Many things can affect how your grip tape is stuck to your board. The weather, the type of tape, and even how clean your board is can all play a part in how well your grip stays put. In this article, we’ll share some tips on how to make your griptape less grippy so that you can get the perfect amount of stickiness for your riding style. Stay tuned!
Grip tape is usually made up of either sandpaper or rubber. Each material has its pros and cons, and which is used often depends on the type of riding, you’ll be doing. For example, sandpaper is more abrasive than rubber, so it lasts longer and doesn’t wear down as fast as the rubber will.
Things You’ll Need
- New sheet of grip tape
- 2 – 2 ½” wide strips of double-sided tape
- Scissors or a box cutter/Exacto knife
A Detailed Guide on How to Make Griptape Less Grippy
Step 1: Determine How Much Griptape to Rip
If you’re using the same sheet of grip tape, try to get as many shoes out of it as possible. How often do you replace your shoes? How often do you switch decks? How much does all this stuff cost?! It might be worth it to cut a few small pieces and mix them in with your old piece before cutting off a considerable chunk and wasting grip tape. If you’re already on the next sheet, skip this step.
Step 2: Prepare the Surface
Clean the top of the grip tape sheet with some rubbing alcohol. Use a towel or paper towel to wipe off any dirt or finger oil from earlier use. This will make it easier for the tape to stick and work as intended and make your new grip tape look cleaner. If you’re cutting tiny pieces, make sure you do this individually instead of trying to clean off a more extensive section. If you try to cut through all that gunk on the back, then what’s the point!
Step 3: Stick Two Strips of Tape End-to-End
Make one strip of double-sided tape by peeling off one side and folding it over onto itself. Do this twice, so both ends touch and overlap. How long should the strip of tape be? It’s best to make it as long as half the surface area of your grip tape (or even a bit less, depending on how much you need).
Step 4: Stick Them Together and Lay Out Your Grip Tape
Take out your new grip tape sheet with double-sided tape attached. First, make sure the end pieces overlap and line up perfectly. If they’re not lined up, this will cause bubbles in your design. The back of the grip tape sheet has a grid with vertical and horizontal lines.
When those two lines align, you’ve got it right! Next, unstick or carefully cut off any extra length from one side (I usually cut off the bottom, as it doesn’t affect anything). You want the gap in the middle to face forward (towards the nose) and make sure there’s enough room on both sides for your trucks.
You can measure or eyeball it. I prefer using my eye! If you’re using a new sheet of grip tape, trim any excess until it fits nicely around all four corners of your deck.
Step 5: Carefully Cut Out Your New Grip Tape Design
Once everything is lined up perfectly, and you’ve got a nice gap towards the nose and enough room on each side, carefully cut out your design with a box cutter or Exacto knife.
I usually cut it out about 1/4″ deep all around, or just enough so that it’s no longer flush with the top layer of grip tape. This will act like a pointless file and wear down your shoes faster if you go too deep! You can also use an exacto knife to carve out any design from existing non-grip tape sheeting on your board if you don’t have anything else. Finally, remove all the leftover pieces of grip tape.
Step 6: Seal It Up With Double Sided Tape
Once you’ve got the design cut out, stick two more strips of double-sided tape to each side and seal up that edge. Again, it’s best to go with 1/8″ – 3/16″ for this step.
You can also use a piece of masking tape folded over onto itself, but it needs to be stuck down all on its own because it won’t have any adhesive qualities when playing around with grip tape sheets. If you made your cuts close enough, they would overlap into one nice long strip on each side.
Step 7: Bend It Backwards!
Take some pliers or channel locks (with soft plastic or rubber covers) and carefully bend that strip back into its original shape as far as the grip tape will let you, of course! The easiest way is to measure out a few small pieces beforehand so you know how big or little to make them.
You can also use existing grip tape if you’re not cutting any new shapes for this step. Just cut off a small piece first before doing all these other steps! It doesn’t matter how many there are, but try sticking with the same amount per side every time (four on each end). They will stick out like a sore thumb if they’re too uneven or small. How big they should be is up to you! Just experiment until you find something that looks nice on your board.
Step 8: Attach Your New Custom Grip Tape Design!
Once everything is in place and looking good, flip your deck over with the grip tape side facing up. All four corners of a standard skateboard deck should be covered from edge to edge, plus an extra 3/4″ around all sides).
If you find that your design is getting cut off by the truck mounting holes (a rare situation), don’t worry about it too much – make sure there’s no overlap on those small sections.
When you’re ready, carefully attach it onto the bottom of your board, careful not to move any pieces or peel back that top layer! How do you know if it’s in place correctly? It should look perfect from the top side if you fold it back! Use a thin bead of superglue or wood glue from about 1″ away and let it soak into the paper before sticking your grip tape down.
Step 9: Go Skate!
Now that your new grip tape design is all set up and attached go skate! That shouldn’t be a huge concern unless you do something crazy like a ride on polished concrete every day (you won’t survive for very long).
It should be fine as long as you don’t use cleaner or abrasive materials to clean it. Instead, use water and maybe a little pressure if there’s some dirt. If the deck flexes too much (which isn’t usually an issue with most non-flex boards), they might start coming up at the corners after a few uses.
This technique is only recommended for riders who don’t live in a place where it snows or rains because those conditions will make them peel right up. You can also use a thin layer of superglue around all four edges instead to help prevent that from happening. These steps will help in how to make grip tape less grippy.
Tips and Warnings
- If you would like, after applying the grip tape and letting it cure for a day, you can take a sharp box cutter and carefully make an X pattern in each corner of your deck. Of course, you won’t need to do this with subsequent applications unless the old grip tape starts peeling up.
- Another option is to use an exacto knife or razor blade when installing your grip tape. Use long shallow strokes when applying the strip, taking caution not to gouge into or scratch the top surface of your board/truck base. This will give you additional grip but still allow your shoes to slide easily.
- If you still find that your shoes are sticking to the grip tape, try using a metal scraper or stiff plastic piece (think credit card) to scrape off old grip tape before installing new. This will give you a clean surface for the fresh grip to adhere to without working against an existing layer of dried-on spray adhesive.
- Make sure you let the grip tape cure for at least 24 hours before using it.
- Using a metal scraper can cause damage to your board/truck base, so make sure you are being gentle.
- It is essential to let the grip tape cure before using it; otherwise, you will have many peeling issues.
- If your shoes are sticking when you slide with new grip tape, try wearing them in first or washing the bottom of your shoes, so there’s less gunk and dirt to pick up.
If you want to make your griptape less grippy, try these tips. Try a different tape brand, or take the time to sand it down first. You may also need to use more grip wax on top of the new grip tape that you put up if this is an ongoing problem for you and your board. We hope this article has been helpful! We hope you find how to make griptape less grippy helpful.
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