Well, the short answer is yes. Most longboards are designed to be sturdy, durable and somewhat water resistant. But to be more detailed, let’s look at various factors in determining how to better protect your longboard after it gets wet. Sometimes, it might not be worth it.
There are many ways your longboard can get soaked. You can get it wet either by riding in or after the rain, or going over puddles. You can also do so by throwing it into the Singapore River, but we’d advise you not to do that.
When your board gets wet, several components may not react well to the water. If not cared for properly, your longboard will age faster than expected. This will cause it to wear out faster, and you’ll soon need a new set of components. This is not the most wallet-friendly way of skating, as the average cost of a longboard in Singapore ranges around $450.
This is why we’re here to teach you how to care for your longboard when it gets wet. We’ll break this guide down into different components of your longboard. If you want to learn more in detail about each component, click here. Let’s go!
Longboard decks are typically made from plywood, anywhere from 2 to 11 layers. These consist of birch, bamboo, maple, koa or oak wood. As with most types of wood, your deck will warp over time if not dried properly. It absorbs the moisture left on it and becomes softer. As you put your weight on the softer deck, it starts to bend out of shape and that’s when the real problem starts.
A warped deck might cause your wheels to have uneven contact on the ground. Some wheels may touch the ground, while others may not. This makes your ride ridiculously difficult, and even risky.
To prevent this, you’ll need to dry your deck properly. Typically, you can get away simply by wiping your deck down with a dry cloth. However, if your deck is wetter than usual, you should remove your trucks (from the base plate) and dry it more thoroughly. After this is done, leave it under the sun until it’s completely dry.
Typically made of silicon carbide, grip tape provides resistance and friction between your deck and the soles of your shoes. Without this friction, it’ll be extremely difficult to stay on your board while doing tricks or slides. When you ride in wet environments, you might get mud on your grip tape. Mud soaks into the grip tape over time and dries on it, causing the tape to lose its grip.
To clean your grip tape, you’ll need a piece of natural rubber (you can get a rubber cement pickup for a few bucks at an art store), a soft wire brush and a microfiber cloth. You start off by using rubber to remove surface crud. Then, clean deeper with a soft wire brush. Ideally, you should avoid using window cleaning substances as it might sip through the grip tape and damge your board. But, if your grip tape is thick enough, proceed by all means. Just make sure you dry things up with the microfiber cloth after!
All bearings need lubrication to function properly. However, water will cause your bearings to lose their lubrication. When this happens, your skateboard will slow down as your bearings weaken from the inside out. Dry bearings without lube often result in exploded bearings - there’s no fix for this, and the only thing you can do is replace them.
To prevent all these from happening, make sure you disassemble your bearings and dry the inner and outer parts. After drying, remove any debris and spray some lubricant. For more information on how to clean your bearings, check out our guide here.
Trucks (axles, spacers etc)
If you hate cleaning, good news for you. Your trucks are the components you can slack off a little with regards to cleaning. Typically your trucks are more resistant to water and will take longer to rust. Even so, it will not have a drastic impact on your board’s performance. One inconvenience which can surface is a rusted axle nut which can be difficult to adjust.
Nonetheless, if you’re gonna be spending over a hundred on your trucks. I’d say you better take good care of them. The prices are not forgiving at all.
Caring for your companion
Your longboard will be your new companion in your future adventures. Take it wherever you go. Explore the undiscovered areas of your neighborhood and make new friends along the way.
Nevertheless, you shouldn’t forget to take good care of this companion. Good care goes a long way in increasing the lifespan of your longboard. Like we mentioned earlier, a longboard is extremely pricey in Singapore. We don’t want you to have too much friction in this hobby just because of price factors.
If you have any questions, feel free to hit us up on our email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Hang loose fellas!