There are differences in griptapes and I’ll try do demystify them right here. Although in every category you’re going to find qualities, that should sum it up really good.
Abrasive paper with glue
That is the best one out there. It’s really sand paper with glue on the other side. It means the abrasiveness will last longer at the top and since it’s like a tar/rubber ish material, it’s harder to rip. The downside is that it’s harder to print elaborate designs on it, and when you do, the colors and details are faded. Simply said, they’re not the flashier ones.
Sticker with abrasive
It is basically a sticker with clear abrasive sprayed on it. It’s the complete opposite to the abrasive with glue. You will get a bright design, clear details and a super nice looking griptape. But the grip will fade faster and it tend to rip more. They are much thinner.
Clear griptape will be making a come-back, my call! It is in my opinion the best of both worlds. A tar/rubber ish clear sheet with abrasive that will last and won’t rip too easily but where the prints are a bit clearer and that let you see your deck design if it has some!
Weird other stuff
Other brands are always trying to innovate and are coming with different ways to grip your decks. One example would be the clear cast griptapes of Triad, which work really well. It a clear stiker mixed with sand paper. Another example would be the drilled metal pins, last forever longer then your shoes, shins, face, all depending on how you land…
If you’re novice at putting on griptape, I suggest taking the brake off of the deck before starting to clear out the path. You need to decide if you want to go front to end, neck to end, square neck to brake or just go funky. Whatever you choose, you go with those steps and you should be good:
- Take off the old griptape. If there’s some paper / glue residue, it should be fine as long as it is mostly flat.
- Clean any dust that could have slipped on there. No need to go all Swiffer on your deck. Your hand should do.
- Peel and align the new griptape. Put it lightly so that if the alignment isn’t good, you can take it off easy.
- Cut the part around the neck and brake so that the surface of the deck is gripped.
- With a screwdriver, rub the side of the deck at an angle to line the cut you will do.
- With a exacto knife, cut at that same angle the sides.
- Cut around the neck and the brake.
- With the leftover griptape, file a little bit all the edges.