How to Grip a Skateboard Deck Like An Absolute Don

How to Grip a Skateboard Deck | The Vines

New to the art of gripping a fresh board?

If you're new to this skill, we've got you covered. Griptape is a rough tape that sticks to a board to provide a greater grip for your shoes. There are ancient, almost Samurai-level techniques which make this tricky task not so tricky.

The Vines Grip Tape Masterclass will teach you everything you need to know about gripping a skateboard deck. We'll grip any board for you if you're not yet comfortable with doing it, but it's definitely a skill we recommend learning for yourself as it's something that will serve you time and again as you go through your skateboarding journey. If you're under 16, then please get help from an adult and don't attempt this alone. Sharp knives can be surprisingly sharp!

How to Grip a Skateboard Deck | The Vines

Example: Here's one we gripped earlier...

Gripate Application Directions

You might have seen some boards with mad complicated designs on the grip tape. For example, it could be a cut-out design in the grip tape that showcases the graphic on the top of the skateboard deck.

Skateboard Griptape Art

Once you've mastered the initial skills you will be able to experiment and make your board your own, but for now, let's keep it simple with the basics :

Tools Required:

  • Stanley blade (the sharper, the better)
  • File (to grind down the edges of the grip)
  • Bench/desk/seat

Step One - Placing The Grip Onto The Deck

How to Grip a Skateboard Deck | The Vines

  • Find a flat surface with enough space around it and place your deck on it.
  • Peel off the paper backing of the grip tape and keep it aside.
  • Pinch each side of the grip tape (lengthwise) with your thumb and index finger, pull it flat and hover it over your deck without touching it.
  • Use the rest of your fingers to feel for each end of the deck (nose and tail) and place the grip tape down, making sure the whole length/width of your deck is covered.
  • Lightly lower the grip down, and then remove your hands.
  • Grab the paper backing that you saved earlier and place it directly on top of your grip. Push down firmly from the middle outwards to stick the grip to the deck.
  • Work your way up the board, pushing out any air bubbles that may have occurred during the process.
  • If you have any air bubbles, press them down or pop them with your stanley knife blade.

Step Two - Rounding Down The Edges

How to Grip a Skateboard Deck | The Vines

  • File down the edges of the grip tape, holding the file at a 45-degree angle pointing towards the middle of the deck. Work your way around the deck.
  • Cut four slits into the overhanging grip tape where the wheels would be if it were already set up.
  • By grinding down the grip tape along the edges of the skateboard, it will provide a secure edge that won't peel off too easily when skateboarding.
  • Fold over your hanging griptape. This will make it easier to cut.

Step Three - Cutting Off The Edges/Excess Grip

  • Grab your trusty Stanley blade and carefully trim off the excess grip tape along the white line you made while filing the edges in the previous step. This is the only circumstance that I'll recommend cutting from underneath and towards you, like drawing a bow and arrow. Just remember, when using any sharp tool, you gotta be extra careful to avoid any injuries.
  • Use the outline of the deck that appeared when you filed it down as your guideline for cutting. This is actually the best spot to cut because you've already weakened the grip there, making it easier to slice through.
  • Here's an insider tip: if you made four incisions during the filing stage, you can cut the grip off in four stages instead of one big cut. It'll make things a lot easier.
  • Once you've carefully cut all the way around your deck and it looks like you've got a fully gripped skateboard deck, there's one more thing to do. Grab that file again and file down the edge of the skateboard. This will help avoid the griptape peeling.
  • Pop your truck holes through with some bolts or something small enough. The Allen key you get with T-Tools is usually perfect. Then run your Stanley round the hole to remove excess.

Your board is now ready for the trucks, wheels and everything else that goes under the bonnet. 

Grip Tape Brands

Jessup Griptape

Jessup Griptape

Jessup is one of the two powerhouses in grip tape. You can't go wrong, it's the standard griptape we apply for free to any deck.

MOB Griptape

MOB Skateboard Griptape Roll

MOB is the preference of the hardcore... because it feels around 20% grippier. It's the other griptape giant we also apply for free. If you want MOB instead of Jessup, just leave us a message in an order note, no troubles.

Key Differences:

  • MOB is grippier
  • Jessup is kinder to your shoe, increasing it's lifespan

Shake Junt Griptape

Shake Junt Classic Sprayed Griptape

Shake Junt are a legendary company, homed by Baker Boys Distribution, who also own Baker and Deathwish Skateboards. Awesome grip, unique feel. The team and videos are awesome. Check out Shrimp Blunt, their full length video and check out the grip here.

How To Remove Grip Tape From A Skateboard

How to Grip a Skateboard Deck - Skateboard Grip Tape Removal

If you do decide to re-grip a board, it can be a bit tricky...

  • Firstly you will need to remove your trucks from your deck.
  • Next you should get yourself a hair dryer, then at either the tail or nose of the deck blow hot air on the grip tape. This will allow the adhesive to loosen slightly allowing you to take a blade of some sort (Stanley blade will be perfect) and slide it under the edge of the tape in between the deck and grip.
  • Start at one side and work down or up the board, length-ways often works best. Once you've peeled up some of the grip you can then use your fingers to start pulling the grip away from the deck.
  • If it becomes difficult again then simply use the hair dryer to loosen the adhesive as you did at the start. Rarely the grip will come off in one go so don't trip if it tears and you have to remove it in small individual parts.

How to Grip a Skateboard Deck Summary

As with anything in skateboarding, learning to grip takes time and practice. Don't stress if the first few tries look like a 2-year-olds been let loose in Hobbycraft, shit happens and you have to fail to reach perfection.

If you want a bit of guidance or would like to use our service area for your first few tries, then feel free to hit us up. If you're new to us then you can find directions to the shop here:

Peace and Love



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