Can Skateboards Get Wet?


When skateboards get wet they won’t last long. Here’s what happens when your skateboard comes in contact with water:

  • The skateboard deck becomes waterlogged and loses its pop.
  • Low-quality decks might start to warp or delaminate.
  • Your trucks will start to rust, but mainly the axles, axle buts, cup washers, and kingpin nuts.
  • Bearings will start to oxidate, rendering them useless.
  • The hardware to attach your trucks will rust and become weaker, usually not a big deal.
  • Grip tape might become less sticky.

So don’t ride a skateboard in the rain and if you do or are having issues. check the rest of the post to see if you can fix the problems.

Can You Fix A Waterlogged Skateboard Deck?

Unfortunately you cant fix a waterlogged skateboard deck. Perhaps you can leave it in an oven but it probably wn’t do much good. If a skateboard deck is waterlogged it loses its pop and you should replace it as soon as you can. Soggy pops are just the worse.

Now plastic skateboards don’t have these issues but we’re not talking about penny boards here. Here are some other issues you can expect when your skateboard is exposed to water.

How Wet is Too Wet When Skateboarding?

A couple of wet flat surfaces will not be much of a problem, but skating after it rains is asking for trouble. If you have to, just skate in a parking garage and wait until the streets are skateable again.

Even light rain is enough to destroy your bearings or make your deck soggy. Use an old deck or old setup instead.

Skateboard Trucks Can Rust

I always thought that skateboard trucks couldn’t rust, I mean as long as you clean them there shouldn’t me anything to worry about.

I was wrong, but the good news is that it isn’t a big deal. Skateboard trucks can rust or suffer from oxidation depending on the materials used to cast the trucks. Washers and kingpin nuts are the first to suffer from oxidation, but even the hangar and axles can rust.

So let’s look at how to prevent skateboard truck oxidation, it’s actually pretty simple to prevent and the good news is that it’s really easy to replace rusted parts!

old skateboard truck

Obviously water, puddles, wet streets. If you don’t clean your trucks after skating during a rainy day they will rust. It’s not the end of the world. Quality trucks can deal with oxidation but your washers, axle nuts, and kingpin nuts will start to rust suffer.

Bushings won’t be affected though, they are more prone to dry out if you leave them exposed to the sunlight and hot temperatures.

How to Prevent Skateboard Trucks From Oxidation

Avoid water, rain or any wet conditions. If you do skate in the rain or rode through a puddle make sure to clean and dry your trucks using a cloth.

If you really need to rain try to use a setup for rainy days and leave your normal skateboard at home.

Rust isn’t the end of the world, though water is extremely detrimental to bearings. You might want to dry them first instead of your trucks.

How to Replace Skateboard Trucks Parts

There are skateboard trucks repair kits available to replace nuts, washers and even the kingpin. If your truck axle nuts are stuck I would advise using a wrench to remove them.

There a big chance you won’t be able to place them back or that the axle thread needs to be fixed. This can be done using a re-threader. Usually, skateboard shops can help you out or maybe you have a friend that owns a re-threader.

independent skate tool

Once you re-threaded the axle, replace the old acle nuts and you should be good to go.

Cupwashers can be easiliy replaced and if you skate a lot of street you also might need to replace the axle nuts.

How To Remove Rust From Skateboard Trucks

usually it isn’t necessary to remove rust from your trucks, it isn’t really a big deal. If you have to you can use the following:

  • Sandpaper to scrape off the rust
  • Old cloth and some rust remover

There really isn’t a point in this, but since you’re asking there you have it. Your trucks can handle trust, don’t worry about it.

Removing Stuck Axle Nuts From Your Skateboard Trucks

This is a very common problem, and happens when you land lots of tricks primo or when oxidate. Rusty nuts are easy to remove with a wrench or skate tool, but sometimes you have a problem. This means you need some serious tools to get the job done. I came across this Reddit post and the Redittor in question had to even cut his wheels.

Here how he removed the stuck axle nut:

  1. Grind down the axle nut (it might destroy your wheel and bearings).
  2. Get a small chisel and hammer de nut down.
  3. Now you have to restore the axle thread, like a re-threader.

That seems like an expensive way of removing a nut, but buying a new trucks is probably more ezpensive depending on the quality of your gear.

Skateboard Bearings Can’t Get Wet

During our tests we noticed all skateboard bearings rust. Bronson and Bones bearings can’t handle water, not even the ceramic bearings. Sure they deal with water a bit better, but don’t buy expensive bearings and expect them not to rust.

You’re better off with cheap Bones Reds or Bronson G2’s. Both will rust and when they get wet, you can throw them away after 2 months.

Conclusion

I know how hard it is when it rains, last year we had 3 weeks of rain and it becomes frustrating especially when all the indoor skateparks are closed.

If you want to ride your skatebaord when it’s wet, make sure to clean it afterwards. This is the only way to prevent rust from destroying your gear.

You can clean your bearings, but the damage is already done. Just ride an old setup if you really have to go, leave your favorite setup inside.

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Ruben Vee

I'm an aged skateboarder, but I still shred responsibly. I started skateboarding 25 years ago and I'm out there whenever I can.

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