The rough black surface
on your skateboard
which keeps your board glued to your feet while you're pulling off skateboarding
tricks. It's really only sandpaper
with an adhesive
so you can apply it to your board.
You can usually get the shop you bought your deck from to put the griptape on for you, but if you can't, this is the best way to get a nice finish:
1. Get your griptape and get someone to hold one end (still stuck to its paper) at one of the kicks, then roll it out along the length of the board to the other kick. Push it down so you can tell just how much you need, then mark the length with a pencil. Cut off the excess (use scissors you either don't mind if they get scuffed, or are meant for cutting rough things) and put it aside, it is good to keep.
2. Remove the paper and begin sticking it down onto the deck. Make sure you start with the tip of one of the kicks (don't worry about the overhang for now). Be careful not to get air bubbles trapped in areas. Smooth it down from the inside out.
3. Now grab that pair of scissors again. Start cutting away the excess, getting as close to the edge as you can. You won't be able to get it right down to the edge, but don't worry about it. Now you need to go grab a file (not a nail file) and file away at whatever excess is left. File it at a 45 degree angle so you can see a thin line of the deck around the edge, this should prevent fraying.
4. (optional) Using a stanley knife, cut the sickest design you can think of into your griptape. I usually cut either my tag, Big Alba, or Dragon Ball Z into it, but you can do whatever you want. I've seen some go all out and cut dragons and tigers into their griptape which look like they were drawn in Ancient China, so let your creativity flow!