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Grip Tape Stencils » Skateboard Art in unlikely places

Creativity can be a bitch. Everyone has an off-day, but on that particular day don't do something stupid to your brand new deck - wait and do something insanely cool. Avoid boredom - no one likes a bore.

Skateboard art is usually relegated to the under side of the deck, ignoring the full size canvas that is usually covered in plain black grip tape. Stand up - challenge the standard and make the top of your deck pretty as hell with a touch of artistic flair or the tip of a screwdriver.

Stencils are an excellent way to customize your deck with a unique design - not the same old crap everyone does. After becoming a strong element in street art, stencil work has gone on to become a creative medium off the street. Your deck is the perfect canvas for your artistic ability, even if you have none. Back in the day (my time) nearly all decks had artwork on the top side. Usually it was the manufacturer's logo or a smaller element of the grind-side design. It was common to leave a gap in the grip tape to display this top-side image.

Today, kids just slap a length of grip across the top and call it a day. Screw that. It's boring and lazy. Buy a can (or two) of spray paint or some paint markers and see if you can't concoct a visual masterpiece. Think of it as creating a tattoo for your deck. Skating is about creativity, why have a boring dark-side?

Most art supply stores sell various stencils or you can make your own. Dig up a cool sticker with a skull or other sinister looking image (no sissy crap) and cut out a stencil from it. Or visit a site like to get your creative flow going.

Using a combination of images and lettered stencils, creating an awesome graphic is not as hard as you might think. The important thing is to do something that means something to YOU. Just like a tattoo, you don't want something idiotic permanently adorning your ride.

Test your skills first. Start on a sheet of paper to see how your design looks. If you dig it, try the same on a length of grip tape. When you think you've got it, then apply the grip to your deck. If you screw it up and its already stuck on your board, there's not a whole lot you can do to correct the problem. Other than setting it on fire.

Here's something fun to do:
Grab your buddy's deck and use a nail to etch a large penis on his deck. Won't he be stoked when he gets to ride his sporty new Dick-deck. This prank is particularly funny the night before a big contest or other public event that may make your buddy wilt with shame.

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