How to Wrap a Skateboard: A Step-by-Step Guide.
To wrap a skateboard, start by removing the grip tape and cleaning the deck with a cloth or brush. Then, apply grip tape using a sharp blade and smoothing out any wrinkles for a secure fit.
Finally, trim the excess tape and screw the trucks back onto the deck. Skateboards are not only a means of transportation but also an art form. Longboarders, skateboarders and cruisers all have different preferences with style and design, but can all agree that a fresh grip is a must-have.
In addition to providing better grip and control while riding, a custom grip tape can give your board a unique look and set you apart from the crowd. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced rider, knowing how to wrap a skateboard is an essential skill for taking care of your board. This article will provide step-by-step instructions on how to wrap a skateboard to give it a fresh look.
Selecting The Right Grip Tape
Your skateboard’s grip tape is the essential surface you step on to ensure you do not slip off the board while riding it. Therefore, selecting the right grip tape can make a huge difference in your skateboarding experience. Let’s discuss the factors you should consider to ensure you choose the best grip tape.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Grip Tape:
- Texture: Grip tapes come in varied textures, ranging from smooth to rough surfaces. The type of texture you choose should depend on your skateboarding style. For instance, if you prefer cruising, a smooth texture would suffice. However, if you prefer performing tricks and stunts, a rougher texture would be better.
- Durability: The grip tape’s lifespan will determine how often you will change it. You should look for a grip tape that can last for a reasonable period, even with frequent use.
- Adhesive quality: A good grip tape should have a strong adhesive that firmly sticks to the board’s surface. You should avoid grip tapes that can easily peel off, as they are a safety hazard.
- Aesthetics: Grip tapes come in different colors and designs. You should select a design or color that suits your sense of style and personality.
Different Types Of Grip Tapes Available In The Market:
- Bubble-free grip tape: This type of tape eliminates air bubbles when applying it, ensuring a smooth surface.
- Clear grip tape: This type is popular for showing off the skateboard’s graphics and is ideal for colorful boards.
- Colored grip tape: This type comes in different colors and designs that can complement your skateboard’s graphic design.
- Non-abrasive grip tape: This type is perfect for cruiser boards that require a smoother grip tape surface.
- Perforated grip tape: This type has holes that ensure air ventilation when riding the board, ideal for high-speed and long-distance riding.
How To Measure And Cut Grip Tape For A Perfect Fit:
- Measure the skateboard deck: Use a tape measure to determine the length and width of the skateboard deck’s top surface.
- Cut your grip tape: Use the measurements you took and a straight edge to cut the grip tape to the appropriate size.
- Peel off the protective layer: Gently remove the backing paper, exposing the adhesive side of the grip tape.
- Place the grip tape: Carefully place the grip tape onto the skateboard deck, ensuring it aligns with the board’s edges and contours.
- Smooth out the grip tape: Use a skateboard tool or any other flat object to smooth out the grip tape evenly onto the deck.
- Trim the edges: Use a razor blade or box cutter to trim off any edges that exceed the skateboard deck’s boundaries.
Follow these simple steps when selecting your grip tape, and you can be sure your skateboard experience will improve immensely.
Preparing The Skateboard Deck
Before you start wrapping your skateboard, you need to prepare the deck. This step is vital to ensure the longevity of your grip tape. Here are some essential steps to follow when preparing your deck for grip tape application:
Cleaning The Deck Before Application
A clean surface is essential to guarantee a good grip tape application. You don’t want dirt or dust particles to interfere with the adhesive properties of the tape. Follow the below steps to clean your deck:
- Use a damp cloth to wipe down the deck to remove any loose debris, such as rocks or dirt.
- Next, use a mild cleaner or rubbing alcohol to remove any remaining dirt or grime off the deck.
- Allow the deck to air dry completely before moving to the next step.
Sanding The Deck Surface To Improve Grip Tape Adhesion
Sanding the deck surface is an essential step that provides a better adhesion surface for the grip tape. Here is how to sand the deck surface:
- Use sandpaper with a grit level between 80-120. Wrap it around a sanding block.
- Gently sand the surface of the deck in a consistent motion, until it feels smooth.
- Be careful not to oversand an area, as it can leave spots or wear down the deck’s surface.
Dry Fitting The Grip Tape Before Application
Before applying the grip tape, it’s important to do a dry fit to avoid any mistakes that could ruin the grip tape. Here is how to dry fit the grip tape:
- Roll the grip tape over the deck, leaving an equal amount of tape hanging on both sides.
- Cut the grip tape by following the outline of the deck with a sharp blade.
- Once you’ve cut the tape, remove the backing slowly while pressing the tape onto the deck surface, making sure there are no wrinkles or bubbles.
These crucial steps in preparing your skateboard deck can ultimately lead to a more secure and long-lasting grip tape application. A properly prepared deck guarantees that the grip tape has a strong adhesion surface, which can improve traction on your skateboard.
Applying The Grip Tape
So, you have your skateboard deck and your grip tape. What’s next? Applying the grip tape is a crucial step in the process of creating a skateboard. Here are the essential steps to applying the grip tape:
Starting The Process By Peeling The Backing Off The Grip Tape
Peeling off the backing of grip tape can be done in different ways. Some people prefer to peel it off before they start the application process, while others remove it as they go. Whatever your preference is, make sure that you have a firm grip on the tape, especially when removing the backing.
It is important to avoid crumpling the tape or messing up the adhesive side as you remove the backing.
Aligning The Grip Tape With The Skateboard Deck
Now that the backing of the grip tape is removed, it is crucial to align it properly with the skateboard deck. You want to center the grip tape as much as possible and make sure that it covers the whole deck.
Be careful not to crease the grip tape.
Pressing Down On The Grip Tape To Remove Air Bubbles
As you lay the grip tape onto the deck, try to smooth it down and use your hands to press out air bubbles. Apply pressure from the center of the tape outwards to the edges. If there are still some bubbles, use a hard object such as a skateboard tool or a credit card to press the remaining air outwards.
Cutting The Excess Grip Tape Using A Razor Blade
Cutting the excess grip tape is the final step in the application process. Use a sharp razor blade or cutter to cut the grip tape in one fluid movement. Start at the edge of the deck and move the blade around the edge of the deck, making sure that it is even.
Scrape off any excess grip tape using the blade to avoid any rough edges.
With these four easy steps, you can now apply grip tape to your skateboard deck smoothly. Remember to take your time and be careful throughout the entire application process. Happy skating!
So, you’ve successfully wrapped your skateboard with grip tape. You’ve created a strong and adhesive surface that provides maximum traction. However, there’s still some more work to do before you can take your board for a spin. Here are some finishing touches you’d need to make sure that your board looks great and performs even better.
Trimming The Edges Of The Grip Tape:
Trimming the edges of the grip tape is essential to give the board a neat and finished look, and also to prevent the tape from coming off quickly. Here’s how you can do it:
- Using a sharp razor blade or an x-acto knife, cut along the edge of the board.
- Hold the blade almost parallel to the deck, and gently cut the grip tape along the board’s sides.
- Use a sanding block or sandpaper to smooth out the edges and get rid of any rough spots.
Smoothing Out Any Uneven Areas On The Grip Tape:
Uneven areas on the grip tape could be a nightmare for skateboarders, affecting their ride’s performance drastically. Here’s how you can ensure a smooth ride:
- Use a grip tape file or grit sandpaper to sand the grip tape slightly until the irregularities disappear.
- Make sure you do not overdo it, or you may end up damaging the grip tape.
Adding Personal Touches To The Grip Tape Design:
Once you’ve applied the grip tape and it looks clean and professional, you can add your personal touch to it. Here’s how:
- Use a marker or colored grip tape to draw designs or images that suit your style.
- Cut the grip tape to create a pattern or unique shape.
Final Inspection To Ensure Grip Tape Is Applied Correctly:
Before heading out to test your newly wrapped skateboard, take a moment to check if you’ve missed anything in the process. Here’s how:
- Inspect the grip tape again by running your hand over the board surface to identify areas requiring attention.
- Ensure that the grip tape is firmly and evenly applied to the deck surface.
- Check if all the edges are smoothed out.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully wrapped a skateboard with grip tape and added some personal touches to it. It’s now ready for you to take out for a ride. Always ensure that you regularly check the grip tape condition and replace it as needed to have the best skateboarding experience.
Frequently Asked Questions For How To Wrap A Skateboard
How Do I Choose The Right Skateboard Wrap?
To choose the right skateboard wrap, consider the design, material, and size. Opt for a wrap that expresses your style and fits the skateboard’s dimensions. You can choose from various materials such as glossy, matte, or textured finishes.
Can I Wrap A Skateboard With Regular Vinyl Wrap?
Yes, it is possible to wrap a skateboard with regular vinyl wrap. However, you must ensure that it is the right size and cut it to fit the skateboard’s shape. Consider using a heat gun to soften the vinyl and make it easy to apply smoothly.
How Do I Prepare The Skateboard For Wrapping?
To prepare your skateboard for wrapping, remove the grip tape, clean the surface with soap and water, and leave it to dry completely. Sand the surface to remove any scratches, and apply a primer coat to improve adhesion.
Do I Need Professional Help To Wrap A Skateboard?
No, you do not need professional help to wrap your skateboard. With a bit of practice and patience, you can wrap your skateboard yourself. Follow the instructions carefully, use proper tools, and take your time to apply the wrap evenly.
How Do I Wrap The Edges Of The Skateboard?
To wrap the edges of the skateboard, cut the vinyl wrap to size and adhere it to the surface. Then, use a heat gun to soften the vinyl wrap and mould it around the edges. Use a sharp blade to trim any excess material and achieve a neat finish.
How Do I Remove Air Bubbles From The Wrap?
To remove air bubbles from the wrap, use a squeegee to smooth out the surface as you apply the vinyl. If you notice any bubbles, use a pin to poke a small hole at the edge of the bubble and press out the air.
Then, use the squeegee to smooth out the surface.
Overall, wrapping a skateboard may seem intimidating at first, but with the right tools and technique, it can be a relatively simple diy project. Whether you want to personalize your board or protect it from scratches, following the steps described in this article can help you achieve your goal.
Just remember to take your time, use high-quality materials, and be patient with the process. Additionally, don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different designs or colors. With practice, you may even become a pro at wrapping skateboards and impress your friends with your skills.
So, grab your supplies and start wrapping – your board will thank you for it!