I think the difference with the skateboard tape is the material it is being stuck to.
The problem with the grip tape isnst so much that it doesnt stick, as it is that it doesnt hold its aggressive texture very long.
I really never had any troubles getting the tape to stick when applied properly (except on some rounded edges), it was having to constantly replace it because it lost its "stickiness" due to the grit wearing away, and not being to always get it where I wanted it that got old.
As for looks (not that looks really have anything to do with functionality), a reasonably done stippling job generally looks way better than a bunch of tape slapped on in appropriate places, especially when its worn and ratty in different stages of wear.
I would imagine with heat on polymer it will leave a lot of thin edges around each dimple.
Thats what tends to give that cat tongue/grip tape/sandpaper feel. The big difference is, it doesnt wear or rub away nearly as quickly as grip tape. It really doesnt wear away at all, but the "sharpness" does seem to soften a little over time and use. Its easily touched up though.
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