Longboard grip tape is an essential component of any longboard setup. It provides traction and control, allowing you to stay on your board more easily and confidently. With so many different types of grip tape available, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your needs. In this article, we’ll discuss the best longboard grip tape for every situation, so you can make the best decision for your setup.
What is grip tape?
Griptape is a rough, abrasive material that is applied to the surface of a skateboard or longboard deck. It is designed to provide traction and grip for the rider's feet, allowing them to control their board and perform tricks while skating. The texture of grip tape is similar to sandpaper and provides a non-slip surface that helps prevent the rider's feet from slipping off the deck.
Types of Grip Tape
There are several different types of grip tape available, each with its own properties and benefits. The most common types for skateboards are standard black grip tape, clear grip tape, colored grip tape, graphic grip tape and foam griptape. Black grip tape is the most popular and widely used, as it is inexpensive and readily available at local skate shops.
For skateboarding, griptape is pretty much standardized across all brands in terms of grit count at 80 Grit.
Longboard griptape, however, is a different story. You will want to pick a Grit count depending on the type of skating you are doing. See the table below for an idea on Grit count per type:
Grit (lower number = more grip)
Gator Super Coarse XC, Diablo Extra Course
Downhill / Freeride
New Black Vicious, New Clear Vicious, Gator Grip Coarse, Thumb Cutter
Downhill / Freeride
Red Vicious, Blood Orange, Diablo Course Belt Sander
Downhill / Freeride
Loaded Course (Chubby Unicorn), Jessup Ultra
Downhill / Freeride, longboard
Gator Standard (Colored), Bustin
General longboard, dance
Jessup, MOB, Most Street Board Grip
Street / Park / Vert, most common
Colored grip tape is also popular, as it allows the rider to add a touch of color and personality to their longboard. Grip tape with graphics is also available, which allows the rider to personalize their longboard with a unique design or logo.
How to choose your grip tape
Choosing the right grip tape for your longboard or skateboard is important as it can affect your performance and safety. When choosing your grip tape, you should consider the following factors:
- Durability: Look for grip tape that is made by a household name like MOB or Jessup griptape, as these are tried and tested to withstand wear and tear.
- Adhesive: The stronger the adhesive, the better the grip tape will stay on your longboard. Make sure the grip has micro perferations to eliminate any bubbles that will occur when applying.
- Coarse or fine: Coarse grip tape will provide more traction than fine grip tape. See table above.
- Size: Make sure to choose the right size grip tape for your longboard.
How to apply your new grip tape
Applying your new grip tape is a simple process, but it does require some patience and care. Here are the steps to follow:
- Clean your longboard deck: Remove any dirt or debris from the deck surfaces.
- Measure and cut: Measure the size of your longboard deck and cut the grip tape to the appropriate size if using a roll. If using a size specific sheet, move to next step.
- Peel and stick: Peel one end of the backing off the grip tape and carefully apply it to the note end surface of your deck, making sure to smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles. slowly pull this down the board, peeling, sticking and smoothing as you go.
- Trim the edges: Use a utility knife or scissors to trim the edges of the grip tape to fit the shape of your longboard deck.
Some useful tips for applying your grip tape
- Use a stiff card to smooth out bubbles and wrinkles when applying your grip tape.
- Use a heat gun to soften the grip tape and make it easier to apply.
- Use a ruler or straight edge to ensure that your grip tape is applied straight and evenly.
Get Creative! Tag us with your most creative custom longboard grip tape design on Instagram @fireballsupplyco.
Care and maintenance of your grip tape
To ensure that your skateboard grip tape lasts as long as possible and provides optimal traction, it is important to take proper care and maintenance of it:
- Keep it clean: Regularly clean your grip tape to remove dirt and debris that can affect traction. A grip tape cleaning block will help with this.
- Avoid moisture: Keep your longboard and grip tape away from water and moisture, as this can cause the adhesive to weaken.
- Avoid extreme temperatures: Keep your longboard and grip tape away from extreme heat or cold, as this can cause the grip tape to warp or crack.
How to ride with great grip tape
Having good grip tape on your longboard or skateboard is essential for optimal performance and safety. Here are a few tips for riding with great grip tape:
- Stand in the right position: Stand in the center of the grip tape for maximum control and stability.
- Apply pressure: Apply pressure to the grip tape with your feet to increase traction and control.
- Keep your feet dry: Keep your feet dry and free of sweat, as this can affect traction and cause your feet to slip.
The best grip tape for your budget
Most grip tape is very budget friendly and will cost you around $10 for high quality grip for a regular skateboard. Obviosuly choosing a color, graphic or specialist longboard griptape will vary, so it's best to check with your local store for prices here.
Pro Tip: Steer clear of unknown brands from overseas as the grip doesn't tend to last long in our experience.
Grip tape sizing
When choosing your grip tape, it is important to consider the size of your longboard deck. Make sure to choose the right size grip tape for your longboard to ensure that it fits properly and provides optimal traction.
Grip tape shapes
Grip tape is available in a variety of shapes, including rectangular, square, and die-cut. Rectangular and square grip tape are the most common and are the easiest to apply, while die-cut grip tape is designed to fit specific shapes and designs, like our new Artist Skateboard Decks.
Grip tape colors
Grip tape is available in a variety of colors, including clear, black, white, and multiple colors. Clear grip tape is popular and widely used, as it provides a clear surface that allows the rider to see the design of their longboard deck. Awesome grip tape with graphics are also availble from a lot of the major griptape brands.
Grip tape brands
There are many brands of grip tape available, each with its own unique properties and benefits. Popular brands include Jessup, Mob, Black Diamond, and Grizzly. If not using a known brand, be sure to research to find the one that best suits your needs and budget.
How to clean your grip tape
You can use something like our Griptape Cleaning Block to clean the dirt from your grip. Simply use the cleaning block in long firm strokes or a circular motion on top of your skateboard deck. Avoid using water or cleaning solutions, as these can weaken the adhesive and cause the grip tape to lose its effectiveness.
For older, or baked in dirt and more hardcore debris we recommend a few light sprays of water first (and/or a soft wire brush), before using the grip cleaner. Baked in dirt will require more time to get it back to its original form.
In conclusion, choosing the right grip tape for your longboard is crucial for your performance and safety. Take into consideration factors such as durability, adhesive, coarse or fine, size, thickness, shape, color, brand and budget. Remember to apply it correctly, maintain it properly, and clean it regularly, and you will have great grip tape that will help you to ride your longboard with confidence.