Skateboarding is an extreme sport for a reason. There is a huge risk that every skateboarder takes when they jump on the board. This risk is intensified when the surface on which you are skateboarding is not in good condition. For that, is best to consider using the best paints for skateboard ramps to protect yourself and your ramp.
But why should you consider painting your ramp? Well, for starters injuries can occur because of an unprotected surface. This can occur if it rains or snows or if there are any other materials on your ramp. So the question prevails, skates paint worth it? Well, when things like exposure to the sun or heavy rain happen, your chances of injury increase. For that, it is important to make sure that your skateboard ramp is ready for every flip, slide, and stick, and hence why you should consider painting your skateboard ramp. For that, we have a guide to the best paints for skateboard ramps.
When preparing to ride, you must make sure that both your board and your ramp are ready to go. Your ramp is likely going to be the most expensive part of your skateboarding hobby, so you want to make sure it is in good shape. Skateboard ramps, if not surfaced correctly, can begin to wear or rot if it is left outside in extreme weather. This extreme weather is not limited to rain or snow, but also wind or extreme heat. The most common way that skateboarders protect their ramps is with Skatelite and Masonite.
Skatelite and Masonite
Skatelite is considered the best skating surface, as it is used in the X Games and many other competitive skating competitions. It is a surface made out of paper that allows for speed and smooth riding. Skatelite is also weather-resistant and fire-resistant, ensuring that it stays in good condition through all seasons. It is also easy-to-clean for even the nastiest scuffs and skid marks.
On the other hand, you have Masonite. Masonite is a tempered hardwood (engineered wood) that you put over your ramp in order to make a smoother surface, which some argue is too slippery. The downside of Masonite, however, is that it is not weather-resistant, meaning you would have to protect that as well. These are your two best options if you are looking for the best skating surface. But these options can get pricey.
At $150/sheet (Skatelite) and $10/sheet (Masonite is smaller), these options can get very expensive very quickly. We understand that you want to invest in your ramp if you plan to use it for a very long time, but the reality is that those options may not be in everybody’s budget.
The ultimate inexpensive option to maintain your ramp would be to put a tarp over it, but that isn’t sustainable. There are two other options, the best paints for skateboard ramps that aren’t as expensive as Skatelite and Massonite but will still provide your ramp with the coverage that it needs: Spar Urethane and Polyurethane Paint.
Best Paints for Skateboard Ramps
Spar Urethane is the more expensive of the best paints for skateboard ramps, but it is the best paint you can get and will provide the best protection for your ramp. It contains ultraviolet blockers that protect your ramp from the rays of the sun and prevent your ramp from greying or fading. It also forms a barrier to prevent wet surfaces from rain and other moisture, creating a waterproofing layer between the paint and the ramp. It comes in many different stains and colors, allowing you to make sure your ramp is to your liking.
The best part about Spar Urethane, however, is that it is infused with special oils that allow it to expand and contract along with the wood as the seasons and temperature change. This ensures that your ramp will be in tip-top shape rain or shine and summer or winter. The two leading brands of Spar Urethane are Minwax and Rust-Oleum.
The cheaper of the two options is Polyurethane paint. This will surely not protect your wooden ramp as well as Spar Urethane, but it will surely do the job. Polyurethane paint is what is typically used on outdoor porches and decks. As I said, it will not protect your ramp nearly as well as Spar Urethane, but it is a very good paint for the price that it sells for (around $21/gallon).
An added bonus of Polyurethane paint is that it comes in far more colors and stains than Spar Urethane, which really allows you to get creative with your ramp. Minwax and Rust-Oleum are also leading brands of Polyurethane paint, with Varathan also being a best-seller. Another good thing about it is that it comes in spray paint, which allows for a quick and easy painting process.
It is important to make sure your ramp is covered in all circumstances. Whether you live in sunny California where it rains once a year or in New England where it can snow and be 75 degrees in the same week, you always need to be prepared and protected. We have provided two options for all of you skateboarders looking to upgrade your ramp game. These aren’t the only two options but we think that these are the best paints for skateboard ramps in order to protect yourself and your ramp without breaking the bank.
While we provided you with the best paints for skateboard ramps, we do encourage you to do all that you can to give yourself the best skating surface possible. We advise that you do some combination of all of these options to make your ramp durable and long-lasting. Our best advice to you would be to invest in yourself and in your ramp. Spend the extra money it would take to get a full layer of Masonite and then cover that Massonite in layers (two or more) of the Polyurethane paint.
When your ramp is not in use, you should also cover it in a tarp for further protection. Following these steps will add years to your ramp’s life and let you shred for years to come.
If you think our guide for the best paints for skateboard ramps was useful to you, check out our website for more helpful tips!
Written by Freddie Popkin
Edited by Jack Leduc
Is Masonite good for skate ramps?
This is the most common question for coating a skateboard ramp. Masonite is good for any type of smooth and sanded plywood.
What can I use if I don't want Skatelite?
If you don't want to use Skatelite or Ramp Armor, you can use Skatepaint since is cost-effective and can be used on every platform, transition, and the surface of your ramp.
Can I waterproof the hardboard?
Yes, you can. You can apply a waterproof coating as it's an important part of protecting the hardboard material. Hardboard is susceptible to water and that can cause expansion and damage to the wood.