What To Do When It Rains On A Skate Trip

It is mid Spring, the snow is melting in most places, but still present in some, and summer is just around the corner. The race season is already underway for those competing and for those that are planning to travel for summer, it is almost your time!
With all this being said, there is still a need to always be prepared for an unwelcomed visitor along any trip: rain.

Rainy roads and rainy views from a top a local Okanagan run in Canada.

I have been traveling and skating for the past few years and have encountered many situations where rain came and crashed the party- sometimes literally. So here are some ideas I recommend if you experience rain while traveling.

Myself, rain skating in Norway during Ekstremsportsveko, after 12 days of constant rain.

1. Explore local spots (if possible)
Depending on how gnarly the weather is. Don’t hike to the top of a mountain and get struck by lightning of course. But rainy days may be a pristine time to enjoy the sights otherwise overlooked if the sun was out. Museums, hiking, movies, bars, arcades, climbing gyms, indoor/covered skate parks, shopping; whatever tickles your fancy, rainy days may be the time to do it.

Grace Wong trekking along a gorgeous view of Penticton while the storm clouds rolled by.

2. Enjoy local company
Days like this may be the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with the homies. You see that friend, the one who you came to visit, who took time off to show you around. Well now is the chance to really get to know them outside of the skate world. Invest in your other hobbies, grab a coffee or lunch and chat for a bit. Then maybe play a game of monopoly and truly test your friendship.

3. Eat All Day
Like food? Well what a more perfect excuse to sit inside and eat away your sadness! Experiment and try something different for every meal. Try the specialty of the town, or the best place nearby. You can’t go wrong with eating! (Unless you are on a strict budget)

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4. Edit sick media
You got the sick raw run yesterday right?! The one where you nailed all those drifts and snagged all those inside lines? Well, spend your time inside putting together an edit and share, share, share!

But really, having extra time inside is a great way to stay on top of your media game. Get some cool footage together, rally up the photos you need for your social media, or update your blogs so your loved ones know what you are up to. Line up a queue and get all your photos ready to put out there when there are those extra days of little to no internet or McDonald’s wifi pitstops.

5. Video Games
Some days you do it all day anyway, but when it rains it is the best excuse to stay in and veg out in front of a game you are fiending to beat. What a perfect time to gather a crew together to get some multiplayer games on; my favorite: N64 Smash Bros.

6. Watch Skate videos
The classic. Stay in and reminisce on yesterday’s dope session where you got all those sick runs right before the rain rolled in. Then drop back many years and find the videos where it began and laugh at all those good times. Or binge watch all the new videos everyone is talking about. Then, the end to all ends, watch memes until you pass out.

7. Let out your artistic side
Draw, paint, design, create! Today is a day to stay inside and let the creative juices flow. Doodle on your helmet, redesign your board graphic, tie dye some boring shirts, or get completely crafty and chop your board to a new shape! There are so many crafty and artsy things you can do and it is wonderful to let your creative side out.

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8. Cry
This was the one time you were going to skate this one epic run in this place you traveled so far to skate. Sit down and let the tears go, the rain will cover it up anyway.

Grace was very displeased with needing to put her rain jacket on.

9. Go out and skate anyway
Just do it! Rain skating isn’t that bad. Rain happens pretty much anywhere in the world, so it is best to be prepared for it. Maybe it’s your first time, don’t be afraid, go out and try it! Maybe you are at a big event that you paid for, so you better damn skate. With whatever you decide to skate, just make sure to be safe, slide eaaarly and be prepared to get yourself and your gear wet!

Penticton local, Iain Turpin didn’t let the rain phase him and blasted down this wet run just as the sun came out.

Recommended gear:

Rain wheels: Wheels with grooves in them to help you grip more. Or scrubs. You do not want freshies in the rain and rain grooves give you all those extra lips to get you as much grip as possible.

Rain poncho or jacket: Something water repellent is a good bet to help keeping your under layers dry. It may not be the most aero though.

Extra pair of shoes and socks: If you know you are going somewhere with a chance of rain, extra shoes and socks are a great idea. Bring shoes you don’t care about to skate in and get wet. Then when you are done skating for the day, trade them in for a fresh pair of socks and dry shoes. Your feet will thank you.

Extra slide gloves: Same reasoning as above. Your gloves will stay wet for awhile so it’s nice to have a dry pair ready.

Tarp: Bring one or two. Tarps can be put over anything to help provide a barrier and repel water. If you are camping, make sure you have one for under your tent so water doesn’t seep in from below. If you are hammock camping, make sure you have a tarp and string to hang it above you in case rain comes in the middle of the night, or beginning, or just never ends.

Extra bearings: I mean, your bearings will probably be fine, but it is definitely good to have extras just for skating in the rain. And make sure to lube them up after you’re done rain skating for a longer life span.

Don’t forget to bring a towel: You should always bring a towel when you travel. Always. But in this case, you can use it to help dry your tears or your leathers or hair or whatever.

It doesn’t always rain, but it is indeed good to be prepared! However you decide to cope with the rain, I hope that you have a great time.

This article was written while I was visiting BC, Canada with Grace Wong, with aims to skate Giant’s Head and the local runs nearby; when a giant rainstorm came sweeping in. Luckily, we had a great session at the hill before the rain drowned our sorrows. Once the rain decided to stay, we hit up a local spot for a cup of tea and local treats, spent time updating our media, and scooped up a friend for some wet sessioning before deciding it was time to move on. Best of luck to everyone traveling and racing this year!