When winter comes, many decide to quit their favorite fitness-related hobbies. Cold weather, rain, snow, and ice are just some of the reasons why one may decide to quit longboarding for half a year. However, you should know that there is absolutely no need to do that! Did you know that most longboarding accidents, unlike skateboarding injuries, can be prevented by wearing a helmet?
Don’t put your board aside and wait for warmer days - longboarding can be enjoyed during the winter, too. Even when the temperatures drop significantly, you can find ways to ride your favorite board - this hobby is great for warming up and staying fit. Of course, you won’t be able to ride in ten inches of snow, but if the road is merely covered with a white film of snowflakes, we assure you - follow our tips for safety, and everything will be just fine!
Our Best Tips
Avoid Puddles. If you want to stay safe, we suggest you avoid puddles - they can be quite dangerous, especially if you can’t estimate their depth. You’ll also have to meticulously clean your board if you’re driving through puddles, as the roads are covered with salt for safety, and this is detrimental for most boards.
Avoid Ice. This one is kind of obvious, but ice is something you should definitely avoid. Many experienced longboarders find adrenaline in riding over ice, but this is very dangerous. Also, different icy surfaces behave differently, and you can never really predict how smooth or thick a particular section of ice is.
Don’t Go Into Deep Snow. Another obvious one, but it’s worth mentioning. Not only is riding through several inches of snow impractical, but it’s also going to make your board all wet and full of rocks and salt. It’s not a smart practice!
Wear Your Protective Gear. During colder periods of the year, it’s of great importance to have protective gear such as a helmet and some pads for your knees and elbows. Most longboarding injuries happen in poor weather conditions, as the riding surface changes and most people aren’t used to the different movements. Remember that your thick clothes are NOT your protective gear, even if you’re wearing a snowsuit.
Use Grippy Wheels. Having proper wheels is very important for your safety, and grippy wheels will absolutely change the longboarding game for you. We suggest you get wheels with a wide contact patch and rain grooves. You can see some of our favorites in the paragraphs below.
Avoid Temperatures Below Zero. We know that you might enjoy cold weather, but it’s common knowledge that water turns to ice in “below zero” weather. This turning point equals 0 degrees Celsius, equivalent to 32 degrees Fahrenheit. So make sure you check the weather before you head out - you don’t want to be surprised by ice on the road.
Aftercare Is Important. The way you take care of your board determines its lifetime. For example, if you never wipe your board after going for a ride, you might notice unwanted effects such as rust, mold, or mildew. Since most boards aren’t intended for use in wet conditions, we suggest giving your board extra attention after such rides.
Cover your deck. Most classic decks don’t have any winter-suitable coating on them. If that’s the case for you, you might want to cover your deck in coating to prevent possible rotting. Polyurethane coating is the go-to option for many, and although it protects your deck, you still have to wipe it off properly after each use.
Use A Throwaway Deck. We know this might not be the most affordable piece of advice for everyone, but if you can get used to a new deck, we suggest you get an affordable one to act as a throwaway choice. This advice is specifically aimed at those with very premium decks they don’t want to risk ruining.
Lube The Bearings. The bearings of your longboard might rust if they are often exposed to wet and salty conditions. We suggest you either cover them with duct tape or use a water-resistant lubricant. As mentioned with the deck, you should wipe the bearings, too, no matter what type of protection you use.
Dress Well. No, we don’t think that you should wear a tuxedo while you drive. But, all jokes aside, put some layers on! Many people underestimate how cold it is outside, especially while they’re moving around. Once you stop moving, you might realize that your skin is colder than anticipated.
Pay Special Attention To The Wheels. Wheels are usually made from materials that can deteriorate when in contact with salt. Wheels usually don’t mind water and wet surfaces, but because of salt, you should wipe them down properly once you’re done with your ride because of the salt. We suggest you even use a mild cleanser on them.
Choose Your Boarding Days Carefully. Although you might feel like taking some time to ride today, you should definitely check the weather first. If heavy rain or snow is expected, don’t push it - you might want to reschedule. For those who are especially impatient, check the next tip.
Check The Alternatives. Sometimes it’s better to visit a local indoor skate park if you have one available. It’s a great way to have some peaceful space where you can practice tricks and polish your skills. Of course, make sure to wear protective gear in these situations, too.
Best Longboarding Wheels For The Snow
Shark Wheels 72 mm 78a Longboard Wheels
Longboarding wheels for enthusiasts who plan on riding in the rain must have lots of texture! This 4-pack is designed to provide great grip, which is why they have a “wavy” appearance and why their surface is split in three. In addition, these wheels give you better control when sliding and turning, which is essential for safety on ice.
You can get this particular model in about 14 different colors, which is why they appeal to younger audiences. If you’re annoyed by wheels with easily noticeable logo trademarks, make sure to go for a transparent model, as the white logo marks on these barely catch your attention.
These are 72 mm wheels, which provide a wider contact patch. Bigger diameters give you better control over rough terrain, which helps with salt-filled roads and gravel-covered surfaces. We all know how messy roads can get when snowplows clean them.
Because the wheel surface is split in three, you can easily avoid larger sticks, cracks, and rocks. As a result, you’ll be safer in general, and you won’t be slowed down by obstacles, meaning you’ll ride longer distances with the same amount of power.
Sadly, these have not been designed to work with LED lights, and they can be a little bit of a pain cleaning-wise due to the wavy design. And yes, if you use them in bad conditions, they probably won’t last you as long as you wish, but they have a pretty decent price tag.
IWONDER Cloud Wheels 120 mm All-Terrain Longboard Wheels
If you’re looking for a more premium option, we suggest you invest in some chunky, textured 64 mm wheels. IWONDER created these Polyurethane wheels with rain-covered surfaces and salt damage in mind. PU is a material that will serve you well over a long period, and you can use it on mud, grass, rocks, concrete, snow… You name it, and you can try it.
These wheels have a patented damping foam core technology, which ensures great vibration isolation. As a result, your rides will be much more comfortable, smoother, and more enjoyable, even over rocks and sticks. Speaking of the core, these wheels have an ABEC core. This high-strength material assures there is no deformation after long drives.
The curved tread design on these wheels helps with the grip, ensuring your high-speed rides and slides end in a safe landing. That’s why, besides longboards, these wheels work great with electric boards as well! In addition, the diameter is 64 mm, which makes sure you are well-balanced.
The slick and minimalistic design appeals both to male and female audiences. In addition, these wheels are lightweight, and they increase your maximum riding speed by about 3 miles per hour, which can be significant for adrenaline-lovers.
To conclude, safe driving in snow is a possibility, but you have to consider some important advice - keep yourself warm, keep your gadgets protected and clean, and make sure that you get some good wheels that are at least 64 mm wide. A larger contact surface and more stability are the key factors.
It might be a little tough to clean textured wheels, but they do pay off. Besides that - don’t go into deep snow and don’t ride on ice. Finally, make sure you wear your protective gear no matter how premium your wheels are.
Better safe than sorry to enjoy your ride in the snow.