The grip tape is one of the things that helped revolutionize skateboarding. They allow you to have better grip in doing flips. Having better grip can make your Ollie higher and help you keep your feet on the board during high speed landings or huge drops. So choosing the right grip tape is necessary to avoid major inconveniences that come with a slippery board.
The first thing that you should do, as always, is research. Look for reactions or comments online on how a certain product performs. Also, go to your neighborhood skate shop and ask around for recommendation. But since most grip tapes are pretty similar these days, it may all boil down to your favorite pro using a specific brand of grip tape. Although some may claim that some brands last longer, have more grip and so on, factors like the shoes that you have and the shape of your deck can affect the results.
One thing to consider is the price, some are priced a few bucks less than others. You will likely notice that there is not that much difference between the different grip tapes on the market. After buying your grip tape, the next thing that you should do is make sure it fits your board. Most skate shops can help you install them but you can also do it yourself. First, remove the grip tape from its backing and lightly place it on top of the board but be sure that you will not make it stick yet. Then using a skateboard wheel on one of your trucks, use it like a roller to avoid air pockets that forms bubbles once trapped inside the grip tape. Start at the center of the board then roll to the outside. Once you are sure that it’s already free of air pockets, you can now trim the excess parts. You can use a razor blade to do this but you can also use a screwdriver to rub the corners of the board. This motion cuts the grip tape due to friction. You can also use the excess for you fingerboard if you have one.