How To Apply Skateboard Grip Tape

applying skateboard grip tapeApplying grip tape is easy. There are a lot of videos and instructions throughout the internet, but most "How To" tutorials miss important steps, or appear to have information lacking. The following instructions for applying grip tape to a skateboard deck shows you step by step how to put grip tape on your deck correctly.

 

 There are 3 steps to put grip tape on a skateboard correctly.

  1. How to lay the grip tape on the deck.
  2. How to score the grip tape.
  3. How to cut the grip tape.

pat grip tape down thmb   Score grip tape 3 thmb   cut grip tape 2 thmb

Tools

  • Razor blade
  • Blunt object (screwdriver is perfect, no file needed)
  • Nail
  • Steady hand
  • Smiles

 

How To Video


Steps by step

  1. Peel off the paper backing, grab both ends, and hold the grip tape evenly over the entire board.

    put grip tape on

    1.  

  2. Place the grip tape down firmly on one end of the board. Start on one end and work your way across to eliminate air bubbles. Holding the other end higher helps when starting.
    grip tape down one endlift grip tape loose end

     

  3. Work your way across by holding up the loose end of the grip tape with one hand and slowly rub your hand across the length of the board.
    grip tape directionGrip tape direction 2

     

  4. Angle the loose end of the grip tape towards you. Holding it level over the board will create a big air pocket as shown in the image.
    angle grip tapegrip tape air bubble

     

  5. Score the edges of the grip tape with a blunt object. A screwdriver is perfect. Press and rub the screwdriver along the rail/edge of the deck. This will create a white line called a score. Only go over the edge once. The more you rub the screwdriver on the edge of the grip tape the harder it will be to cut a straight line. Scoring a thin white line is best.
    score grip tapescore grip tape 3

     

  6. On narrow decks, the grip tape will resist the pressure of the screwdriver along the upward curve near the nose or tail. Where the bottom of the nose or tail meets the curve on the side of the deck, cut the grip with your razor blade perpendicular to the deck 90 degrees.
    grip tape resistinggrip tape cut

     

  7. Gently lift up the grip tape that is hanging over the edge gently so it is easier to cut.

    grip tape peel edges

  8. It is much easier to cut the grip tape from the underside of the skateboard deck. The reason for doing this is so you can hold your hand steady by resting your fingers on the edge of the deck. This also keeps the razor blade steady creating a straight line through the grip tape. As the blade rests flat on the edge angle the blade away from you at about 45 degrees. 
    cut grip tapecut grip tape 2
    Always cut toward you as you trim away the edges of the grip tape. When cutting, it might help to choose what side of the white scored line you'd like to cut on. It seems obvious to just cut right in the center, but it might help to cut on the inside or outside of the scored line.

  9. Grip tape is very sticky and won't peel off, but just to be safe, and to give the edge a nice clean look, take the left over grip tape and sand down the edge of the grip tape around the deck.

    If you work at a shop, don't overdue the sanding. It leaves the grip tape looking really messy. And for a kid just getting a new deck, it won't look so new after you rub off the grit.
    rough grip tape edges

  10. Poke holes in the grip tape where the hardware/bolts/screws go through. Use a screwdriver to scrub away the debris in or around the holes. Clean up the holes with your screwdriver to make it easier to insert the hardware/bolts.
    poke grip tape holesclean grip tape holes