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A Brief History of the Powell Peralta Bones Brigade


The Bones Brigade skate team's narrative begins in the late 1970s when George Powell, a mechanical engineer with a penchant for developing new skateboard products, and Stacy Peralta, one of the era's most popular skaters, decided to combine their expertise. In 1978, they formed Powell Peralta, a brand that would soon become synonymous with the golden age of skateboarding. The following year, they created the Bones Brigade, a skateboarding team with a distinctive identity that was set to propel the brand's growth and foster a community around the burgeoning sport of skateboarding.


In the early years, the Bones Brigade emerged as a formidable force in the skateboarding arena, demonstrating unrivaled skill in various disciplines including vert, bowl, freestyle, and street skating. They weren't just a team, they were a phenomenon that was captivating to the youth of the time, and their prowess was instrumental in shaping the skateboarding culture.


The roster of the Bones Brigade read like a who's who of skateboarding royalty. Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, Lance Mountain, Rodney Mullen, Tommy Guerrero, and Mike McGill were some of the illustrious names associated with the team. Each of these skaters was a maestro in their respective categories, and their collective genius was nothing short of legendary during the mid-1980s.


Tony Hawk, known for his aerial acrobatics and vert skating prowess, became synonymous with skateboarding itself. Steve Caballero, on the other hand, was revered for his versatility and his invention of the 'Caballerial' skateboard trick. Lance Mountain's infectious personality and all-rounded skating ability made him a fan favorite, while Rodney Mullen's freestyle wizardry and invention of tricks like the ollie and kickflip laid the foundations of modern street skating. Tommy Guerrero brought a unique street skating style that was emulated by many, and Mike McGill's invention of the 'McTwist' added a new dimension to vert skating.


The impact of the Bones Brigade on the skateboarding culture and industry was profound. Under the tutelage of Powell and Peralta, they not only dominated competitions but also shaped the aesthetics and narratives surrounding skateboarding. From 1982 onwards, Powell Peralta produced a series of influential skateboarding videos featuring the Bones Brigade. "The Bones Brigade Video Show" (1984), "Future Primitive" (1985), and "The Search for Animal Chin" (1987) were some of the seminal works that left indelible marks on the skateboarding community, showcasing the team's camaraderie, individual talents, and the sheer joy of skateboarding.


However, as the 1980s drew to a close, the landscape of skateboarding began to shift. The emergence of smaller companies like World Industries threatened the dominance of established brands like Powell Peralta. Many riders from the Bones Brigade started exploring new horizons, aligning with these nascent brands or setting up their own ventures. The exodus culminated in Stacy Peralta's departure from Powell Peralta at the end of 1991, which marked a significant downturn for the brand and the team.


The legacy of the Bones Brigade transcends the temporal confines of the 1980s and early 1990s. Their contributions to skateboarding have endured through the decades, influencing generations of skaters. The reissue of classic deck designs and the continued celebration of their groundbreaking videos are testaments to the indelible imprint the Bones Brigade left on the skateboarding community and the sport at large.

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