DIY Longboard Renovation (graphics and Grip Tape)




After moving countries and leaving my longboard behind I needed a cheap replacement! I was inspired by another couple of instructables that I could re-do the graphics and grip tape myself -spending little to nothing.

Hopefully this helps other people, especially females that aren't perceived usually as good at DIY!

Any questions feel free to ask

Happy skating

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Step 1: Take Off Trucks

Take off the trucks using a spanner and a screw driver

Step 2: Get Rid of Old Grip Tape

This was a lot easier than I expected!
Peel up around the edges of the grip tape using a Stanley knife so it is peeled away from the board by about 1cm all the way around the edge of the deck. Then at the back of the deck start using the Stanley knife to get under the grip take even further and peel it up enough to get hold of it with two fingers. Then pointing a hairdryer down at the board, (mind your fingers) melt the glue by holding the hair dryer on the tape for about 5 seconds. As you do this pull on/peel up the grip tape using the other hand (see picture). It takes some co-ordination but was really quick and a lot easier than a lot of tutorials told me.

Step 3: Sand Down Old Graphics

Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do this by hand you can!

This takes a while and probably took me about 7 hours but that's fine I didn't want to buy a sander!

Start with a courser sandpaper and work towards a finer one.

I would have spent about 3 dollars on one sheet of course and one sheet of finer sandpaper if I hadn't found some in the shed.

Step 4: New Graphics

It is a big relief when all your old graphics are gone!

I suggest adding new ones before the grip tape as it will be easier to move your board if it doesn't have the tape yet.

For the board I used a cheap version of Posca pens (Uni ball paint pen), drew round some mugs and plates to get the shapes and went for it! Afterwards I used some wood waterproof varnish to seal it. I also varnished the top of the deck to make it look better.

Step 5: New Grip Tape

Here I spent ages looking for clear grip tape which isn't as common as I think it should be as it is much more aesthetically pleasing!

To apply the grip tape I simply peeled off one small end of the sticky back plastic cover and stuck it on the front of my board. Then, carefully I peeled the rest back and at the same time pressed it firmly onto the board (Kind of the reverse of getting rid of old tape, requires both hands doing different things).

Then comes the worst bit - trimming the tape to fit. I read that you could score the tape and then easily cut it with a Stanley knife but the scoring didn't work too well. I took about two hours care filling just cutting it to size using a Stanley knife.

Sorry for the lack of photos but I found this very tricky and stressful and forgot!

Step 6: Put It Back Together and Admire!

Ideally buy new wheels to finish it off (I clearly didn't !)

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    10 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Good job! Those are some beautiful graphics on there; could not believe there where hand done for a minuet or two.

    You should be proud of your accomplishment, I am sure all that hand sanding feels worth it now! ;)

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    Looks great. Where did you find clear grip tape in the end ?

    3 replies
    Jenofindlay XTL

    Reply 3 years ago


    I think! Make sure you check the width because that is only 10'' so not much room for error!


    Reply 3 years ago

    hey was it titled "Vicious griptape CLEAR?" because I want to buy it, this seems like the only clear grip I've seen that isn't cloudy.

    Jenofindlay xxxCHICAGOxxx

    Reply 3 years ago

    All clear grip tape, to my knowledge, is 'cloudy'. The sand or silicon or whatever it is that is stuck to the top so you can grip, makes it pretty unlikely to be completely transparent (I think?), and the one I used wasn't completely clear.

    It was this that I used and it was just called 'clear' even though it could be considered cloudy as you say.

    However after your comment I did some research and this thread is interesting. Looks like you can use glass then that would be completely transparent ? Although I'd rather have the option of being on my board barefoot.


    3 years ago

    great job. Those graphics are killer. I totally appreciate the hand sanding too. I also refuse to buy a power sander. kudos?

    1 reply