How to put grip tape on a skateboard deck

August 17, 2020 | Skateboarding
Gripping a skateboard: learn how to apply grip tape on a new or used deck | Photo: Red Bull

Is your skate shop closed? Learn how to replace or apply a new grip tape on a skateboard deck in less than 10 minutes with this DIY tutorial.

Need to install a new grip tape on your favorite four-wheel plank? Are you one of those who always grips his or her own board?

Find a comfortable bench or chair to sit on and get ready to do it.

The first thing you need to do is to take the trucks and hardware off the skateboard. Then, remove the old grip tape using a hairdryer and clean the deck.

Have you got yourself a new board? It's now time to take the plastic off and get ready to put your grip tape down.

Remember that a mistake during this stage will cost you somewhere between $5 and 20$.

Skateboard decks: gripping is easy, but it has a few tricks | Photo: Shutterstock

Applying the Grip Tape

Peel off the sticker from the grip tape sheet.

Know where you're gonna place it, so you don't apply it off-centered.

Remember that, generally speaking, the nose of a skateboard is the bigger and broader than the tail.

Now that you've peeled off the sticker, hold the grip tape straight and slowly lower it toward the deck, laying it down as gently as possible.

The ultimate goal is not to have any parts not covered with grip tape.

If needed, measure the extra grip tape on both sides before you peel it off, to have an idea of where to stick it.

Once you've dropped the sticky grip, drop the palm of your hand on the center of the board and press the sheet down firmly.

The center of the grip tape has been glued to the skateboard.

Now, it's time to use both hands to apply the remaining part of the tape by slowly moving over the edges and out toward the tail and nose.

This process will remove all the air bubbles that might have formed.

Skateboard decks: after putting the grip tape on the skateboard deck you need to cut the excess with a razor | Photo: Red Bull

Cutting the Excess Grip Tape

Time to cut the excess.

Use an adjustable wrench - or any other heavy tool - to scrape the edges of the skateboard deck covered with grip tape until you a white line.

Ideally, you should scrape it off until you see the sticky part, and the sandy grippy parts disappear.

By doing so, it will be easier to cut the excess with, for instance, a utility knife or a razor. The more you scrape it, the easier it will be to cut everything off.

Now, make some little cuts on the edges to help you cut the excess grip.

Hold the board steady with one hand and slowly cut the tape around the deck.

Scrap the edges once again to get everything glued down.

One final tip: use the excess grip tape to sand down the edges of the skateboard deck for a nice and smooth feel and avoid peeling up.

The grip tape has been successfully applied to your board. Now, you can start mounting the trucks.