Skateboarding is a popular sport and mode of transportation enjoyed by people all around the world.
Whether you are a novice skateboarder or have been skating for years, one important question to consider is whether or not you need grip tape on your skateboard.
Grip tape, a rough, sandpaper-like material that is applied to the top surface of the skateboard deck, provides traction and helps you maintain control of your board while riding.
It is a crucial component of every skateboard, as it can make the difference between a smooth ride and a dangerous slip or fall. However, not everyone is aware of the importance of grip tape and may wonder if it is really necessary.
In this article, I will explore why grip tape is essential to skateboarding and the potential risks of not using it. Also, I will discuss the different types of grip tape available and how to choose the best one for your needs.
Do you need grip tape on a skateboard?
Yes, you do need grip tape on a skateboard.
Without grip tape, you won’t have enough traction to stay on your board, let alone do any tricks. It’s like wearing socks on an icy surface – you’re bound to slip and fall.
Grip tape not only helps keep your feet in place, but it also allows you to have control and maneuverability while riding your board.
Don’t risk a wipeout by neglecting grip tape – make sure your skateboard is properly equipped before hitting the streets or skate park.
What are the benefits of having grip tape on a skateboard?
Grip tape is an essential component of a skateboard. It provides numerous benefits that enhance the overall skateboarding experience. Here are some key benefits and explanations:
- Grip tape is essentially a sandpaper-like material glued to the top of the skateboard.
- Its rough texture prevents the skater’s feet from slipping off the board.
- This secure footing is crucial for maintaining balance during movement and when performing tricks.
Better Performance of Tricks:
- The added traction from grip tape allows for better control of the skateboard.
- It makes it easier to perform flips, ollies, and other tricks as the board is less likely to slip away.
- This can also lead to improved skill progression for the skater.
Reduced Risk of Injuries:
- By preventing slips, grip tape indirectly reduces the risk of falls and injuries.
- This makes skateboarding safer, especially for beginners who are still learning how to maintain their balance.
Variety of Materials and Price Points:
- Grip tape comes in various materials, such as aluminum oxide, which is an affordable option for skateboarders on a budget.
- Some types of grip tape are designed to be less abrasive, preventing damage to shoes while still providing the necessary grip.
Customization and Aesthetics:
- Grip tape is available in different colors and designs, allowing skaters to customize their boards according to their personal style.
- Clear grip tape is another option, which provides the same benefits while allowing the design of the skateboard deck to be visible.
How do you apply grip tape to a skateboard?
Sure, here’s a detailed step-by-step guide broken down into 5 sub-bullets for each step on how to apply grip tape to a skateboard:
- Begin by cleaning your skateboard deck; ensure it is free of dust or debris.
- Make sure you have all the necessary tools ready: a piece of grip tape, a razor blade, and a screwdriver or skate tool.
- Choose a comfortable, well-lit workspace where you won’t be disturbed.
- Have a trash bin or bag handy for the excess grip tape you’ll trim off.
- Ensure your hands are clean to avoid transferring dirt onto the adhesive side of the grip tape.
Peel off the backing paper:
- Hold the grip tape on the non-adhesive side and carefully start peeling off the backing paper.
- Try not to touch the adhesive side too much to keep its stickiness intact.
- Peel the backing paper entirely off, but keep it nearby in case you need to reposition the grip tape.
- Be careful not to let the adhesive side of the grip tape fold onto itself.
Place your grip tape on your board:
- Carefully align the grip tape with the skateboard deck, starting from one end.
- Slowly lower the tape onto the board, ensuring it aligns with the shape of the deck.
- Leave about an inch of overhang at the tip and tail of the skateboard for trimming.
- If you make a mistake in positioning, lift the grip tape using the peeled-off backing paper and reposition it.
Press down the Grip Tape:
- Starting from the center, use your hand to press the grip tape firmly onto the board.
- Work your way out to the edges, pressing down to ensure there are no bubbles or creases.
- Apply more pressure around the nose and tail curves to ensure the grip tape sticks properly.
- Go over the entire surface several times to make sure the grip tape is firmly attached.
- You can also use a soft cloth to smooth out the grip tape and remove any potential air bubbles.
Trim the Excess and Poke Holes:
- Take your sharp blade and carefully trim off the excess grip tape from the edges of the skateboard, following the shape of the deck.
- Be cautious while doing this to avoid accidents; always cut away from yourself.
- Use the edge of a screwdriver or skate tool to further secure the grip tape around the edges.
- Once the grip tape is trimmed, use the screwdriver to poke holes through the grip tape where the trucks will be attached.
- Clean up any debris and ensure all edges and holes are smooth and neat.
Remember, safety first. Always take proper precautions while handling sharp objects. Enjoy your freshly gripped skateboard.
How often should you replace your grip tape?
Replacing the grip tape on your skateboard or longboard is an essential maintenance task that should be performed periodically to ensure maximum safety and performance.
For casual riders who use their boards a few times a week, grip tape can last anywhere from 6 months to 1 year before needing replacement. However, for more avid riders who use their boards daily or take on more challenging terrain, grip tape may need to be replaced every few months to maintain traction and safety.
Nevertheless, it’s important to monitor the condition of your grip tape regularly. If your grip tape becomes too dirty, damaged, or worn out to the point where it’s affecting your traction on the board, it’s probably time to replace it.
Also, keep in mind that grip tape can lose adhesion over time with repeated wetting and drying. If the tape starts to peel off the deck, it’s a clear sign that you need to replace it.
From everyday cruising and commuting, to doing technical tricks and stunts, adding grip tape to your skateboard creates a new layer of protection against the wear and tear of your board.
It also adds traction for those who want more control over their board when performing tricks; ultimately keeping you safe while you have fun on your skateboard.
Grip tape grants freedom by allowing you to customize your own board over time with personal flair that reflects true expression of style.
Now that we’ve discussed different benefits of adding grip tape on your skateboard, understood how it functions and even why it’s so important to have quality grip, it’s time for you to hit the streets with confidence – knowing that you’re safely protected whilst showing off some awesome moves.