Silica Sand and Varnish
Homemade alternatives to the standard grip tape used on skateboards include silica sand and varnish. To make this grip tape alternative, simply sprinkle the silica sand onto the deck of your board, then paint over it with varnish. You can easily customize this method to fit your needs by adjusting the amount of silica sand. Boaters also use this homemade grip tape to make nonslip steps on their boats.
Another alternative to standard grip tape is pine tar, a blackish-brown liquid derived from trees. Pine tar is most generally made from inexpensive pine wood. Although not a very attractive alternative, pine tar can be applied directly to the deck of your board. It provides excellent nonslip properties, but will show dirt easily. Pine tar, also an ideal sealant and waterproofing agent, is commonly used to preserve the bottoms of boats.
Textured paints are commonly used on the rungs and steps of ladders to provide grip. You can usually find these paints at hardware stores in the paint department. You can easily apply this simple alternative to grip tape to your skateboard deck to provide excellent gripping qualities. Prior to applying the paint, clean the board's deck for maximum adhesion.
Grit Strip Adhesive
Finally, you can paint grit strip adhesive onto the deck of your board. Along with providing excellent gripping properties, the grit strip adhesive acts a sealant and provides a long-lasting bond. Grit strips are also available with a peel-off backing to expose an adhesive. In addition to skateboards, grit strips provide grip on stairs, boats, docks and walkways.