Internationally recognized skateboard brand NHS, headquartered in the Seabright neighborhood of Santa Cruz, is celebrating half a century of skate culture and quality workmanship in 2023. Marrying hand-crafted design and pop-culture influences, the story of NHS captured the zeitgeist of the 1970s, when skateboarding became the fastest growing sport in the United States.
With the sport’s parallels to surfing, NHS founders and local wave riders Richard Novak, Doug Haut, Jay Shuirman recruited local artist Jim Phillips to create the signature Santa Cruz “red dot” logo. Boosted by the success of this ubiquitous trademark, Jim expanded the brand with the “screaming hand” graphic in 1985 which became widely recognized by the skateboard community. Today, NHS headquarters is housed in a mixed-use building and includes a free NHS skate museum, chronicling a half-century of skateboard history. Self-guided tours can be accessed from a smartphone and include recordings and explanations of current exhibits. One of the newest Olympic sports, skateboarding was introduced to the world during the 2020 summer games in Tokyo. Currently, there are over 11 million active skateboarders in the world.