So you you got yourself a new deck, or your old longboard grip tape has worn out, what do you do? The answer is getting a new longboard grip tape. Sounds simple, right? But how do you know which one to get or even how to apply it? You’ve heard about all this but you never really got a chance to ask someone about it nor is it really clear what it is.
But you really want to be an informed, decent skater. Where are you supposed to get all the information that you need to become a pro? That’s why we’ve come up with this guide to help you out.
It consists of basic information you need to know as a skater, followed by some frequently asked questions from others such as yourself, and finally we have made a convenient list to help you with making the right choice of grip tape. Of course, there are a ton of brands and designs but we’ve found a couple that we think are really worth your time and money.
Our Top 5 Picks
Things You Should Know
First of all, grip tapes are a must when it comes to your skating gear. They provide the necessary traction it takes to keep you on the board while skating. So if you were thinking of skipping on buying grip tape, it’s best you read the rest now. Grip tapes are especially helpful when if you’re planning on doing tricks and going on fast cruises.
Different grains of grip exist; it can be a thicker grain or a medium one. The standard grip is usually medium grain. Glue is also an option, but this is usually done by the people manufacturing the board, not the buyer. There is also clear grip tape so you can see what’s printed or painted on your board, but be sure to keep it clean otherwise, honestly, what’s the point? The most common grip is black, but if you really want to, you can obviously choose a different color. Different patterns and cuts are also available. The whole design is up entirely to your imagination. What people buy comes down to their preference.
You should know that more grip on your board is better for you and your skating. If you’re considering or planning to cut different shapes into your grip, watch out where your feet are when skating. The area covered by your feet must be completely covered with grip tape, in order to prevent slipping.
Pay attention to the width of your longboard, since there are also different widths of grip tape. Be very careful to measure the size of your board in order to know that size of grip to buy.
Applying grip tape is fairly easy. First, you need to peel off the bottom part of the tape, and then carefully and thoroughly strap the sticky side on the deck. When you are done applying the tape to the deck, use something sharp like scissors, a box cutter, or a razor blade, to cut the grip to accommodate your board perfectly. If you’re opting for a gilt-edge grip, feel free to tape the edges of your board as well.
Related: How to Maintain Your Longboard
Best Longboard Grip Tapes
ZUEXT Black Grip Tape
If you’re looking for a bubble-free waterproof grip tape for your longboard, then ZUEXT grip tape is a good option.
This grip tape is great for those skateboarders who are trying to expand their repertoire and learn a bunch of new tricks. The grip tape is crafted with PVC and silicon carbide, which helps improve durability. On top of that, the adhesive used is of premium quality which means it can stand up to both heat and cold without peeling.
Even though the adhesive is super sticky, it is still easy to remove and place on other boards or surfaces. When transferring the grip tape, the glue will also not leave any residue. Along with this, you’ll find that the grip tape is easy to trim and keep clean.
But even with all that, there are still a few issues that should be addressed before making any decisions. The 90-100 grit of the tape means that it is very coarse. This could potentially cause damage and wear down your shoes faster. The coarseness also tends to grab dirt and mud, which means that extra cleaning is necessary to keep your board sharp.
Black Widow Grip Tape
For those that like to cruise a bit, you need a tape that has a great grip and is super adhesive. One of the best for this is the next grip tape you will be looking at, the Black Widow grip tape.
This grip tape comes in a fairly decent size sheet and is available in a wide range of colors. Because of the lower grit of this tape, the boarder that uses this tape should be those looking to use their longboards for cruising or commuting.
When it comes to cutting and sanding down the edges of this tape, you’ll find it easy, which elevates its value above a lot of other options. The tape sticks to almost any type of board and is super easy to apply, which is why when you look at the price tag, you may be pretty surprised.
Overall, the tape is definitely not perfect. It tends to get dirty pretty easily, and there are many issues when it comes to air bubbles. It also might be a little challenging when applying this tape to a board that has curves within the deck. On top of that, there are some questions about its overall durability.
Vicious Grip Tape
The next grip tape we will take a look at is a coarse grit option that comes in two colors. This tape is perfect for downhill, dancing, and especially carving.
This grip tape was specifically designed for downhill longboards and, because of this, has a very coarse grit. The tape itself is crafted in polyester fabric with perforated lines. The perforated lines are an excellent addition as they allow the tape to be bubble-free when installing. To round out the adhesive, the bottom is ultra-thick so that it has a good grip on the board once applied.
The tape itself is also waterproof, which means that no matter the weather, you’ll be able to enjoy a quick ride without having to worry about slipping off your board. Because of the grit used, if you are a skateboarder that likes to do tricks on a ramp, you might want to avoid this grip tape.
Along with that one drawback, there are a few others that could be deal-breakers when it comes to choosing this grip tape as your go-to. The tape does tend to wear quickly in spots that are excessively used, such as foot placement positions. Also, the grip of the tape and coarseness has been known to damage shoelaces.
Jessup Grip Tape Colors
For those skateboarders who want to add a little extra something to their board, it might be important to find a grip tape that offers a wide range of colors. The Jessup grip tape roll not only offers a variety of colors but 60 feet of grip tape.
Jessup grip tape is pretty well known for being a little less grippy than other options. Therefore it’s perfect for those longboarders that like to cruise or use their skateboard to get from place to place. This tape offers a 60 grit deck but is attached to the board with a very sturdy adhesive. The tape itself is made of silicon carbide and therefore is easy on your shoes.
For those borders that are looking for a reasonably priced option that gives you plenty of value, this grip tape from Jessup seems to fit the bill. As we said, it comes in many different colors, so it also helps the border create an aesthetic to show their style to others.
However, with all that being said, the tape itself is not super friendly when it comes to wetness. Therefore, those that live in climates where there is consistent rain may want to look at another grip tape option. The fact that it’s also a smoother grit also means that it will not last as long, so you will have to consider the fact that you are reapplying quite regularly.
Mushroom Grip Tape
The next grip tape that will be taking an in-depth look at is a bubble-free option that is also waterproof. This option gives the board a lot of fun graphics that will give your board a little extra character.
Other than the pretty sweet graphics these grip tapes offer, there is a lot of functionality that elevates it to whole new levels. This single tape sheet is perfect for skateboarders that are looking for a catchy yet grippy tape to ensure they can land all their tricks without worry.
The tape itself is crafted with high-quality material and it’s designed with an air hole so that it is easier to put on. This high-quality material used to craft it also gives it a long life thanks to improved durability. On top of that, it uses a super sticky adhesive which means you won’t have any problem when it comes to peeling from heat or cold.
The only issue that needs to be addressed is the size of the grip tape sheet. Make sure you pay close attention to ensure that it will actually fit your skateboard; otherwise, you might wind up with a pretty unique-looking deck.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are the tapes durable?
It really depends on the brand you buy, but the ones we recommend bellow are said to last a long time so you really get your money’s worth. They’re made from a more durable kind of material which really does the trick, and doesn’t get loose after a while.
Q: Is it easy to use?
It’s probably a bit harder to use in the beginning but you get used to it. If you can’t manage to do it on your own, ask a friend for help. We have provided instructions to help you with your journey, but you’ll see, in no time you’ll be an expert.
Q: What are the typical dimensions?
Dimensions vary from tape to tape, but it’s always best to measure your board and buy grip tape accordingly. Another piece of advice would be to get more of it to make sure you have enough.
Q: What material is it made of?
The material has the feel of sandpaper, but it’s much finer. It’s even obviously better than sandpaper for your skating needs since it’s designed, especially for that purpose. It’s basically a grippy layer that goes over the surface of your deck. The actual material varies from the company that makes the grip tape, it can be silicon carbide or aluminum oxide.
Q: Where do I get the grip tape?
Griptapes are sold at specialized skate shops,although it is much easier to find them online. Other perks of buying them online is having a wider range of choice, knowing if it’s in stock, being able to look at reviews from other users, and usually, you get lucky with a discount. The only thing that could be counted as a con is having to wait for the shipping.
Q: Is it expensive?
The prices vary, just like with everything else. You also have to pay attention to quality, it’s not worth your time if you buy something that doesn’t last. The grip tapes we have recommended bellow are within the price range of most people, and, in our opinion, the best you can find on the market.
We have made the list above in order to help both new and old skaters make the right decision on grip tape. Since there is so much to choose from, and everyone you ask will tell you differently, we thought this might put a rest to your racing mind. Buying a good quality grip tape is not a small deal since you do need it for your own well-being and better skating.
Hopefully, we have answered all of the questions you had and cleared any possible problems. The choice of grip tape from here really only comes down to your preference and budget. Anything you choose from this list definitely help you be the best skater you can be.
If you are just starting out as a skater, please be aware that grip tape is an essential part of your equipment. Doesn’t matter if you’re just strolling around, doing tricks, or skating really fast somewhere, it will keep your feet in place. If this guide has helped you, it means we have done our job. Enjoy your new grip tape!