Always Skating. Always Living. This is Salty Shreds.
Able to withstand hundreds of rail grinds and ollies down stairs, your skateboard can take one heck of a beating. But when it comes to water, yeah, not so much…
Does water ruin skateboards? It sure does. This is what it means to have a 'waterlogged skateboard', how water negatively affects the other components of your shred stick, and how you can fix it.
What's a Waterlogged Skateboard?
When your skateboard makes contact with water, depending on severity, chances are it will become waterlogged. Your skateboard deck is made of wood, and because wood is porous, it will absorb H2O.
No, it won't suck up a puddle like a sponge, but even the littlest bit of water can enter the wooden construction and negatively alter the board's performance.
So what happens when a board becomes waterlogged, and how can you tell? Signs of a skateboard damaged by water include:
- The Skateboard Feels Heavy: like a towel after it's been used to clean a big spill.
- The Skateboard Loses its Pop: You know that classic sound a board makes when the tail hits the ground during an ollie? That's your skateboard's pop, essentially the cracking sound it makes when the tail connects to the concrete to lift you in the air. When your board becomes waterlogged, this hugely hinders its pop. It will sound dull and soft against the ground, and you won't get the same response/height from your ollies.
- The Griptape Bubbles and Peels: Notice bubbles under your griptape, or is it peeling back along the edges of your board? This is a typical sign of a waterlogged skateboard.
- The Deck Warps: A waterlogged skateboard deck can become warped. You might notice the various layers of wood opening and expanding along the edges. The deck might start to bend (you can test this with a level), and the weakened wood is more prone to chips.
How Else Does Water Ruin Skateboards?
Aside from hindering the performance of your actual skateboard deck, water also ruins the other components of your board, including the trucks/bushings, hardware, bearings, and wheels.
Trucks are tough, but enough water exposure will lead to rust, and the bushings will weaken. This means less response from your turns and a very stiff riding experience.
And the bearings? Bearings rust extremely easily, and basically, this means you won't be able to move! Spin your skateboard wheel. If it doesn't spin fast and free, stopping abruptly after a few rotations, then your bearings could be rusted. Good luck skating if your board sat in the rain.
For the skateboard wheels, which are also porous, water will absorb, weaken, soften, and increase the chance of chipping this urethane formula.
How to Fix a Waterlogged Skateboard
Check Out Our Entire Range of Grom Skateboard Completes.
Your best bet is to avoid water at all costs, as a board will never be the same if it's left in the rain. But things happen, and if you do damage your board with water, there are a few things you can do to try to return it to its normal state, including:
1. Take Apart the Board
Remove the individual pieces of your board, including the hardware, trucks, wheels, and bearings.
2. Dry the Pieces by Hand
Both the inner and outer areas of your equipment. Use a Q-tip to dry the inside of the bearings, for example.
3. Let the Deck Sunbathe
Set the skateboard deck in the sun and allow it to dry, the water evaporating from the board's interior. Keep the other hardware inside to avoid rust.
4. Bearing Cleaner
Use a bearing cleaner (NOT WD40!!) to clean and lubricate the bearings.
5. Clean the Griptape
Using a griptape cleaner.
6. Replace Parts Where Needed
If you notice a weak bushing or screw starting to rust, replace it immediately.
7. Put it Back Together
Once fully dry, you can piece the board together again and go skate! But this time? Check the weather...
Where to Skate When it Rains
Does water ruin skateboards? Now you see it does.
It's your job to keep your board out of the H2O at all costs, and if you have little skate kids, remind them to do the same. Practice good board maintenance, and keep them inside out of the weather.
Never ride in the rain, don't go through puddles, and try not to fall if you're kickflipping a six stair by the canal.
And if it is raining? You can still skate!
There are plenty of indoor skateparks in Australia and the rest of the world, one of the best ways to spend a stormy day with your groms. That, or clear out some space in the garage to practice kickflips!
They even have soft, indoor trucks to practice flip tricks on the carpet without damaging the floor. To this, I say peace out screen time. My kids are skating till their legs fall off!
Check out my recent guide to surfskates if you're interested in expanding your skateboarding and surfing horizons, and until then, stay radical, my salty people!
Hello to all my salty people! Thanks for readin' my blog and for the continuous support towards our brand. Make sure to sign up to our newsletter by creating your account to stay in the loop with new releases, sales & giveaways, and all our future blog post!
Live rad, stay salty.
- Ash, Dev & The Salty Shreds Fam.