How to remove grip tape from a skateboard

January 22, 2021 | Skateboarding
Grip tape: use a razor blade and a hairdryer to remove it from the skateboard deck | Photo: Shutterstock

How do you take off the grip tape from your skateboard? Learn a quick and easy method to peel it off the deck.

When it gets dirty, slippery, not functional, and beyond repair, you might consider removing your old grip tape and replacing it with a new sheet.

So, why don't you just rip it off? Because it isn't that simple. Grip tape is glued to the board's deck, and it's just not a simple sticker.

There are several methods for taking it off flawlessly without leaving residues, but the most efficient and popular technique requires only a couple of tools.

Here's what you'll need to remove your worn down grip tape:

1. A razor blade or Swiss knife;

2. A hairdryer;

Skateboard grip tape: once in while, consider replacing your silicon carbide sheet | Photo: Creative Commons

DIY Removing Grip Tape from Skateboarding

There's no need for you to pay for this type of service when you can do it for yourself in a few minutes.

The first thing that you need to do is take the trucks off your skateboard.

Once you've removed all hardware from your skateboard deck, it's time to start peeling that old grip tape off.

All you have to do is grab one of the skateboard's ends, and heat the edge with a hairdryer to loosen the adhesive.

Immediately after, get the razor blade slightly underneath the grip tape at a 45-degree angle to unglue a small portion of it.

Go around the perimeter of the deck.

The goal is to prevent it from tearing or snagging as you start to pull it off.

Do not force the blade too much. Otherwise, you'll cut right into the grip tape.

Once you're able to get your finger, slowly pull it off to make sure you can peel it off in one piece.

If it starts to break off here and there and rip into sections, it'll be harder.

Also, if you peel off a chunk of grit and resin, you'll probably be left with the PVC film sheet that holds the entire grip tape together on the board.

If it happens, it'll be harder to get it all off. So, be patient and take your time.

Once you grab a generous chunk of grip tape, then you can speed up the whole process.

Sometimes, you'll feel that the grip tape is really glued to the deck, making it harder to remove it using your hands.

That's when the hairdryer comes into play. The heat will melt the glue and allow you to pull the grip tape faster and more efficiently.

If you can, use one hand to blow the hairdryer into the deck and the other one to slowly pull the sheet.

If you're struggling to hold both the board and hairdryer, try sitting perpendicular to the deck to gain control over it.

You'll notice that, in most cases, the deck will reappear clean and almost new.

Tips and Suggestions

The work might take more or less time to complete depending on how sticky the old grip tape is.

If you're patient and remove it little by little and pull closer to it, you might be able to pull the whole grip take in one swift.

The hairdryer makes it easier to remove the grip tape from your skateboard. Actually, you might do it in less than five minutes.

Oftentimes, the hardest part is near the skateboard's truck holes. Sometimes, the grip tape can snag and start to tear.

In the end, remove the excess grip tape and scrape away raised edges of wood with the razor blade before applying a new sheet.

If you don't have a razor blade - or are too young or scared to use it - you can simply heat your old grip tape until your fingers can easily pull it off.

Finally, make sure it's hardly any old glue before installing your fresh, brand new silicon carbide sheet.