bearings, spin them so that the oil transfers to every cranny that needs it.
Also Read: How to Clean a Skateboard.
You don’t need to clean the deck and wheels. I mean, they’ll soon get dirty, so why bother?
Closing Remarks on Skateboarding in the Rain
If the showers are light and you’re riding a board you don’t care about much, then go ahead and skate in wet weather.
It’s best to build a decent rain setup. To do this, get a proper rain deck such as ThreeSix Downhill or Moonshine, grooved rain wheels, ceramic bearings or cheap and easily replaceable steel bearings, and waterproof grip tape.
Alternatively, use a plastic penny board or an old skateboard you don’t care much about.
Dry the bearings after the session, whether they’re cheap steel bearings or ceramics. And don’t forget to apply lube to maintain a smooth spin.