How To Grip A Skate Deck
The purpose of grip tape is to provide traction necessary to keep your feet on your skateboard when riding or performing tricks. Completed board tend to come pre-gripped, but there are some that do not. Regardless, if you skate long enough at some point you will need to know how to grip or re-grip a deck. Which makes this write-up one of the most important in this section.
Grip Tape usually comes pre-cut for installation, but you will need a tape about the standard size of a deck, 9in x 33in.
Screwdriver or File
To round down the edges of the grip tape, you will need an item tough enough to line out the grip tape to the deck. A screwdriver or file works well for this purpose.
Box Cutter or Razor Blade
A box cutter or a razor blade is perfect for cutting the grip tape. A sharp blade will make the process simple.
Placing The Grip Tape
Start by placing the sheet of grip tape on either the nose or the tail of the deck. Place the grip tape on the deck so that it sticks a inch over the end of the deck. By leaving an inch it will give some extra material to work with when you are actually edging the board. Remember to lock over the deck to see if the sheet of grip tape is flush with the deck and extends all the way to the other end of the deck, with a few inches hanging over the edge. If everything is in order, then you are ready to apply the grip tape permanently.
Lining the Grip Tape
Now that you have lined up the tape, the next step is to work your way around the deck, outline the board into the sheet of grip tape. This is where the file or screwdriver will come in handy. Use the stem of the tool to rub the grip tape down the edges of the deck, creating a visible white line on the sheet. The line provides a guide as to where to cut off the extra material, while also showing that the tape is secure.
Cutting Off The Edges
Use the box cutter or razor to carefully cut off the edges of the grip tape. Let the white line that you made with the screwdriver or file to guide you as you gut the excess material off. Notice how lining the board has weaken the material, making it easier to cut through. When all the excess material has been cut off the board should look pretty sharp and complete. If the edges are not even just use the tool to smooth out the board further.