How To Apply Skateboard Grip Tape
Applying 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.
- How to lay the grip tape on the deck.
- How to score the grip tape.
- How to cut the grip tape.
- Razor blade
- Blunt object (screwdriver is perfect, no file needed)
- Steady hand
How To Video
Steps by step
- Peel off the paper backing, grab both ends, and hold the grip tape evenly over the entire board.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Gently lift up the grip tape that is hanging over the edge gently so it is easier to cut.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.