Longboarding is a super fun outdoor activity, especially if you are a fan of performing various stunts. However, the same cannot be said when you have to remove grip tape on a longboard.
The essential task at hand is to clean the grip tape but be aware that you also have to clean the place once you are finished. Although cleaning sounds like a tedious chore, it can quickly be done in a matter of minutes if you know the right steps and have patience.
Hence, we will elaborate on how you can clean it on your own and have a longboard that looks as good as new. Read ahead and find out more.
Why Do You Need to Clean Longboard Grip Tape?
Often, the grip tape on a longboard gets dirty or goes through some wear-and-tear after being used a couple of times. Not only does this make the deck less appealing, but it also reduces the grip’s traction. It can get challenging to ride the longboard if the grip tape fails to perform all its functions.
Here is a list of advantages of cleaning a grip tape:
The primary purpose of a grip tip is to maintain stable traction between the board and your shoes. Naturally, you will move from different angles when riding, so keeping your feet fixed in one position is of utmost priority.
Ssometimes people forget to clean and change the grip tape on their longboard. As a result, they are exposed to the danger of falling and injuring themselves.
You can easily cut down on some costs by carrying out the job in the comfort of your home.
There is no need to commute to a repair shop and pay a considerable sum of money for something you can do yourself. Besides, it is an excellent practice to learn how to take care of your possessions. When you do it a few times, it will gradually develop into a habit and no longer be tedious.
Even when the tape appears to be stuck to the surface, you must ensure that it does not accumulate too much dirt.
In some cases, the grip tape might be jammed onto the surface, but you should not try to tear it off by exerting too much pressure. This will only cause more damage, which means you have to work twice as hard to repair it.
If you want to get your money’s worth, make sure to regularly clean the deck to get rid of the mud deposited on it.
Not removing the dirt leads to reduced resistance on the surface, which, in turn, causes rapid deterioration of the tape. This means that you will be able to use a specific grip tape for only a few days.
How to Remove Grip Tape
Now select any of these three methods based on your preferences and tools available to you.
The Cleaner Method
To do this, you need a couple of materials such as a wire brush or toothbrush with rigid bristles, liquid cleaner, and a microfiber cloth.
Step 1: Form a Liquid Mixture
If you do not have a cleaner, mix soap and water to get the same result. Do not worry about using liquid because longboards are water-resistant. But do avoid using too much water as it can destroy the wood quality.
Step 2: Scrub the Grip Tape
Dip your choice of the brush into the liquid mixture and then scrub the top of the grip tape with it. Feel free to take as much time as you need to take out all sorts of dirt attached to it.
Step 3: Use a Microfiber Cloth for Drying Purposes
Now dry the grip tape for a while before using the microfiber cloth. What you have to do is mildly tap the fabric onto the surface instead of rubbing forcefully. Too much pressure will tear off the tape.
Step 4: Dry It before Using
You must let the longboard dry for at least three hours before riding on it. If you use it immediately, all your efforts will go into vain.
The Grip Gum Method
This is more applicable for regular use because it does not do a great job of removing layers and layers of filth. However, it is more straightforward, quicker, and more efficient. There are only three steps:
Step 1: Buy the Gum/Eraser
Get either grip gum or cement eraser from a shop, usually one that sells hardware or art supplies.
Step 2: Rub the Surface
Rub the gum or eraser back and forth across the grip tape.
Step 3: Collect Dirt
Use any kind of brush to collect the dirt formed from the rubbing.
The Blade and Heat Method
This is an additional method to teach you how to change the grip tape if it gets too dirty to clean.
Select a vacant space where you can execute this task. When choosing the place, keep in mind that the process will scatter debris everywhere. The garage, backyard, or terraces are all feasible options.
For this method, you will need a few tools – a socket wrench, screwdriver, hairdryer, and sharp blade, or knife.
Step 1: Unscrew the Trucks
At first, use one hand to reposition the nut underneath the truck with a socket wrench and the other hand to unscrew the bolts on the car with a screwdriver. Repeat this process for all four trucks on your board. It is easier to do this if you lay the board on a plane surface.
Step 2: Provide Heat Using a Hairdryer
Next, use a hairdryer to provide heat to each end of the grip tape for two minutes. This will unstiffen the grip tape so you can easily remove it without applying any force.
Step 3: Peel off the Tape
Use a blade or knife, whatever is available, to peel off the tape. Hold the sharp object at a 45-degree angle and glide it across the deck and under the tape. Simultaneously, use the hairdryer on the portion you are cutting off. This combination allows the process of loosening to be effortless as well as scathe-free.
Step 4: Pull the Tape off of the Longboard
Once you can cut off the tape, hold the board with one hand while you pull the whole tape off with another hand. Of course, you should pull gently, or else some of the tape might remain stuck and create abrasions.
Step 5: Scrape off the Leftovers
If there are still some leftovers after you have pulled it with your hand, use a blade to scrape it off. You can use the hairdryer in this process too to reduce the risks of scratches.
Clean the Grip Tape on your Longboard Now!
To make the best of longboarding, remove the grip tape frequently as per the instructions mentioned above. You don’t have to change the longboard grip tape if you clean the current one occasionally.
Do not forget to wear a mask to prevent you from inhaling dust and goggles to protect your eyes.