During the launch of the Bones Brigade Autobiography film (that we hosted a showing of last fall) – they were offering a tour of the Powell factory. The tour was to be hosted by George Powell and Stacy Peralta. I purchased one of the two tours available and in early March I took my family down to Santa Barbara for the Tour.
Having George Powell lead the tour was simply amazing. Not only did George invent most of the techniques still used today to manufacture skateboards, he also had to invent the machines to do it.
The Tour consisted of Deck manufacture in the morning, a break for lunch and Wheel making in the afternoon. After wheels we were all allowed to “get hooked up like a team rider” out of the warehouse.
The day was capped off with dinner with George and Stacy.
As you can see – we are all in most of the photos, as after the first 10 minutes of the Tour – Stacy said “give me your camera and I’ll shoot it”. So almost all photos are by Stacy Peralta.
This tour was for sure a top 5 life experience for me. I’ll let the photos do the talking.
Left to right – Trey, Stacy, Griffin, Me, Angela and George.
Deck ply’s being glued and stacked together prior to going into the presses.
Once out of the press – the decks are stacked and left to cure. Once cured – they are first drilled. Lasers at each end make sure that all holes are perfectly aligned.
The blank is then cut to shape. This process takes about 30 seconds per deck.
The decks are then rough sanded (not pictured) and then finish sanded. This is an art form and amazing to watch.
Putting the wheel wells into the Old School decks. Both at the same time.
The Screen room – Powell makes their own heat transfer graphics. These are all Guerrero decks.
Graphic sheets prior to being put on a deck.
The heat press – putting graphics on decks.
Prior to heat transfers – decks had to be screened. Powell was the first company to be able to screen the entire deck.
George showing us something cool – that you can’t see! (and lots of decks).
Nice place for lunch!
The old folding Half Pipe from “back in the day” that used to be taken to demos.
Wheels being poured. Bones Wheels are the best wheels going – and this is why.
After lunch it was off to see wheels being made. When they come out of the oven – the put them on the floor to cool more evenly.
The wheels are sent to be washed and cleaned (all those bags are wheels).
Wheels being printed.
We stopped by the R&D department to see some of the cool stuff they are dreaming up.
They have some pretty cool furniture!
A VERY small shot of the warehouse we were allowed to pillage.
At dinner I had George and Stacy sign a deck for me.
It was a fantastic day and trip.
I think Stacy put it best when he said “It’s amazing how much it takes to make a simple skateboard”.
Skateboarding owes so much to both of these men.
Thank you to George and Stacy, as well as Michael from Skate One for setting everything up.