What looks like sandpaper at first sight is an essential part of your skateboard setup. A brand new griptape can be the cause for the best session of your life, while an old, worn-out one can be the cause of unbearable frustration. Find out why right here.
A griptape sheet is usually 9" wide and 33" long (22.8 cm × 83.8 cm), which fits nearly all common skateboard decks.
The griptape sheet has a top side and a bottom side. The bottom side is self-adhesive and goes on the top layer of the deck. The top side of the griptape has a rough silicon carbide surface, which provides perfect grip for the rubber soles of your shoes. You can find a detailed description on how to properly attach the griptape in the assembly section of this guide.
The griptape is of fundamental importance for all kinds of tricks – from the Ollie to the 360 flip – because without the resistance of the rough surface towards your shoe, you will not be able to get the board up in the air. Due to the friction, the shoes and the griptape will succumb to wear and tear sooner or later. And that brings us to the topic of wear and tear.
Wear and tear
The longer you ride griptape, the smoother the rough surface becomes. This results in less friction between shoes and deck, and makes your tricks less precise.
And if you help out in the garden before a session and step onto your board with those dirty shoes, you're not going to enjoy your griptape for long. Check your soles prior to every session – it saves you the desperate battle against dirt.