It's one of the age old questions of skateboarding - what is the best grip tape for skateboards? It's just one of several "what is the best" questions that so many skaters long to know the answer to. Grip tape is essential for skateboards; how else are you expected to control the board without having some good quality grip tape for your skateboard to keep your feet in check? Many of us have been frustrated in the past having grip tape for our skateboard that is just not grippy enough. On the flipside, we've also felt the wrath of the super-rough grip tape that eats your shoe alive with one swift kick of the flip, so to speak.
So where's the happy medium? What is the best grip tape for skateboards? Is there an ideal grip tape for skateboards? With so many different kinds to choose from, it can be hard to figure it out. In this article we will discuss how you can decide for yourself what the best grip tape for skateboards is.
The best grip tape for skateboards lies in the eye of the beholder
Determining the best grip tape for skateboards is really subjective. Everyone has their own style of skating and we all have different needs. So what we're going to do is take a quick look at the 3 most popular kinds of grip tape for skateboards and try to match up our needs and wants with what we discover about each brand.
Jessup has been making some of the best grip tape for skateboards since the very beginning and they have built a solid name for themselves as an affordable and trustworthy brand. Jessup seems to be best for beginners with a grit that is good enough to hold a nice grip without doing any damage to your shoes. With some of the most affordable prices out there and such a trusted name it's hard not to ask for Jessup at the skate shop when you get that new deck.
Even though Jessup is a popular, trusted, and quality brand name, their grip tape for skateboards don't seem to hold up too well in wet or muddy conditions. This can sometimes be a pain as many dedicated skaters won't think twice about having a little mud or water on their shoes before getting on their board and it often costs them some valuable grip if they have Jessup. Another thing about Jessup is that their grip tape for skateboards don't seem to last as long as many other brands, perhaps due to their choice of using such a light grit. I've also noticed that it rips fairly easily compared to other brands.
Mob grip tape for skateboards is also extremely popular among all types of skaters, regardless of skill level or style. Mob seems to have a nice happy medium with their grit where it's not too rough but not too weak at the same time. The first skate session after applying new Mob grip tape for your skateboard is always the most revealing. Mob is also a very durable skateboard grip tape that tends to last quite a long time before losing any significant grip. The best part about Mob is how they find that perfect medium for a lot of skaters that many other companies try to mimic but can never fully duplicate.
There aren't too many bad things to say about Mob, in all honesty. They seem to be good at finding that happy medium without ever going too extreme on either side of the grip spectrum. One thing to mention is that Mob grip tape for skateboards do better with water and mud than the cheaper brands like Jessup and others, but still not as good as the more expensive brands. You can get away with having wet or muddy shoes a few times with Mob, but eventually you're going to regret it as you notice your grip starting to fade away.
Black Magic grip tape for skateboards is widely considered the strongest and most durable product of its kind on the market today. I remember when I was a kid, looking at Black Magic as the end-all, be-all of grip tape for skateboards. They have made a name for themselves with their super grippy grit that almost always outlives your board itself. Black Magic can handle water and mud a lot better than the cheaper brands which is always nice. Not only is Black Magic durable through water and mud, but also through impact as well. It takes a pretty hard whack to get a chip or tear in Black Magic griptape.
Black Magic's main claim to fame, their super grippiness, can also be looked at as a negative. Sometimes, too much grip can be annoying when it tears up your shoes and rips the threads right out from the soles. That extra grip not only can damage your shoes, but it can also hurt your hands when you go to pick your board up or give you some nasty cuts if you bail and the board comes up and scrapes your legs.
Black Magic may be considered the best grip tape for skateboards among a lot of skaters, but they're really not for everyone. If you haven't mastered the art of flip tricks yet then you may find yourself going through skate shoes faster than grip tape. Black Magic grip tape for skateboards is best for the more experienced skaters or those who tend to like doing gaps, grinds, or vert more than basic flat ground tricks.
What is the best grip tape for skateboards for you?
After reading over the three most popular brands of grip tape for skateboards and seeing all the pros and cons you should be able to decide which one is best for you. Every brand is made for different styles and contrary to popular belief, super-strong griptape is not always the best. Figure out what your style is and what your primary needs are and find the right brand for you.