Santa Cruz skateboards Screaming Hand logo artwork

Riding Through History: The Evolution and Influence of Santa Cruz Skateboards

In the bustling streets of California during the early 1970s, a revolution was brewing on wheels. This revolution wasn't just about skateboarding; it was about style, culture, and a newfound passion for freedom. At the heart of this movement stood Santa Cruz Skateboards, a brand that would go on to shape the very essence of skateboarding and carve its name deep into the annals of skate history.

Santa Cruz logo in black and white

Origins and Founders:

Santa Cruz Skateboards was born in 1973, founded by Richard Novak, Doug Haut, and Jay Shuirman. These visionary pioneers sought to capture the spirit of the burgeoning skate scene in Santa Cruz, California, and translate it into high-quality skateboards that embodied both style and performance.

Old style red Santa Cruz skateboard

* image from

Influential Figures:

Throughout its journey, Santa Cruz Skateboards has been propelled forward by a roster of influential figures. Jim Phillips, the legendary artist, played a pivotal role in shaping the brand's visual identity with his iconic illustrations, including the iconic Screaming Hand logo. On the management side, Jeff Kendall, a professional skateboarder turned CEO, steered the company through turbulent times and helped solidify its position as a leader in the industry.

Jim Phillips in Skateboarding Hall of Fame and the Screaming Hand logo

*image from Skateboarding Hall Of Fame

Impact on Skateboarding Culture:

From its earliest days, Santa Cruz Skateboards has been at the forefront of skateboarding culture, shaping trends, and pushing boundaries. The brand's commitment to innovation and authenticity has earned it a devoted following among skateboarders worldwide. Whether it's through sponsoring top-tier riders or hosting groundbreaking events, Santa Cruz has consistently elevated the sport and inspired generations of skaters.

Santa Cruz Meek Slasher image

Milestones in Equipment and Clothing:

Over the decades, Santa Cruz Skateboards has continually pushed the envelope in terms of skateboard design and technology. Key milestones include the development of iconic board shapes like the "Roskopp" and the introduction of innovative materials such as carbon fiber and fiberglass. On the apparel front, Santa Cruz has become synonymous with streetwear, offering a diverse range of clothing and accessories that reflect the brand's rebellious spirit.

Santa Cruz Rob Roskopp skateboard deck

Resurgence in Popularity:

In recent years, Santa Cruz Skateboards has experienced a remarkable resurgence in popularity, fueled in part by a renewed interest in skateboarding among younger generations. This resurgence can be attributed to several factors, including the brand's timeless appeal, strategic marketing initiatives, and collaborations with popular artists and influencers. Notably, Santa Cruz's youth clothing line has struck a chord with the new generation, offering stylish and versatile options that resonate with today's youth culture.  Santa Cruz youth gear can be found here in the Blitz Surf Shop online store

Artwork and Artists:

A cornerstone of Santa Cruz's identity is its vibrant artwork, which adorns everything from skateboards to clothing. Jim Phillips and his son Jimbo Phillips are just two of the many talented artists who have contributed to the brand's visual legacy, infusing each design with energy and personality. Their bold, colorful illustrations have become synonymous with Santa Cruz Skateboards and continue to captivate audiences around the world.

Blitz Surf Shop Collaboration:

For those eager to experience the magic of Santa Cruz Skateboards firsthand, Blitz Surf Shop offers an extensive selection of Santa Cruz clothing and accessories online. From classic skate tees to stylish hoodies and hats, Blitz Surf Shop has everything you need to embrace the spirit of Santa Cruz and hit the streets in style.

As we reflect on Santa Cruz Skateboards' journey from humble beginnings to global phenomenon, it's clear that the brand's impact extends far beyond the realm of skateboarding. It's a testament to the power of passion, creativity, and staying true to one's roots. And as long as there are sidewalks to shred and dreams to chase, Santa Cruz Skateboards will continue to be a guiding light for skaters everywhere.


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