Skateboard griptape is basically a strong sandpaper that sticks to the top of your deck in order to provide traction while you are riding or attempting to control the board for a trick.
Without griptape, the smooth wood of your skateboard deck can be very slippery which does not allow for much control. The grit of the griptape grabs onto your shoe and allows you to guide to board with your feet while you ollie or kickflip.
Griptape comes in different colors and designs. Custom designs can be formed by cutting the griptape with a utility knife or you can cut out a piece to reveal your decks birthmark graphic.
Be sure to replace your griptape when it begins to feel smooth or is extremely dirty.Skateboard Griptape - Keeping your feet on the board by Skatessentials