NHS, Inc.

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NHS, Inc.
HeadquartersSanta Cruz, California
United States
Sporting Equipment

NHS, Inc. is a United States sports equipment distribution company based in Santa Cruz, California.[1] It was founded by Richard Novak, Doug Haut, and Jay Shuirman, three surfer friends from Santa Cruz, California, teamed up to start NHS. The acronym NHS comes from their surname initials. The company distributes the following brands: Santa Cruz Skateboards, Santa Cruz Snowboards, Santa Cruz Surfboards, Creature Skateboards, Independent Truck Company, Bronson Speed Co., Krux Trucks, Ricta Wheels, Mob Grip, OJ Wheels, Road Rider, Slimeballs, Bullet and Nor Cal Clothing Co. NHS formerly owned shares of Santa Cruz Bicycles, also co-founded by Richard Novak, but sold to Pon Holdings in 2015.

NHS's main products are skateboard-related,[2] but the company also manufactures snowboarding[1][3] and surfing equipment.[4]


The Santa Cruz Skateboards brand, distributed by NHS, is the oldest continuous skateboard company in the world, founded by Richard Novak, Doug Haut, and Jay Shuirman. At the start, it started as a surfboard business but was struggling to stay afloat because the low profit margins. Soon, a friend from a Hawaiian company challenged NHS to make 500 skateboards. With the surplus of fiberglass lying around they decided to use the stocked materials to fulfill and make skateboards. Their first-ever Santa Cruz skateboard was produced in 1973. The batch of 500 skateboards sold quickly, and from there a demand of many more boards would be created and sold. Now it’s one of the most iconic brand names in skateboarding and would become a staple in the sport.[5]

Logo and Screaming Hand Graphic[edit]

"Screaming Hand" logo
Additional logo

The company's logo is a red dot with the words "Santa Cruz" written in angular capital letters diagonally across it. A distinctive feature of the logo is the use of a triangle to form the letter 'A'. The logo was designed by Jim Phillips in 1978. In the original version of the logo the red "dot" was elliptical but this was later changed to a circle. [6]

The "Screaming Hand", designed by Jim Phillips Sr. in 1985, is the main graphic associated with the Santa Cruz brand.[7] The hand image has become a skateboarding icon and is recognized widely throughout the skateboarding community; in 2015–16, its 30th anniversary was celebrated with a touring exhibition.[8] As of February 2013, Phillips's son Jimbo also designs artwork for the Santa Cruz brand.

A controversy arose in February 2013, following Jeremy Scott showing clothing and accessories at New York Fashion Week that featured designs very similar to the Phillipses' on clothing designed by Jeremy Scott. There was an outcry from Santa Cruz artists, as well as the skateboarding sub-culture, and Denike stated:

It's obvious to us, the Phillips family, the fans of Jim Phillips Sr. and Jimbo Phillips, and fans of the brand Santa Cruz Skateboards, as well as many in the global skateboard and skate art community that there is clear and obvious infringement by Mr. Scott.[9]

The matter was settled in September with Scott admitting error and the items being destroyed.[10]


  1. ^ a b (May 21–27, 1998.) "Extreme Success - A hedonist work ethic leads to big bucks for SC entrepreneurial slacker" from Metro Santa Cruz, published by Metro Newspapers. Accessed September 2011.
  2. ^ "Skateboard Decks". Santa Cruz. Retrieved 2011-04-12.
  3. ^ "Snowboards & Bindings". NHS, Inc. 21 April 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Home". NHS, Inc. 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  5. ^ "SANTA CRUZ SKATEBOARDS OPENS A MUSEUM CELEBRATING 40 YEARS IN BUSINESS". ESPN X Games. ESPN Internet Ventures. 5 October 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Santa Crus Logo". 1000 logos. Retrieved 2022-07-11.
  7. ^ "Members". Santa Cruz Team. Retrieved 2011-04-12.
  8. ^ Tad Malone (January 13, 2016). "The Scream". Metro Silicon Valley. p. 26.
  9. ^ Wallace Baine (22 February 2013). "Designer Jeremy Scott accused of plagiarizing work of Santa Cruz artists Jim and Jimbo Phillips". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
  10. ^ Wallace Baine (September 3, 2013). "Jeremy Scott vs. Phillips-NHS copyright dispute resolved; Scott admits mistake". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Retrieved January 22, 2016.

External links[edit]