Skatelab Employee Field Trip – Powell Peralta Factory Santa Barbara, CA
I had taken the factory tour of the impressive Powell Peralta Factory a few months back with Juergen from The Skateboard Museum and I thought it would be great to do a Skatelab field trip and bring the whole crew up to see what they do. We all met up in the morning, drove to Santa Barbara where our Sales Rep, Jon Grover was waiting for us. We had a pretty large group that was made up of Myself (Todd), Tony, Jesse, Alaska, Roy, Brian, Logan, and Steve Badillo. Before we started the tour it was fun to hear Steve Badillo talk about his memories of skating their old skatepark, The Skate Zone. His old stories of seeing Salman Agah and Chris Senn ripping there back in the day was getting us all hyped for the tour.
We met up with our Rep Jon and he walked us thru the upstairs office and sales area where it was cool to see some old Friends and longtime PP Employees like Jeff Pixley and Mike Taylor. We then ventured back down to meet up with our Tour Guide Rob Washburn. Rob is another Lifer at Powell Peralta and was the perfect Dude to give us the tour. Darryl, who is someone I have known for about 30 years and is from Simi Valley originally also joined us. We started out in the wood shop. Wow. It was so cool to see them making Skateboards. From the ground up. I’m guessing that 30 different people actually touch each board before it hits the UPS truck.
Our next stop was the room where they apply all of the screens and heat transfers to the decks aka The Graphics. They just happened to be screening Lance Mountain Future Primitive decks when we walked in….
and we were all stoked to see our very first Skatelab Deck on the wall! Powell used to do shop boards and when we opened in 1997 they did ours and there it was still hanging after almost 17 years. Black deck top center of pic….
After hanging out with Rob for almost an hour you could tell he was eager to get over to the wheel manufacturing area. As we entered The first thing we were told was that this was “George’s Baby” and that makes total sense as Bones have been some of the if not the best wheels ever made for over 40 years now. We were asked to keep the pics on the DL in this area as they have spent decades developing the equipment and technology to produce the most advanced urethane wheels ever made. It was very impressive….
The next stop was the printing room where they add all the graphics to the wheels. Also very impressive, clean and organized…
We then saw a few areas where they test their products and we were given a demonstration on how they test their bearings. After seeing the great lengths they go through to make sure the quality is great and consistent I will never ride anything but Bones Bearings and Wheels for life.
At the end of the tour we were able to sit down with the brand Managers and discuss the lines and we were even encouraged to offer feedback and make suggestions. If you own a Skateboard Shop you need to put this on your list of must do’s. Top notch place run by top notch people. Big thanks to George Powell, Michael Furukawa, Rob Washburn, Darryl & Jon Grover for taking the time to show us around. We were even treated to a nice lunch and overall we had an amazing Skatelab field Trip!
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