Your cart

Your cart is empty

The World's Oldest Skateboard Company

The World's Oldest Skateboard Company

Today we are talking about Santa Cruz Skateboards: Currently the oldest skateboards company in the world. We are gonna talk about how they started, Iconic logos, their inventions that changed skateboarding, the team, and so much more.
The first Santa Cruz Products were made in 1973, making 2023 the 50 year anniversary of the company! This makes Santa Cruz the oldest skateboard company that is still in business.
Santa Cruz 50 Years
Santa Cruz Skateboards begins with three surf rat friends in California. These three friends, named Richard Novak, Jay Sherman, and Doug Hope, decided to join forces and build their own surfboards from assorted materials they had laying around. They called the brand NHS, an acronym for all the members' last names.
NHS Creators
The surfboard business was a much harder industry to tap into than expected for the trio, because of this they started to make skateboards out of leftover wood they could find. Doug Hope would sell his shares in the company to work on surfboards, birthing Hout Surfboards. The first Santa Cruz Skateboards Ad appeared in Skateboarder Magazine Issue #3, Volume #2.
Santa Cruz Skateboards First Ad

The original team consisted of surfers that would skateboard in their free time. At this time skateboarding was still in its infancy, with the urethane skateboard wheel being a fresh invention. In 1974, Santa Cruz released the “Road Rider” wheels, which were urethane wheels that featured caged bearing or precision bear to prolong bearing lifetimes. The Road Rider was such groundbreaking technology that pushed forward the potential of skateboarding. The road riders went on to sell over a million units in one year.

Road Rider Wheels


When it comes to skateboard logos, the Santa Cruz logo is easily among the most iconic. At the time, skateboard brands would just put their names on boards with different typefaces to differentiate themselves and no logos. Jim Phillips came along and incorporated the typeface into what is now the iconic “Dot Logo” with Jay Sherman. Philips would go on to create the iconic screaming hand logo.

Santa Cruz Logos

These logos created a big step in skateboard graphics, featuring bold lines and bright colours that really made the boards pop. Jim Philips is respected as one of the best skateboard artists of all time. Some skateboard graphics Jim has done include the Roskopp face, Salba Tiger, Steve Olson Checkerboard, Jason Jesse Poseiden, and the Grosso Toy Box.

Jim Philips Graphics

Santa Cruz has always been known for their stacked team through the years. In the 1970’s they had the number one slalom rider in the world Jay Hudson representing the brand. As skateboarding transitions from hills to pools, Santa Cruz built an all-star team of the best transition skaters in the era, including Steve Olson, Dwayne Peters, Salba, Malba, Rob Roskopp, Jason Jessse, Christan Hosoi, and Jeff Grosso.
Santa Cruz OG Team
In the 1980’s, Santa Cruz became one of the first skateboard companies to introduce concave to their skateboard shapes, releasing varying bevel depths.
Santa Cruz Missle Concave
Santa Cruz also introduced a bent screen for their skateboard graphics so the new and complicated graphics were pressed onto decks smoothly with no flaws or warps.
Santa Cruz Decks


Although Santa Cruz is one of the biggest skateboarding brands in the world, it has still kept the closely knit family vibes of a small brand. Santa Cruz has remained skater owned and operated; with the CEO of NHS being retired pro skateboarder Bob Denike. Many other retired pro skateboarders are now working for NHS, this includes Jeff Kendall and Andrew Cannon.

Bob Denike


In the book “Disposable”, David tells a story of a poorly timed skateboard deck series. In 2001, Santa Cruz was headed to one of the biggest trade shows to show off their new series dubbed the “Terrorist Series”. This series depicted scenes of riots and crowd control. These boards were sitting in the warehouse on the night of September 10th, 2001… The next day the series was cancelled for obvious reasons.

Santa Cruz Terrorist Series


Santa Cruz is known for having a ton of cool collabs with brands and other media. Some of these collabs include Stranger Things, TMNT, Star Wars, Spongebob, The Simpsons, Vans, Emerica, Garbage Pail Kids, and many more. Many of these decks have become highly valued collectors items.

Santa Cruz Collaborations

Santa Cruz has had many iconic skate videos through the years, some include Streets On Fire, Speed Freaks, Wheels of Fire, Out There, A Reason For Living, A Right To Exist, and more!
Santa Cruz Skate Videos


Santa Cruz had continued its tradition of innovating, having created the Everslick, Powerply, and VX Deck. The everslick decks feature a textured bottom, having a better slide while preserving the graphic for longer. The powerply decks have a reinforced nose and tail to prevent chipping. The VX deck is their carbon fibre deck, made to be lighter and nearly indestructible when it comes to snapping.

Santa Cruz Decks

Santa Cruz has not limited themselves to just skateboards either, they have made surfboards, snowboards, and even have an offshoot bike company.


Today, Santa Cruz has maintained their tradition of having a stacked team, with huge names like Erick Winkowski, Jake Wooten, Fabiana Delfino, Jeremy Knibbs, Kevin Braun, Tom Asta, Blake Johnson, Justin Summer, Mario McCoy, and more.

Santa Cruz Modern Team

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published