Grip Tape Graphics
When skateboards are produced, they often contain plies of wood that were dyed in gorgeous and vibrant colours. Unfortunately, they are all too often covered up by the grip tape placed on top of the board.

To let these beautiful plies shine through, I like to cut small graphics or patterns out of the grip tape. These graphics or patterns are almost always related to something meaningful in my life at the time.
Palm Trees of All Kinds
Nov 2021
This was the second deck I put together in SF. Since I was a kid, palm trees have been my favorite type of tree simply due to their unique appearance and variety. To represent this, I created four abstract palm trees and lined up them up on top of my board.
California Coasting
Sept 2021
This deck was made when I made the life-changing decision to move to San Francisco, California. The iconic bear and star on the California state flag are included in the graphic. They sit upon a line close to the edge, stretching the whole length of the board, symbolic of the coastal geography.
The Golden Gate
Aug 2021
This deck was made when I went to visit San Francisco, California, for the first time. As California is the birthplace of skateboarding, this was a very exciting experience for me. And really... what better imagery to throw on a red top ply board, right?
Bring the Bass
Sept 2020
This grip tape graphic was made as a commission for a close friend who skateboards and plays bass guitar in his band.
An English Rose & Scottish Thistle
Apr 2020
As I am half English and half Scottish, I decided to make a negative space union jack that included both the classic English red and Scottish blue colours.
The Rising City
Oct 2019
After being introduced to the fantastic music of Hamilton, I created this “rising city” pictograph after being inspired by the “rise up” song in the musical. I forget what the actual name of the song is, but Laurence kills it, and you can't change my mind.
July 2019
Made around a past Canada Day, this graphic included the date of confederation, 1867, combined with the name of the capital city of Canada, Ottawa (where I live). I also included a miniature skyline of all the iconic buildings in Ottawa. The red ply felt appropriate for something Canada-related.
May 2019
When I made this board, I had just gotten my first tech job, and the company was located in an area called Hintonburg, within Ottawa. Hence why the name is written in a techy style font. The "O" also represents "Ottawa".
Oct 2018
Around this time, I was getting quite into typography, so I decided to try my hand at a fun conceptual block-built lettering graphic. Written in the block letters (very crudely, I might add) is A.R.Y.D which are my full initials.
Tied Together by Fate
Feb 2018
This board (one of my favourites) is inspired by the movie “Kimi no Nawa” which translates to “Your Name”. The premise of the movie is that two individuals are destined to find each other as they are tied together by the red ribbon of fate. This concept stems from beliefs found in Chinese mythology.
Aug 2017
This graphic frames a very poorly cut-out branch of the Japanese Sakura tree. The character above means “Sakura”.
The Flow of Water
May 2017
Still, on the high of recently picking up some Japanese, I made another graphic that included words written in the Katakana syllabary. The characters sound out "fu-ro-o" or “Flow” and below them is a classic Japanese-style water depiction, known as 青海波 (seigaiha).
A New Beginning
Dec 2016
The company that supports my skating, New Beginnings, unfortunately, had their family church burn down in 2016. This was undoubtedly devastating. While I couldn’t change what had happened, I did try to think positively and look towards the new beginning that would ultimately come rather than dreading what was no longer there. The text here translates to "Atarashi Kaishi" which means "New Beginning".
The Mountain
Sept 2016
Following suit with the grip graphic before this, I put a stylized mountain on my board as a motivational symbol for the climb of progress. I chose a mountain specifically as I had just returned from hiking in the Adirondacks in New York.
The Flame Within
Aug 2016
I hoped that by putting this little guy on my grip tape, I could stay motivated and driven to improve my skating. If he wasn’t going to give up (i.e. my board snap) then neither would I.
3D Geometry
July 2016
As I began learning how to sketch well in 3 dimensions for my university degree, I decided to try my hand at a 3D-shaped optical illusion type graphic on my grip tape. Turned out alright? Maybe?...
Pineapple in the 6
May 2016
This is the second in a pair of fruit-themed boards I created. No particular reason for the pineapple other than it being one of my favourite fruits.
Lemons for 2
Oct 2015
This was the first in a pair of fruit-themed boards I made. I chose lemons as the wedges looked cool and the yellow lines popped boldly like barrier tape.
Paisley at the Core
July 2015
Paisley has long been one of my favourite patterns and I wanted nothing more than to acquire paisley-patterned dress shirts when I was younger (lol). So, at the core (of me and the grip tape) I cut out an organic paisley tear drop pattern.
Opposing Waves
July 2015
In preparation for my trip to Woodward (a famous x-sports summer camp), I wanted to create something others might find eye-catching and intriguing. This one took me a whole damn week to make and it was not worth it. Did look cool though.
Cracks in the Foundation
Aug 2013
I have never cracked a board, which is quite uncommon for a skateboarder, so for fun I created a visual pattern that made the board look as though it was actually cracking and splitting. Of course, the board was actually quite solid and sturdy.
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