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How to Remove Grip Tape from Skateboard & Longboard

How to Remove Grip Tape
Written by Colin Kint

When your grip tape begins to get filthy, it becomes slippery, and is no longer repairable, you should consider removing it and replacing it with a fresh sheet of grip tape.

When it comes to changing grip tape on a skateboard, the process is not as simple as it seems. When you attempt to remove it, you will find that there is adhesive covering the surface of the board.

There are numerous techniques for removing the grip tape, but the most time-saving option just requires a few instruments to be effective.

What Your Longboard or Skateboard Has Grip Tape

The tapes used on a skateboard come in a variety of colors and patterns. They essentially operate as “clothes” on the board, coating it with grip and preventing it from sliding about. Not only are they comfortable, but they look good too.

Silicon aids in the grip tape’s ability to retain its rawness and sharpness over time. In addition to these components, additional materials that are readily accessible are employed in its construction.

Why You Need to Remove Grip Tape

Reason 1: The tape wore out over time

If the glue that holds your board together begins to break down and fall off, your board will begin to degrade over time and collapse.

If you do this and the deck becomes rough and uneven, you may wind up with a poor quality skateboard.

After a while, the grip tape will lose its effectiveness and will need to be replaced. This may be hazardous to the user’s safety and should be replaced with a more appropriate one.

Reason 2: You want to make it better

Although your existing grip tape may be satisfactory, you may still wish to remove it.

Grips are available in a variety of styles, allowing you to keep your skateboard appearing as clean as possible at all times.

Even though some do not promise to be as stylish as others, they are more resistant to damage and will preserve your skateboard for a longer period of time.

Tools to Remove Grip Tape

The use of a hair blower to replace grip tape is definitely one of the best methods.

Blowers are available in a variety of power and temperature configurations that allow you to utilize them on a skateboard without causing harm to the board itself.

They can provide a personalized impact on the board to provide the possible traction on each surface.

1. Single-edge razor blade

Single-edge razor blade

We can’t use our hands to pull grip tape. Because of the force we exert, the paper layers may come apart. It’s better to use a narrow blade rather than depend on the raised edges.

Make sure the blade’s sharpness is maintained on one side at all times to avoid damage to the board. Slide on the dull side, and you’ll risk being hurt.

2. A T-tool

T-tool

The T-tool will not be used to remove outdated grip tape but the skateboard trucks.

This carbide sheet must be as sturdy as possible as soon as you start putting it on your deck. You need to remove your skateboard’s trucks first in order to prevent the deck from shifting.

It’s quite OK if you don’t feel secure with removing the trucks from your skateboard but keep in mind where you need to place your skateboard so that the wheels do not slide about.

3. A clean working space

As the handle and degree grip is designed, your hand can slide off the card while sliding it. It’s critical to keep yourself safe while you’re working in a crowded area.

Work surfaces should be free from any needless material so you can concentrate on your activity.

When working, you need to make sure that your hands have enough space to move about so that they don’t get in the way of anything else.

How to Remove Grip Tape: Step-By-Step Guide

Method 1: Use alcohol

  • Take the trucks off the skateboard
  • Lift up the edges of the tape
  • Use an alcohol-soaked towel and dab the tape to remove the stickiness
  • Slide a razor blade under the tape to help peel it
  • Don’t worry about the residue the new tape will cover that

Advantages

  • Highly effective
  • Doesn’t leave behind dirty mars
  • Won’t scratch the board
  • Convenient you can use alcohol to remove tape anywhere

Disadvantages

  • Alcohol can be toxic
  • Can burn your skin
  • Strong smell
  • Isopropyl is erosive

Method 2: Use a hairdryer

  • Step 1: get yourself a hairdryer
  • Step 2: use the hairdryer and heat up the tape all the way around for 30 seconds
  • Step 3: carefully lift the grip tape using a sharp blade
  • Step 4: once you have a good amount lifted, use your hands to gently peel it off
  • Step 5: scrape off any residue left from the tape

Advantages

  • Simple to do
  • No harsh chemicals or bad smells

Disadvantages

  • Blades and scrapers can scratch the board
  • You might not have a hairdryer on hand

Note: You can also use a heat gun but apply heat for a few seconds only

Can You Remove the Grip Tape With Fire?

The heat can make it easier to remove grip tape but you should not apply the fire directly to the tape!

The fire’s heat is so strong that you risk damaging the skateboard.

If you burn the skateboard, it might look bad and the burnt marks cannot be removed.

Can You Pull Off the Grip Tape With Force?

It may be hard to pass the blade under the deck but you should not force the blade.

You may hurt not only yourself but also scratch the board.

If you try to force the blade underneath the grip tape, it can slip and end up stabbing into you.

If the tape is old and loose, it might come away with pulling.

How to Remove Grip Tape Residue?

WD-40 works well to get rid of leftover adhesive from the grip tape. However, WD-40 won’t remove the paint.

All you need to do is buff out the residue with some cloth soaked in WD-40, then buff over it with a microfiber cloth.

You can use some alcohol if you want to remove the WD-40, but this isn’t necessary.

Pro Tips to Remove Grip Tape

  • Be careful when you pull near the truck bolts, as the tape can tear in this area
  • Don’t rush it. The grip tape will come away easier, pulling gently and slowly
  • Heating the tape is the essential part of removing the grip tape
  • If one method doesn’t work, try the other

FAQs

1. Should I sand down my skateboard?

Ans. Whether you are refurbishing a skateboard or building one and even painting new graphics, you will need to sand the skateboard down. Sanding will give the board a smooth finish which will help grip tape and paint to stick.

2. Can I put grip tape over grip tape?

Ans. Putting grip tape over old grip tape won’t work. The rough surface will cause the new tape to peel off. Always completely remove the old grip tape.

About the author

Colin Kint

Colin is in his mid twenties and a professional skateboarder whom you may already know. He participated in most of the skateboarding competitions in San Francisco. His innate passion for the sport drove him to pursue his career as a professional skateboarder. Another reason why he’s so good at it could be his relentless practice sessions with his friends. Apart from that, Todd also volunteers in various community awareness programs. He’s an environmental activist with an undergraduate law degree and an expert photographer as well. He does most of the photography of our site.

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