Winter is upon us and that means we have rain, leaves and darkness to deal with while we try to keep The Endless Ride rolling. Here are some quick pointers that could help you stay on your board and not damage your drive in these precarious conditions.
It's an Electric Skateboard, Not a Surfboard
Before we get into this, let's make something clear, Mellow is a sophisticated electric skateboard, not a surfboard. It's not 100% waterproof. There is a limit to the water exposure it can handle with it's IP65 resistance. If there is water on the ground, it is going to spray and the drive is going to get wet, which is ok. Mellow can handle the spray and humid surfaces but deep puddles and prolonged periods in rain or exposure to continuous water splashing should be avoided due to the inherent damage water causes to the drive, deck and bearings. If your board gets wet it will require some cleaning and some careful habits to maintain the drive and its battery. As a general rule of thumb, if it is starting to or just finished raining, it's best not take your Mellow out and catch a bus or subway ride until things dry up. If you are riding and there is a risk of rain or a splash bring a little towel with you for cleaning up your Mellow.
Slippery When Wet
So when the streets get wet these wheels will start to lose their grip. The safest thing to do if the road is a little moist is ride straight at a lower speeds. Ease up on your carving. You can still turn but it just needs to be a much more of a gentle motion to avoid the urethane slipping. If you do start to slip, don’t flip. The key is to stay over the board if you are sliding. In most cases, if you’re not going too fast just, stay mellow, ease off the accelerator and the traction will return. If the road is just too slick stop riding. All surfaces have different traction so be observant and remember slick spots on your commute. Avoid hard braking.
In this season the road is full of branches, leaves, nuts…depending on where you live at what time of the season. The key is to be vigilant. Scan the ground ahead of you while riding. Make it a habit to be aware of what is coming up, whether a branch or crack in the sidewalk. Keep a wide stance that favors the back of the board, ready to do a little wheelie with the help of your kicktail to avoid any wedging of your front wheel that will eject you off your board. Ride around what you can, hop over what you can’t.
Those Shady Bumps
Hopping? Now you can’t exactly ollie with a Mellow but with all skateboards there is a small hop you can do get over little bumps and cracks. Spring off your board the moment you are coming over the obstacle, a 1cm hop at the moment your wheels are coming over. The board will pop up and bounce back down off your souls. It’s not the most elegant move but it can really save your ass on the unexpected bumps you are not sure you are going to get over. Ride over small curbs diagonally to reduce impact.
Mystery in the Leaves
You will encounter moments where you can’t see the sidewalk surface since your view is obstructed by leaves or whatever might be on the ground. You can still ride through this but when the sidewalk surface beneath is a mystery, a low wheelie or series of them while you ride through will increase the chances of you rolling past any peril.
Let there be Light
As we all know, days are shorter in the winter so it’s more likely you will end up rolling under the veil of darkness. Now everything we just said above gets a tad more problematic in the darkness, so getting some lights is not a bad idea. It will help you see what’s coming and others will see you coming up. Either sort out how to attach a small LED light you can get from your hardware store or you can invest in Shred Lights that are made for skating and are more resilient to water than that 10 euros light from the hardware store. (In the future we'll also offer Shred Lights specially made for the Mellow)
It's Clean-up Time!
For all skateboards, whether electric or not, you will warp your wooden board and rust your bearings in water. Grease your trucks + bearings and even consider ceramic bearings for ultimate prevention. If you are not too worried about reducing the life of your deck or you have a fiberglass or a triaxular fiber protected deck like on our buddybuddy decks you can be a bit less worried, but get ready for some cleaning up. When your wet ride is over, lean your board a bit differently than you usually do. Prop up your board with the drive up, instead of down as usual, and facing away/downward from you if possible.
Maintaining a wet drive like this reduces the chances of water running down toward the connector especially if you are going to change your battery. Always keep an eye on the Rosenberger connector. Clean the USB/Power plug inputs and dab out any water from the ports of your battery immediately after your ride. Wipe down the battery & the inside of the drive always being careful of keeping any water away from the connectors. Until you have a chance to clean up, leave the board facing down (unlike the way we left the board on the cover image) to avoid chances of any water that snuck past the ports reaching the inside of your battery.
As for the rest of the drive, have your designated Mellow rag that you always have with you. Wipe down the drive, battery and wheels.
If your board got really soaked unmount the drive and wipe down the surface that faces your board. Leave all moist parts of your Mellow in a warm dry place till your next ride. When cleaning the back of the drive, remember to not poke the little pressure hole.
Keep riding, stay Mellow and take care while you're winter riding. If you are not sure about something feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For the latest Mellow School sign-up for the Mellow Times.