By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
Riding a new board is amazing, and that is partly because the surface of your skateboard is fresh and grippy. The sandpaper that covers the top of your board, known as grip tape, makes it possible for you to keep your board under control because of the hard friction that sandpaper has with your shoes. Without a grip tape, or a grip tape in good state, most tricks wouldn’t be possible and skateboarding would be harder than it is.
If your grip tape looks crappy or it’s worn out, follow these steps to replace it:
Choose the Right Grip Tape
Photo: Jason Lee (Unsplash)
Although every grip tape looks almost the same, there are various types of grip tapes in the market. Standard grip tapes are the most common type and it’s probably the one that you’ve been using sinc eyou started to skate. The amount of grit in standard grip tapes is similar regardless of the brand, but there are some slight differences in grit between these products. A higher grit will provide you more grip to your board but will also damage your shoes faster, for example.
There are also specialized grip tapes, which offer improvements in the grit and also a lot of designs and colors to choose from. Also, some brands are starting to offer non-abrasive grip tapes, which are made from different materials and offer the same grip without damaging your shoes.
Get That Old Grip Tape Off Your Board
This is the most difficult part of this really simple process. The easiest way to peel off the old grip tape on your skateboard is to take a hair dryer and blow some hot air over the grip tape. That will make the grip tape stick out of the board without much effort. Then, take a razorblade and carefully use it to peel off the grip tape without damaging your board.
Put The New Grip Tape On Your Skateboard
It’s easier to do this if you remove the trucks off your skateboard first. Just use a normal screwdriver to loosen the bolts that hold the trucks and you’re ready to go. Put your board on a firm surface and then peel the paper backing off the new grip tape.
Carefully hold the grip tape and place it over your board. But don’t get it pasted onto the skateboard yet. The most important thing in this step is to make sure you don’t get air bubles below the grip tape. A good tip is to paste the grip tape onto one of the tails of the skateboard, and then start to press it gently. If you get any air bubbles, you can pop them out with a razorblade. After the grip tape is stuck onto the board, flip it upside down and use your screwdriver to pop off the grip tape that is over the truck bolt holes.
Then, use a file, a screwdriver or a metal shaft to score the edges of the grip tape. You just need to get a contour of the grip tape over your board so you can cut off the excess grip tape. After that, just attach the trucks to your skateboard and you’re ready to roll on the streets again.
Read also: How to Clean Your Griptape Correctly