So, you’ve just got a new board, your very first skateboard no less and now you’re wondering about grip tape for skateboards. Well first, I should tell you, welcome to the world of skateboarding. Now, did your board come pre-gripped or not, maybe you just don’t know, or you aren’t quite sure. So let me put it in words that you might find a lot simpler, “can you stay on your skateboard?”
If you can easily stay on your new skateboard, then it’s most likely pre-gripped, if not, then you’re at a loss. Okay, it’s not really a loss, you are just missing a part, a really important part. What you are missing is the grip tape, and without it, staying on your board won’t be easy.
You see, for a skateboard, one of the most important and essential parts is the grip tape, and here’s why.
I know most of us are already aware of how important using it is to use grip tape for skateboards. The normal thing most people do is to just get one at the point of getting your new skateboard. However, for the few who are not aware, let me explain to you, why you need grip tape for your skateboard and how much grip tape for skateboards would typically cost.
First of all, let’s look at what you need grip tape for and what the ideal size to buy is. It is important to at least know what they look like, right? Skateboard grip tapes are grainy or sandpaper-like sheets with an underside that is extremely sticky, in which you adhere the sticky underside to the deck surface of your skateboard.
Using Grip Tape for Skateboards?
The main function of skateboard grip tape is to provide the traction or grip necessary for you to keep your foot on the board when riding, especially if you are keen to learn or do tricks. Hence, regardless of what style of skateboards you are ride, it is essential you adhere a grip tape to your board, well, if you want to stay on.
Also, apart from providing traction, grip tapes provide the extra bonus of brightening your skateboard and showcasing your personal style. This is because, while most grip tapes come in plain black colour, there are a lot of them which come clear or with different designs of your choice.
You can also get a die-cut grip tape, which will display the colour and design of your skateboard deck underneath it. In all, getting a grip tape is the final step of the completion process to get your board street-ready.
Now, when it comes to buying grip tape, it is mostly a straight forward process. However, there are some minor details that often affect the price of it. For one, the price of a grip tape differs due to the size of it, as well as the company producing it and the design. The most important part, however, is the grip tape size.
When it comes to grip tape size, the first thing to know is that the standard grip tape size is 9” x 33”, which is standard for most skateboards. But if you’re using an old school skateboard, you might need to check out your board’s dimensions and get a larger size, maybe a longboard size which is usually sold at 12” x 4”.
Now, a standard grip tape on Amazon can range from between £5 and £15. However, there are also some cheaper brands which can be found for less than that. Also, there’s some high-quality grip tape that comes in bundles, which you can use for as many as 20 boards, these come in rolls like this Jessup Skateboard Griptape Roll.
So there’s basically a price range for everyone’s pocket, you just have to know what you want, in terms of size, colour and if you want something that expresses your personality. Before looking at any more grip tape, let’s help the beginners to skateboarding understand how to apply grip tape to your new skateboard.
How to Apply Grip Tape
So here’s how to apply grip tape to your skateboard.
The first thing you do is to peel the bottom sheet off the grip tape, right before you carefully place the grip tape, with the sticky underside facing down on the surface deck of your skateboard. After you’ve done that, you should get either a box cutter, a pair of sharp scissors or razor blades to cut the grip tape into the perfect fit for your skateboard.
Also, for the best results, that is, near-perfect grip or traction, you should try adhering the grip tape up to the edges of your skateboard surface deck.
How to Remove Grip Tape
Grip Tape Reviews
So the next bit to talk about, which is the reviews, is for again, the beginners. For every seasoned skateboarder, we know that although there are a lot of brands for grip tape, there are three brands which have stood out over the years. Those three are Jessup, Grizzly and Mob, and they are top tier brands when it comes to grip tape.
Now, when it comes to grip tape in general, there isn’t much fuss, so you don’t need to overthink anything, all you need is to get a good grip tape. And a good grip tape is one that is very reliable and is most likely to outlast the board itself. Over the years, these three brands have shown that they are exactly what we need, as they are all reliable and perfectly fine.
However, they are obviously not all built the same, so let’s focus on three different areas – application, durability and pricing.
Application: When we talk about the application, we are really considering the quality of the grip tape adhesive and if it messes up the otherwise easy process of applying the grip tape. Now, in this area, all three are just peachy perfect. When it comes to the grip tape adhesive, it is always of top quality and it definitely makes applying it to your board as easy as can be.
Durability: Here, our main focus is the durability of the grip, that is, how reliable the grip is and for how long it can last. In this area, once again, all three brands are top-notch and lack any real difference you can fault. The durability is solid and long-lasting, so if this is a deciding factor for you like it is for me, you can have your pick from any.
Pricing: Now, as all things that have to do with the demand and supply of a product, there’s always a difference when it comes to the prices of said product. This, as you’d expect, applies here and it is basically the major difference between the three top grip tape brands. In light of this, the price range between all three isn’t significantly far apart, while Mob and Grizzly are in average price ranges, Jessup is a bit more affordable. Hence, Jessup grip tape has the edge here, I guess.
In summary, now you should know what size grip tapes for skateboards should work for you, what type of colour design you get to bring out your personality and the basic features of the grip tapes available. So, if you are a beginner to the world of skateboarding, I truly hope this article helps – so you don’t find grip tapes as daunting as some might make it out to be.
Also, if you are a bit undecided on which grip tape to buy, just know that you don’t need to stress or overthink it, just go for one of the suggestions on this page or a grip tape that best meets your needs.
Again, just focus on what’s important when you’re new to skateboarding. Getting good grip tape will help make sure you stay on your board and have your skateboard street-ready.