How to Grip a Skateboard Like a Pro 

Are you ready to take your skateboarding skills to the next level? One of the most fundamental aspects of skateboarding is having a proper grip on your skateboard. The way you grip your board not only affects your stability and control, but it also plays a significant role in preventing accidents and injuries. In this article, we will guide you through the process of properly gripping a skateboard.

Importance of Proper Grip on a Skateboard

Having a proper grip on your skateboard is essential for several reasons. First and foremost, it provides you with the stability and control you need to execute tricks and maneuvers effectively. A secure grip allows you to maintain balance and stay in control of your board, even when performing complex tricks.

Furthermore, a proper grip can help prevent accidents and injuries. When you have a solid grip on your skateboard, you reduce the chances of slipping off the board and injuring yourself. This is especially important when skating on ramps or performing high-impact tricks.

Tools and Materials Needed for Gripping a Skateboard

Before you can start gripping your skateboard, you’ll need a few tools and materials. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  1. Skateboard deck: Make sure you have a clean and dry skateboard deck to work with.
  2. Grip tape: Choose a grip tape that suits your preferences in terms of texture and design.
  3. Razor blade or grip tape cutter: You’ll need a sharp tool to cut the grip tape to size.
  4. Screwdriver: You’ll need a screwdriver to remove the skateboard’s hardware if necessary.
  5. Clean cloth or rag: Use a clean cloth or rag to remove any dirt or debris from the deck.

Having these tools and materials ready will ensure a smooth and efficient gripping process.

how to grip a skateboard
How to Grip a Skateboard

Gripping Like a Champion

Alright, so you’ve got your sweet new deck and a sheet of grip tape ready to go. Before you unleash your inner grip-tape maestro, let’s prep that deck for a flawless application.

Prepping the Deck:

This might seem obvious, but a clean deck is key for good grip adhesion. Grab a clean rag and some rubbing alcohol. Wipe down the entire deck surface, removing any dirt, dust, or old grip residue. Let the deck dry completely before moving on. Trust us, a dusty deck leads to a bubbly mess later.

The Grip Tape Tango:

Now comes the fun part! Here’s where your centering skills come into play. Pro-tip: If your grip tape has a design, make sure you know which end is the nose before you peel. With the backing paper still on, lay the grip tape sticky-side down on your deck. Center it carefully, leaving a little overhang at the nose and tail (think about a quarter inch or so).

Once you’re happy with the placement, carefully peel back a small section of the backing paper at the nose. Gently press down the exposed adhesive onto the deck. Slowly peel the backing paper away, using your thumb and fingers to smooth out the grip tape as you go. Here’s where the magic happens: use the leftover backing paper to buff out any air bubbles that appear. The smoother you get it now, the less likely you are to have problems later.

Scoring for Success:

Now that your grip tape is nice and smooth, it’s time to trim the excess. Safety first! Grab a razor blade (a fresh one will make things easier) and a screwdriver. Use the screwdriver to score a clean line along the edge of the deck. This will help the razor blade cut through the grip tape without tearing.

Trimming with Finesse:

Here’s where things can get a little tricky. Hold the razor blade at a slight angle and carefully follow the scored line you made with the screwdriver. Take your time and use a sawing motion for a clean, even cut. Don’t be afraid to make multiple passes for a precise result.

Finishing Touches:

Almost there! Carefully push down the grip tape around the screw holes for a secure fit. You can use a pen or pencil to poke a small hole in the grip tape where the screws will go. Feeling creative? This is your chance to add some grip tape art! Plenty of online tutorials can show you how to get fancy with your cuts.

Grip it and Rip it!

With a perfectly gripped deck, you’re ready to shred. Remember, a good grip job takes practice, so don’t get discouraged if your first attempt isn’t perfect. Just grab another sheet of grip tape and try again!

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Gripping a Skateboard

While gripping a skateboard may seem like a straightforward process, there are some common mistakes that beginners often make. Here are a few mistakes to avoid:

  1. Not cleaning the deck: Failing to clean the deck properly before applying the grip tape can result in poor adhesion and an uneven grip.
  2. Overlapping grip tape: Make sure to position the grip tape correctly and avoid overlapping it. Overlapping can create bumps and uneven surfaces, compromising your grip and control.
  3. Cutting the grip tape too short: Be cautious when trimming the excess grip tape. Cutting it too short may expose the deck, leading to decreased grip and potential injuries.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure a properly gripped skateboard that enhances your skateboarding experience.

how to grip a skateboard
how to grip a skateboard

Tips for Maintaining a Good Grip on Your Skateboard

Once you have gripped your skateboard, it is important to maintain a good grip for optimal performance. Here are some tips to help you maintain a solid grip:

  1. Keep your grip tape clean: Regularly clean your grip tape to remove dirt, dust, and debris. A clean grip tape will provide better traction and grip.
  2. Replace worn-out grip tape: Over time, grip tape can wear out and lose its effectiveness. If you notice that your grip tape is no longer providing the grip you need, it may be time to replace it.
  3. Experiment with different grip tape textures: Grip tapes come in various textures, ranging from coarse to fine. Experiment with different textures to find the one that suits your preferences and provides the best grip for your style of skateboarding.

By following these tips, you can maintain a good grip on your skateboard and ensure optimal performance.

Different Types of Grip Tape Available for Skateboards

When it comes to grip tape for skateboards, there are several options available. Here are some of the most common types:

  1. Standard grip tape: This is the most common type of grip tape, featuring a coarse texture that provides excellent grip and traction.
  2. Clear grip tape: Clear grip tape is a popular choice for skateboarders who want to showcase the design of their skateboard deck. It offers the same grip and traction as standard grip tape but allows the deck’s artwork to be visible.
  3. Colored grip tape: If you’re looking to add some flair to your skateboard, colored grip tape is a great option. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns, allowing you to customize the look of your skateboard.
  4. Graphic grip tape: Graphic grip tape features printed designs, adding a unique touch to your skateboard. It combines both functionality and aesthetics.

Choose the grip tape that suits your style and preferences, and don’t be afraid to get creative with your skateboard’s grip.

Customizing Your Grip Tape Design

One of the great things about grip tape is that it allows for customization. You can showcase your personality and creativity by customizing your grip tape design. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Cut-out designs: Use a razor blade or grip tape cutter to create custom cut-out designs on your grip tape. This can range from simple shapes to intricate patterns.
  2. Stencil art: Use stencils and spray paint to create unique designs on your grip tape. This allows for more detailed and colorful designs.
  3. Hand-drawn artwork: If you’re artistically inclined, you can create your own artwork directly on the grip tape using permanent markers or paint pens.

Remember to let your imagination run wild and make your grip tape design a reflection of your personal style.

how to grip a skateboard
how to grip a skateboard

Pro-Tip Time!

Here are some rad tricks from real skaters to take your deck display from gnarly to gnarlier:

  • Buff those Edges: Got leftover grip tape? Don’t toss it! Use a rough side of the grip tape to sand down the sharp edges of your deck for a smoother, cleaner look.
  • Grip it and Rip it (Even When it’s on the Wall): Remember, grip tape wears down over time. If your deck is gonna be a permanent resident on your wall, this wear and tear isn’t a big deal. But if you ever wanna shred it again, consider replacing the grip tape before hitting the pavement.
  • Grip Tape as Art? Heck Yeah! Feeling creative? You can actually design your own custom grip tape to match your deck’s art or the overall vibe of your room. Search online for inspiration – there are tons of sick grip tape designs out there!

Frequently Asked Questions About Gripping a Skateboard

How often should I replace my grip tape?

It depends on how often you skate and the condition of your grip tape. If you notice that your grip tape is worn out or no longer providing the grip you need, it’s time to replace it.
Can I reuse grip tape?

Can I reuse grip tape?

It is not recommended to reuse grip tape. Once it is applied to a skateboard deck, it loses its adhesive properties and may not provide the same level of grip.

Can I apply grip tape on a new skateboard deck?

You can apply grip tape on a new skateboard deck. In fact, it is highly recommended to do so, as it provides the necessary grip and control for skateboarding.

How do you put a grip on a skateboard?

Applying grip tape is easy! Here’s a quick rundown:
Clean your deck and grab grip tape, a razor blade, and a file.
Line up the grip tape and slowly peel back the backing, pressing it down as you go.
Use the file to smooth the edges and cut off the excess grip with a clean cut.
Poke holes for your trucks with the screwdriver you’ll use to mount them.
That’s it! Your board is ready for some grippy action. Be sure to follow a video tutorial for a more visual guide!

Can you ride a skateboard without grip tape?

Technically possible, but not recommended! Grip tape is like sandpaper for your shoes, giving you traction for pushing and tricks. Without it, the board will be super slippery and dangerous. It’s like trying to skateboard on ice! Save yourself the frustration (and potential falls) and keep the grip tape on.


Properly gripping a skateboard is crucial for enhancing your skateboarding experience. By following the step-by-step guide and avoiding common mistakes, you can achieve a secure and comfortable grip. Remember to maintain your grip tape and experiment with different types and designs to suit your preferences. With a solid grip on your skateboard, you’ll have the confidence to execute tricks and maneuvers with ease. So, grab your skateboard and start mastering the art of gripping your board. Happy skating!

Norman J. Wells
Norman J. Wells

Hello, my name is Norman J. Wells I am the founder of Get skater which is my blog.

I specialize in skateboarding and offer skateboarding services to businesses of all sizes around the world, ultimately improving their bottom line by teaching creative solutions to their problems. Shoot me a quick email to see how I can help you!

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