Grip tape is a lightly explored and often highly overlooked aspect of a longboard. You can find various types of grip tape that work best for different riding styles. However, many people usually divide them into two main categories: Jessup and Vicious.
Read on to find out more about grip tape and which one might be the best for your riding style.
Grip tape grit ranges from 24 to 80 grit. It’s a small segment of the overall grit ratings that range from 12 to about 1000 grit.
Here’s a reference with the brand, grit, and particle size breakdown:
- 24 Grit: Diablo Extra Course, Gator Super Coarse XC,
- 30 Grit: Older Version of Black Vicious
- 36 Grit: New Clear Vicious, New Black Vicious, Thumb Cutter, Gator Grip Coarse
- 40 Grit: Red Vicious, Diablo Course Belt Sander, Blood Orange,
- 50 Grit: Loaded Course (Chubby Unicorn)
- 60 Grit: Gator Standard (Colored), Bustin
- 80 Grit: Jessup, MOB, Most Street Board Grip
So, which grip tape has the right grit level for you?
You need to choose a grip tape that matches the grit needs of your riding style and your personal preferences. Generally, here’s how it goes:
- 24-40 grit is best for downhill or fast free ride
- 50-80 grit is for slow freerides, freestyles, technical freerides, and cruising
That said, there are still many people who use less coarse grip tape for fast freerides and downhill. Some riders use Vicious for slow technical freeride.
Note that these generalizations are based on the coarseness of the grip and how much grip you want between your shoes and the board.
Lower grits offer a better grip. Unless the grip tape is wet, everything could work well. Also, each company produces grip tapes with various levels of exterior coating, although most products available are epoxy-based.
50 grit tape is perfect for freeride and freestyle. For wet or cold weather, 36 grit works best. In warm and dry conditions, 30 and 36 grit works great.
You can find these grip tapes for about $10 a pack at a local improvement store.
Freestyle riders also love the 50-65 grit range. It doesn’t let your feet slip across the board as easily as 80 grit, but it’s not as course as a grip range below 40.
However, a low grit for doing freestyles may destroy shoes and possibly hands. This is actually the reason why some brands that sell freestyle-oriented boards grip them with an 80 grit grip tape. It’s a grit level that lets riders move and release their feet across the board easily.
What is OS780 grip tape?
OS780 Grip tape is widely used in the longboard and skateboarding world. Its sand is abrasion-resistant, skid-proof, and emery. Deck surfaces with this grip tape provide a solid rock bonding, which is expected since it’s an industry standard for a trusted deck adhesion.
Finding grip tapes that aren’t designer brands is handy with the many available choices online today. You can pick grip tapes that have zero frills in exchange for affordability.
How to apply a grip tape?
Materials in applying a grip tape:
- A deck
- Grip tape
- A razor blade
- Some sort of straight-edged tool (such as a screwdriver or skate tool)
- A heat gun or hair dryer (optional)
Steps in applying a grip tape:
- Remove the backing from the grip tape.
- Set it on the top of the deck by starting at the center.
- Press down on the grip tape carefully.
- Work your way outward extra slowly.
- Turn the deck over.
- Using the razor blade, cut off the excess grip tape that hangs over the edge.
- Flip the deck back over.
- Then, using the heat gun, heat the edges of the board, but don’t let it melt.
- Using your straight-edged tool, scrape around the entire deck to rasp the board edges.
- Start cutting the excess tapes with your razorblade.
- Hold the blade in about a 45-degree angle to the board.
- Clean up the edges using the razor blade once more.
- Lastly, poke holes through the grip tape where the bolds go.
Things to remember:
- Use controlled and slow movements when cutting.
- Make sure to cut out wherever there’s a wheel.
- Make relief cuts to keep the tape from being bent when it bends around the tail of your longboard deck.
Q: Are grip tapes easy to use?
Grip tapes can be a bit tricky to use in the beginning, but you can get used to it. You can always ask a friend for help. However, if you just follow the instructions on how to apply grip tapes as stated above, you’ll be fine as well.
Q: What are the typical dimensions of a grip tape?
Dimensions will vary from tape to tape. But, in buying one for your board, make sure to measure your board to find the right grip tape. Give some extra space, too, so you can still manage even if you mess up the first time.
Q: What material are grip tapes made of?
The material mirrors the feel of sandpaper, but a grip tape is finer. It’s even better than sandpaper since it’s designed for that purpose alone. Depending on the company, it can be made of aluminum oxide or silicon carbide.
Q: Where do I get the grip tape?
Specialized skate shops sell grip tapes, although if you’re into convenience, it’s also easier to find them online. You can take advantage of the wider choice available by reading consumer reviews.
Buying the right grip tape is optimal for ensuring a better skating experience. With the right grip, you can have a safer overall longboarding experience .
Remember that it doesn’t matter if you’ve just started doing tricks or are just strolling around. Having a good grip tape is important no matter what your riding style is.
If you’re a beginner and can’t assess what level of grit you need, you might need to go with some 40-50 grit. It’s in the middle range, and you can have a happy medium and the best of both worlds.
We hope that this post helps you in one way or another. If you have questions, feel free to hit us up. We at Questboards are happy to bring you the best longboard experience.