Stacy Peralta (born October 15, 1957) is an American director and entrepreneur. He was previously a professional skateboarder and surfer with the Zephyr Competition Team, also known as the Z-Boys from Venice, California.
Peralta was born in Venice, California, of Mexican and Irish descent. At age 15, he began competing with the Z-Boys, a group sponsored by the surf shop "Jeff Ho Surfboards and Zephyr Productions". His second sponsor was "Gordon and Smith". Stacy graduated from Venice High School in 1975.
Peralta can lay claim to the invention of the frontside lip to fakie, although this was on the rolled-over lip of skatepark bowls—it was Alan Losi who applied the trick to the coping at the Upland Pipeline skatepark. To help skaters ride this maneuver in, Stacy came up with a device called a "lapper" which was essentially a tough polyethylene flap that bolted to the front of the board's rear truck. These are rarely seen nowadays. Part of his gear line also designed the first "mini-ripper" skateboard.
At the age of nineteen, Peralta became the highest-ranked professional skateboarder.Soon after, he joined with manufacturer George Powell to form the Powell-Peralta skate gear company. With the financial backing of Powell-Peralta, Peralta formed the seminal Bones Brigade, a skate team composed of some the best skaters at the time, many of whom revolutionized modern skateboarding.He also began directing and producing the first skating demo videos for skaters such as Tony Hawk.
Peralta is also credited in the 1985 movie Real Genius, starring Val Kilmer, William Atherton, and Gabriel Jarret. Peralta played commander of a fictional space vehicle delivering a deadly laser toward an unsuspecting criminal during the film's opening scene.
In 1992, Peralta left Powell-Peralta to direct and produce for television full-time. His lingering love of the board manifested itself in Dogtown and Z-Boys, a documentary film co-written with Craig Stecyk regarding the legendary skateboard team known as the Z-Boys. The film reinforces the all-consuming nature of the subculture and the film's conviction that all life centered on Dogtown in the 1970s and skateboarding. He also directed Riding Giants, a 2004 documentary of the history of modern big wave surfing and tow-in surfing. Dogtown won Director's and Audience Awards for documentary at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. Peralta also wrote the screenplay for the dramatic retelling of the Dogtown days in Lords of Dogtown (2005). His 2008 documentary, Crips and Bloods: Made in America (2008),focuses on gang violence in south-central Los Angeles which provides insights into the origins of the infamous Crips and Bloods with a look at the social injustice of 1950s and 60s L.A. In 2012 Peralta released Bones Brigade: An Autobiography, which chronicles the Powell-Peralta skateboarding team of the same name. It includes interviews from Rodney Mullen, Craig Stecyk, Tony Hawk, Lance Mountain, Steve Caballero, and Peralta himself, among others.
In 2008, Peralta directed a series of television commercials for Burger King in which the Inuit people of Greenland, Transylvanians of Romania and Hmong of Thailand, known as "Whopper virgins" in the ads, were offered their first taste of a fast food hamburger and asked to compare the Whopper to McDonald's Big Mac. Peralta subsequently came under attack for what some deemed exploitation of native peoples.
Divorced in the 1990s, Peralta had one son, pianist Austin Peralta who died on November 21, 2012.
Peralta's experience as an entrepreneur and skate demo filmmaker was adapted for Tony Hawk's Underground. In 2003 Peralta also did cameo work in the game where he played himself.