Santa Cruz: Where Skateboarding is a Way of Life

by Karmaloop Rep Code

Santa Cruz is a skateboard brand under the NHS conglomerate.

As skateboarding moved into the mainstream culture in the ‘70s, American sports equipment company NHS launched several sub-brands to exclusively offer skateboarding products such as skateboard decks (Santa Cruz Skateboards, Flip, Creature), skateboard trucks (Independent Truck), and skateboard wheels (Bullet, OJ, Road Rider).

Specializing in skateboard decks, wheels, snowboarding gear, and surfing equipment, Santa Cruz was started in 1973 by northern California surfers Rich Novak, Doug Haut, and Jay Shuirman.

The “Screaming Hand” designed by skate/surf artist Jim Phillips is the main logo of the Santa Cruz Skateboards team. The logo has been a symbol for skateboarding and is used widely throughout the skateboarding community.

In the mid-80’s, Santa Cruz skateboards launched the promotional skate movie “Wheels of Fire” directed by well-known skate director Scott Dittrich. The film featured the fine vert skating of Steve Alba, Claus Grabke, Christian Hosoi, and Rob Roskopp, as well as street skateboarding by Natas Kaupas and Jeff Kendall. “Wheels of Fire” is widely regarded as one of the all-time classic skate videos.

Like most skate companies, Santa Cruz eventually moved away from old-school “fish-tail” decks to “popsicle” decks with a double ended kick. The pro team also changed from ramp to street which has become the main movement in skateboarding the last 30 years.

Santa Cruz also makes apparel, headwear, and accesories, including logo tees, jackets, sweatshirts, boardshorts, yoga pants, sweatpants, trucker hats, fitted caps, beanies, skull caps, socks, sunglasses, tote bags, and decals. Snowboards and surfboards are also included in the product line.

Santa Cruz at

This season Karmaloop is featuring the Santa Cruz Simpsons Cruzers – a line of longboards in a shorter, more maneuverable compact form with a playful flavor of Bart, Homer, Maggie, and Marge decks. Visit for savings when purchasing this product.

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