Is it a good idea to skateboard in the heat? It’s a bad idea to skate in extremely hot weather. Because you face the ever-present risk of heat stress, or in really dire situations heat stroke.
Also Read: Skateboarding in Windy Weather
But if it’s not too hot (not past 80˚F for me), you can safely skate in the heat if you take steps to prevent overheating. BTW, what temperature is considered too hot for skateboarding? Anywhere above 80˚F is too hot for most skaters, and below 40˚F is too cold for most. But I know people who skate when it’s over 80˚F and others who play in really cold temperatures.
Hydration pre-session, during the session, and after the session is advisable. The same goes for eating carbs-rich food for energy and snacking on bananas for salt. Just in case you’re not aware, bananas are a salt-packed fruit, mainly potassium.
And of course, you want to dress right for skating in hot summer weather. Definitely wear bright colors, and don’t wear any dark clothes that have trouble breathing.
Finally, avoid riding your skateboard at midday when the sun is right overhead and beating down on you like no one’s business. The same applies to riding when the day’s temperatures are highest, usually between 3 and 4:30 p.m.
I dedicate the rest of this post to giving you tips on how to skateboard when the summer season rolls around.
How to Skateboard in the Heat (Without Dropping Dead)
Related: Skateboarding When It’s Raining
Below is a list of 9 tips for skating when it’s hot and humid:
1. Understand that skating in the heat won’t be easy and fully accept that.
2. Dress for the Weather.
3. Eat and hydrate liberally.
4. Skate in the coolest sections of the day.
5. Skate in a well-lit night spot.
6. Find shaded spots and have fun there.
7. Take cold drinks
8. Take breaks.
9. Take off that sweat-soaked shirt.
Now, that’s a nice little list of practical tips to keep you alive and breathing when the weather gets hot and humid.
It’s time to break down each suggestion into more specific pieces of advice.
1. Understand It Won’t be Easy.
On top of being dangerous and tough as heck, skateboarding gets even harder when it’s hot.
You’ll have to put in more work to achieve the same results. You’ll sweat like a Texas ranch bull, and you’ll fatigue sooner than usual. And popping tricks such as flips takes that much extra effort.
But people in warm climates skate all the time, so you know it’s doable. If you start each summer session knowing it’ll be more taxing and tiring, you’ll do well.
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve” sounds pretty cheesy, but I guess it’s not too far from the truth.
I skate when it’s cold as well as when it’s hot and humid. But I prefer skating when it’s cold to when it’s sweltering hot.
I spent some time interacting with skateboarders on Reddit and a few other places online. And I formed the opinion that most skaters prefer extremely cold weather over extremely hot weather. It’s down to personal preference in the end.
2. Dress Right for the Weather.
I initially wanted to say “dress appropriately for the weather.” But appropriate to who?
Some skaters say to wear a tanktop and shorts while skateboarding in the heat. Hubby hates wearing shorts skating, me too. And reading comments on a bunch of skating forums revealed many skaters hate shorts.
Also Read: Why Does Skating Tire So Much?
But yes, light shorts in a bright color would be a good idea. Don’t wear tanktops? No problem. Wear white vests or shirts. Wear what you like, what you feel comfortable in. It’s your skate life, after all.
Hat: Get a golf-style hat that has lots of mesh for air circulation. There’s no better way to cool off your head.
And if the skate park you’re at requires wearing a helmet, definitely wear a certified skate brain bucket that vents extremely well.
Skate helmets aren’t known for exceptional air circulation, but some lids certainly breath better than others.
I recommend triple eight helmets, specifically the Triple 8 Certified Sweatsaver. Check the Berns website because some of their options have decent breathability.
Summer skate shoes: Get hi-top style skate shoes. High-top options are more supportive on top of being more protective. If you don’t want your ankles to roll, definitely get high tops.
As for socks, get bright-colored socks with great breathability. They need to have great moisture-wicking ability too.
Googles: I bet there’s dust in summer months where you live. Get goggles to prevent grit from entering your eyes and causing discomfort or momentary blindness.
3. Take Off Your Shirt
I reckon this works for guys. For girls, I’m not so sure. Nothing feels worse than a sweat-soaked shirt that clings to your back.
But you can take off the shirt if the sweating becomes unbearable. And what do you do about that sweat dripping down your body? Well, wipe it off with the shirt. Even better, use a dry towel to soak up the sweat. I strongly suggest that you pack a clean towel for this purpose. Thank me later.
4. Eat and Hydrate Liberally.
I like going out skating on a full stomach. I also hydrate sufficiently before I start my session.
Because I know I’ll sweat loads, and I don’t want to dehydrate and possibly suffer a heat stroke.
I carry a bunch of water bottles to the skating spot. It doesn’t matter whether the water is warm or cold. As long as it’s clean water, it’s good enough.
Pack some salt-rich food such as bananas. If you’ve been looking, I bet you’ve noticed that skaters eat bananas a lot.
And if you’re excessively sweaty, be sure to bring some salt and add a decent amount to the water.
Why salt and water? Because you’ll sweat a ton skating in hot, humid Florida weather or any other similar weather.
And water is the largest constituent of sweat. There’s lots of salt in sweat too. Do you want proof? Lick the back of your hand after an intense sweaty session.
I pause to drink water after every 15-20 minutes. It doesn’t matter whether I’m thirsty or not. I just hydrate at intervals because I don’t want heat stress.
Let’s not even talk about heat stroke, a condition I have never dealt with nor wish to experience in the future.
I’m no doctor, and what I’m about to say isn’t expert advice of any kind. But if you ever feel dizzy, fatigued after a short session, and lose mental concentration, stop skating immediately and go lie under a shade with your feet raised higher than the heart.
I read this suggestion somewhere, and the dude who wrote is a skater, not a physician or a sports scientist.
Read up on what symptoms to watch out for and seek medical help in case of heat stress or heat stroke.
5. Skate in the Morning or Evening.
No matter where to live, avoid being out riding your skateboard during the hottest part of the day.
At solar noon (the usual noon), the sun sits directly over our planet. Its rays strike Earth at 90 degrees more or less.
I suggest that you skip skating at noon, but not because this is the hottest part of the day.
It’s because noon is when radiation from the sun is at its worst. And you’re most likely to get sunburn around this same time.
BTW, what’s the hottest time of day? According to the National Climatic Data Center, the typical summer day is hottest between 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm.
While the sun warms the planet Earth most directly at noon, the planet starts experiencing increased temperatures 3-4 hours after noon.
Scientists refer to the period between the midday sun and when thermometers on Earth record higher temperatures as a thermal response.
Definitely don’t get on that board at any time between 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
I prefer getting out between 6 am and 8 am or between 7 pm and 9 pm when skating with hubby.
Here’s the thing. Find your own sweet spot and stick to that. Just don’t skate at midday or during the thermal response.
6. Skate at Night.
There are born night owls, and then there are people who skate at night by choice.
I imagine this suggestion may not be practical everywhere. If there’s insecurity at nighttime where you’re at, definitely don’t head out the door past dusk.
But if you live in a location with night spotlights for safety, you’re lucky. Go out and skate the heck out of that board.
7. Take Cold Drinks If Possible
If you can access cold drinks, drink them between sessions. This is one of the best ways to cool the body after a particularly intense session.
8. Skateboard in the Shade.
Unless you live out in a desert climate, finding a shady spot for skating in the summer shouldn’t be too hard.
That might be on empty hallways or on shaded sidewalks. And if your spot is located near a place with air conditioning, get in there during breaks to cool off.
9. Take Breaks to Rejuvenate.
I don’t how long your sessions are, but I know you should take breaks.
I take a 5-minute break after every intense skating session (25 minutes) and hydrate and snack on bananas.
I know skaters who do 45-minute sessions, but that’d probably kill me ha.
My point is rest a bit after each session, no matter how intense or long.
And remember: the more intense and the longer the session, the more your body will heat up. And the more water and salt you should take during the break.
5 Don’ts of Summer Skateboarding
- Don’t wear a beanie. It’s simply dumb.
- Don’t be too intense or try to land the most demanding of tricks.
- Don’t go out in the hottest portion of the diurnal cycle.
- Avoid black clothes of questionable breathability.
- Avoid alcohol as it’s known to cause dehydration especially if taken without water.
Skateboarding When It’s Hot: Conclusion
Skating in extremely hot and humid Florida-like weather isn’t a good idea for most people.
But if you understand it won’t be easy, avoid the hottest parts of the day, wear light clothes in bright colors, hydrate, skate at nighttime, skate in the shade, and take breaks, you’ll be fine.
Is there anything else you do while skating in the heat that might help my readers? Please tell me about it in the comments section below.