How to Grip a Skateboard

How to Grip a Skateboard

Ever wondered how the skateboard just seems to 'stick to the feet'?  Well, thats down to (in the most part) the 'Griptape'.  Griptape is the name given to the adhesive sandpaper applied to the top side of the skateboard deck.  The coarse texture of the griptape combined with the rubber sole of the skate shoe creates a friction which allows the user to quite literally 'grip' to the skate board.

Griptape is available in range of colours and designs and some people like to mix and match their styles to create artwork of their own.  

The most common style is good old plain black griptape, and for years the market has been dominated by two brands; Jessup and Mob.  When purchasing any skate deck from Moose we will always include free black griptape in your delivery so don't worry about adding this to your basket if you're ordering a new board.

The video below demonstrates how to correctly apply griptape to your skateboard.  


Necessary tools: A sharp knife/ blade

***note please be careful whilst using a blade,  for the younger readers we recommend asking an adult to help you***

Optional tools: A file 

The file will help the lesser experienced to cut the griptape but it is not essential for the process.  

Step 1

Remove the plastic wrapping from your skate deck.

Step 2

Peel back the paper side of the griptape.  Line the edges with your skateboard and apply.  Try to not let any dirt come in contact with the adhesive side before application.  

Once the griptape is lined up, make sure the entire top side of the board is covered, work your way from the middle outwards applying pressure to ensure that there are no trapped air bubbles.

Finally use the paper side (shiny side down) of the griptape to smooth out the grip by rubbing it down.  By using the paper you will protect your hands from the fresh griptape.

Step 3

Using the file, lightly score along the edge of the skateboard.  This should make a marking on the griptape which will act as a guide line for cutting.  

Step 4

Using your knife run the edge of the blade along the marked line.  Steady the top of the deck with your free hand.  If you look carefully in the video you can see how the knife is at a 45 degree angle to the deck.  By running the underside of the blade gently against the board you are able to cut, without over (excess grip) or under (exposing the top of the deck), a clean line through the griptape.  Be careful to keep fingers and other body parts out the way of the cut direction! 

Step 5

Using the excess griptape, lightly sand down the edge of your skateboard.  This will help prevent the newly applied griptape from accidentally chipping or peeling away. 


And thats it, don't worry if it doesn't look perfect first try.  It takes a few goes to get the 'grip' of it ;-)

Also remember to take your time, especially when using the knife.  Why not get creative with it and try make your own patterns, a popular option is racing stripes! 

Removing griptape can be a pain so its best to try and keep it clean, avoid things like mud, mulch, water and do doo.  If you do get your grip dirty it will loose its effectiveness.  If however you do spoil your grip you can clean it with a special griptape cleaner.

Back to blog