What Do I Do If My Skateboard Gets Wet?
As skateboarders, we are enthusiastic about our sport. We will like to skate every day if it is possible. But this might not always be the case due to bad rainy weather. Water can be detrimental to a skateboard when it gets wet.
It was a nice afternoon and I was practicing some skills on my skateboard when a kid appeared from nowhere running around. I almost crashed into him, but I was able to maneuver my board away from him and into the pool. It was so close and could have been a completely different story.
What happens when your skateboard gets wet?
Sometimes skateboards get wet, this could be as a result of riding through puddles or using wet shoes. Maintaining your skateboard and keeping it dry is important because when a skateboard gets wet,
- the deck becomes waterlogged, loses its pop, becomes softer, and deforms. Even after it dries, the board's performance may not be as good it was.
- the bearings will lose it's lubrication and will begin to corrode. This is a slow process and will eventually lead to squeaky wheels.
- the hardware such as the screws and nuts that attaches the truck to the deck begin to corrode
- the adhesion of the grip tap to your shoes reduces and would eventually peel off or delaminate
- the trucks can withstand water because of their coating, but as you expose the trucks to rough handling and water more frequently, it begins to corrode albeit at a slower rate.
- skateboard wheels are made of synthetic hard rubber which is not affected as much by water. This makes it okay to ride over splashes and small spills of water, but be careful about sliding.
Corrosion as a result of rusting affects your trucks, bearings, and hardware when exposed to water this affects the strength of your skateboard and can eventually cause your skateboard to break.
What to do when your skateboard gets wet
I did some research and in this post, I will share with you some tips on what to do when your skateboard gets wet.
Disassemble the skateboard
Taking apart a skateboard is a pretty easy task that requires the use of a few common tools. You should be careful to pay attention to individual components and keep them aside while taking apart the skateboard. Note that missing or improperly installed parts could lead to injury to you while riding your skateboard. You will need the following
- A Phillips head screwdriver
- A pair of pliers
- A 1/2" socket wrench
Or you can use a skate tool which includes all tools necessary to take apart a skateboard. It can handy and be easily carried around in your backpack or the trunk of your car.
Step 1 : Loosen the nuts
The first step is to loosen the nuts that attach the deck to the truck. Use the Phillips head screwdriver, along with the skate tool or set of pliers. Insert the Phillip head screwdriver on the nut and turn it clockwise, at the same time use the skate tool or pliers to keep the nuts in place.
Step 2: Unscrew the nuts with your finger
After the nuts are loose enough, use your fingers to completely loose and remove the nuts from the bolt. This is done by twisting the nuts in the same clockwise direction as you did with the Phillip head screwdriver.
Step 3: Detach the truck from the deck
After the nuts have been successfully removed from the deck, you can then use your hands to remove the trucks from the deck. After this is done, place the truck aside on a flat surface, ensuring that the kingpin is facing outward. This is important because if the kingpin is not properly reinstalled, the trucks will fail to perform properly.
(Optional) Step 4 : Remove the raiser
If you have a riser on your skateboard, after the truck is detached you should be able to remove the raiser from the deck and place it aside carefully.
Step 5: Remove the bolts from the deck
With the trucks detached from the deck, remove the bolts from the holes which are drilled in the deck. This is located in the holes where the nuts were attached. Note that the bolts are small and can be very loose. So place them aside carefully.
Step 6: Clean the deck with a dry towel
Now that the bolts have been removed, get a towel and carefully wipe down the board, especially the area where the truck was attached to the deck. Clean it until when dry.
Step 7 : Clean the trucks
Use a towel to wipe the truck thoroughly to remove the moisture on it. Ensure that the truck is dry and that there are is no water on it.
Step 8 : Clean the Nuts
Clean the nut by either soaking it in a cleaning solution or by manually cleaning the threads. Ensure that it is completely dry then place them aside carefully.
Step 9: Remove and clean the other truck
Repeat the steps to remove the other truck from the deck, clean it and carefully place them aside.
Step 10: Remove the wheels
The easiest way to remove the skateboard wheel is with a skate tool or a 1/2" socket wrench. If the bearings have a shield you need to remove it and clean it as well as if the wheel use spacers. These should be removed and kept safely.
Step 11 : Remove the bearings
Once the wheel is out, slowly and gently pull the wheel away from the bearings at a downward angle. The bearings should be visible and slowly pop out of the wheel. Be careful so as not to damage the bearings. After the bearings have been removed, use a towel and clean it. After they are dry, apply lubricants such as WD-40 or a silicone lube like Bones Speed Cream. If you fail to do this, the bearings will not last long and you will begin to experience squeaky wheels and after a while, the bearings will begin to corrode.
You should also remove the kingpin nut and disassemble the truck completely.
Leave the skateboard out to dry
After disassembling the skateboard, layout all the parts on the ground and leave it out to dry naturally. If the sun is not in the sky, place the disassembled skateboard in a room or leave it at the garage to air dry. After the skateboard is dry carefully use the tools to reassemble the board.
How to prevent skateboard hardware from rusting
The best way to avoid rusting of your skateboard hardware is to avoid skating in moist environments. Your skateboard is made of parts that are constructed with metal. Continuous exposure to these metals will eventually lead to rusting.
Rusting is a slow process, so you might not know when it starts. This is why it is advisable not to skate under the rain or on puddles of water.
If you feel the need to skate and it is raining, you can go to an indoor skate park in your local area. They have everything you need to enjoy a great skateboarding session.
The trucks used for your skateboard are made up of metals that can withstand oxidation up a level. This means that if you don't regularly get them wet, you have nothing to worry about, the part of the skateboard that starts to rust fast are the nuts, bolts, bearings, and the kingpin.
If you have already begun to notice rusting of your skateboard, it can be handled by
- using sandpaper to scrape off the rust
- using a chemical treatment
These are both good methods and will help you to save a few bucks, but it will be much asfer to get new hardware parts.
Are you planning a skateboarding road trip? I wrote an article that can help you to plan the perfect skateboarding trip. Check it out here