1HDC - 09.01 - Submission Forum

Laser-cut Grip Tape Inlay for a Longboard!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

After a string of increasingly complex 1HDCs we figure it’s time for a simpler task: make a graphic for a longboard skateboard! The twist here is that the design will be produced by laser-cutting grip tape for use on the top of the board (not the customary printing of a design on the underside of the board).

There’s also a functional element to consider with this one. Grip tape coverage of the top of the board has to be pretty complete, especially since grip-tape (aka sticky-backed 80-grit sandpaper) is what keeps the board attached to one’s feet, or vice-versa.

This is where the inlay technique comes in. Both black and clear rolls of tape are available to be laser-cut for your design, so you have two colors to play with: a positive and a negative; a foreground and a background. Laser-precision and computer control means that these two colors can be perfectly inlaid with each other for a seamless expanse of grip across the board. That said, please keep in mind that you should keep your design simple. Remember that the elements of your design (the individual pieces of laser-cut grip tape) will be applied to the board “by hand,” so tiny, very complex pieces will be impossible to execute.

Not that you have to go for this full coverage: if you have some super-cool pattern that could do with a little grip-free room to breath, then go for it. Just remember that tape is there for a reason, so coverage needs to be fairly complete. (If you want specifics, let’s set the safety-bar at around 80% coverage minimum.)

This should be considered a freeform exercise in self-expression, styling, novelty and/or wit. Submit one or submit a dozen designs if you can! Three winners will get their designs cut by Ponoko and mounted on Bustin Boards skateboards, which will be theirs to keep!


  1. Download the skateboard deck template here: http://www.core77.com/competitions/1hdc/1hdc_griptape.psd
  2. Work your graphic magic on the indicated Photoshop layer
  3. Save your image as a jpeg and post it to the discussion forum

Winning designs will be made and promoted by Ponoko and applied to 3 sweet longboards provided by the folks at Bustin Boards, furnished with Randal trucks and Bustin Bocas wheels. We’ll then ship out the completed boards to the winners!

Designs must be black and clear only.

Participants must execute their design in only 1 hour, based on an honor system. If you’d like to submit more than 1 design, take an hour on each.

Winners will be selected by Dan Emery, designer from Ponoko, Ryan Daughtridge, founder of Bustin Boards, and representatives from Core77. Community discussion is encouraged to help ensure that the best designs win.

Judging will be based on graphic design excellence and strength of concept.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd place designs will receive their winning design laser cut by Ponoko and applied to a Bustin Board longboard! They will also be featured in the Core77 Newsletter, on the Core77 Blog, on the Ponoko blog and newsletter, and on the Bustin Boards website.

Good Luck!

Board idea 1

Idea 2

In this design butterflies are flying out of a hole in an old television, much like bats out of a cave. Using negative space to create the lines of the image allows for maximum foot to board gripping action.

This design is a bit more abstract. Maybe monster footprints, or river stones? I guess it is whatever you see.

A good grip tape makes a board feel as though it were in reality an extension of the users own two feet. This grip tape attempts to relay that same tactile message. The board is an extension of your feet.

American Flag Griptape

Sushi Style

Old Skool Scroll

In the weeds


Foot Massage

black and clear grip tape

Board Idea with optical illusion bending through the logo


control freak griptape design…

lots of tape for good grip!

Simple Idea 1

Tree Idea 2

Waves Idea 3