Whether skating for a few weeks or a few months, there’s something for everyone in this guide.
From pre-gripping your deck to picking up your board, this ultimate guide on how to pick up your skateboard will help you get and keep your street cred.
How To Grip Your Skateboard Deck
1. Gathering the necessary materials
- Grip Tape – A 9 x 33 sheet (it can be pre-cut or standard sheet)
- Razor Blade or Sharp Box Cutter – for cutting tape
- Screwdriver – to grind down the edges of the grip tape
- Soft rag – to wipe down the board after a light sanding
2. Lining up the grip sheet
Measure the grip tape to the board by laying it on the board from nose to tail.
Make sure to have an inch or longer than the board from the tail to the nose and you have equal overage on all four sides.
Once you’ve measured and it looks good, you are set.
3. Pressing the grip tape down
Cut off a small corner of the grip tape (that won’t affect the board’s grip) and use that piece for sanding the board lightly.
Next, wipe the board down with the soft rag to remove any debris to ensure the tape will adhere well.
Starting at the nose of the board, peel the back off the grip tape and press it to the board using your hand.
Continue this process until the whole board is covered with the grip tape, making sure the grip tape is straight.
Remember to keep one inch of tape overhanging the board on all sides.
4. Rounding the edges
Using the metal side of the screwdriver, grind on the grip tape along the outline of the entire deck of the board.
This should leave a white outline of the deck on the grip tape, giving a guide to gut the excess grip tape.
5. Cutting off the edges
Using the razor blade/sharp box cutter, Follow the white guideline and carefully cut off the excess grip tape.
Once the excess is removed, re-grind the edges of the deck to ensure the grip tape adheres to the board well.
Make sure none of the edges can pop up; you may need to do this twice to get a good seal.
How to Hold a Skateboard Like a Pro
Hold the skateboard on one shoulder
Pop the board into your hand and place it on the shoulder of your choice with the grip tape facing your head or facing away from it.
Arm over graphic with hand gripping skateboard.
Hold the skateboard by the nose
Just grab the nose of the board as you pop it up. This is a short-term hold as your hand will get tired.
Hold with the grip tape inward
Hold the board with the graphic out and the grip tape to your body.
Hold it at hip level, with your arm over the graphic with your fingers gripping the board.
Beware: the grip tape may tear up your shirt.
Hold with grip tape outward
Hold the board with the graphic facing your clothes at hip level. Arm over the grip tape with fingers gripping the board.
It may feel awkward but it will save your board.
Pinch the board
As you pop the board up, pinch it with your fingers.
Hold the skateboard on both shoulders with both arms
Place the board behind your head, the wheels and trucks facing forward.
Put your arms behind the board, grip the top edges to hold it.
This hold ensures the board is safe.
The Indian water vessel technique
Balance the board on your head, grip side down.
This will leave both your hands-free to do whatever you need.
Hang the board off your backpack straps
Hang the board with both wheels and tracks on the strap of your backpack with the grip tape facing you. Both hands are free.
Be careful as the board is going to move back and forth as you move.
Get a skateboard backpack
A skateboard backpack is the best of both worlds; it’s a backpack with two horizontal straps on the back to secure your board in place.
The grip tape faces the pack, and the trucks and wheel keep it from falling. No fear of the board hitting you or getting tangled while walking.
Why You Shouldn’t Do the Mall Grab
It leaves your board dangling
Grabbing the board by the trucks, leaves the board dangling above the ground.
The kicktail will smack against stairs, curbs, or hills as you walk.
There could be chips in the tail and splits in deck plies.
Grip tape rubs on your pants
Your hold in the mall grab leaves the grip tape facing your pants.
As you walk, this is going to snag on your clothes, over and over.
The bolts will loosen
The bolts can loosen in this hold.
Make sure to have skateboard tools with you so you can tighten the bolts.
Skate trucks are filthy
Skate wax attracts dirt and debris that sticks to them. This gets on your hands and clothes when they are touched.
Penny board holding ways
Penny boards are miniature plastic skateboards. You’ll be able to hold them just like the ways professionals hold full-sized skateboards.
Because they are smaller in size, you’ll be able to just hold them as you like. You’ll be able to switch positions when you get tired of carrying it for a long time.
However, it will be hard to hold them on both shoulders. For shorter trips, holding your pennyboard on one shoulder will be easier and more comfortable.
How to Pick Up Your Skateboard
- Pick up on the move
Bend Down, grab the nose and step off the board, pick it up and go.
- Classic snap style
Put your lead foot on the tail, pop it and catch it by the nose.
- Advanced snap style
Put your lead foot on the nose and pop it; catch the board by the tail.
- Scouse style
Pop the tail, hook your foot underneath the board and kick it into your hand.
Nothing is smoother than doing this as you walk away!
- Scouse twist
Pop the tail, hook your foot underneath the board and kick it with your heel, so the board flips over as you catch it with your hand.
- Direct mall style
Once the Board has stopped, reach down and grab the board by the truck as you step off with the board, pulling it up with your hand and the grip tape facing you.
- Advanced mall style
Pop the tail, hook your foot underneath the board and spin it into your hand.
- Pocket stall
Place your hand in your pocket, put your lead foot on the nose, pop it, and catch it with your pocketed hand.
- Vertical boost
Using your foot from under the board, kick it as high as possible and grab it by the truck.
- Barrier bash
Facing a road barrier, kick your board at it; catch it as it comes up and off the barrier.
Watch your face, if you miss it!
Skateboard transporting tips
- To protect it from damage and carry it easily, put your skateboard in a case or bag. This will also ensure it won’t be stolen on the bus or train.
- To prevent the grip tape from damaging or scratching, face the grip tape up while carrying.
- Beware not to hit your skateboard with something like steps and curbs when carrying it around.
Q. Is it OK to sit on your skateboard?
Yes. You can sit on your skateboard. The technique is pretty straightforward, anf you can always stand up in case you get tired. This can also save your cloths from the debris and dirt of the ground.
Q. How much should I skate a day?
3-6 hours is realistic if you want to become really good at it. If you are a more casual rider, the amount can reduce. You can go for more hours if you feel comfortable.
Q. How many years does it take to get good at skateboarding?
Usually, it takes roughly 12 months to become comfortable with skateboarding. You’ll also learn a few basic tricks by then. If you want to become really good and learn advanced tricks, it may take you up to 3 years. However, the time varies from person to person.
There you have it, how-to on re-gripping the deck, and some great ways to safely take your skateboard with you everywhere you go.
Always be safe!