Grip Taping a Skateboard
Sooner or later you’ll need to know how to grip tape a skateboard. Grip taping a skateboard is very simple process that involves a small amount of tools and skills. However, gripping a deck can be tricky, but with a few tips the process can be easier than expected. It’s so easy even a monkey can do it. (see video above for monkey)
Some projects, like assembling a bike, use many tools – to grip tape a skateboard there is only 4 things need:
- Grip Tape
- Razor Blade
- Screw Driver *Philips
There is a four step process to grip tape a skateboard. A fifth step can be added to the end for finishing touches:
- Laying Down the Grip Tape
- Scoring the Grip Tape
- Cutting the Grip Tape
- Polishing the Grip Tape Off
- Finishing Touches
Step #1 – Laying Down the Grip Tape
Lay a skateboard top up on a flat surface. Peel off grip tape backing. Hold the grip tape between your thumb and index finger. Line up the grip tape with the skateboard while using your middle finger as a support guide. Set down the grip tape on the tail and gradually roll the grip tape at an angle (to reduce the amount of air bubbles) towards the nose. Squeeze out extra air bubbles by laying grip tape backing onto grip tape and slide your fist from the center of the skateboard towards the edges or pop the air bubbles with the tip of a razor blade.
Step #2 - Scoring the Grip Tape
Score the grip tape with the side of a screwdriver in one firm quick pass. Keep a tight grip on the screwdriver as you hold it at a perpendicular angle with the skateboard’s edge. The skateboard can rotate around as you score. Scoring the edge helps to remove the grit around the skateboards perimeter that will assist in the next step.
Step #3 - Cutting the Grip Tape
With a new razor blade cut four perpendicular slots from the screwdriver score to the outside of the grip tape above the wheel wells. This will allow you to cut the grip tape into four sections; two on the rails and two on the tips. Hold the razor blade at 45° and use your middle finger as a guide that rests on the skateboard’s edge. In a smooth consistent motion run razor blade along screwdriver score. Save the extra pieces for the next step.
Step #4 – Polishing the Grip Tape Off
Use excess grip tape pieces from the previous step to polish off the skateboard’s edge. Fold the pieces in half so they won’t stick to your fingers. Firmly press the excess grip tape on the skateboard’s edge and run along perimeter.
Step #5 - Finishing Touches
Use a small diameter philips screwdriver to poke through the bottom of the skateboard’s insert/hardware holes. Clean out insert/hardware holes by pressing and rotating screwdriver on the top of insert/hardware holes.
After grip taping a few deck you’ll be able to do it in under 1 minute. Best of luck and have fun skating.