11 Essential Tips for Skating in Cold Weather: A Guide to Shredding During Winter

Master winter skateboarding with our essential guide! Equip yourself with these eleven practical tips to shred icy terrains.

Skating in a cold, snowy landscape can sometimes feel like a lost cause. When you wipe out, everything is wetter, colder, and even a little more painful. Candy canes turn to icicles, and sunny skate parks turn into ghost towns, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to retire your beloved board for the season. In this guide, I’m going to provide you with six practical tips to navigate the ice-cold terrain and truly enjoy your winter skate sessions. Let’s roll!

How can I make winter skateboarding a breeze?

Let’s face it: when it comes to skateboarding in the winter, we’re all a bit like newbie skaters on a wet ramp—uncertain, a little uptight, and definitely not as slick as we’d like to be. But there’s good news! With a little bit of knowledge, some strategic adjustments, and these killer tips, you can absolutely slay skating in the winter.

Image of a skater doing tricks on a skateboard during winter. Source: unsplash
Image of a skater doing tricks on a skateboard during winter. Source: unsplash

1. Loosen your trucks

Who would’ve thought that something as simple as loosening your trucks could significantly improve your winter sessions? Here’s the logic behind it. As the temperature dips, the rubber in your bushings stiffens, making your board feel tighter and more rigid.

By loosening your trucks, you counter the effects of the cold on your bushings. You can balance this effect by testing and figuring out your preferred degree of flexibility. It’s something that’s not exactly rocket science. Still, you might find your skateboarding experience, even in winter, becoming more enjoyable.

2. Warm up your board

Pre-game rituals—we all have them. But how about a pre-skate ritual for your board? You might be surprised to know that your skateboard can benefit from a little warming up, too! The cold can make the wooden glue on your skateboard brittle, and cooling down rapidly can even lead to your board cracking.

Avoiding the cold garage overnight can help, but for an added advantage, keep the board inside your room or in front of your car heater before heading out into the cold. This might just be the comforting hug your board needs to function optimally on those frosty days.

3. Layer up

There’s the chill wind, and then there are the moments when the adrenaline finally kicks in! Layering your clothes is your best bet to manage your body temperature during those intense skate sessions. Not to mention, it gives you an excuse to rock those layering-friendly style choices you’ve been eyeballing.

Image of a man riding a skateboard on an asphalt road during winter. Source: pexels
Image of a man riding a skateboard on an asphalt road during winter. Source: pexels

Start with thermal layers close to your skin and top it off with warmer outer layers. As you shred around in the winter, you can shed layers according to your comfort level. Plus, you get the bonus of buying a sick skateboard-themed winter jacket – and who would say no to a little extra swag?

4. Keep a hot beverage handy

Some days, it can feel like the cold is seeping into your bones, and even your decks feel icy. Sipping on a hot beverage gives you a chance to warm up your core, and hey, hot chocolate never hurt any skateboarder.

Hot drinks can serve more than your need for a toasty inside – they can become a fun skate tradition. They’re great for those quick breaks to up your body temperature or even as a causal meetup with your skating buddies – it’s like making skateboarding in winter your exclusive chill scene!

5. Prepare backup hardware

Just as you feel the bite of cold winter air, so does your skateboard’s hardware. The chill can make your board’s nuts, bolts, and bearings brittle and prone to break. This is why packing some backup can save your day or, better still, save your entire winter season!

Carrying spare parts like a kingpin or a few nuts can help, especially when you’re planning for a long day trip on your board. Because, let’s face it, preparedness is pretty much next to godliness when it comes to skating comfortably in the winter!

6. Wear skate-appropriate accessories

Just like any other sport, skateboarding involves its own set of game-changing accessories. The evening gloom that winters bring in can be effectively managed with some well-positioned LED lights on your skateboard.

Safety gear, like quality winter gloves, can keep your fingers from becoming too stiff in the cold, making them an essential addition to your winter skateboarding gear. Remember, it’s not just about keeping warm but about keeping safe on the icy tarmac as well.

7. Set your expectations right

Winter skateboarding might not let you land that perfect 360 flips just as you would in summer. So, adjusting your expectations accordingly is important. Instead of treating it as a season of setbacks, consider this your time to focus more on balance and control and a little less on mastering new tricks. Now, isn’t that a pretty sound advice on skateboarding?

8. Practice indoor skating

For those exceptionally cold days, would it be a crime to take your board indoors? Hugged by your home’s warmth, indoor skating can be a decent alternative. Yes, the space is restricted, but multi-story parking lots and indoor skate parks can be your go-to spots for a fun-filled, cozy winter skate session.

9. Maintain your skateboard

In winter, your skateboard fights not just the cold but also the moisture. A regular cleaning schedule topped with some oil or silicone-based lubricant use can keep your board in top shape. By limiting rust and damage, you elongate your skateboard’s life while preparing it for its next big adventure on the slippery streets.

10. Learn to stop properly

Wet or snowy conditions make stopping a little trickier than normal. Make sure to practice your braking techniques before hitting the icy outdoors. Because as all the Real Housewives show us time and again, no one likes an unwarranted fall.

11. Consider a sacrificial skateboard for really wet conditions

A spare board that’s tolerant to water damage can become your winter best friend. Slap on some rust-resistant titanium trucks, ceramic bearings, and a water-resistant cover and voila, you’ve got yourself a reliable ride that’s ready to brave the elements.

Dos and dont’s of winter skateboarding

Venturing into the world of winter skateboarding can feel as tricky as that varial kickflip – thrilling, challenging, and certainly intimidating. Here are some handy Dos and Don’ts.

Do dress up in layersDon’t leave your skateboard in the cold
Do carry a hot drink with youDon’t skip your warm-ups
Do scout for indoor skate spotsDon’t rush your tricks in wet conditions
Do warm up your board before the sessionDon’t ignore your safety gear
Stay ahead with these Dos and Don’ts and your winter skateboarding will be a smoother ride.
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

11 essential tips for skating in cold weather: a guide to shredding during winter | 61vn95mf7ql. Ac sl1184 | skateboard salad
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

I had my board stolen a few years ago and was forced to quickly replace it with a complete. I got one with an Enjoi deck and loved it so much that I still buy the Whitey Panda deck each time I need a new deck. This complete with budget-friendly, beginner-friendly parts, but I still swear by it.

What are some additional winter skateboarding tips?

You might be braving the cold to perfect that grind, or you might just be embracing the solitude that winter skate parks offer. Either way, here are some additional pointers:

  • Develop a sound understanding of your board and its response to cold weather.
  • Conservatively adjust the tightness of your trucks to find your sweet spot.
  • Remember to store your board in a warm place.
  • Waterproof your skateboard for ultimate protection against wet conditions.

My take on winter skateboarding

So, as a relatively new guy to the skating game, I found winter skateboarding pretty intimidating at first. The cold, the possible wipeouts on damp surfaces, and of course, the chill that goes right to your bones. But you know what? It turned out to be an epic battle against the elements that taught me a lot about mastering control, balance, and, most importantly, understanding my board better.

“Winter skateboarding is a test of endurance and passion, like Chris Joslin’s insane leap over the Great Wall of China.”

Winter skateboarding is a test of endurance and passion, like Chris Joslin’s insane leap over the Great Wall of China. It’s a commitment that gives you a new take on skateboarding, one that’s less crowded and more serene. If this doesn’t scream ‘a great opportunity,’ I don’t know what does! So, when the temperatures drop, pick your boards, guys – we’ve got some cold weather skating to do.

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Winter skateboarding raises a lot of questions, even for experienced skaters. Not to worry, I’ve answered some common queries below.

Can I really loosen the trucks just slightly to offset the cold?

Absolutely! Adjusting your trucks can counterbalance the stiffening caused by the cold weather. It’ll take a little trial and error to find your sweet spot, but it’s a useful hack to elevate your skateboarding experience. You can learn more about this in our blog post.

Will layering up impede my skateboarding performance?

Nope, layering up doesn’t have to hamper your skating skills. The trick is to start with lightweight thermal wear and strategically add warmer outer layers. As your body heats up with activity, you can peel off these layers, making you feel lighter and skater-ready.

What happens if I ignore the extra skateboard maintenance in winter?

Winter weather, especially snow or rain, can cause your board’s hardware to rust, and the deck could become waterlogged. Regular cleaning and preventive steps, like warming your board before outings, can minimize these issues and save you from potentially costly repairs.

How do I know if indoor skateboarding is for me?

Most skateboarders thrive outdoors, but winter weather sometimes makes indoor skating a solid choice. Many find it presents a unique, controlled environment to master new tricks. It’s all about trying it out and finding what resonates with your skateboarding philosophy. You can find some helpful skating tips in this article about improving your skateboarding style.

How different is winter skateboarding from other seasons?

Winter skateboarding can challenge you in unique ways. The cold weather affects your board’s performance. The cold can be physically challenging, but there are also fewer crowds, which gives you more freedom. It requires adjustments, but it’s an excellent season to build control and resilience.

Final thoughts

Winter skateboarding may have a notorious reputation in the skating community, especially for beginners. But with a few adjustments and a good understanding of your deck, winter can turn into a season of opportunities. It offers an enjoyable, solitude-filled skate session that resonates with those looking to connect with their skateboard on a deeper level.

What’s your favorite part about winter skateboarding? Or are there any additional tips you have for us? Remember, I read and reply to every comment. If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on skateboarding. Thanks for reading, and skate on, friends!

Key takeaways

So, you’re ready to embrace winter skateboarding. Here are some key takeaways from this article:

  • Loosen your trucks before skating in the cold.
  • Make sure to warm up your board before heading into the cold.
  • Dressing in layers allows you to control your body heat during your sessions.
  • Always have a hot drink on hand to keep your body warm.
  • Carry spare hardware, especially a kingpin, to handle any unforeseen hardware issues.
  • Consider using a beater board during really wet conditions to avoid damaging your primary skateboard.

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

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