If you love exploring new extreme sports activities, chances are you already tried some sort of skate exercises. Whether we talk about roller skating, inline skating, or skateboarding, all of them, can be added to the bucket list of every adrenalin enthusiast.
But, today, we are facing one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to roller skating and inline skating: can you skate on wet concrete?
Skating on wet concrete is not advisable for any type of roller sports. The concrete is very slippery when it’s wet. So, wet skating can cause damage to you, your skates, and even your life. If you decide to take this action, you must consider all the risks and precautions.
To give you all the important information regarding this topic, we will cover issues about risks and measures you’ll need to be aware of if you must skate during wet weather conditions.
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Difference Between Roller Skates and Inline Skates
The main difference between roller skates and inline skates is the position of the wheels. Unlike inline skates, which have a single frame that has from three to five wheels, roller skates have two horizontally positioned trucks.
They also differ when it comes to shoe material. Roller skates can be made of leather, while inline skates are made from urethane, a plastic-based material. The roller skate wheels are smaller in diameter but wider than inline skate ones.
Also, the brakes have different positions. Roller skates have the brake found on the front, while inline skates have a brake positioned on the back of the frame.
Is It Risky to Skate on Wet Concrete?
People who love roller skating or inline skating can find skating on wet concrete very fun or exciting. But, as tempting as it sounds, skating on a wet surface is really dangerous and not advisable.
If you don’t have experience in this activity, skip skating during wet weather. Rain makes these activities tough and challenging because of the slippery road. Maneuvering, breaking, riding, and taking turns is so much heavier, no matter how hard you try.
The risk of injuring yourself or someone else is very high because stopping and controlling your skates is so much heavier during wet conditions. Your skates and the bearings will also be at risk, wet weather is not a really good friend of theirs. You can damage them, so eventually they will get rusty.
Risks to Have In Mind When Skating on Wet Surface
If you decide to skate during wet weather be sure you have a really good reason. Otherwise, avoid it as much as you can. But, if you went skating on a sunny day and got caught up by surprise with some bad rain, be aware of the following risks. That way you’ll be more prepared for this unsafe sports action.
If you end up in the rain during roller/inline skating your skates will be first on the impact. Dirt from the wet road and water itself can damage them. So, bear in mind that a lot of skating during wet conditions may cost you frequent maintenance and replacement.
During and after the rain, roads will become filthy and wet. When combined with moisture, and the oils from vehicles, the road shifts from dry to very slippery. Raining conditions can also affect your visibility. So, if you are new to this activity, you may end up falling.
Not to mention, skating in traffic through wet weather can endanger your life.
Stopping and Turning Difficulties
Learning to break while skating in normal conditions is hard, doing it in wet weather is sometimes impossible. You’ll need much more time to slow down when skating on the wet road. Also, turning is going to be a bigger challenge. Make sure to totally focus when performing these actions or you might slip over.
High Chance of Injuries
Falling or slipping during a rainy skate ride can have a bad outcome. Injuries are more likely to happen to you or to someone that might be on your way. Accidents can result in minor injuries or they can be very severe, sometimes deathly.
How to Stay Safe if You Need to Skate on Wet Concrete
If you find yourself in a situation where skating during wet weather is inevitable, you should consider some tips to make it easier and less dangerous.
No matter what weather conditions you are skating in, you need to have the proper gear. Get safety equipment such as a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and some wrist guards. That way you will be ready even for the rainy ride.
Gear is extremely important, as it can save you from major injuries, or at least make them less serious.
Adjust Your Speed and Technique
When skating on wet pavement, do it at an optimal and slower speed. Always remember you have far less control over your wheels when skating on a wet surface. Try keeping your feet as close to each other as you can, and try skating in a straight line.
This is not a time for tricks and exhibitions, as you might trip and fall. Therefore, to keep your skating in a straight line, try maintaining shorter strides. They might prevent falling.
Try not to push too strongly, and keep pushing down hard on skates, instead of moving them sideways. When taking turns, be sure to do it at a slower speed, this may give you time to stop in advance.
Avoid Road Painted Lines and Oily Spots During Wet Skate Ride
Painted road lines, such as zebras can be extremely slippery when wet. So, skating over them may cause your legs to slip and lose the ground grip. Oily patches can also be a rainy ride thread. So, you should avoid them as much as you can. Also, make sure to skip any metal plates and grates.
Be Careful on Cobblestone and Marble
Cobblestones or marble become very tricky during rain. So, skating on these grounds can be very risky and slippery. Therefore, you should roll at a slow speed and stretch your skates a little. That way you’ll easier absorb bumps.
Always remember, never make harsh and fast moves when turning and stopping. Slower speeds may help you to maintain control over the situation better.
Watch Out for Leaves and Branches
If you thought that the only wet ride problem is wet concrete, hold on. Things like falling leaves make a perfect spot for you to fall. First, you never know what’s beneath fallen leaves.
So, you risk riding over some potholes or sharps. Leaves themself can be slippery and always come with some branches too. Believe me, you don’t want a tree branch in your wheels.
Aside from the sudden shock and adrenaline that stepping onto branches can give you, they can entangle into your wheels and trip you down.
How to Care for Your Skates Before and After Wet Skating
Skating in the rain is quite challenging. Therefore, you should prepare your skates before this activity. Also, it is very important to take care of the skates after exposing them to moisture. So, take a look at some simple tips to have in mind when planning a rainy ride.
Prepare the Skate Wheels and Bearings
Before any rainy skate activity, be sure to check the bearings, so that you are sure your wheels will spin easily. Harder wheels (up to 85A) are not recommended for wet weather, as they are made from polyurethane rubber, which is known to harden in cold temperatures.
So, to have more pleasant skating in rain (if that’s even possible), try opting for wheels around 70A. This wheel’s size may not be perfect for speed, but it might provide you a safer ride.
Some brands, such as Labeda and MPC have specifically made wheels for rainy conditions.
Clean Up the Bearings After Rainy Skate Ride
The worst enemy for your skates is water. So, after skating on wet pavement, you should clean bearings as soon as possible. That way you avoid rusting and prolong the lifespan of your skates. Take a look at some quick and easy tips on how to take care of your skates.
- Unscrew all the parts of the skates
- Wash the skates with alcohol, and remove any remaining water and dirt
- Re-lube the skates. Alcohol will remove both water and lube.
- Air-dry the skates in a room temperature thoroughly
Note: Don’t forget to remove the bearings from the frames, so axles, bolts, and nuts won’t rust together. Try using some oil to cover the bearings, that way you protect them from air exposure.
To Sum It Up
Riding your skates is extremely dangerous during wet conditions. So, if you really don’t have to expose yourself to this activity, skip it. It’s best to wait for dry and nice weather to enjoy skating.
But, if you end up on a wet road in skates, be sure to remember the tips. Slow down, don’t make sudden movements and turns, and pay special attention to painted road lines, oily spots as well as leaves on the ground.
This way you will minimize the risk of hazard during a ride. Don’t forget to take good care of your skates after the rainy ride. Remember, you will need them very soon when the sun appears.