As a skateboard lover, the first thing you need to know is the basic components of a skateboard, which includes grip tape, deck, truck, wheel, bearing and bolt. A skateboard without grip tape is not a complete skateboard. Although it doesn't get the same amount of attention as the deck, the bearings and the wheels, the grip tape is one of the most crucial elements of any skateboard. Whether you are a beginner or a pro to the electric skateboards, you must know how important the grip tape is.
What is grip tape?
Grip tape is an adhesive backed friction-surfaced material usually attached to the deck of a skateboard to give the rider more friction to control the board. The grip tape has two sides. One is very rough on the surface, almost like sandpaper. This property has good traction. The other side has an adhesive surface that sticks directly to the deck.
Grip tape comes as rough sheets similar to adhesive-backed sandpaper. The grade and size of grit vary by company and manufacture method. Some grip tape companies use silicon carbide - a very hard material that stays sharp for a good long time. Other companies use aluminium oxide, which is cheaper but loses its edge and stickiness quickly. Some black grip tape and most colored grip tape are made with this cheaper material. Usually, if you want colored grip tape, the tradeoff is that the board won't stick to your feet as well.
What are the functions of grip tape?
1.Controlling the skateboard while making tricks. Regardless of what style you're skating, the grip tape is a must if you want to stay on your board. The purpose it serves is for the feet to grip on the board in order to make tricks like Ollie, flip and a variety of others. If you try to make a trick even the basic Ollie, it is not easy without grip tape. It gives you control of the board even if you just roll around. It takes a lot of courage and endeavors to do the stunts. If you don’t have the best grip tape, it may result in a blunder.
2.Distinguishing the skateboard and being unique. It is sometimes used decoratively since it can come in many different styles and colors. Skaters often cut patterns into their grip tape before applying it to make their boards unique, but also to help them easily tell between the nose and the tail of the board. Skateboarders can also spray paint patterns on the top of their grip tape for the same effect. It’s a super fancy and cool thing for a rider to have a skateboard with their own style while this is realized by the grip tape.
What is the size of grip tape?
You may be wondering what size your grip tape should be for your deck. Actually, grip tapes for common skateboards are typically standardized to a width of 9 inches and a length of 33 inches (about 22.8cm x 83.8cm). This is sufficient for all standard deck size. However, it’s a different case for electric skateboard. The size of electric skateboards is usually larger than common skateboards. At present, there is no standard grip tape size for electric skateboards. It differs from different e-board brands. So when you are looking for the grip tape for your electric skateboard, remember to check your deck size and then buy your grip tape. Simple straight grip tapes are available that may need to cut to needed shape. Some grips also come with a pre-cut shape to readily adjust to your skateboard. If you buy a longer grip tape, you need to cut the tape to fit properly on your ride’s deck.
How to select your grip tape?
Grip tape manufacturers now offer a great range of variety in the tapes. You will find a lot of variety in colors, design, and construction. The top grip tape has got a great color and design combination. Some grip tapes are a single sheet, and some also come with thick padding to absorb the impact. Grip tapes offer the skateboarders a chance to spruce up the top of their boards with various graphics or company logos. Many skaters, though, either found the colors too distracting or preferred to paint their own, adding a personal touch. Now there is a type of tape called anti-bubble grip tape on the market. When you peel it off, you will see a lot of small holes. As the name suggests, it inflates air bubbles on the grip tape.
There are a few factors to consider while selecting the grip tape. The most important thing is the grip. Does not matter how it looks as far as it performs well. The grip is significant to provide friction between the deck and the sole of your feet. Grit varies from one type to another. Too fine of grit may allow slipping, while too rough of grit will tear up your shoes faster. You also need to consider the water resistance of the tape so that you are able to have the long-lasting grip tape. Thickness is another factor needed to be taken into account. Thicker grips have got the ability to absorb external shock. In addition to those, colors and design may be an element to think about for those who love graphics and want their boards to be the one and only.
How to apply grip tape to your deck?
Simple tools: screwdriver, utility knife
1.Remove the back of the grip tape completely. Make sure you do not fold or wrinkle the grip tape. Center the sheet of grip tape evenly over the top of the skateboard deck.
2.Go with the adhesive surface on the deck. Make sure that both the nose and the tail are completely covered by the grip tape. Work your way from one side to the other by squeezing the grip. Push the bubbles out to the sides. At the end press down with both hands over the surface to make sure that the grip also sticks in all places.
3.Grab your screwdriver to scratch over the edges of the deck, which is later used as a cutting line. Take the knife and make four cuts in the grip. Then cut as possible along the scratched lines in one go to remove excess grip tape.
(Notes: Be careful when using the utility knife and always keep it pointed away from yourself and others.)
4.Sand the outer edges of your cut again with a piece of excess grip to make it smooth. If air bubbles persist, gently use a utility knife to poke a small hole in the grip tape at the center of the bubble and press out the air.
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