Author Topic: Over the Edge and Screaming: Santa Cruz Skateboards celebrates 50 years(Article)  (Read 197 times)

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TL;DR Summary of Santa Cruz Skateboard's 50th year celebration, NHS's history, and Jim Phillips coming out of retirement.

Snippet below:


Over the Edge and Screaming

When it comes to skateboarding, no brand is more iconic than Santa Cruz Skateboards.

Whether it’s the ubiquitous yellow lettering against the red dot or the savage, blue, screaming hand, Santa Cruz Skateboards (SCS) is known throughout the smallest corners of the world. Its apparel and brand transcend the world of skateboarding, often repped by people who don’t even skate but want to look cool just the same.

The art of Santa Cruz Skateboards has been exhibited in 20 cities across the world in traveling art shows and Jim Phillips, the creator of the brand’s quintessential art, is recognized as a high-end artist with collectors around the globe willing to pay top dollar for anything they can get.

Last week Santa Cruz Skateboards celebrated its 50th anniversary with three, tricked-out days of art, music and skating. On Thursday there was a private screening of the upcoming Jim Phillips documentary Art and Life: The Story of Jim Phillips at Santa Cruz’s Rio Theatre, which was followed the next day by two separate, invite-only parties. The first was for NHS employees past and present, a who’s who of world-famous skaters, and fellow industry names. They gathered for the festivities complete with special edition skate deck giveaways, food and speeches from company higher-ups.

In honor of the momentous occasion, representatives from the City and County of Santa Cruz, the California State Assembly and Senator Laird’s office all bestowed recognition proclamations to Richard Novak, a company founder.

That party ended with a head thrashing set by local metal/punk crossover act Dusted Angel. Singer Clifford Dinsmore is also the frontman for legendary 1980’s punk band, Bl’ast! featured in the infamous Santa Cruz Skateboard ad with a young Rob Roskopp, launching over the band.

“I also worked in the wheel department for two years, maybe three before I bailed to go to school,” Disnmore remembers. “I have this vague memory of it being very surreal with all these gnarly chemicals everywhere.”

Friday night the party moved to Moe’s Alley where anyone lucky enough with a wristband saw rock, surf and punk acts  The Bone Shavers (featuring Bob Denike, more on him in a minute), Screaming Lord Salba and his Heavy Friends (featuring the infamous skater, Steve “Salba” Alba), and San Jose’s three-decade running pop punks, The Odd Numbers.

Saturday was the grand finale, an open to the public celebration bouncing from two skate parks to land at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk where pro-skaters demonstrated their skills. The night wrapped up in a ribbon of rock with a free concert by pillars in the underground, Dinosaur Jr.

“They were the soundtrack for Alien Workshop [Skateboards] videos of the 1990’s,” explains retired pro-skater and current NHS Inc. CEO and CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), Jeff Kendall. “So it was easy to pick those guys especially since they’re available and on tour right now. We got lucky.”

How did a small skateboard company started by three friends in the sleepy, surf town of Santa Cruz, become the oldest running skate company in the world? And how did it practically create the entire skating industry as we currently know it?

“Killer product, killer team riders, great brand identity, and great graphics backed up by R&D [research and development],” NHS Executive Chairman Denike says. With the company for 36 years, he spent the last two decades as NHS’ CEO, stepping down only last year.