Electric skateboards provide a fun and environmentally friendly form of personal transportation. Zipping around town on a compact electric skateboard is an exhilarating experience. However, riding an electric skateboard during cold winter can be challenging if you don’t properly prepare. Freezing temperatures, snow, ice, salt and wet weather can damage components and reduce performance and safety.
With some planning and preventative care, you can keep your electric skateboard running smoothly all winter. This article will provide three important tips to help winter-proof your electric skateboard so you can enjoy riding even when the temperature drops.
Tip 1: Store Your Battery Properly
The lithium-ion battery is one of the most important components to protect your electric skateboard during winter. Lithium-ion batteries are highly sensitive to cold temperatures. Exposing them to freezing temps can quickly sap the charge and permanently reduce overall battery life and capacity.
When temperatures drop below 32°F, the battery chemistry slows down, and internal resistance increases. This makes it difficult for the battery to produce adequate power output. You’ll notice the battery draining faster than normal and the skateboard lacking its usual zip when accelerating or climbing hills.
To prevent winter damage, bring batteries indoors or store them in an insulated, temperature-controlled space like a garage or shed when not in use. The ideal storage temperature for lithium-ion batteries is around 59°F. Over winter, storing them in a cold basement or unheated garage can do more harm than good.
If you don’t have access to a warm storage area, purchase a battery wrap or insulating jacket to provide extra protection. Make sure to charge batteries fully before heading out for a ride in cold conditions to give yourself ample range. Keep an extra fully charged battery pack with you if you need to swap it out. Taking these precautions will keep your batteries performing optimally all winter.
Tip 2: Weatherproof Your Electronics
Road salt, slush, snow, and rain during winter can wreak havoc on the electronics that control your electric skateboard. When exposed to moisture, the motherboard, motor controller, and wiring are vulnerable to corrosion and shorts.
- Start by sealing up any openings on the underside of the skateboard deck to prevent water and salt spray from splashing upwards.
- Use an electronics-safe sealant or non-conductive tape to cover holes or gaps around wires.
- Inspect the casing around the motor and ensure the seals are intact.
- Add a layer of silicone or other sealant around the seam if needed.
- Check that all connectors are properly seated and tight.
- Use dielectric grease on all electrical connections and contacts. The grease prevents moisture penetration and inhibits corrosion. Reapply if riding frequently in wet conditions.
For maximum protection, you can purchase flexible urethane covers made specifically to shield electric skateboard electronics from the elements. Taking steps to weatherproof components will allow you to ride worry-free through puddles and slush.
Tip 3: Ride Cautiously in Wet Conditions
Electric skateboards rely on the wheels’ grip against the riding surface to accelerate, brake, and turn. Unfortunately, wet, icy, snow-covered roads severely reduce traction and control. The motor may spin the wheels without you going anywhere in slick conditions. And braking distances are greatly increased, raising the risk of crashes.
- Use extreme caution when riding in rain, snow, or on icy surfaces.
- Reduce your speed so you can react and stop safely.
- Accelerating slowly and avoiding sudden braking or sharp turns can help you maintain control. Also, consider swapping your regular wheels out for a set with a dedicated winter tread design.
- Look for wide, grooved tires that effectively channel water away and provide additional grip.
- Even with winter tires, understand that wet conditions reduce braking effectiveness significantly. Leave at least 2-3 times your normal following distance to account for the longer stopping distance.
You can safely traverse slick roads and paths on your electric skateboard by following a few careful precautions. Just remember to adjust your speed and braking to match the available traction.
Electric skateboards make a fun personal vehicle for commuting and thrill-seeking. However, riding in freezing winter presents some unique challenges compared to the warmer seasons. Take steps to properly store batteries, weatherproof exposed electronics, and adapt your riding to wet conditions. These three winterization tips will keep you cruising happily on your electric skateboard until spring.
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