Rain ruins everything…
Beach day, afternoon plans, date night. Whatever it is, rain is almost sure to mess it up.
You’re about to walk out the front door, electric skateboard in hand, and you look outside to see that rain just pouring down…
Is it safe?
Can my board survive the ordeal?
How will I get to school or work on time? Maybe it’s best to drive or call an Uber…
Nature is unforgiving that’s for sure. The rain won’t care about your outdoor plans, let alone your feelings.
But it begs us to ask the question, can I ride my electric skateboard in the rain?
Electricity Vs. Water
There’s one thing you have to realize about electric skateboards. (Hint, it’s in the name…)
Powered by a battery, stuffed with electric wires, components, and more, it’s safe to say that none of these things mix well with water.
If you ever remember as a kid, your parents would warn you about the dangers of water and electricity.
It’ll destroy your toy or you could get a serious shock!
The same goes for your board. If water gets inside the motor or battery, you can expect the board to shut down or stop working…
Should I Ride In The Rain?
Now to the real question you’ve been waiting for.
Can you ride an electric skateboard in the rain?
The answer: Probably not…
The real factor that will determine if you can ride in the rain is the type of rain we’re looking at.
Thunderstorm/Heavy Rain: Don’t ride. Dangerous conditions like puddles, low visibility, and lightning are just too risky. Don’t even think about it.
Regular Moderate Rainstorm: Still a no. You’ll still get soaked and it’s just not worth it. If you have no other option, then I guess you have to do it, but only use it as a last resort.
Light Drizzling: You can definitely ride in this weather. Although it’s still not ideal and as fun as riding on a hot sunny day, it’s doable. Just use extra caution when going down hills, turning corners, and maybe slow down a little bit.
The most important thing is that you’re both safe and comfortable. The moment you don’t feel either of those two, it’s best not to take the board out in the first place.
A great way to determine if you should ride in the rain is by asking the question:
“Would I ride a motorcycle or bicycle in this rain?”
Whatever the answer is, that’s what you should do with your electric skateboard.
What About Water Resistant Boards?
Many electric skateboard manufacturers boast about their waterproof boards.
Truth is, there’s no board that is 100% waterproof.
There are boards that may offer water resistance, but that’s it.
Water resistance will be based on a rating known as Ingress Protection (also known as IP).
You may have seen these ratings on iPhones or other smartphones.
IP rating works as follows:
- First Digit (Intrusion Protection) – Rated from 0 to 6
- Second Digit (Moisture Protection) – Rated from 0 to 9
The higher each digit, the more protection.
Examples: IP35, IP53, IP68, etc…
Most electric skateboards that carrying an IP rating usually end up around IP54, IP55, IP64, and IP65 rating.
First digit (Dust Protection):
- 5 offers “Partial protection against dust that may harm equipment”
- 6 meaning “it’s 100% dust tight”
Second digit (Water/Moisture Protection):
- 4 means “Protected against water splashes from all directions”
- 5 offers “Protection against low-pressure jets”
Word Of Caution
Here’s a story.
I was riding my Ownboard Mini KT to school one day.
It was raining fairly hard, enough to be quite annoying and create a few small puddles on the sidewalks.
Upon buying the board, Ownboard’s site claimed the board was water resistant, so I was confident that nothing would happen.
I hit a couple big puddles and got the board pretty soaked.
Upon getting home, I noticed the digital screen that shows battery levels and voltage was no longer turning on. Water droplets had gotten on the inside of the screen!
The next morning I went to check on the board for another ride to school and boom! That’s when the board stopped working. Every time I hit the power button I was unsuccessful.
I had to spend about $80 to purchase a new battery which me and my father installed and sealed it with some watertight adhesive and waterproof foam that comes with Ownboard (I should have added this in the first place).
Moral of the story?
Just because a company says the board is water resistant, doesn’t mean it is…
Check to see if the board has an actual IP rating. If it doesn’t and the company says the board is water resistant you should throw caution.
Treating Water Damage
Water damage is a tough situation.
Depending on the status of your board, you might have to buy a new one, but that is unlikely.
95% of the time, water damage is going to be affecting your battery.
Battery is made up of wires and other electrical components that don’t mix well with water.
The first step is to remove the battery and eliminate any and all excess water.
Dry your battery with a cloth and let it sit for an hour or two to completely dry.
Once that’s finished, plug your battery back in. If you detached wires and parts, make sure everything connects back in the proper places.
From there, try firing your board back up. If it doesn’t work, you’re going to have to buy a new battery.
Head over to the manufactures website and do your research, you don’t want to buy the wrong battery or parts.
Batteries are usually $80-$350 brand new depending on the brand of electric skateboard you ride.
Preventing Water Damage
Any water that enters inside an electric skateboards battery is going to be trouble.
The best way to treat water damage is by preventing it in the first place.
Using adhesive or a water type seal around the battery and motors edges is a fantastic way to prevent damage.
Some companies might already do this upon manufacturing their boards, but you should take matters into your own hands and add some yourself as well.
The best adhesive you can add is some kind of silicone caulking that can be purchased at your local Home Depot or hardware store for a few dollars.
What Should I Do If It Starts To Rain While I’m Riding?
Well, I should scold you for not looking at the forecast in the first place but depending on where you live, rain and thunderstorms can hit you in the blink of an eye! (I’m looking at you Florida!)
Here are your options:
- 1. If you’re close to your destination, just move on in a safely manner.
- 2. If you’re still far away or in the middle of your commute, consider taking some cover in a nearby business or building and get a ride from a friend, family member. If those options aren’t available just call an Uber.
- 3. If you’re just leaving and still close to home, turn back before it gets worse and figure out another way.