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Best Powell-Peralta Cruiser Skateboards: Comparison Guide

Best Powell-Peralta Cruiser Skateboards: Comparison Guide

Powell-Peralta is an iconic skateboard company with a rich history dating back to 1976. Founded by George Powell and Stacy Peralta in Santa Barbara CA, the brand has played a pivotal role in shaping the skateboarding industry.

The Bones Brigade, a historic and influential skateboarding team comprised of legendary skateboarders such as Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, Rodney Mullen, Lance Mountain, Mike McGill, and Tommy Guerrero, emerged in the 1980s under the Powell Peralta brand.

The team made a major contribution to the development of modern skateboarding and the popularizing of vert and street skateboarding. The documentary film “Bones Brigade: An Autobiography” takes an in-depth look at its impact on skateboarding culture.

Nowadays, Powell Peralta continues to be a respected and influential name in the skateboarding community, with top pro skaters riding their boards.

SkateOne, Power-Peralta’s parent company, also owns and manages Bones Bearings (high-performance bearings), Bone Wheels, Mini Logo Skateboards (high-quality, budget-friendly boards), and Hoopla Skateboards.

In this post, we take an in-depth look at Powell-Peralta’s cruisers and minis.

See also:
Cruiser Skateboards: What Are They Good For?
Pintail vs Cruiser: Which Has The Most Awesome Ride?
16 Awesome Mini-Cruiser Skateboards
Santa Cruz Cruisers Comparison Guide

*This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Powell Peralta skateboards

Powell-Peralta’s distinctive graphics and innovative, high-quality decks, wheels, and components have made the brand a staple in skateboarding culture.

The PP decks are hand-made in China (some in CA), from U.S. hard rock maple pressed in the company’s proprietary presses. The decks are sealed against moisture with a multi-layer coating applied on the bottom layer.

SkateOne oversees the production and quality control of the decks at its California headquarters.

The newer Flight decks (from 2015), built in the new production line in Ventura CA, are much thinner and a lot more durable than the classic 7-ply decks. You can actually drive over these decks without them snapping (other than cracking the bottom wood ply).

The Flight decks have much greater rebound, and their pop doesn’t wear out over time. These properties result from the fiber and epoxy layers inserted between the maple plies.

The company has a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects.

Here’s a summary of specs for the current lineup:

Powell-Peralta modelPriceSizeWB
Sidewalk Surfer Checker Ripper$14027.2″ x 7.75″14″
Sidewalk Surfer Tie Dye Ripper$14027.2″ x 7.75″14″
Sidewalk Surfer Supreme$14027.2″ x 7.75″14″
Sidewalk Surfer Quad Stringer$14028.2″ x 8.4″15″
Sidewalk Surfer Retro Checker$14028.2″ x 8.4″15″
Sidewalk Surfer Natural Checker Ripper$14028.2″ x 8.4″15″
Mini Cab Street Dragon$10129.5″ x 8″13.25″
Micro Mini Ripper$10124″ x 7.5″12.25″
Mini Vallely Baby Elephant$10126″ x 8″12″
Mini Skull & Sword$10130″ x 8″13.375″

In the rest of his post, we look at each of the above cruisers in detail.

Powell-Peralta Sidewalk Surfer 27.2″ & 28.2″

natural checker ripper 8.2

The Sidewalk Surfer is a quality city cruiser with a cool surfboard-like cruiser shape, a nice-sized kicktail, and a flat nose. It’s meant for fun cruising, carving, and surf-style slashing around the city.

The mini comes in two sizes, 27.2″ x 7.8″ or 28.2″ x 8.2″. Both versions are lightweight and very portable, easy to carry around when commuting to work or school, on the bus or train, and stow away under a desk.

The larger version has extra room for larger feet and a longer wheelbase giving it extra stability for learners or for faster riding.

These mini city cruisers are super responsive and ideal for street spots, banks, ditches, and skatepark. The stiff construction and relatively long wheelbase for the size (14″ for the 27″ and 15″ for the 28″) also make them very stable at speed and for pump track (especially the larger deck).

The decks feature wheel wells, and the complete comes with just enough risers to eliminate any wheelbite at maximum lean while keeping the ride height fairly low.

The Sidewalk Surfer ships with California-made 55mm (27″deck) or 60mm (28″ deck) clear, soft (80a), grippy, and durable “all-terrain” wheels that let you roll over anything. The wheels are fitted withfast and durable Bones Reds bearings – the best-selling precision skate bearing out there.

The well-regarded and durable Mini Logo 8″ trucks provide a stable and highly responsive, fun experience. the 94a medium bushings have the right amount of stiffness vs. bounciness for an average-weight rider.

Here are the available designs for the Sidewalk Surfer:

Sidewalk Surfer Checker Ripper 27.2″: the Ripper skull rips through a black and while checker fabric with a pink liner!

Sidewalk Surfer Tie Dye Ripper 27.2″

The Ripper shows his ugly head through a bright and colorful tie dye deck bottom surface:

Sidewalk Surfer Supreme 27.2″

A nice and restful design with red graphics and lettering over a cream background (and matching red wheels):

Sidewalk Surfer Supreme

Sidewalk Surfer Quad Stringer 28.2″

the top side features Powell-Peralta’s cool dragon in red color over natural birch wood veneer. the bottom side has the brand’s name in full-size letters over natural wood.

sidewalk surfer quad stringer

Sidewalk Surfer Retro Checker 28.2″

A variant of the previous design with an added checker-pattern strip in the middle of the bottom side:

Sidewalk Surfer Retro Checker

Sidewalk Surfer Natural Checker Ripper 28.2″

A natural wood tone variant of the Checker Ripper (above):

natural checker ripper 8.2

Powell-Peralta Mini Cab 29.5″ x 8″

The Mini Cab is a beginner-focused 29.5″ mini cruiser setup with an affordable price (around $100) yet with good quality components.

It’s a slightly smaller version of the classic Powell-Peralta Caballero pro decks (30 – 31″). It features a fish shape with a wide tail and rounded nose kick.

With a 13.25″ wheelbase, the deck features a significant taper (sidecuts) running from the middle of the deck to the base of the kick tail – with the narrowest width around the rear truck mounts.

The Powell-Peralta K20 concave is a mellow double kick concave with great foot feel between the trucks. The lower nose and tail angles allow for flatter, leveled-out pops, for shove-it and flip tricks.

The mellow middle lets you catch your board with the whole bottom of your foot instead of just your toes and heels, helping to eliminate the flapping that can occur with feet-off-the-board tricks.

The deck has the same 7-ply quality materials and construction as the pricier boards in the lineup, equal in pop and durability.

The complete setup includes high-quality aluminum trucks with soft bushings for learning. Clear 59mm 80a wheels with Mini Logo bearings offer a nice, smooth, wheelbite-free ride.

The crouching dragon graphic was proposed by Steve Caballero himself (and reworked by VC Johnson) in 1980, after Powell-Peralta decided to make a pro model following Steve’s performance in the Gold Cup Series. The graphic was used continuously until 1986.

Here’s the Red version:

and the Green:

Powell-Peralta Micro Mini Ripper 24″ x 7.5″

The Mini Ripper is also a scaled-down version of a 1980s Powell-Peralta shape. Sized 24″ x 7.5″, it’s a tiny cruiser, ideal for kids and smaller riders – or bigger ones looking for a Penny-size stashable ride.

The 7-ply deck is nice and stiff and features a functional 5.75″ kicktail and a small, slightly upturned nose. It has a good amount of concave for secure foot placement. This allows for a nice carving feel, and once your skills improve, some fun slashing on street features, banks, and bowls.

The 59mm soft (78a) Powell wheels have a square lip and a wide (47mm) contact patch for maximum grip – making this mini learner-friendly and “carvable”.

The wheels are very smooth rolling with Mini Logo bearings. they are made from clear urethane material with cool skull graphics matching the deck.

the Mini Ripper ships with 7.63″ Mini Logo trucks which are good quality entry-level trucks with medium soft bushings well-suited for progressing skaters and kids – including for street and park riding. The 1/2″ riser pads ensure you get no wheelbite in high lean turns.

Olive version:

Natural and Blue:

Powell-Peralta Mini Vallely Baby Elephant 26″ x 8″

vallely green

At 26″ x 8″, the Mini Vallely is slightly bigger than the Mini Ripper – and a small bit shorter than the 29.5″ Mini Cab. It’s a reduced version of a Powell-Peralta 80s classic shape like the other minis.

This shape features a double kick nose with extra deep concave that adds significant stiffness to the deck, resulting in a thinner and lighter deck without losing pop and response. The 6+” kicktail and nose are steep and flat. This deck has a 12″ wheelbase.

Here again, this is a great beginner board albeit with durable, quality components that will follow you far into your progression and would even suit an advanced rider.

The complete comes with 59mm red wheels with an 80a medium soft duro, and durable, lightweight, and stable Mini Logo trucks. Like the other minis, the Vallely features great original VC Johnson artwork from the 80s.

The Mini Vallely Baby Elephant also comes in a Red version:

as well as in a Black version:

Powell-Peralta Mini Skull & Sword 30″ x 8″

mini skull swords

At 30″ in length with a 13.375″ wheelbase, the Mini Skull & Sword is the largest deck of Powell-Peralta’s Mini series – though only 1/2″ longer than the Mini Cab.

It’s a scaled-down version of the OG Ray Rodriguez 10″ x 30″ Widetail deck originally released in 1979.

The graphics on this deck were Powell-Peralta’s first pro signature deck graphics, conceived by Ray Rodriguez himself and reworked by V.C. Johnson and George Powell. Ray’s signature was replaced with the Powell-Peralta script logo in 1983.

The complete comes with the same beginner-focused quality components as the previous Minis, including the 59mm 80a wheels and Mini Logo trucks and bearings.

The Mini Skull & Sword also exists in a Blue and in a Gold version: