Did you know that grip tape was initially invented for use on ships? In the 1940s, a man named Herbert Iden saw sailors struggling to stay upright on deck during rough seas and decided to create a non-slip surface using adhesive paper. Years later, skateboarders began to use grip tape on their decks, and it soon became a staple in the industry. But how exactly does grip tape work? How do you use it?
This blog post will discuss how to put grip tape on a skateboard. There are different ways to do it, so we will outline the most popular methods. We will also answer some common questions about grip tape. Let’s get started!
What Is Grip Tape and What Does It Do
Grip tape, also known as grip or grip tape, is a pressure-sensitive adhesive tape used on the top surface of a skateboard deck or longboard deck. Its purpose is to provide traction for the rider’s feet and improve control while riding. It is usually made from silicon carbide grit or aluminum oxide particles embedded in a rigid adhesive backing.
Grip tape can be applied to decks in either a wet or dry method, but the deck’s surface must be clean and free from dust before applying. Once applied, the rider can cut off excess grip tape and customize its shape with a utility knife. In addition to being used on skateboards, grip tape can also be found on other equipment, such as hand tools, rock climbing holds, and even baseball bats, to improve grip and prevent slipping.
How to Apply Grip Tape
Applying grip tape to your skateboard or longboard may seem intimidating initially, but with the right supplies and patience, you can easily do it yourself.
The supplies you may need include:
- Grip tape sheet/ new grip tape
- Box cutter
- Heat gun
First, clean off any dirt or debris from the deck before applying the tape.
Next, carefully peel off the backing on the grip tape and place it onto the deck, starting at one end and slowly smoothing it out as you go. It may be helpful to use an applicator tool or a rubber squeegee to eliminate any air bubbles.
You may need to trim off excess tape with a sharp blade or scissors, being careful not to cut into your deck. Once applied, allow the video to sit for a few hours before skating on it to ensure it fully adheres.
How to Cut Grip Tape
Cutting skateboard grip tape can seem intimidating, but with the right tools and technique, it is pretty simple.
- First, gather a razor blade or box cutter, a straight edge, and tape to cover any exposed edges of the grip tape once it is cut.
- Next, using the straight edge as a guide, carefully score the grip tape with the razor blade, creating shallow cuts along the desired cut line.
- Once the cuts are made, you can either peel off the excess grip tape or use your thumb to press down along the cut line and snap off any extra material.
- Finally, use the tape to cover up any sharp edges on both sides of the grip tape for added safety.
How to Measure Skateboard for Grip Tape
Measuring your skateboard for grip tape can be a quick and easy process.
Begin by turning your skateboard upside down and placing it on a flat surface. Take a measuring tape and start at one end of the board, measuring from the nose to the tail. Write down this measurement and repeat for the width of the board, measuring from side to side at the widest point.
Once you have these measurements, head to your local skate shop or search online for grip tape in the appropriate size.
Following these steps will ensure that you have just enough grip tape for optimal performance without any excess hanging off the sides of your board.
Considerations before Applying Grip Tape
It would help if you considered several factors before applying grip tape to your skateboard or longboard.
Decide What Width and Length You Need.
Grip tape comes in various sizes, so it is essential to choose the right size for your skate tool. If you are unsure, it is always better to err on the side of too much rather than too little.
Think About the Design You Want.
Many brands offer a variety of colors and patterns to choose from, so take your time selecting the right one for you. Designs can range from simple and solid to brightly colored and patterned.
Consider the Environment You’ll Be Skating In.
If you skate mainly in the street, you may want to choose a softer grip tape for a better feel on your feet. However, if you slide primarily on rough surfaces like concrete, a more rigid grip tape will be necessary.
Choose a Quality Tape.
Not all grip tapes are created equal, so do your research before making a purchase. Read reviews and compare brands to find the best option for you. A good grip tape can differentiate between a good and a great skating experience.
There are ways you can follow to find a good grip tape. These ways include:
- Checking reviews:
Checking reviews is one of the best ways to find a good grip tape. There are many websites and forums where skaters can leave reviews for different grip tape brands. This can be a great resource to see what others think of a particular brand before you make a purchase.
- Comparing brands:
Another way to find a good grip tape is to compare different brands. This can be done by looking at reviews, prices, and features. By doing this, you can get a better idea of what each brand has to offer and which one is the best for you.
- Asking around:
Another great way to find a good grip tape is to ask other skaters which brand they prefer. This can be done by talking to people at your local skate park or searching online in forums and chat rooms. Doing this lets you get first-hand accounts of which brands are the best and which ones to avoid.
Tips for Keeping Your Grip Tape in Good Condition
- Avoid leaving your grip tape in direct sunlight for extended periods.
- When not using your grip tape, store it in a cool, dry place.
- Inspect your grip tape regularly for signs of wear and tear, and replace it as needed.
- Keep your grip tape clean by wiping it down with a damp cloth or brush regularly.
- If your grip tape starts to peel away from the deck, apply a new layer of adhesive and press it back into place.