How to Customize Grip Tape

Written by justin wash
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How to Customize Grip Tape
Grip-tape graphics can promote aye product or idea to the world every time you step on your board. (skateboard image by Charles Taylor from

Skateboarding is as much about artistic and creative expression as it is about pulling off big tricks. This sense of style and refinement lends the sport a certain air of maturity. From the way a skateboarder performs his kick flip to the way he ties the laces on his shoes, skateboarders make statements, fashion and otherwise, that receive attention. Some get these statements out in the open even more by customising the grip tape on their boards.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Paint pens
  • Roll of grip tape
  • Pen knife
  • Razor blade
  • Screwdriver
  • Extra knife blades

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  1. 1

    Remove the grip tape from your skateboard if you are not starting with a new, ungripped deck. Use a sharp knife or razor blade to separate the grip tape at the nose or tail of the board, then peel it away to unveil the wood finish underneath. Throw the old tape away.

  2. 2

    Lay the new sheet of grip tape, with the adhesive cover still intact, over the skateboard. Use a screwdriver to rub the tape at the edges of the board. This will create an outline of your skateboard, so that you know where to cut and draw. Remove the skateboard from underneath the tape and lay the grip tape on a flat, cut-resistant surface.

  3. 3

    Cut out stencil-like designs in the grip tape using a pen knife. Be sure you have plenty of extra blades and switch them out frequently as grip tape will dull blades relatively quickly. Don't worry about removing your cut-outs from the sheet entirely. You can remove them once the grip tape is applied to the deck.

  4. 4

    Draw on the grip tape with paint pens. You could draw company logos, band names, skateboard brands, silly phrases or anything else that strikes your fancy. But be careful because you are drawing with paint, and that means you can't erase if you make a mistake.

  5. 5

    Remove the adhesive backing of the grip tape sheet and line the tape up with the top of your skateboard. Use a razor blade or pen knife to cut away the excess grip tape around the edges of the board and to remove any cut-outs you made earlier. Take a look at your new customised board; then go hit the skate park.

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