This is an awesome subject whichalso happens to be extremely controvertial. I want to point out some key characteristics for each each group of griptape (rouch and smooth). I haven’t seen much professional riders on rough griptape but to be honest, rouch grip tape isn’t all that bad at all.
Rough tape doesn’t have that god feel or grip that smooth tape has but still keeps durabitlity and precision on a top level. For example, smooth tape has good grip but with higher-end tricks, your fingers can slip. When you’re pressing too hard on the board or when you’re riding outside with the tape wet or extremely cold. Rough grip tape is perfect for outside conditions and hot/cold weather. Your fingers will almost never slip at more difficult tricks and the precision can make you finally land that perfect grind.
Now, when going for rough tape, you need to have medium grains, not too big. I even prefer sandpaper rather than anything else for more grip. Sure your fingers hurt after a while, but sometimes it’s worth it. Close-up grip tape is amazing, unfortunetly, they don’t have wide decks yet so the only place they can be put on are tech decks. So the next best is sandpaper 😀
Smooth grip tape is everywhere and most producers have it perfected. Mitt is a really good producer of fat, extra-smooth tape and it would be my favorite if after 2 weeks of using it, it didn’t come off into 30 thousand small black pieces. Blackriver smooth tape is harder but still very good. At the moment, I only use it. On one of my decks that I bought about 2 months ago, it’s still in near-perfect condition.
Of cource, there are alot more grip tapes out there and eventually we will find the best one but right now, we can safely assume that the Blackriver smooth tape is the best on around. And it’s not that expensive at all, only 6 euros for 3 uncut sheets + tuning set is not that bad… We’ll put up a review of their new smooth „slim & catchy” tape in a few days.