Grip tape is one of the most essential part of the skateboard as it provides traction control necessary to keep the foot on the board. As the name suggests that grip tape is basically required for a strong grip for the feet of rider while performing stunts and tricks. Grip tape works even when the skateboard gets wet or moist and hence keeps the rider safe.
What is Grip Tape ?
Grip tape is a kind of sandpaper which is glued on to the top side of a skateboard deck. It helps the skater to keep their balance on the skateboard while they ride the skateboard and also while performing stunts and for increasing speed as they cruise with the skateboard.
An Ideal Grip Tape
As we say that grip tape is an important part of the skateboard as it not only keeps the ride smooth and full of fun but also is high on safety. Although we understand what a grip tape is but there are few specifications and measures that should be kept in mind before buying a grip tape. Look out for the following:
This is one of the most important aspects of the grip tape. For any grip tape to stay long on the skateboard, stickiness is needed. The better the stickiness, the long grip tape will be working. If the grip tape has an excellent stickiness, it means it will not be having bubbles and the surface would be smooth for long time.
Easy to Use
A grip tape is something you have to change after sometime, either because it gets damaged due to certain factors or because it is boring to carry on with the same tape for a very long period of time. In that case changing the grip tape should not feel like a big task, instead it should be easy to use and install. Also, the tape should not be such that it requires an expert to apply or remove the grip tape.
Now this is something that entirely depends upon the choice of the buyer. Go for a style that suits your style and reflects your personality as it would be your skateboard which would be designed according to your taste. Some people choose plain or transparent grip tape while others go for colorful ones. Some people are creative enough to make their own signature style funky grip tape. We suggest that there are so many options when it comes to choosing the design, you just need to go as per your likes.
Why do we apply the Grip Tape?
A grip tape is to provide traction and grip to the rider riding the skateboard. Grip tape has a rough surface. It provides resistance and friction between the deck and the sole of the shoe. Without friction it will be impossible to ride the skateboard properly as there will always be the danger of you falling. Any skateboard would be incomplete without a grip tape. It provides traction necessary and also reflects your personality. Grip tape is essential when you are performing a trick or a stunt as it keeps your feet firmly on the skateboard. You can be as creative as you wish when it comes to designing your grip tape. They come in various varieties like anti-slip, anti-skid, transparent and double sided as well. Grip tape gives control to the rider while preventing them from sliding down the skateboard. A grip tape is must for the skateboards to give a secure footing while allowing to performing the stunts. Many people apply the grip tape in such a way so you can distinguish between nose and tail of the skateboard. Grip tape also makes the skateboard look very amusing.
What is Grip Tape made from?
Grip tape of the skateboard is a grainy sand paper like sheet with an extremely sticky adhesive underneath the tape. Due to this adhesive the skateboard keeps adhering to the deck. The rough surface of the grip tape consists of Silicone Carbide. Many manufacturers also use cheap materials like aluminium oxide. The base of the grip tape is made up of a large sheet of polyester film. This polyester film also has tiny perforations in it. Due to these perforations, neither water or moisture can stay on it. The polyester film is also coated with an abrasive mineral composition silicone carbide which is sprayed to give this sand paper like texture to the grip tape. People also use aluminium oxide just because it is a cheap material .
How to put grip tape on skateboard?
Applying grip tape to the skateboard is not a very difficult task but a simple process that requires the work done with lots of precision and patience. Just apply the following simple instructions:
Prepare the Board
- Buy a good quality grip tape
- Set the skateboard on a flat, clean work surface.
- Remove any existing grip tape
- Get rid of anything that can ruin the tape's adhesive
- Clean the board properly
Taping the board
- Centre the grip tape over the skateboard deck
- Easily peel back a few inches of the paper guard placing it firmly on one end of the board.
- Gradually start smoothing the grip tape from one end of the grip to the other end.
- Push down the tape so that there would be no bubbles.
- Flatten it properly so that it covers the entire surface of the deck.
Finishing the Board
- Once you have properly applied the grip tape, there would be extra grips on the edges of the deck.
- Scrap the sides of the board until grip tape develops white edges.
- Trim off the excess grip tape with the help of the knife or cutter
- Flatten out bubbles if any
- Poke holes to screw the trucks
- Lastly, neat the edges.
Your skateboard is ready with your grip tape on. If you are creative person, do not shy away to exhibit the talent.
Best Grip Tape
After reviewing various grip tapes we present the best ones for you
How to clean a grip tape?
Cleaning not only makes grip tape lasts longer but also let’s it be in good condition. Before cleaning the grip tape it is suggested that you should remove the wheels. Grip tape with extremely torn edges or worn out edges should be removed or replaced. For cleaning grip tape we need a soft wire brush, a bowl, soapy water or a window cleaner, microfiber cloth and grip gum. Follow the easy steps given below:
- Buy a soft wire brush from the local shop.
- Make a soap solution and fill it in the bowl
- Add lemon for fresh smell
- Dip the brush in bowl and scrub the grip tape surface with soft hand. It should be done this way the water should not seep into the wood.
- Dry the board with a soft muslin cloth
- Make sure bottom of the wood is also completely dry
- Allow the board to dry for upto three hours
- If still there is any residual, remove it with the grip gum
Where to buy the Grip Tape?
Grip tape being the essential part of the skateboard can be found in the local market. But always look for the best brands, no matter if they are expensive. Although you can easily find a variety of grip tape on online stores like Amazon. Online stores give you more freedom to choose the product as per your requirements keeping competitive price for the product. They clearly mention all the specification of the product along with correct dosage and how to use the product. You can also go through various reviews of the buyers on Amazon and decide which one you must go for. It all depends on you if you wish to buy the grip tape from a shop near you or from an online store without Stepping out of home.
Any skateboard is incomplete without a good quality grip tape. It’s an essential part. However over a period of time it gets worn out or get damaged, in that case go either for a new grip tape or replace the old one. It’s not difficult to remove the grip tape as it can be easily done with the help of a hair dryer.
Keep the grip tape in good condition by following little things when riding the skateboard. Always wear clean shoes and make sure that the shoes are dirt or dust free before you start the ride. Install grip tape with much patience and care.