The Equipment

I use and highly recommend the following

  • Griptape
  • A decent file
  • A decent and well sharpened Stanley Knife (Be careful and seek adult assistance if you are under the age of 16)
  • A skate tool
  • Any deck of your preference
  • An Allen key, anyone that fits in the hole will do. The unit tool comes with its own.

Step One: Pressing the Griptape

Step One: Pressing the Griptape
The first step if what I have nicked named “Pressing” the grip. It is a simple process and basically involves laying the grip tape over the board and just pressing it into the curves of the deck. This will hopefully if done correctly assume the shape of the deck and make it easier to roll out onto the board when it comes to sticking it down.

Step Two: Align the Griptape

Step Two: Align the Griptape
This step wont take long but will prevent furious rage when you realise that you’ve laid the grip down at an angle and have to pull it off and start again. All you need to do is peel a little of the back of the grip off and then stick it to the nose, then without peeling any more of the back off adjust the grip so that when you lay it down the deck its straight.

Step Three: Sticking the Griptape onto the Deck

Step Three: Sticking the Griptape onto the Deck
Now this step is quite hard to do but you get the hang of it quite easily once you get going and it really helps with laying the grip down without getting bubbles forming. The first motion you have to learn is the rolling of your wrist, this creates a nice even surface on the sticky side of the grip to meet the board with.

Step Four: Sticking the Griptape onto the Deck Continued

Step Four: Sticking the Griptape onto the Deck Continued
This next step is a continuation of the other one but is showing an aerial view of the other movement. This movement is to be done in conjunction with the wrist rolling, it involves wiping the board down in a diagonal. You need to grip the deck slowly with this method, I imagine doing it in small diagonal “strips” after each “strip” is done you can move on to another one.

Step Five: How It Should Look

Step Five: How It Should Look
This isn’t really a step but I just wanted to show an aerial view of the deck after the grip has been put on. You may notice that on each of the concaves the grip warps weirdly at the corners, this is normal and will be dealt with in a later step.

Step Six: Filing Down the Griptape

Step Six: Filing Down the Griptape
In this step you will be filing down the grip so that it forms the edges of the deck and makes it easier to see when you come to cut it out. For this step you need to be quite rigorous, I usually lay the file quite flatly on the deck and follow the edges around. Two things you need to watch for is the normal immediately visible “White line” the next thing you need to watch out for is a thinner “Black line”. The black line in my opinion is quintessential and basically is just where the file has gone down through the grip tape and is now at the adhesive below. I think that it needs to go down this far to A)Ensure that the grip is thoroughly stuck to the board and B)It ensures that the cutting of the deck will be really easy to cut so you can get that perfect straight line.

Step Seven: Cut Slits in the Griptape

Step Seven: Cut Slits in the Griptape
This is something I do to make cutting a little more ordered and usually find it easier to work on sections when cutting the grip off. Remember me talking about the little concaves warping the grip? In this step you will cut them so that they don’t bend so weirdly. Nothing too difficult to do, just a basic straight line from the outside of the grip tape until you touch the wood. Do this on each concave.

Step Eight: Cut the Excess Griptape off

Step Eight: Cut the Excess Griptape off
This step is to show you the method of which I cut the grip on my board off. I try to hold the Stanley knife as steady as I can, I like to hold the with the tail poking my stomach and the nose pointing straight out. If you have done the previous two steps right the cutting process will be smooth and effortless and if at any time you feel resistance go over step six again. You need to hold the file at an angle so that it doesn’t cut into the wood of the deck and that doesn’t cut into the grip above it. Going slowly you draw the blade to the point you cut too earlier in one smooth step. Do this for all sides, for the nose and tail hold it at whatever angle is comfortable but remember to do it slowly and smoothly!

Step Nine: Refine the Edges

Step Nine: Refine the Edges
This step is a not really necessary but I find it useful and quite vital so that chips don’t immediately start to form in the grip. All you need to do is go around the outside with the file drawing it down to the ground, remember your trying to work the adhesive into the grain of the wood. You don’t need to go crazy with the file, just a quick soft once over should do it fine.

Step Ten: Wear down the Edges

Step Ten: Wear down the Edges
This step again is not necessary i just find it very good to ensure a nice finish to the grip. All you need for this step is the cuttings from the grip you have cut off. All that you need to do is run the grip smoothly around the outside, make sure not to press too hard as you could work up the grip again therefore voiding the process of working the adhesive into the grain of the wood.

Step Eleven: Wear in the Griptape

Step Eleven: Wear in the Griptape
This step is done to ensure that the grip doesn’t become “sticky”. You usually find with new grip that it takes a while to “Wear in” the grip so to move this process along you can sand it down a little. You can do this to your preference but I prefer a very light sanding as I don’t want to wear away the grip too much.

Step Twelve: Find the Truck Holes

Step Twelve: Find the Truck Holes
These next four steps are just one way to cut out the holes, I find that my method ensures that you don’t chip the grip, and that the holes are a little bit safer from the wet and gives the board a small bit of protection from the bolts. In this step you will need to poke each of the holes so that they dent the grip on the other side, make sure you don’t pop through the grip and that only little dents are created. If the grip is popped this way the openness on the other side sometimes rips the grip or cracks it away from the hole.

Step Thirteen: Pierce The Truck Holes

Step Thirteen: Pierce The Truck Holes<
This next step works the grip onto the sides of the hole and is pretty similar to when we cut the grip off the edges. Firstly you need to pop through the grip into the hole, try not to go too far in. Then the next step is to “Score” the grip onto the edges of the hole, you can do this by rotating your wrist until you can see the “White line”.

Step Fourteen: Finish It Off

Step Fourteen: Finish It Off
This is the final step to finish the hole off and the gripping of the deck. I usually find this quite a hard method to explain but I will try none-the-less. All you need to do is swivel the blade backwards in the hole, by backwards I mean without directly swivelling it in the directing with the blade but instead kind of “Dragging” the blade backwards over the edges of the hole. This will take a little longer than when we cut the grip on the edges of the deck but will ensure a nice even hole.

Step Fifteen: Complete
Well done, your now finished!
This is the end result of all your hard work. If you have followed my steps well you will have gripped your board like a pro!