Skateboard Grip Tape - Some Quick Information
A skateboard without griptape is nearly worthless. Without grip tape, a skateboarder cannot do tricks, and he would have an extremely slippery deck. A slippery deck is a dangerous deck, and that's why grip tape is so important.
Grip tape is basically just a piece of black sandpaper with a sticky backside that keeps it stuck to the skateboard. Grip tape doesn't wear down as fast as sandpaper, though. Grip tape is also quite sturdy and reliable.
Grip tape is actually so sturdy, that even if it gets a little bit, it keeps its grip. A little bit of dirt or water is not enough to prevent the grip tape on a skateboard from working correctly. Grip tape is also versatile enough to be painted on, without losing grip.
The very first skateboards were crafted from a slippery fiberglass material. Fiberglass is very slippery, and doesn't make a very good skate deck. Originally, the manufacturers simply added a waffle pattern to the skateboards to combat the slipperiness. This kind of worked, but the fiberglass was still too slippery. The solution was grip tape.
Grip tape most likely showed up on the scene during the late 1960s, with the dawn of the first mass-produced skateboard decks. These massively produced skateboards often came pre gripped. This just means that skateboard grip tape was already installed on the boards so that consumers didn't need to worry about applying the tape themselves.
Grip tape can be fairly tricky to apply to a deck. There are many videos on youtube that can help a person apply grip tape to their board. If you're looking for a text description of how to apply grip tape, continue reading.
Grip tape can be applied with a little bit of hard work and some light. Before applying grip tape, you will need to make sure you have enough. Some skateboards are wider than others, and you don't want to apply grip tape that's not going to cover the entire deck.
Once you've decided whether or not your grip tape is going to fit your board, you'll need to remove the backing. Starting from one end of the deck, slowly lay down the grip tape. Work your hands over the top of the tape to remove any bubbles in it as you stick the grip tape to the board.
If you do come across bubbles in the grip tape, they're easy to remove. Just take a sharp knife, and cut a hole in the bubble. This should allow the air to escape from under the grip, letting you to flatten out the bubble.
Once you've installed the grip, you will need to remove the excess tape surrounding the deck. Start by removing some of the grit on the edges by scraping the tape with a nail or other metal object. Removing the grit will make it much easier to remove the extra tape, giving you a clean finish.
Once you've taken off the grit, remove the excess grip with a razor blade. You will want to do this in one smooth motion, as it will make the end result look clean. You should take some of the remaining grip and sand the edges if you are not happy with the result. It's sort of difficult to ruin up a grip application; try to have fun with it.
Since you now know the history of grip tape, how to install grip tape, and why skateboarders need grip tape in this modern day and age, you should go out and skate. But don't forget your grip, and be sure to have a blast!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lazar Rodriguez has been a skateboarder for a very long time. He loves longboarding, trickboarding, and everything in the middle. If you're looking for an online skateboard shop after reading this article, please check out http://www.the-skateboard-shop.com/