Replacing the grip tape or installing a new one to provide a thick base for your footing is critical for using the skateboard. The application of grip tape is crucial in the skateboard business, whether you are a newcomer or a long-running player in the field. The grip tape offers the perfect resistance between the shoes and board.
Therefore, this article offers an insight on how to grip tape a skateboard based on different applications and step-by-step procedures.
What is Grip Tape and Why is it Essential for Skateboards?
Grip Tape is self-adhesive sandpaper for your skateboard that can support your board’s traction and footing and allows the user to perform different tricks and techniques with your skateboard. It is basically made up of silicon carbide and offers a high resistance between your shoes and the board. Irrespective of the skill set you have, the gripped skateboard is an essential parameter to include the smooth tricks. It’s among the very basics you can do to customize your skateboard.
How to Grip Tape a Skateboard
There are many skateboards that come with pre-gripped features; however, others require a solid and robust traction ability. Thereby, markets are full of colorful grip tapes with a variety of new and elaborative patterns that you can choose according to your creativity and likeliness.
Method # 1
Materials needed for Grip Taping
Following are the things you need to attain phenomenal traction and the absolute best application of the grip tape.
- A pre-cut or new sheet of grip tape. This must be in compliance with the size of the board you are using.
- A sharp knife, paper cutter, or a razor to cut the tape while you are pasting the grip tape. Here, make sure your knife is sharp that can make the whole process effortless and easier.
- To grind or smooth the edges, you need a screwdriver that can help you. Further, a well-rounded rod can do the job while providing the best shape to round the corners.
Line up the Grip Tape with a Skateboard
First of all, take a grip tape and lay it just with the deck. Keep in mind to lay the whole patch of the tape to gain extra space for an edge of material while cutting. Here, irrespective of any side, you can start aligning the tape with the deck. Now, make your way to the other end with the grip tape and ensure there are no lumps and gaps between both sides. Finally, if everything is on point, proceed further, and you are all set to permanently paste the tape.
Press the Tape and Smooth the Edges
Once you are done aligning, begin cutting the useless extra edges from one corner that can give you an upper hand for the material at the centre of the board. After that, press the sheet down and start peeling with both your hands putting pressure on the sheet. This will ensure the smooth application from one end to the other. In the end, make sure the sheet is extended from both the corners and centre.
Likewise comes the step where you round the edges of your grip tape, making an outline for the boundary you want to achieve. For this application, you should use the screwdriver’s rounded side to make a visible line that will guide the following procedure. This highlighted line also serves another purpose of not peeling the tape easily and supporting you in attaining the outline from where you want to cut.
Cutting the Edges
Finally, you have come to the last step that is cutting the edges, and you are ready to start. Now, use a paper cutter or a sharp razor to follow the guide that you have crafted for the final cutting. After you have cut down the line supported by the weak material that has been designed with the screwdriver, your board is nearly ready, and you are set to go.
In the end, again, use the screwdriver to round the edges further. Rub this screwdriver to make sure there are no left pieces that are peeling easily and no material is coming off the board. You are ready to assemble the pieces and enjoy the thrilling ride with the perfect traction that has been attained with this grip tape.
Method # 2
It is a detailed method yet similar to the first process with which you can achieve the perfect traction with your skateboard.
Preparing the board
Firstly, get the best known and high-quality grip tape. Black Magic, Speed Demons, and Mob are highly popular among the users.
Now, place your skateboard in a comfortable place that is smooth, e.g., your table, smooth ground, or any other.
If your board has any existing tape, first and foremost, use the sander to remove this and begin with the clear and smooth surface. This step can be a little rough and complicated for the board as harsh sanding can tear your board’s material.
Properly clean the skateboard to remove the dust, dirt, or any other adhesives that can assist you in the traction for a longer period of time.
Taping the Grip Tape
Here, start lining the tape with the board and make sure you have extra material for cutting. However, some grips come with different prints, drawings, and patterns on your grip tape to make it colourful and creative, different from the classical tape. In this case, you can either cut the grip tape into two halves or you can adjust the chunks according to the pattern you are going for. And finally, you can cut small pieces and fill out the grip tape gaps.
While tapping the board, you will have to press harder with both hands to prevent the air bubbles between the tape and the board. If there are any bubbles or extra adhesive sticking around, it can create a crease that is an uphill task to eliminate, and you will have to start all over again after sticking for one time or twice.
You can now cut the excess of the tape, and if there are any little gaps left, you can paste new pieces of the tape. Once you are done flattening the air bubbles and trimming the excess tape, you are free to assemble the pieces and use the skateboard. Again, you can use a sander to make the edges smooth, yet it involves a unique and top-notch experience because you do not want to rip the board.
How can you prevent air bubbles while grip tapping your skateboard?
To avoid any air bubbles or gaps in the grip tape, always paste the tape onto the board with small parts. This can ensure any bubbles between the tape and board and the pressure you apply with your hands. The pressure by your fingers assists the proper application and maximum benefit of adhesives.
Do you need to grip tape your skateboard?
There are many skateboards that come with pre-gripping features, yet others demand a good grip. Grip tape can support different techniques with your board and help you in achieving the traction between the board and your foot. This traction is highly crucial when it comes to the footing. Irrespective of your skillset, be it advance or beginner level, you need a solid grip on your skateboard to function properly and smoothly.
What is the best grip tape for your skateboard?
There are many grip tapes that are premium quality and cost a lot. Here, Black Magic, Speed Demons, Mob, Alien Ware, and Jessups are best known for their adhesive quality and convenient application. If you are looking for a nice, pocket-friendly approach, you can go for any grip tape to make sure it is bubble free that can avoid eradicating air bubbles.
How to grip tape a skateboard?
Grip taping a skateboard is highly convenient and includes an effortless application. Firstly, create an outline for which you are going for with the overhanging material that can give you an edge while cutting. Now, use a screwdriver to create an outlined boundary and the razor, paper cutter, or a knife to cut the excess or trim the edges. Finally, again smooth the edges, and you are ready to go.
How do you know you need a new grip tape?
Once your grip tape is out of shape, the tricks automatically become complex and difficult. Your shoes lose balance or traction, and suddenly you feel the loss of support. Consequently, this probably means you need a new set of grip tape to advance in the ride.
In essence, grip tape can mount your skateboard’s efficiency with the enhanced traction that can support you in implementing different techniques. Moreover, maintaining and replacing the grip tape is a must-consider fact that can further help you in the grip tape’s longevity. Thereby, with the gripped-board, your life has become easier and the journey more adventurous without undermining the thrilling ride’s safety.