How to Apply Grip Tape to a Skateboard

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 48,461
    Skateboard Expert Keir Johnson demonstrates on how to apply grip tape to a Skateboard.

    Keir Johnson: Hey guys this is Keir Johnson with Catalyst Skateboard showing you how to set up a skateboard. Just picked out the accessories, now I'm going to actually going to show you how to start putting the board together.

    First step for me is my sticker pack, very important, sponsors does the support what I do. So, I'm going to go ahead and put some of the stickers on here got a nice catalyst orange sticker, that goes with my 48 blocks color way, Lemonware(ph) with the graphic. Like to apply stickers in a pretty artistic way. Next we are going to do the grip tape, okay grip tape, pretty simple usually comes in pre cut squares as you can see, this is just -- I'm going to go ahead and peel the back off. What's important to remember about putting grip tape on is you don't want to get air bubbles in there. So, you want to be fairly careful about the way in which you place it down on the board. I usually start at this end of the board, give myself about an inch of room here and I use the edge of my hand as you can see to slowly apply in a smooth way, you don't always get it right, you can always peel it back just like this, it's no problem and then just kind of dip it in and then you just want to go down the board slowly using your hand to push down it in an even way, that way you won't get any air bubbles. But even if you do, I'm going to show you how to pop those using the razor. So, it's a nice application there. I used to reach out to smooth it out with my hands, some people use different tools to do it, but I used to just use my hands, if you do get a air bubble, like as you can see here, you can just use the razor and simply put a couple of holes, around the bubble and as you can see it, it gets totally flattened down, anywhere where you see that. Well, it looks like we got it pretty nicely on there, next thing you want to do is called sanding the edges, which is the way that you give yourself an outline in which to cut, with the razor blade. I usually start on this side. As you are doing this process, you can again use your fingers to just make sure that, you are smoothing around the edges. Looks pretty clean here, okay, main objective here is to get a nice outline of the deck shape so that you can make a nice clean cut around the edges. Next step we are going to use a razor blade here, standard issue, younger kids, this is where you might want to get your parent's help. The first thing that I like to do when I actually set a grip tape is, I put a cut mark at each nose and tail mark, which is here and then also down here, on both sides of the board. This way when you peel the sheets off, they come off in a nice clean manner, instead of wrapping around the board. So, I'm going to make these cuts as you can see here, flip the board around make a nice cut, okay, now we are actually ready to do the cutting of the board. I'm going to take a brand new razor for the best cut possible. Palace Five has a nice set up here, first of all, you are going to cut towards yourself, so hold the razor like so with it towards you. Go into that first cut and mark, and now you want to apply pressure with your thumb and basically press down to get your cut. So you can see here I'm taking a nice fluid approach to the cut. You can actually go back as you can see I got a nice start there, okay, it's our first strip, put these pieces to the side. Now I'm going to switch around and do the other side, same concept, holding the razor cutting towards yourself, just press with your thumb down so that there is pressure between the edge of the razor, the surface of the grip tape. Okay, next we are going to do the ends of the grip tape here. So, make sure you get a nice rounded edge there. In this case, I'm going to actually cut it again. Okay, just make sure you hang on to these extra pieces of grip tape, I'm going to show you a little secret you could do with these in a little while. Let's get this last end piece, just make sure that the grip tape isn't sticking to the edges. Alright, as you can see we have got a nice, clean cut here, it's there. What I like to do is then use these scrap sheets and actually sand my edges a little bit to get them a nice groove. One other thing I like to do with these strips are, when you get a brand new fresh sheet of grip tape, it's actually quite rough and it's going to tear your shoes up, so what I do is I take a fresh scrap and actually sand down the actual grip tape to take off the rough edges. So I will show you the technique I use, to do that. It's actually a technique I learned from ex-professional DC skater Andy Stone, I used to see him do that when I was like 13. Alright guys, well, we got a grip tape on here, with nice sheet, we have got our stickers applied to the board. So, now let's move on and start putting the trucks and wheels together.