The streets are wet. Are you riding or hiding? Nothing is stopping you from grabbing your board and getting soaked. If you want to skip the laundromat afterwords and enjoy yourself a little bit more here is a run down of some gear that will keep you high and dry.
Deck: Any deck will work. It will get ruined faster over time, but that’s a part of the game.
Bearings: Steel ball bearings will break down and rust from getting wet. This can create random blow outs causing a wheel to pop off.
Ceramic bearings are worth the extra loot. Rush All Weather ceramics cost around $30. You can find Bones ceramics on sale from time to time. If there is one thing you invest in for skating in the rain, this is probably the most important.
Wheels: If you want to grip the streets, soft wheels are the ticket. 78a or softer will greatly improve your grippage. Harder wheels can handle wet streets, but you have to proceed with a bit more caution.
Trucks: Your basic aluminum based and steel axle trucks will work, but they will rust. Titanium Independent trucks are guaranteed to be rust-free.
Bolts: There are titanium bolts, but those are not necessary.
Grip tape: Normal basic grip tape will get slippery with enough water on it. Blood Orange makes some heavy duty grip tape that will handle water with ease.
I prefer combining normal and heavy duty grip. Put the normal grip where your foot makes contact during ollies. This will keep your shoes lasting a little bit longer.
A waterproof jacket will keep you feeling good. If you’ve got the loot go for Gore-Tex materials. The Marmot jacket pictured above did well for the first year or two. Unfortunately the velcro straps on the wrist and pockets didn’t hold up that great. The stitching on them was also pretty shitty. Look for jackets with thick velcro and solid stitching for durability.
REI makes some great rain pants that run about $70.
If you rip any of your waterproof gear Gore-Tex patches work miracles.
Waterproof gloves are a thing. Seirus makes some good ones.
Over time waterproof gear will collect dirt and lose its waterproofness. Use NikWax Tech Wash to wash and re-waterproof your gear.
The final piece to the puzzle. You can use any pair of skate shoes, but you’ll be left with some super soggy shoes that will require a noisy clothes dryer treatment.
DVS Milita Snow Skate Shoes
These shoes are water resistant and are good for quick little jaunts. Water can get into your socks because these shoes don’t cover your ankles. The Militias are probably the toughest shoes for skating, but if you plan on spending extended time in the rain they are not what you are looking for. The lace protection is nice, but the materials that make up the shoe eventually absorb water.
Verdict: Don’t bother
Rubber Converse Chuck Taylors The Rubber Cons are an ok choice. They have a gusseted rubber tongue which tries to keep most rain and puddle splashes out. The stock insoles are very supportive of these lightweight kicks. When it comes to a shoe that can handle all types of skateboarding these should do the job. If you are into flip tricks you’d probably prefer these.
If you live in a cold weather environment the Chuck Taylors might not be your best bet. There is no insulation inside of the shoe. There is also no lace protection. If you plan on skating for more than half an hour in a storm these will not keep you dry.
Verdict: Super comfortable, but definitely not going to keep you dry in a real storm.
Neos Villager Overshoe
This is the ultimate in water protection if you want dry feet. These are great because you are still able to wear your normal skate shoes. The only thing lacking on the overshoe is ollie protection. A little bit of shoe goo can fix that right up. Think of it as a condom for your shoe. Voila. You can tighten the shoe above your ankle and to your inner shoe. The sole on the Neos overshoe is excellent. You do not really notice it and it feels natural on top of your normal skate shoe. These are great because you can take them off when you go inside and still have a dry pair of shoes to chill in. They also do well in cold weather environments.
Verdict: The ultimate in water protection for your feet.