Who would not love skateboarding? Especially when you’re good at balance, and you seek for thrill and excitement, this one could be the best recreational (sports) activity for you.
Being able to skate and do tricks is such a rewarding feeling for sure. Of course, skateboarders could attest to that, especially to those who develop a specific fondness to skateboarding.
Sure, skateboarding is really fun and is really a good hobby. It could significantly impact one’s life in terms of health, character, personality development, and of course, friendship. That’s why there is no wonder that more and more people are starting to immerse themselves in skateboarding.
If you are a skateboarder or is someone who wants to try skateboarding, you should know about grip tapes. Grip tapes are basically the sandy layer at the top of a skateboard deck. Its main purpose is to make sure that your shoes will have a good grip on the skateboard so that you won’t fall out while you are on the board doing your favorite tricks.
Aside from preventing you from falling off the board, grip tapes are also a statement of fashion for most of the skateboarders. It makes your board more unique, and sometimes, it serves as a mark so that you can easily identify the head from the tail of your board.
Since most of the grip tapes are made of sandy paper from silicon carbide or aluminum oxide (for the cheaper ones), it is important then to make sure that the grip paper of your board is always clean. Because, yeah, of course, anyone would surely prefer to step onto a new, clean, and firm skateboard grip tape.
Who won’t want it anyway? No one for sure. Aside from dirty grip tapes can make your skateboards look less attractive and ugly. It can also heighten the possibility of ruining your tricks and losing grip on the board that could eventually lead to your fall.
Cleaning your grip tape from time to time can surely be tiresome and time-consuming. So, to avoid the hassle and stress, here are some tips to perfectly clean your grip tape, the easy way.
First off, cleaning your skateboard grip tapes would have to depend on the dirt it accumulated and on the type of the board, of course.
Easiest Way to Clean Your Skateboard Grip Tape
The easiest way to clean your skateboard grip tape is, of course, with a grip tape eraser. It works like how pencil erasers remove mistakes from our writings and unnecessary lines from our drawings. Black Magic and Spike Hardware sell quality and effective grip tape erasers. There are also more other skate brands out there that sell the same product.
With a grip tape eraser, all you just have to do is rub it on your grip tape and poof! Ta-da! Your grip tape will once again be clean and fresh.
However, grip tape erasers only work best in keeping dust – and other small particles (of sand) – away. Removing sticky layers of mud, soil, stains or liquid on your board will need an extra effort if you use this one.
To clean your skateboard grip tape with a grip tape eraser, you will first need to remove the particles off your board. Once done, your board will then look clean; the grip tape will reveal a darker shade of black from before.
In order to make effective use of your grip tape eraser, you can use its side or the smaller corners of it in order to push away the dirt that hides in the deepest corners of your skateboard’s grip tape. You can also use it by laying the whole of the grip tape eraser flat on your board and pushing it a little harder in order to remove thoroughly the dirt that sticks on it. However, do take note that in cleaning the corners of your board’s grip tape, you have to use the sides of the eraser in order to give the board of your grip tape a thorough and clean, fresh look.
Tossing your eraser on different sides from time to time while rubbing it will on the board could also give your board a better clean.
Things You’ll Need on Cleaning Your Skateboard’s Grip Tape
Grip tapes are pretty much expensive, so of course, once your grip tape started to weaken its grip, the first thing that would come into your mind is to clean it and not to buy a new one. That’s why instead of looking for grip tapes, you will opt to look for this:
- Rubber (any piece of natural rubber that would work on sandpapers)
- Brush (any brush with a soft bristles)
- Cloth (to be used in damping or patting the board dry)
These items are essentials for any skateboarders because they don’t cost that much and will always come in handy.
Steps in Cleaning Your Skateboard
Use tape to cover the edges of your board to avoid the water from getting through it. You better use plastic tapes that wouldn’t allow water to go through, such as scotch tape, packing tape, electrical tape or duct tape. (Any tape will do but remember to avoid the tape that absorbs water, such as double-sided tape and masking tape). You can buy these tapes at the nearest hardware, department store or school supplies store.
2.Use Cleaning Products
Use a sponge, towel, or any cloth to pour the cleaning product directly to the board’s grip tape. Do not pour water or any liquid to it without using any sponge, towel or cloth to it to avoid it from getting clogged with water.
Here is the list of cleaning products that you can use:
- Soap or detergent
- Ammonia solution
- Powdered bleach (calcium hypochlorite)
- Vinegar (acetic acid)
- Glass cleaners
- Tile and grout cleaner
- All-purpose cleaner
- Brush and Clean
Once you have applied the cleaning products evenly to the board’s grip tape, make sure to remove and brush off the dirt properly. You can use a brush or an old toothbrush or any soft bristle to do this. Avoid using hard bristles because it will damage and weaken the grip tape.
3.Pat and Dry
After brushing the board’s grip tape, get a dry towel and pat it to the surface of the board to remove excess dirt and absorb the wetness of the grip tape.
In order to make sure that your skateboard’s grip tape is properly clean, you need to redo steps 1-4 at least twice to make sure that you successfully remove all the layers of the dirt.
What Could Be the Results?
Of course, a newly-cleaned grip tape is not as good as the brand-new ones, but it will at least make your board’s grip tape look fresh and clean.
- Your board’s grip tape will remain its strong grip and sticky feeling
- Both your skateboard and grip tape will remain undamaged
- It will save you money from buying new grip tape
- It will make your grip tape last longer
Tips on Cleaning Shortboard’s (skateboard) Grip Tape
Shortboards are easy to maneuver; that’s why more people tend to like it. It’s common around cities and small spaces because it is not a nuisance to the big crowd and the people around. It is also easy to ride and lightweight so it’s more convenient to carry and is quicker.
Here are the tips for maintaining your shortboards:
Tip 1. To Remove the Dirt on the Surface, Use Rubber
Almost all of the skate shops sell grip erasers. It is a piece of rubber that is effective in taking the dirt out of the surface of your board. It is guaranteed effective.
Tip 2. Soft Bristle Brush Lets You Clean Shortboards Thoroughly
You can use toothbrush and cleaning solutions to remove dirt way from the grip tape of your shortboard
Just don’t forget to:
#1: Not soak the tape to avoid making it soft and eventually ruining it (tape), the grip tape, and the board itself.
#2: Not forget to remove the deep dirt hiding in the corners or sides using the toothbrush.
#1: Skateboard’s grip tape is permeable, so be careful in using and pouring liquid into it.
#2: Use soft-wire/ bristle brush that can be bought to the nearest hardware
#3: Brush the grip tape thoroughly, remove the dirt, pat, and dry, and you’re ready to ride and perform your tricks again!
Tips on Cleaning Longboard’s (skateboard) Grip Tape
Longboards are much longer in length than a normal-sized skateboard. It is a type of sports equipment that is commonly used for cruising, traveling, and sports skateboarding. It comes in different shapes and is much heavier compared to shortboards.
Here are tips for maintaining the grip of your longboard’s grip tape:
Tip 1: Brush the Grip Tape
Start by getting your preferred cleaning product ready. Put it on a cup with water and gently pour it into the grip tape with the aid of a cloth to prevent the liquid from clogging your board. Using a soft-bristle brush, remove the dirt off the grip tape. Start at the tail of the board and work your way to the head, not missing the small sections on the sides and corners.
Tip 2: Meticulously dry the board’s grip tape
Using a microfiber cloth, pat dry the surface of your grip tape to avoid soaking the board. For best results, you can lay flat the cloth at the top of the board and let it sit there for two to three hours or until you feel like the surface is dry enough.
Tip 3: Finish it by Using a Rubber to Wipe It Clean
Make sure that the grip tape is absolutely and completely dry before letting the rubber run over it to make sure that all layers of the dirt were removed. If it is still a little bit damp, better let it dry first before brushing the grip tape once again with rubber.
Need to Clean Dirtier Boards?
Cleaning dirtier grip tape boards is a tougher task to do. By dirtier boards, I mean those with thick and sticky layers of mud or those with spilled drinks, juice, or soda.
Now, in order to remove this, one must have something more than a grip tape eraser. It may require you to use cleaning products such as abrasive cleaners in order to scrape the dirt away from the board. You can also wipe or dab the grip tape with some liquid cleaning products in order to get rid of the dirt.
Cleaning Your Board is not Enough. Learn How to Take Care of it While You’re Cleaning It
If you do skateboarding, of course, your board will and is important to you; so it is must that you take good care of it, especially when you’re cleaning its grip tape. One must be careful especially when you plan to clean your skateboard’s grip tape with soap and water. You must be careful not to soak your board or clogged it with this liquid cleaning products.
Whether your board is new or old, you have to be wary of clogging it with water. You must not wet in order to avoid the risk of weakening your board. Sure, it is not a big deal if your skateboard gets wet, but it will be in the long run and you don’t want that to happen, I’m sure.
In order to keep your board strong and work for a long time, then you must be very careful in wetting it or clogging it with water while you’re cleaning it (the grip tape). Additionally, you will need to keep the nose and tail of your board extra dry in order to avoid the risk of it being weak. Remember, wet boards are no good!