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How to Apply Skateboard Grip Tape (5 Steps)

by Kyle Ayling 3 min read

How to Apply Skateboard Grip Tape | Cloud 9 Griptape

So you got a new skateboard deck? Cool, whatcha get...? Great choice.

And now you want to learn how to apply your skateboard grip tape to your new skateboard? Yeah, you're in the right place.

Listen. People outside of skateboarding don't know that gripping your skateboard is an art.

Every skater has their own way of making their skateboard setup, unique.

And it's super empowering once you learn how to do it.

With that said, today you’re going to learn how to grip a skateboard, like a PRO.

This also works when applying grip to longboards. And when using different types of grip tape like clear grip tape or grip tape with designs.

Adults, you may feel a little odd jumping into this today. No worries, you got this. (Bonus points: your kids will think you're super rad.)


Tools you'll need to grip your skateboard:


Step 1. Prep your skateboard deck

Let's get your new skateboard ready to use.

Remove any plastic wrapping, stickers, or packaging that came on your skateboard.

You want to start with a clean, gunk-free deck.

Step 2. Place your grip

Grab your sheet of skateboard grip tape and peel off the backing paper to expose the sticky adhesive.

Save the backing paper; you'll need it later.

Hold the grip tape longways and hover over the top of your new deck. Make sure it's centered.

Stick the grip tape to the nose of the board, then to the tail.

This will allow you to see if you're centered or need to readjust it.

Peel your grip tape | Cloud 9 Griptape

Center grip tape over skateboard | Cloud 9 Griptape

Press grip tape into place | Cloud 9 Griptape

Step 3. Press your grip in place

If you love how it looks, then you're ready for the most critical step.

Grab your backing paper and lay it over the top of your grip.

Begin by pressing down in the center of the board and rub your hands outward.

Do this until your grip is 100% applied to the top of your skateboard.

Step 4. File and cut your grip

It's time to file your grip. Take the flat file and rub it around the edge of your skateboard.

It'll leave a white guideline to make for easy cutting.

The more you file it, the easier it'll cut. Don't get carried away, you can file through the grip. So use caution.

File your grip tape | Cloud 9 Griptape

Take your retractable blade knife (or razor blade) and poke it through the bottom of your grip tape.

Place it along the edge of your skateboard at a 45° angle.

You can cut the grip in sections or one full piece, whichever is more comfortable for you.

Follow the edge of the board with your knife until your board is all the way cut out.

Cut your grip tape | Cloud 9 Griptape.
Poke the holes in the grip tape for trucks | Cloud 9 Griptape

Step 5. Perfection

Take the excess grip and rub the grip around the edge of your skateboard.

You want to make sure that your grip is wholly applied and it's not going to peel up later.

Now look over your fresh gripped skateboard for any air bubbles and pop them.

Put your board on the ground and step on it. The pressure can find and release air pockets your eyes can't see.

Now, take the pointed tip screwdriver and poke the holes for your truck hardware.

Always do this from the top of your skateboard, down.

Pick up any garbage you created along the way.

Recycle anything you can. Everything else toss it in the trash.

Now set up the rest of your skateboard. Add some cool skateboard stickers to make your board more personal. And you're ready to go skate.