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George Powell studied engineering at Stanford University and started making homemade skateboards in 1957. In 1974, his son asked for a skateboard and was given one of the old skateboards that George had been storing in his garage. His son immediately complained that it did not have urethane wheels. This led to George becoming interested in skateboarding again. He started making his own skateboards and wheels and bought urethane to bake his own wheels. He also used some new materials like aluminum and fiberglass to fabricate his own composite boards. Stacy Peralta tested one of his flexible slalom boards. When George Powell was laid off from his job in the aerospace industry, he packed up and moved from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara to start his own skateboard manufacturing business.