How to Remove Your Grip Tape
If you have noticed that your longboard’s grip tape is starting to get worn down and could use a change, removal is super easy to do. All you need is a hair dryer and some patience and you are all set to get peeling with ease. Read on for the easy how-to way to go about it!
To start, you will first have to take the trucks off of your skateboard. You can accomplish this with simply a Phillips screwdriver and a pair of pliers, or a multi-tool if you have one available. Next, take your hair dryer and heat up the grip tape where you want to start removing it. Generally, you can use the hair dryer on that spot for about a minute and then take a razor to peel back the edge. Once the edge starts to peel back, use your fingers to start peeling back the old grip tape. Be sure to always take this slow in order to prevent ripping the grip tape into a bunch of little pieces.
If the grip tape begins to feel super sticky, be sure to not try and force it as you will only end up ripping it and causing you way more work. Just stop at that point and go back to using the hair dryer to heat up the grip tape and start over. The more the hair dryer heats up the glue the less the grip tape will stick to the board. If needed, you can use more leverage, by placing the deck on the ground and using your feet to hold the board down while you use both of your hands to peel back the grip tape. If there are any little pieces of grip tape left, just use the old grip tape to scrub it off like sandpaper. Once you have completely removed the old grip tape you are ready to move onto the next step.
Alright, now that you have a blank deck to put new grip tape on, you need to decide on what kind of design you want to put on the board. You have unlimited options when it comes to grip taping your desk. You can opt to grip the whole deck or just where your feet should go. The choice is totally up to you.
When you have decided on a design you will want to stand on your board in the position that you skate and trace an outline of your feet with that pencil. This allows you to see where you will need to cover the deck to get the best possible coverage where it matters the most. Start at the front of the board and be sure that you cover where you marked the board for the correct placement of the grip. Start with a little bit at a time and be sure to press down from one end to the other to prevent any air bubbles or any wrinkling. Do this step for the front of the board, and then repeat the process for the back of your board.
If you have air bubbles, take a push-pin and poke 3-4 holes where the air bubble is and then push down on the air bubble to release the air. If the grip tape is wrinkled or just doesn’t stick well to your deck, take the hair dryer, heat up the grip tape and then press down. This will help the tape bond tighter to the wood of the deck.
Grip tape is comprised of tiny rocks, which means that it is really difficult to take a razor to attempt to cut around the edge of the board. You’ll want to take a file and run it along the edge of your deck where you have any extra grip tape hanging over. If you don’t have a file, you can pretty much use anything that is hard and won’t wear down very fast. Just attempt to get rid of all the little rocks along the edge of your deck so there won’t be any obstructions for your razor to hit, which will cause an uneven edge.
Last But Not Least
Finally, once you have filed down the all of the edges of the overhanging grip tape on the side of your board, take a fresh razor blade to trim the excess grip tape off. Just run the razor blade along the white silhouette of your board and the extra grip tape will come right off.
All of the tools that the pros use for removing and replacing your longboards grip tape can be found at your local skate shop, including really nice files that will make your next change way easier. If you are in the market for a new design and not just the laid down, full on tape, be sure to check out some really great tutorials that can be found online with a quick search. And if you have any questions, be sure to visit your local skate shop for some expert advice and guidance.