Skateboard grip tape is an important component needed to use a skateboard. Without grip tape the top of the skateboard will get damaged and you’ll find yourself face down on the ground. As the name suggests, skateboarding grip tape helps your skate shoes grip to the board adding traction and giving you better control of the board.
Grip tape for skateboards comes in different colors and you can buy clear grip tape, yellow grip tape, black grip tape, and multiple other colors. You can even get custom skateboard grip tape. Commonly when you buy skateboard grip tape rolls giving you more than enough to cover even a longboard if you want. You can buy skateboard grip tape online or at your local skate shop.
Once you have bought skateboard tape you will need to apply it the right way. If you put it on wrong it could get torn up quicker and make even get in the way causing damage to your new board or busting up your body. Plus properly installed grip tape just looks sweet.
You’ll need a few supplies and tools like a screwdriver, box cutter, and a metal file in order to get your skateboard grip tape on the right way.
Now if you have a complete board you’ll need to remove the trucks because once you apply the grip tape you’ll cover the screw holes; a problem if you leave the screws and trucks in while applying the tape.
First take off the sheet of grip tape from the backing. If unrolling it, unroll more than you’ll need and smooth it out before peeling. Do a quick check to make sure the grip tape piece you unroll will fully cover the top of the board, you’ll want some overlap for now on all sides.
Pull of the back adhesive cover to expose the super sticky adhesive that keeps the tape in place on the board. Carefully and slowly position the grip tape piece over the top of the board making sure it will cover the entire surface. You can cover the top surface of the tape with the back cover you peeled off to keep your grimy hands from messing up the fresh grip surfaces. Before proceeding, make sure to do a quick check for dirt on the board surface, you’ll want it to be spotless.
Affix the tape to the board and smooth it out. Don’t worry about overhang just yet, just make sure the skateboard top is covered from toe to heel. Run your hands back and forth over the grip tape to smooth out any bumps and air bubbles. If needed pop out the air bubbles with the tip of a box cutter, being careful not to pop a hole in your skin.
Get yourself a metal file and rub it hard around the edges of the skateboard where the edges of the board come into contact with the grip tape. Be sure not to scratch up the underside of the board. As you scrape around the edges the outline of the board appears in white on the grip tape. Keep a good eye on that white outline, that’ll be your guide next.
Use the box cutter to cut away the excess grip tape just outside the white outline now visible. Make sure you hold that blade at about a 45 degree angle to get a relatively smooth cut around the edges. Gently pull off the excess grip tape. Check it out to make sure all bubbles and bumps are gone. When you are satisfied with the look take a screwdriver and carefully poke through the screw holes for the trucks. Replace the trucks and screws if you removed them before.
And that’s it. Hit the streets with the newly gripped up board and enjoy.