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Powell & Peralta

Powell & Peralta

Powell & Peralta is an American skateboard company founded by George Powell and Stacy Peralta in 1978. The company became famous in the 80s, at the time when skateboarding was slowly becoming established as a sport. Powell & Peralta invented the Bones Brigade, a team that brought together all the top riders of the time. Peralta left Powell in 1991 and George started producing skateboards and accessories under the names Powell, Bones Bearings and RollerBones. The 2 founders later reunited to revive the old products under the name Powell Classic.


George Powell studied engineering at Stanford University and began producing his first skateboards in 1957. In 1974, Powell's son asked his father for a skateboard. Powell took an old board out of the garage, but his son told him that it didn't run so well and the board rolled very badly. Powell's interest in skateboarding was rekindled when he realised that urethane wheels provided an improved riding experience. With this realisation, Powell took off again and produced his own boards and wheels. He bought urethane and "baked" his own wheels. He also used new materials such as aluminium and fibreglass to make his own composite boards. One of the test riders of his flexible slalom boards was Stacy Peralta.

When Powell's job in the aerospace industry was cancelled, he moved from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara to do his own thing in the skateboard industry. In 1976 George built the Quiksilver ProSlalom deck, which was marketed by Sims. This was followed by the innovative Quicktail board. He developed wheels called "Bones", so named because someone told Powell the wheels were the colour of human bones. Skateboarding changed and George Powell switched to the manufacture and development of wooden laminates (boards).

The foundation of Powell Peralta:

In 1978, George and Stacy Peralta decided to found Powell Peralta together. Peralta was already a big name in the skateboard industry and took care of building the team and marketing. In 1979 they founded the Bones Brigade, a team that brought together all the top riders of the time. Powell Peralta created his own style with skeleton designs by Vernon Courtland Johnson. These designs stood out from the crowd and helped Powell Peralta become one of, if not the brand of the 1980s. They produced the now famous Tony Hawk Iron Cross board, as well as the Mc Gill Skull and Snake, the Caballero Dragon, the Lance Mountain Future Primitive, the Ray Underhill Cross and the Ollie Tank, while continuing to produce Bones Wheels.


Powell Peralta began producing the Bones Brigade videos, which are among the most influential skateboard videos of the time and are absolute classics today. Powell Peralta started producing videos in 1982. These videos are:

Skateboarding In The Eighties (1982)
The Bones Brigade Video Show (1984)
Future Primitive (1985) The Search for Animal Chin (1987)
Public Domain (1988)
Axe Rated (1988)
Ban This (1989)
Propaganda (1990)
Eight (1991)
Celebrity Tropical Fish (1991)

The decline and development of Powell Corporation:

In the late 80s, small, skater-run brands such as World Industries emerged and stole market share and customers from the big companies. Powell Peralta suffered because many of their team riders switched to these smaller, independent companies. At the end of 1991, Stacy Peralta left Powell and the company was renamed Powell Corporation.

Videos published under the name Powell:

Hot Batch (1992)
Chaos (1992)
Play (1993)
Suburban Diners (1994)
Scenic Drive (1995)
Strip Mall Heroes (1998)
Magic (1999)
Bones Bearings Class of 2000 (1999)
FUN (2009)


Powell Peralta revived their enormous success of the 1980s and launched new editions of the highly successful boards of the time under the name Powell Classic. George Powell and Stacy Peralta joined forces to revive the pro model boards of the time. Models by Steve Caballero, Ray "Bones" Rodriguez, Mike McGill, Steve Steadham and Mike Vallely were reissued. In 2010, Powell Skateboards and Powell Classic were rebranded as Powell-Peralta. Powell Peralta again produced classic boards, wheels, clothing and videos, as well as new products such as classic boards with a modern concave and so-called popsicle shapes. The current team consists of Steve Caballero, Jordan Hoffart, and Chad Bartie, amateurs: Josh Hawkins, Aldrin Garcia, Steven Reeves and Shane Borland.

In March 2011, it was announced that legendary artist VCJ (Vernon Courtlandt Johnson) is returning to Powell-Peralta and is currently working on new designs for Powell Peralta.

Cultural references:

Powell-Peralta skateboards have made appearances in a number of films: In the 1992 film Encino Man, in which Brendan Fraser's character rides a Lance Mountain board and has a Powell-Peralta poster hanging in his room. In the 1989 youth/skateboard film Gleaming the Cube with Christian Slater. Christian's character wears the classic Powell-Peralta Lizard Bones tracksuit bottoms and Tony Hawk made one of his first appearances in this film. Most of the members of the Bones Brigade played a role in the 1987 film Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol. In the song "Skate or Die" by the band Teenage Bottlerocket, the brigade was commemorated with the following lyric: "We're waging war against the poseurs of the day, If we play our cards right someday, we might be in the Bones Brigade." Also in the song "Hornets! Hornets!" on Hold Steady's 2005 album with the following line: "She's got those Bones Brigade videos. She knew 'em back and forth. She slept with so many skaters."

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