As a heavy skater, you’ve probably got used to a common skateboarding problem – too grippy grip tape. Some people who love skating every day say they don’t have any issues with the grippiness of the board.
But, it seems that not everyone’s the same. Like with all the other things in life, there can be some different opinions regarding skateboard grip tapes.
It seems that opinions about too grippy grip tapes vary and are a matter of taste. The grip tape can be too grippy for some people. Luckily, various brands offer different grip tape textures, so anyone can find what suits them best.
If you feel your skateboard tape is too grippy, that means you should change footwear or grip tape brand.
When choosing the right grip for your skateboard, you need to consider a few things. So, today we are going to provide you with some essential information about grip tapes, so you can easily decide what’s the best option for you.
Table of Contents
What Is Grip Tape Made Of?
Silicon carbide is the material that provides much-needed resistance between your deck and your shoes. But, without friction, it would be very hard to get your skateboard into the air. Grip tapes come in various colors and may have prints, graphics, brand logos, and small cut-outs.
You can also find transparent grip tape on the market, they’re very popular. Standard size is 9” x 33” or 22.8cm x 83.8cm. For some wider decks, you can find larger sheets. However, avoid using ultra-rough longboard grip tape for a normal skateboard. It may cost you a new pair of shoes very often.
Is It Waterproof?
Skateboards can get wet. But it’s not the same if you ride it during rain, or leave it in water. The deck of a skateboard is made of wood. As you might know, wood doesn’t go with water very well. So, have in mind, if your skateboard spent too much time in the water it may not have the same performance as before.
When it comes to grip tape, it seems to work nicely even when wet. But, often wetting and drying can weaken grip tape’s adhesion. If that is the issue, you may see tape peeling off the deck.
How To Make Grip Tape Less Grippy?
Many skaters struggle with the grippiness of their tape. This is often the case with brand new tape, as they are supposed to be grippy. But, bear in mind, having grippy tape is a way to easily perform some tricks during skateboarding (don’t forget to use some skateboard wax to prepare your skate, it’s essential for doing some nice tricks).
However, some people find this annoying and say the grippy tape ruins their shoes and overall skateboarding experience. So, what can you do about the grippy tape? Here are some solutions.
Try Different Brands
Although the grip tape will lose grippiness over time, you can try various brands, and see what works best for you. Some skaters recommend Jessup grip tape, as it seems not to be the grippiest, and tends to wear out faster. But, there is also Grizzly tape, you can check it out.
It seems that a brand named Mob has the most grippy tapes, and may wear out footwear faster. Many skaters say it’s the best, and really enjoy using it.
Note: Bear in mind that grippy grip tape is not a bad thing. It is a great assistance for skateboarding rides and tricks. Sometimes, skaters just need more time to get used to it.
Sand Down Grip Tape
The next time you grip a board, try to sand it a bit. You can take excess grip tape that you cut off from the edges and use it as sandpaper. But, be aware that the grippiness outcome depends on how hard you sand down the grip tape.
How to Change Grip Tape on Skateboard
If you are a heavy skater, consider changing your grip tape often. Grip tape makes it easier for your shoes to grip a deck. So, you can change your board grip in a skate shop, or if you like, do it by yourself. Here are a few DIY tips on how to properly place grip tape on your skateboard.
Prepare the Board
Set a skateboard on a flat and clean surface. You may use the ground, a table, or anything comfortable for you.
Remove existing grip tape. Peel off the old tape. It’s a simple job but may take some time. Try using a hairdryer, heat can help you to peel the tape easily. Pull it slowly and carefully from the deck. But, don’t pull too hard, that can rip or tear the tape and prolong the whole work.
Clean the board. Make sure there are no dust, dirt, or rocks. These things can ruin the tape’s adhesive. So, if the board is properly cleaned, a new grip tape will stick to it much longer.
Tape the Board
Center the grip tape over the deck. You should start by lining up the tape with the skateboard. That way you’ll know the correct length. Ensure the grip surface is longer and wider than the deck. But, don’t worry, you can cut the excess tape away later. If the grip tape has a nice design on it, plan where you want to place it.
Peel back a few inches of the paper guard, then set it on one end of the board. Be sure to smooth out any bubbles, and press and push towards the direction that you are placing the tape. Large bubbles may leave creasing. So, be careful, and don’t let the adhesive stick to anything except the board.
Smooth the entire grip into the deck. Make sure to start very slowly, from one board end, and push down the tape to the other end. Some brands have small holes in grip tapes, so the risk of air bubbles is lower. However, you should flatten the grip tape, just in case.
Check if the grip is in line with the board. Grip tape should cover the entire board surface, except if you want to leave some exposed wood as an aesthetic detail. But, if you have excess tape over the edges, you can trim them with a knife or a razor.
Finish the Board
Scrape the sides of the deck. You can use a screwdriver, a metal file, or some other unsharpened tool. Scrape around the sides of your board, that way the grip tape will develop a white edge. This is how you seal grip tape edges. By doing this correctly, you make yourself an outline that marks out the area where you should remove the excess tape.
To trim off the excess tape, use a knife or a box cutter. Lots of boards have curved edges from all the sanding. So, you’ll need to trim the tape past the curve and along the edge. Make sure to do some long and steady motions for the best results. Hold the blade at a slight angle. But, don’t forget to use the outline you made previously. Watch out for your fingers, and use two hands to make the process easier.
Flatten out remaining air bubbles. After you taped the board, check out for some leftover bubbles. You can use a knife or a razor blade and pinch small holes into the tape. This way you release air bubbles out. But, be sure to smooth over the cuts, so the grip sticks nicely to the deck.
Poke some holes for the trucks. If your board doesn’t have the trucks yet, you can use a screwdriver to poke holes in the grip tape. But if you already have trucks, you can poke holes during truck replacement.
Smooth out the edges. It’s okay if you butchered a bit of your grip tape. Use some knife, cutter, or a razor blade to trim the edges. Most of the imperfections are only visible to your eye and will disappear as the deck wears over time. But, you can take a small piece of leftover grip or some sandpaper and lightly rub the edges. So, this might prevent the tape from peeling off the board.
Add some stylistic touches. To make it easier to identify the nose or tail of the board, you can cut some shapes between screw holes on one of the board ends. Feel free to experiment and play with various shapes. Because that way you’re giving your skateboard a unique mark.
To Sum It Up
Having a problem with too grippy grip tape is not uncommon. In contrast, many skaters struggle with it. But, grip tapes come in different textures, and various brands on the market are offering a large variety of grip tapes. So, you can easily find some that suit you best.
So, if everything else fails, you can use some sandpaper, or leftovers from the grip tape to sand the rough surface of the tape. And remember, the real thrill is in skateboarding, so don’t let a little rough grip texture ruin it for you.