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Published Dec. 19, 2020

Slick surfaces can be surprisingly dangerous. Whether you’re dealing with a set of slippery stairs, a smooth and slip-ready floor, or a less-than-grippy skateboard deck, a lack of grip can lead to falls, accidents, and serious injuries. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix: grip tape. Wonderfully versatile and exceptionally grippy, grip tape is a textured material that feels a bit like sandpaper under your fingertips. It adds extra grip and stability wherever it’s placed. 

You can stick grip tape onto your skateboard’s surface, on a particularly dangerous set of stairs, and so much more. Highly versatile and easy to use anywhere, grip tape is a handy addition to anyone’s toolbox. It’s even available in different textures, sizes, and designs. Check out some of the best grip tapes available.

The Best Grip Tape

 

This product is built for heavy-duty use and can be used indoors or outdoors, in rain or bright sunlight. This grip tape offers an extra layer of safety wherever it’s placed. Each roll of this textured adhesive tape measures 4 inches x 35 feet, giving you plenty of tape for whatever you need to cover. Made to deliver professional-grade quality, this tape is highly durable and long lasting. It’ll prevent slips, falls, and skids whether you use it to cover your skateboard deck or add traction to your stairs, ladders, and more. 

Designed for the ultimate versatility, it can be used anywhere. Constructed with 80 grit aluminum oxide, this grip tape features an ideal slip-proof texture. One thing to keep in mind with this grip tape is that it may not work as well on rougher surfaces.

Key Features
  • Measures 4 inches x 35 feet
  • Can be applied on rough or smooth surfaces
  • Resistant to water, detergents, and oils
  • Indoor and outdoor safe
Specification
  • Brand Trazon
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 1.89 pounds
PROS

Adds extra traction on wet and dry surfaces

Can be cut to size and easily applied

Backed by a 100 percent money-back guarantee

CONS

May not stick as well on rough surfaces

Specifically designed for skaters and their boards, this grip tape is large and made to survive tough everyday use. And it’s affordable too, which gives you a great bang for your buck. Available in sheets that measure 9 x 33 inches, this grip tape is clear, so once it’s applied to your skateboard or longboard, you can still see whatever’s underneath. It’s also specifically designed to be stuck right onto wood, making it an excellent choice for any board. The sticky adhesive of this grip tape can stay on even in extreme heat or extreme cold, and it won’t peel away. 

While this grip tape is a great value pick, it can be tricky to place around curves. Also, if there are any air bubbles present, they will be visible after installation.

Key Features
  • Measures 9 x 33 inches per sheet
  • Can cover multiple skateboards
  • Coarse grit texture
  • Strong all-weather adhesive
Specification
  • Brand Black Widow
  • Model 0401
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Easy to cut to size

Impressively sticky and adhesive

Almost invisible so you can see your board

CONS

Can be tricky to place around curves

Any air bubbles present will be visible after installation

This tape will increase safety and traction and glows in the dark for an added layer of fun. A photoluminescent stripe shines in low-light conditions, lighting the way in darkness. Each roll of grip tape measures 6 inches x 33 feet and is made out of PET material instead of PVC. PET creates a strong barrier against water and moisture, acids, gases, oils, and even UV rays. This means the grip tape is tougher, more durable, and stronger than its competitors. With hypo-allergenic 80 grit aluminum oxide for traction, you can use this highly sticky tape on everything from skateboards to stairs and ramps. It’ll stick to everything from plastic to metal to concrete to wood, and it’s weather- and waterproof.

One thing to consider about this grip tape is that it may peel and pull at corners. It can especially come loose in extreme weather conditions.

Key Features
  • Measures 6 inches x 33 feet
  • Withstands extreme temperatures
  • Made out of PET material 
  • Withstands water, alcohol, oil, and more
Specification
  • Brand LifeGrip Safety
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 2.4 pounds
PROS

Can be used on smooth and rough surfaces

Won’t crack, peel, or disintegrate even if used outdoors

Glows in the dark

CONS

May peel and pull at corners

Can come loose in extreme weather conditions

Easy to apply and tough enough to stick for a long time, this grip tape measures 4 inches x 33 feet. It’s created with three layers of adhesive, and it’s durable enough to be weatherproof. A single roll covers a ton of surface, and you’ll get the grip of 80 grit aluminum oxide wherever it’s placed. Waterproof and suitable for use indoors and outdoors, this grip tape also resists detergents and oils. It’ll adhere to any surface, and you can cut it to size for your needs.

While this grip tape is overall durable, some users report that the grip can lessen over time and may peel off in rain or colder weather. The tape can also fail if the material it’s applied to is dirty.

Key Features
  • Measures 4 inches x 33 feet
  • Made with three layers of adhesive
  • Features 80 grit aluminum oxide
  • Suitable for all surfaces
Specification
  • Brand EdenProducts
  • Model 15959523
  • Weight 1.61 pounds
PROS

Three times strong than competing grip tape

Can be used even on wet surfaces

Can survive a wide range of temperatures

CONS

Grip can lessen over time

May peel off in rain and cold weather

Grip can fail when material is dirty

This impressive grip tape, which is available in a 4-inch x 30-foot roll of black tape, gets stickier and more adhesive when pressure is applied to its surface. That means the more you step on this tape, the better it’ll hold. The surface features 80 grit aluminum oxide, which is abrasive enough to provide traction anywhere you need it. You can stick it on walkways, equipment, decks, or your skateboard. Suitable for indoor or outdoor use, it’s a great choice for high-traffic applications — which means you can use it over and over again without worry. This grip tape is waterproof and coated with an aggressive, pressure-sensitive adhesive made out of acrylic, so it’ll live up to your needs over time.

However, keep in mind that this grip tape won’t stick to wet surfaces, like damp wood. The tape also might come off if excessive weight is applied to it.

Key Features
  • Measures 4 inches x 30 feet
  • Suitable for indoor or outdoor surfaces
  • Waterproof
  • Surface features 80 grit aluminum oxide
Specification
  • Brand Tape King
  • Model TK-020
  • Weight 1.62 pounds
PROS

Adhesive is designed to survive a lot of wear

Highly durable over the long-term

Easy to apply to any clean surface

CONS

Won’t stick to wet surfaces, like damp wood

May come off once weight is on the tape

As the preferred grip tape of professional skaters, this product offers all of the qualities you expect from grip tape. This black tape is available in 9 x 33 inch sheets, and it’s designed to be cut to fit the size and shape of your board. Suitably sticky for wood surfaces, this grip tape bonds to your skateboard deck’s surface and offers superior durability. It’ll give you the grip and the traction needed to land tricks, with a surface made out of silicon carbide grit and an aggressive adhesive that’s specially designed for skateboards. You’ll enjoy increased riding control, and the grippy, gritty surface isn’t harsh on shoes.

One thing to consider is that this grip tape can be difficult to cover an entire skateboard with. Also, reviewers have reported that the tape arrived creased and cracked, so check your product upon delivery.

Key Features
  • Measures 9 x 33 inches
  • Surface is made with silicone carbide grit
  • Adhesive is designed for wood surfaces
  • Can be cut to size
Specification
  • Brand Jessup Grip Tape
  • Model N/A
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Designed specifically for the wear and tear of skating

Long-lasting in grit and adhesive

Offers traction and stability under feet

CONS

Can arrive creased and cracked

Difficult to cover an entire skateboard with

Designed to fit skateboard decks and survive the demanding wear and tear of skating, this grip tape measures 11 x 44 inches in size and can be cut to suit the shape and curves of your board. It’s made with high-quality traction materials, including an exclusive OS780 diamond silicon grit that undergoes a unique binding process so it won’t wear down or wear out easily. Waterproof and made to survive extreme heat and extreme cold, this tape won’t peel or crack. And although this grip tape is designed for skateboards, it can also be cut into smaller strips and used for stairs, slick surfaces, and more to add traction.

Something to note about this grip tape is that it may lift at the corners over time. Also, the grip can become a bit slippery with use.

Key Features
  • Measures 11 x 44 inches
  • Easy to cut to size and shape
  • Features tiny perforations to prevent air bubbles
  • Made with silicon carbide grit
Specification
  • Brand Zuext
  • Model Longboard Grip Tape Black
  • Weight 8.01 ounces
PROS

Designed to survive extreme temperatures

Specifically made for rough use

Super sticky adhesive really lasts

CONS

May lift at the corners over time

Grip can become slippery with use

Each sheet of this grip tape measures 9 x 33 inches, giving you each to cover the surface of your skateboard deck from edge to edge. With an exclusive silicon carbide grit binding process, this grip tape is designed to stay rough and provide extra traction throughout many, many rides. The adhesive backing on this tape is extra sticky, and it won’t ever fully come off your board. It’ll even stay put in extreme heat and extreme cold. The rough, gritty surface of the tape is designed for technical skateboarding, giving you the right balance of foot grip and quick release ability. Even better, this grip tape is lightweight, tear-resistant, and waterproof.

Be aware that some people have reported their grip tape arrived curled or with creases. The grip tape may be cracked and damaged from its packaging, so double-check your product upon arrival.

Key Features
  • Measures 9 x 33 inches
  • Texture is made with silicon carbide
  • Ultra sticky adhesive
  • Waterproof and temperature-proof
Specification
  • Brand Mob Grip
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 3.84 ounces
PROS

High-strength tape that won’t peel off

Specially designed for skateboarding use

Tough enough for everyday wear

CONS

Can arrive curled or with creases

May be cracked and damaged due to packaging

Made with skateboarders in mind, this grip tape is designed to adhere to your deck with no bubbles and no peeling edges. Each sheet of grip tape measures 10 x 36 inches in size and is covered in a grit made from silicon carbide. You can easily lay the sheet over your board’s deck and stick it right into place. It stands 1/32 inch thick and is super sticky, with resistance to both cold and hot temperatures. You can cut this tape to size to fit your board’s contours, and it adds just the right amount of friction underneath your feet.

While this tape is easy to cut on its own, it can be tricky to cut it once it is stuck to your board. Also, be aware that the tape may slide or move around during the application process.

Key Features
  • Measures 10 x 36 inches
  • Grit made from silicon carbide
  • 1/32 inch thick
  • Can survive heat and cold
Specification
  • Brand Mr. Pen
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 8.78 ounces
PROS

Designed to stick securely to wood surfaces

Features a bubble-free application

Manufactured for great durability

CONS

Can be tricky to cut once stuck on your board

May slide or move around during application process

You can use this grip tape not just for your skateboard but also for scooters, sliding plates, wheelchairs, and flat surfaces in need of more secure footing. Made in sheets that measure 45.2 x 10.6 inches in size, this tape is designed to be bubble-free, with barely-visible perforations across the surface to allow for smooth, easy application. Made with silicon carbide grit, the tape is strong and able to deliver traction even after many uses and much wear. You can be confident in the extra grip this tape offers, which will improve your ride, your ability to master tricks, and to ride safely.

While this grip tape is an overall decent choice, the tape itself can tear easily. Also, its sandpaper-like grip can destroy your knife or scissors while cutting it to size.

Key Features
  • Measures 45.2 x 10.6 inches
  • Grit made from silicon carbide
  • Designed for skateboards as well as other applications
  • Stands 1.5 millimeters thick
Specification
  • Brand BooTaa
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 9.59 ounces
PROS

Waterproof and able to handle moisture or rain

Super sticky adhesive really lasts

Backed by a lifetime warranty

CONS

Can tear easily

Sandpaper-like grip can destroy your knife or scissors while cutting the tape to size

Best Grip Tape Buying Guide & FAQ

Grip tape is a pretty simple and straightforward product, but choosing the right tape can be tricky. Different grip tapes come in various patterns, sizes, and even colors, and some are better suited for different uses. If you’re trying to choose quality grip tape, you have plenty of options.

Wondering where to start your search? Have questions along the way? Our buying guide will help lead you to the best grip tape available, whether you need some extra traction or a new grippy surface for your skateboard’s deck.

Why Do You Need Grip Tape?

Grip tape is one convenient product: you can use it anywhere — on the deck of your skateboard, on the edges of stairs, on ramps, and even on equipment like ladders. With the ability to add traction and potentially turn slick, dangerous surfaces into sturdier footing, grip tape can prevent accidents and injuries. It can be beneficial in workplaces and areas that see a lot of foot traffic. Many benefits come with a single sheet or roll of grip tape with an endless number of uses.

  • Grip tape is coarse enough to prevent slips and falls with extra traction.
  • This special tape can be used indoors or outdoors in many different environments.
  • Grip tape can be cut to size and customized, so it’ll fit anywhere.
  • Many grip tapes can survive both harsh weather and temperature extremes.
  • Grip tape provides extra grip to keep your footing more sure and secure.

Types of Grip Tapes

Inclined plane with grip tape Grip tape is useful indoors and out

Different rolls and sheets of grip tape might not seem very different from one another. After all, grip tape is pretty straightforward — it’s an adhesive tape that features a textured side for extra grip. But there can actually be quite a bit of variety available, with different grip tapes made to suit different situations and uses. 

Standard Grip Tape

Standard grip tape is the kind of grip tape you’re likely most familiar with. It’s an adhesive tape that features an extra grippy surface for traction. This tape can have varying levels of grit or surface harshness. Some are gentler, softer grits that are easy on shoes and their rubber soles. Others feature harsher grits for the highest level of traction.

Standard grip tape is the best choice if you’re looking to prevent slips and falls. It can combat wet or slippery surfaces, and for skateboarders, it can provide critical underfoot traction. Available in many different sizes and shapes, you have many choices for standard grip tape.

Specialized Grip Tape

Specialized grip tape is like standardized grip tape, with sticky adhesive backing and a rough surface covered in grit. However, specialized grip tape is slightly different and tends to offer something that standard options cannot. 

For example, some specialized grip tape features advanced “tech grit” designed for specific uses like technical or beginner skateboarding. Other specialized grip tapes will feature gentler grit that’s soft on shoes and won’t rip up rubber soles. It can also include colored grip tape, glow-in-the-dark tape, and tape with custom or unique artwork. Specialized grip tape stands out with features that either adds benefits or style.

Non-Abrasive Grip Tape

Some grip tape isn’t that abrasive at all. If you’re hoping to achieve better grip without ripping up your shoes or dealing with harsh material, non-abrasive grip tape is an option. A relatively new creation, non-abrasive grip take offers the same sticky adhesion and stronger traction (or grip) without any damage.

This special type of grip tape is made from rubber or rubber compounds. The rubber gives it the same kind of grip and traction that you’d get from coarse, textured standard grip tape. With a combination of molecular adhesion and something called the “plow effect,” non-abrasive grip tape achieves the same level of friction while keeping your shoes in perfect condition.

What to Consider When Buying Grip Tape

When you’re buying grip tape, there are two critical factors to consider: the adhesive and the grit. These two details determine how effective grip tape will be, and they can affect the quality in many ways.

The adhesive used determines how well the grip tape will stick once applied to an item or a surface. Weak adhesive means problems like peeling and curling edges are likely to appear after the tape’s been in use for a while. A strong, multilayered adhesive offers better bonding, and it often means the grip tape can be used in many types of weather, indoors and outdoors, and for a long time.

Grit, meanwhile, determines just how grippy a roll of grip tape is. A higher grit gives you more grip, more traction, and more hold. Lower grit may not be as effective — but it can be gentler on the soles of your shoes.

Care and Maintenance for Grip Tape

Grip tape is pretty easy to maintain. Typically, this unique type of tape can withstand just about everything. From extreme temperatures to water, moisture, and even chemicals, many grip tapes are built to maintain their grip and stickiness under all kinds of adverse conditions. Just make sure to double-check any special requirements of the specific type of grip tape you’re using before application.

Man climbing ladder with grip tape
Grip tape makes for sure footing on all kinds of surfaces

To keep grip tape in tip-top shape, you may need to replace it every so often. As the tape sees wear and tear, its grit can wear away, becoming less effective. Make sure to keep an eye on any dirt or debris that might collect on the surface of grip tape and cause traction loss.

  • If your grip tape begins peeling up along the edges and corners, it’s time to replace it.
  • Cracking and the appearance of bald spots means your grip tape is losing its grip.
  • Wash away any built-up dirt that gathers on your grip tape with water. 
  • Always clean the surface before applying a new strip or sheet of grip tape to get good adhesion.

Best Grip Tape FAQs:

If you need help picking out the right grip tape for the job, you probably have plenty of questions. With subtle differences between different types — and even brands — of grip tape, there’s quite a bit to think about before you buy. We’re answering some of the most frequently asked questions about grip tape below.

Q: Is water bad for grip tape?

Many grip tapes can handle both water and different types of moisture or liquids. Just double-check that the specific grip tape you’re considering is waterproof, water-resistant, or weatherproof.

Q: Can you replace grip tape?

Yes—as grip tape becomes cracked, worn, or less effective, you can easily pull up the tape and apply a new strip or sheet. 

Q: Can you longboard without grip tape?

You’ll get a better grip — and prevent embarrassing issues like slipping right off your board — if you apply grip tape to your longboard. 

Our Top Pick

Our pick for the best grip tape is Trazon Grip Tape, a versatile and high-quality product. This extra-grippy grip tape sticks onto indoor and outdoor surfaces, and it’s made to survive everything from rainstorms to bright sunlight. You can use it on slick surfaces, stairs, decks, or the deck of your skateboard for extra traction and a more secure foot grip. 

Final Thoughts

Trazon Grip Tape is a fantastic all-around choice if you’re looking for the best, most effective grip tape. However, you should also consider Black Widow Skateboard or Longboard Grip Tape if you’re looking for an affordable option specifically for your skateboard.

Sources:

  1. How to Put Griptape on a Skateboard – wikiHow

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