How to apply deck grip in 7 easy steps!

Deck grip provides a couple of essential features that will help your skimboarding or surfing. Number 1, it provides more traction than regular wax. Number 2, the kick tail at the back of the pad allows you to feel where the back of the board is, and number 3 it gives you a visual guide of where to put your feet!

So you have just bought some deck grip and are ready to apply it to your board – how do you go about doing it? To make sure the deck grip stays stuck to your board, and doesn’t peel off, its best to take your time and apply it correctly from the start. Many deck grips do come with instructions on how to apply the grip, so make sure you read them first.

The instructions on this page is how we have been applying deck grip for a number of years and have never had a pad peel off yet!

What will I need?

You are going to need the following gear to enable you to successfully stick your pad.

  • Skimboard – pretty obvious!
  • Deck grip – again pretty obvious!
  • Marker pen or pencil – for marking the deck grip position on the board
  • 100 – 250 grit sandpaper – for removing the polish layer on the board
  • Wax remover or nail polish remover – for cleaning the board
  • Kitchen towel/toilet paper– for wiping the board clean

Getting started: Textured Deck?

First thing to consider is has your skimboard got a textured deck? Some skimboards, have a textured deck that will have to be sanded smooth before you can apply your deck grip. Skimboards that can have textured decks include some Zap’s and Exile’s.

Assuming you have a smooth deck, and if necessary you have removed all the wax, then here’s how to apply any type of deck grip to your skimboard. Remember, this method can be also be used for applying stickers to the deck of your skimboard.

Let’s get down to business

  1. Unwrap the deck grip, place it on your skimboard in the position you want it to be. You want it to be 2 or 3 inches from the tail of the board. You will need to decide if you want your deck grip pieces spaced out or kept all together.
  2. Take a marker pen or pencil and place a mark on the deck of the skimboard for each side of the deck grip. Then remove the outer pieces of the deck grip so you are left with the main central piece in place on the board. Mark the edges of this piece on the board. This will allow you to easily align the grip in the right place later on.
  3. Get some sandpaper (100-250grit) and lightly sand the surface where you want to place the deck grip. Sand the entire area between your pen marks, paying particular attention to where the edges of the deck grip will be. Be careful not to remove your pen marks completely! This removes the polish layer that the manufacturer applies to make the skimboard shine in the shop! If its a brand new board, taking sandpaper to your new pride and joy is always a difficult thing to do, but this stage will ensure your deck grip stays put for a long time.
  4. Now you have your deck grip area sanded, it’s the time to clean the area thoroughly. Take some kitchen towel and some wax remover or nail polish remover and wipe over the entire area where the deck grip is to be placed. Let it dry completely.
  5. Your skimboard is now ready to accept the deck grip. Take the main central piece of the deck grip and peel off the backing sheet. Carefully place the piece on the board, aligning the edges with your pen marks. Press down on the grip firmly, paying particular attention to the edges. Now add the remaining pieces in the same way, remember to press firmly on the edges of the deck grip!
  6. If you want, you can clean off any remaining guideline marks on the board with the wax remover or nail polish remover.
  7. Your grip is now ready to go and should stay on your board for a long time! Get out there and hit those waves!

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  1. I’m desperately trying to get info on tailpad types / styles … as a beginner I’m not sure whether the ones available on ebay will be best for my board or needs, I don’t know if there is a difference between surfboard tailpads and skim pads etc. I’ve been trying to ask on facebook at Skim UK but they aren’t active there at all …no one replies.

    1. Not much difference between surf tailpads and skim pads – Ive had both on my boards over the years – so the best advice I can give is to just choose a design/colours that you like.

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