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Imagine a skateboard without a grip tape. You can still roll on your slippery board but everything else is a disaster. Ollies and kickflips would nearly by impossible

Grip tapes may look and feel like sand paper but they are much thicker and tougher.

Eventually, grip tape needs to be replaced. Follow the tips and instructions below to make it quick and fast!

If you have a new deck and you’re applying grip tape for the first time, go to step #2

First of all, it helps to, remove your trucks and wheels to work on the deck more easily. It’s up to you.. You would need an Allen or hex key or star screw driver and a truck tool to hold the nuts on the other side.

To remove the grip tape fast you’ll need a hair blow dryer and a thin razor blade (ask your dad if he has some from his shaving razor) or a box cutter blade/knife. If you have no dryer, you can still remove the grip tape with the blade but it will take longer time and you’d have to scrub more to clean up the adhesives later.

Use the dryer to heat up the sides of the grip tape. Insert about half of the razor blade under the grip tape. While holding the blade at a 45 degree angle and the back side upward, start to peel the side carefully and slowly. Don’t force the blade too hard, or you risk cutting into your deck.

Skateboard Maintenance Series – Grip Taping your Deck

Once you have gone around the board peeling the side with your razor blade, heat up the grip tape again for about two minutes.

This should help to loosen the adhesive and make it easier to lift the tape up.

Put the deck on the ground and place your foot on the middle of the board and pull the grip tape up… slowly… slowly…. Do this from both sides until it’s all off. Don’t worry if it rips.. it happens sometimes… just grab the new end.. and pull slowly.. (use the blow dryer to add more heat) to loosen the adhesive. Pull back slowly.

Skateboard Maintenance Series – Grip Taping your Deck

Preparation in Adding the New Grip Tape

  • Screw driver
  • Nail
  • Razor blade or boxcutter knife
  • Fresh grip tape (Make sure the measurement is slightly bigger than the deck – wider and longer)
Skateboard Maintenance Series – Grip Taping your Deck
  1. Pull off your grip tape sheet.
  2. Peel the paper backing and hold both ends with your hands.
  3. Position the grip tape so that the open adhesive from the back are not touching
  4. Position the grip tape so that it will cover the entire deck
  5. Slowly lower one end first and apply it to the deck.
  6. Use the free hand to gently pat it down.
  7. Don’t worry about bubbles (we’ll fix that later)
  8. Make sure the entire deck is now covered.
  9. Pat the entire deck down again and locate any bubbles
  10. Grab your razor blade and cut out a small line to get of any bubbles and flatten down anything less than flat.

Scoring

Skateboard Maintenance Series – Grip Taping your Deck

Use a screw driver to create an outline of the edge of the board. Trace with a firm long stroke and try not to make a very thick line. This step is called “scoring”. At the part where the tail meets the concave, it will be harder to “score”, or smooth down, as the sandy grip tape may be overlapping. You may need to cut a wedge of the grip tape off, to create “spacing”. Depends on your deck.


Cutting

Skateboard Maintenance Series – Grip Taping your Deck

Position the razor blade under the grip tape with the sharp edge piercing the grip tape and your finger resting on the side of the deck. Cut through the line you have scored with the screw driver.

One you have removed the excess grip tape, use your scraps to rub the edges to give it a smoother and cleaner appearance and to make sure the grip tape is fully stuck to the deck.


Make Holes for Your Trucks

Skateboard Maintenance Series – Grip Taping your Deck

Turn your board over and pierce on the holes for the trucks. Turn over to the side with grip tape and use the screw driver to pierce holes down.

Re-install your trucks and wheels. You are ready to go riding again w/ your freshly installed grip tape. Photo Credit: RatVision

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