Welcome to Wake2o's comprehensive guide to skateboard grip tape! Whether you're a seasoned skateboarder looking to enhance your board's performance or a beginner eager to learn the basics, grip tape plays a crucial role in every rider's experience on the streets or at the skatepark.
Skateboard grip tape isn't just a surface to stand on – it's your connection to the board, providing essential traction and control as you navigate through flips, slides, and grinds. In this blog post, we'll delve into everything you need to know about skateboard grip tape, from its purpose and components to choosing the right one for your riding style, applying it like a pro, and keeping it in top condition.
So, whether you're gearing up for your next session or simply curious about the world beneath your feet, join us as we explore the ins and outs of skateboard grip tape, helping you master your ride and take your skating to new heights!
What Is Grip Tape?
Skateboard grip tape is a coarse, sandpaper-like material that is applied to the top surface of a skateboard deck. Its primary purpose is to provide traction for the rider's feet, allowing them to maintain control and stability while skating. Grip tape typically consists of a layer of abrasive material, such as silicon carbide or aluminum oxide, adhered to a sticky backing.
How To Apply Grip Tape
Applying skateboard grip tape is a crucial step in maintaining optimal traction and control while riding. Follow these step-by-step instructions to ensure a smooth and effective application:
Prepare Your Workspace: Find a clean, flat surface to work on, preferably with ample lighting. Ensure that your skateboard deck is free from any dirt, dust, or debris.
Gather Your Materials: You will need a new sheet of grip tape, a sharp utility knife or razor blade, and a skateboard deck.
Remove Old Grip Tape (if applicable): If there is existing grip tape on your skateboard deck, use the edge of the razor blade to carefully lift the corners and peel it off or use a hair dryer to loosen the adhesive. Be cautious to avoid damaging the deck.
Align the Grip Tape: Unroll the new grip tape and position it over the skateboard deck, ensuring that it fully covers the surface without overlapping the edges.
Smooth Out Air Bubbles: Starting from one end of the deck, use your hand to press down firmly on the grip tape, gradually working your way to the other end. This helps to eliminate any air bubbles trapped between the grip tape and the deck.
- Outline The Deck. Using your skate tool, a screwdriver shaft or something similar, run it around the edge of the deck so the outline of the board is seen.
- Cut The Tape. At the begining and end of the nose and tail radius, cut the tape with a stanley blade from the outside in, until the blade touches the deck. This will make trimmung much easier.
- Peel the Grip Tape: Peel the tape slightly around the outline. This will make trimming much easier.
Trim Excess Grip Tape: Once the grip tape is securely adhered to the deck, carefully use the utility knife or razor blade, held at an angle to trim off the excess material along the edges of the deck. You will make 4 cuts. 2 x rails and 2 x radius's.
Finish The Outline. Reserve the off cuts, and use them to lightly sand down the edges of the new tape for a professional finish. TSanding down the edges also helps prevent the grip tape from peeling prematurely.
Final Touches: Once the grip tape is applied, locate the bolt holes, and press with your finger to create an indent. Using your truck bolts, Push the bolt through the grip, into the deck. This will producte a perfect, clean hole. Repeat for every hole.
Maintaining Your Grip Tape
Maintaining your skateboard grip tape is essential for ensuring optimal traction and control while riding. Some tips for skateboard grip tape maintenance are:
- Avoid Moisture: Try to keep your skateboard dry and avoid riding in wet conditions whenever possible. Moisture can seep into the grip tape and weaken its adhesive, leading to premature wear and tear.
- Regular Cleaning: Use a grip/gum grip cleaner or a fine wire brush with water to gently scrub the grip tape surface. Brush in a back-and-forth motion to loosen and remove dirt, dust, and debris trapped in the grip tape's texture.