7 Best Skateboard Grip Tapes in 2020 That Don’t Destroy Shoes (Fast)
The worst part of skating is ripping up your shoes too fast. Especially if they were a nice looking pair. With that in mind, today’s article reviews various grip tapes so you can pick the one that is easiest on your shoes. I’ve also included a buying guide and talk about what I think is the best grip tape for a skateboard. Check it all out below.
Grizzly Stamp Print 9×33
The grip itself is pretty simple – it’s not super sharp and sticks to decks well. In comparison to other brands, it isn’t as grippy as Mob grip but feels a bit grippier than Jessup. So it won’t shred your shoes super fast.
A good thing about this grip is its strong adhesive backing. It sticks well and doesn’t come off easily. Finally, the stamp of this grip helps you know where the nose and tail of your board are – which some skaters might find useful.
This grip tape comes in at 33inches in length and 9inches in width. Great for all sizes of skateboards and cruiser boards too. If you have a longboard you want to get grip in a larger size – Jessup below has some in bigger sizes. Check out the Grizzly grip here on Amazon.com.
Mob Skateboard Grip Tape Sheet
The grippiest grip tape in the market, this brand is the one you should avoid if you don’t want your shoes to get holes very quickly. That said, if you’re gonna skate you should be willing to sacrifice your shoes – or just make sure you get high-quality skate shoes. A good thing though, it does mellow out over time and has that ‘just right’ balance of sharpness.
This griptape sticks well to decks and is made from high-quality paper. This means it doesn’t tear suddenly when being applied, when you’re poking your hardware through, or simply cutting the grip. Griptape suddenly tearing is annoying and it happens to the best of us.
Like the Grizzly grip above, this is also 33inches long and 9inches wide. Good for all skateboards and some cruisers – not good for longboards. Finally, this is the most customizable option on my list and comes with a couple of different grip tape designs and colors. Check it out here on Amazon.com.
Jessup Skateboard Griptape Sheet
This is the best skateboard grip tape for shoes. It is the least grippy griptape on my list and is the one to go for if you want your shoes to last for the longest time. A lot of skaters like how mellow it is.
Jessup uses silicon carbide on their griptape. This material doesn’t flake off as easy as other abrasives do and isn’t as sharp. That said, it won’t last that long as other brands and it mellows out kinda quickly.
Finally, the griptape comes in various sizes so you can get the right fit no matter the size of your skateboard, cruiser board or longboard.
That said, some skaters don’t like Jessup because they never reinvest back into skateboarding or sponsor events – Grizzly support events and competitions. That said if you want grip that is easy on your shoes, check out the Jessup here on Amazon.com.
Black Diamond Sheet of Grip Tape
With just over 15 years of experience in the industry, Black diamond has been around for a while. And whilst not as popular as the big three (Jessup, Mob or Shake Junt), I believe it is still a pretty good option.
The grip itself has excellent durability and maintains its sharpness for a long time. That said, when it wears down it develops bald spots especially where your foot rotates on the board. When it comes to grippyness, it is almost on par with mob grip, so it is quite sharp.
Finally, it rips up kinda easily so you should be careful when applying it – particularly cutting and poking your hardware.
This griptape comes in a ton of different colors. It is a great option if you like color matching or want your deck to look a certain way. The grip is also budget-friendly, so it is a good choice to keep those costs down (you can buy more than one and customize your board). Check it out here on Amazon.com.
Shake Junt Griptape
This grip is slightly grippier than Grizzly grip for comparison, but not as sharp as mob grip. Still, it is one of the sharpest grips in the industry and most skaters say it is very grippy. I don’t think it is a bad thing, the grip catches your foot when doing ollies and flip tricks fairly well.
One thing I’d say is that it doesn’t last as long and the sharpness mellows out over time. The edges also chip easily when cutting and don’t stay intact very long – this doesn’t affect performance but kinda makes your board look bad.
Finally, if your shake junt grip gets dirty, clean it with the grip cleaner I talk about in the guide below. If you use water, the shake junt graphic tends to fade. Check out the grip for yourself here on Amazon.com.
Lucid Spray on griptape
Different from other options on my list, this griptape is ‘spray-on’. This is how it works – it comes with sharp stones and glue. You sprinkle some bits of stones onto your board and then spray the adhesive to keep them stuck. Similar to normal griptape, without the paper
This type of grip isn’t good if you want to be doing ollies, flips and simply need consistent feeling grip on your board. It’s more appropriate if you’re just gonna be cruising around and your feet need a little bit of help not slipping off your board.
I think this grip is underrated. You can expose the top layer of your deck which is nice if it’s a cruiser with a nice maple or bamboo finish, or simply has a nice graphic on top. You can also put it on the only parts that need grip and not waste it on the whole board.
Finally, it won’t feel as sharp or aggressive as the other grips on my list.
It won’t be for everyone, but this grip will work great too. Check it out here on Amazon.com.
Black Widow Skateboard Griptape
The grip has a really good adhesive backing and sticks super well. It doesn’t tear like some of the other brands do. The griptape is fine, so it will be a bit slippier than Grizzly grip and more on par with grip Jessup.
It comes in a length of 33inches and a width of 9inches. It does come in the traditional black/grey grip color, but also has a few other color options you can choose from.
I don’t think there is much more to add about this brand. I think the only thing holding it back is how popular and widely used it is. It’s hard to find another core skateboarder being excited about this grip. Anyway, check it out here on Amazon.com.
How to buy the right griptape
You need to pick the right size grip for your board
An easy mistake people make is simply getting the wrong size of grip for their board. They do this because they choose one that is the EXACT width and length of their board. The griptape never fits properly because of concave, the shape of the kicktails, or fits crookedly and looks bad.
To get the right size grip for your skateboard deck, you need to pick one that is about an inch wider and two inches longer. This will give you loads of space to make sure every inch of the deck is covered and looks good.
Do you need a different griptape for longboards?
You can use the same grip used on skateboards for your longboard. But like I’ve said above, you just need to make sure you’re getting the right size of grip for your longboard.
The only difference is if you’re a downhill skater. You need a much coarser grip, so none on this list are gonna be good enough.
But otherwise yeah, the rules are pretty much the same. You pretty much apply grip and maintain your longboard as you would your skateboard.
Does is it matter how sharp the grip is?
A lot of pro skaters like really grippy grip. It helps them get their flip tricks perfect and just generally adds more control. That said, they also probably have a bigger budget for shoes than you and don’t mind destroying a pair a week.
I think, if you wanna be the best skater you can be, you should go for medium grip and invest heavily in shoe goo to help your shoes last longer.
If you like cruising around I suggest a sharp grip to help you stay locked in on your board. But generally, it doesn’t matter too much and any grip will do.
In some ways, getting the right grip is down to the individual. But finding what works best takes some experience and trial and error. If you’re a beginner, a good grip to start with is Grizzly grip. You can then decide if you want something mellower and choose your next grip accordingly.
How much should you pay for a griptape?
Typically, for skateboards, you are looking at paying $10 or less for your griptape. This price is consistent amongst most of the brands on my list.
If you choose to get a colored grip, you might be looking to pay around $15.
When it comes longboards, you are looking to pay a bit more for regular griptape since you’re getting a bigger size.
Finally, when it comes to downhill skateboards because you are getting coarser griptape, you will probably pay a lot more. Some of the lower tier brands have prices at $15, whilst the high-quality brands top out at $30.
How to take care of your griptape and how to clean it
To keep your griptape mint for a long time, you should simply avoid getting it dirty. So when skating around, avoid stepping in:
- or anything sticky,
and then stepping your griptape. As easy as this sounds, it is quite easy to absent-mindedly step in mud and then step on your grip. Fortunately, it is quite easy to get rid of the gunk and I explain how to clean your skateboard grip below.
Also, dust naturally accumulates on your deck, so doing some cleaning is necessary now and again.
How to clean your grip
So what happens to your grip when it gets dirty? When gunk gets on your grip, it coats it the grains and they lose their sharpness and grip. So to clean the grip, you need to get the gunk out. Here are some ways to do that:
- Grip cleaner – This is the best and easiest method you can use to clean your grip. Using a piece of rubber, it essentially gets between the grits of grip and gets the dirt out. It is a fairly affordable option and the cleaner lasts forever. It is also easy and quick to use, every skateboarder should have on handy in my opinion. Check out this cleaner here on Amazon.com. https://www.amazon.com/Black-Diamond-BD-Grip-Cleaner-Skateboard-Griptape/dp/B06WP75695/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=griptape+cleaner&qid=1574111762&sr=8-2
- Toothbrush – If you can’t get a grip cleaner, then a toothbrush works well too. You simply wet the board a little bit and scrub with the toothbrush in a circular motion to get the dirt out. The bad thing about this method is that it is very time-consuming and sometimes never gets all of the dirt out.
- Coarse brush – This method is pretty good for most grips, but is hard on the grains. It can reduce the sharpness of your grip. So only use it if you don’t mind a more mellow grip after cleaning it.
When should you change your griptape?
If you skate a lot, you would probably end up trashing your deck before needing to replace your grip. So if you skate often enough, you never really need to change griptape on the same deck.
For more casual skaters and cruisers, if you clean and maintain your grip often enough then you won’t need to change it all.
Which grip do you think is best?
With this many options and even a detail description of each, it can still be hard to choose. That said, I highly recommend most skaters go with this Grizzly grip, especially if they are unsure. Grizzly fits in the middle of sharp and mellow grip. After using it, most skaters will know for sure if they want really grippy or mellow grip. Or if they are comfortable with how grizzly grip feels.