Powell & Peralta Skull & Sword patch
ca. 12x11 cm
About Powell & Peralta:
Powell Peralta is an American skateboard company founded by George Powell and Stacy Peralta in 1978. The company rose to prominence in the 1980s as skateboarding began maturing as a sport. The company featured the Bones Brigade, a team of the era's top competitors. Peralta left the company in 1991 and Powell continued to produce skateboard equipment as Powell, Bones Bearings and RollerBones. The two company founders reunited to produce the company's now classic inventory under the name Powell Classic.
George Powell studied engineering at Stanford University and started making homemade skateboards in 1957. In 1974, Powell's son came and asked for a skateboard. When Powell pulled an old one out of the garage, his son complained it did not ride smoothly. Powell became interested in skateboarding again, as he realized urethane wheels improved a skateboard's ride. With this prompting, Powell started making his own skateboards and wheels. He bought urethane and baked his own wheels. He also used some new materials like aluminum and fiberglass to fabricate his own composite boards. One of the test riders of one of his flexible slalom boards was Stacy Peralta.
When Powell was laid off from his job in the aerospace industry, he moved from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara to start his own skateboard manufacturing business. In 1976, George built the Quiksilver ProSlalom deck which he marketed through Sims. This was followed by the Quicktail. He developed wheels named "Bones" because of the color of the first urethane bones wheels. While Powell was making them in his kitchen, someone mentioned they had a color like a human bone. Skateboarding changed and George Powell moved into wood laminates.
Foundation of Powell Peralta
In 1978, George teamed up with Stacy Peralta forming Powell Peralta.Peralta was a big name in skateboarding and took over team management and advertising. In 1979 they created a skateboarding team called the Bones Brigade, which included many of the best skateboarders of the era. Powell Peralta developed a signature art style, designed by Vernon Courtlandt Johnson, with a skeleton motif. These designs stood out in the market and helped propel Powell Peralta to become arguably the most popular skateboarding company of the 1980s. They produced the now famous Tony Hawk Iron Cross deck "€ as well as the McGill Skull and Snake, the Caballero Dragon, the Lance Mountain Future Primitive graphics, the Ray Underhill cross graphic, and the Ollie Tank "€ while continuing to produce Bones wheels.
Powell Peralta went on to produce the Bones Brigade videos which became some of the most influential skateboarding videos of the era. Powell Peralta started to produce 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)
Downturn and formation of Powell Corporation
In the late 1980s, smaller, skater-run companies like World Industries appeared and took market share from the bigger companies. Powell Peralta suffered as many of their riders defected and either set up or rode for those new independent companies. At the end of 1991, Stacy Peralta left Powell Peralta and the company was then re-branded as Powell Corporation.
Filmography as 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 has revisited its enormous market success of the 1980s with their line of re-issue decks under the brand, Powell Classic. George Powell and Stacy Peralta have teamed up once again to re-issue some of the original pro models under the Powell-Peralta brand. Current Reissues include models from Steve Caballero, Ray "Bones" Rodriguez, Mike McGill, Steve Steadham, and Mike Vallely. In late 2010 Powell Skateboards and Powell Classic were folded into Powell-Peralta. Powell Peralta continues to reissue classic decks, wheels, clothing and videos as well as new products with decks that are both classically inspired shapes and contemporary "Popsicle" shapes. The current team is Pros: Steve Caballero, Mike Vallely, Jordan Hoffart, and Chad Bartie, Ams: Josh Hawkins, Aldrin Garcia, Steven Reeves and Shane Borland.
In March 2011 it was announced that Legendary Artist VCJ (Vernon Courtlandt Johnson) has returned to Powell-Peralta, and is working on new art for the Brand.
Powell-Peralta Skateboards appeared in several films, from them:
- The 1992 film Encino Man features Brendan Fraser's character Link riding a Lance Mountain Family (art by Lance's son) skateboard deck near the end. There is a Powell-Peralta poster clearly visible in Dave's room.
- In the Teen-Angst/Skateboard movie "Gleaming The Cube" (1989) starring Christian Slater, and featuring an early cameo from Tony Hawk, the 'Crew' can be witnessed in one scene to be stickering skate transfers on public property, one or many of which are of Powell-Peralta design. Also, the main character Brian, as played by Slater, can be seen wearing some Powell-Peralta Lizard Bones Black Sweat Pants.
- Most of the Bones Brigade appeared in a skateboard sequence in Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol in 1987.
- In the 2009 single "Skate or Die" by Teenage Bottlerocket, the Bones Brigade was mentioned in the lyrics. "We're waging war against the poseurs of the day, If we play our cards right someday, we might be in the Bones Brigade."
- The lead off track "Hornets! Hornets!" on the Hold Steady's 2005 album Separation Sunday references Bones Brigade with the lyrics "She's got those Bones Brigade videos. She knew 'em back and forth. She slept with so many skaters."