Skateboard Water Damage: What Can You Do?

A large part of keeping your skateboard in top-notch condition is preventing it from getting wet. For the most part, wood and water don’t mix.

Unless you have a beater board, you should avoid taking it out on rainy days, riding it near gutters, and hopping onto it too quickly after coming out of the ocean or pool.

Unfortunately, you’re likely here because your skateboard has already gotten wet and you’re looking to salvage it.

Learn about potential issues of water damage and what steps to take to restore it. 

Issue With Getting Your Skateboard Wet

If this is one of your first times hearing that water is no good for your skateboard, we don’t blame you for wondering why. These are the three main potential issues. 

1. Warped Wood

Because your skateboard’s deck is made of wood, it will pretty quickly absorb any water that touches it.

This can cause it to get waterlogged and warped, and that damage is irreversible.

Once it’s misshapen, the glue binding the different pieces of the deck together, like the individual plies and the grip tape, will loosen up.

Once this happens, your deck will no longer have as much pop as it once did.

2. Rusty Metal

Both the trucks and bearings of your skateboard are made of steel, which makes them susceptible to oxidation and rust.

This is more than just inconvenient, the formation of rust breaks down the steel of your axles, washers, and kingpin nuts quickly. 

Even if you’re only exposing your board to small amounts of water, it can add up over time.

Water dries out your bearings by thinning the oil over time. If they get too dry, they can easily break without the necessary lubrication. 

3. Slippery Rides

In general, although it may look fun, we advise avoiding skating in the rain altogether.

These conditions are more dangerous because of how slippery the roads and other surfaces become, which makes it easy to lose control of your board and get hurt. When water is present, your wheels will easily slip out. 

Can a Water-Damaged Board Be Fixed?

If your skateboard has gotten wet and you’re reading this not long afterward, grab your tools and take everything apart.

Once each piece is separated, you need to place them on the ground to dry out at room temperature for a few hours to a few days—depending on the humidity of your environment and how wet they got in the first place.

While you may think putting them in the sun may be better to speed up the process, we do not recommend this if you want to keep the quality of the graphics.

You can, however, use a towel, rag, or hair dryer to speed up the process.

Once all parts of your skateboard are completely dry, you can reassemble it.

Pro tip: apply a lubricant to your bearings before you reattach them.

Moving forward, mindfully store your boards in a spot with low humidity, like a closet or basement.

Do I Really Have to Ditch Skating Altogether When it Rains?

If you have an old board you don’t care about damaging while riding it in the rain, then go for it (note: there is an increased risk of falling due to how slippery it will be). Otherwise, find a local covered parking lot or indoor skatepark to skate in on rainy days.

You can opt for a waterproof deck sealant if you want to better protect the integrity of your board in wet or humid conditions. You’ll fare best if you avoid deep puddles and only quickly ride over wet patches. After your ride, dry off your board as soon as you can.

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