If you’ve stepped on a skateboard, you know skating is one of the most potent forms of self-expression. Everything from fashion, skating style, trick selection to attitude, no two skateboarders are the exact same. Naturally, skateboarding wouldn’t have it any other way.

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While the opportunity for self-expression crowns skateboarding one of the most liberating activities on the planet, it naturally creates an intense desire to stand out. In a sport with countless creative individuals, customizing your grip tape is a fun and creative way to flaunt your individuality and complement your aesthetic as a skater. It’s also relatively affordable.

Whether you’re a hopeful beginner or a hardcore skate rat, if you’re looking to further express yourself, why not start with your skateboard? During our Dew Tour contests, the only thing more unique than the skaters themselves is their custom grip tape. Some of the raddest grip tape art comes from our athletes who’ve transferred their love for skating into this intimate form of expression. Now it’s your turn as Dew Tour brings you our guide on how to customize your skateboard grip tape. We’ll cover everything you’ll need to get started, a catalog of grip styles, and some proven tips and artistic methods to reach your custom grip tape dreams.


Bryce Wettstein

Proven Tips when Customizing Your Grip Tape

Don’t overdo the paint: Be mindful of where you place paint on your board or where the larger cut outlines may be. Having too much paint on your board can actually reduce its grippiness and create problems for flip tricks and aerial maneuvers. Cutting out thick lines in a particular area like the tail or pocket of the nose can also mean not having as much grip in these key areas. Be mindful and always put performance above aesthetic if you plan on skating the board.

Beginner cuts: Some of the easiest ways to customize your grip is to simply cut the sheet across its width in 1 or 2 places and then turn the original top and bottom ends into the middle of the board. This allows for the perfectly straight ends to align for nice right angle lines. Placing one of these lines toward the bottom or top of your board is also a great way to differentiate your nose from your tail.

Don’t have paint? One of the oldest common practices in customizing your grip tape is to use whiteout or nail polish in the place of paint pens or spray paint. Obviously obtaining spray paint as a minor is not encouraged, or maybe you don’t want to shell out the cash for paint pens that you’re going to destroy anyway. These other tools are effective, affordable and easy to use, but can also compromise your grip. Remember tip #1 and don’t overdo it.

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Improvise: Just like when you’re on your board, improvisation can be beautiful. It’s important to remember you don’t have to know exactly what you’re going to write, draw or cut to customize your grip tape. As long as you follow the proper guidelines of application, you really can’t go wrong. If all else fails, just have fun. After all, it’s what skating is all about.

Created some rad custom grip tape after following our guide? We’d love to see them! Tag