"In the late 1970s, C.R. Stecyk III, an artist and co-owner of Zephyr surf shop, territorially sprayed a "rat and crossbones" around the decaying environment of Venice beach. The infamous Venice pier, previously a hub of festivity, now crumbled into the ocean and a gang of surfers and skaters claimed loose ownership and ran feral though the post-apocalyptic landscape.
Stacy Peralta was one of those surfers and he never forgot the power of that symbol. He compared it to a kid seeing a pirate flag for the first time. Stecyk had stopped spraying it by the time Powell Peralta rose to prominence in the early 1980s, but the markings remained in the back of Peralta's mind. Stecyk was art directing the brand with Peralta when the former suggested using it as graphics for new wheels and boards. Stacy remembers Stecyk merely shrugging and mumbling an "okay" and then moving onto something else.
That mumble allowed Powell Peralta to hoist that image high and it has become arguably the most famous symbol in skateboarding. Nixon watches recently released a Rat Bones watch (only available in skate shops) and celebrated the activation at KCDC in Brooklyn, New York. Stecyk created custom painted Powell Peralta decks with laser-cut components to create a 3-D version of his historic graphic."
- Sean Mortimer