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Founded in 1973 by Richard Novak, Doug Haut, and Jay Shuirman, NHS, Inc. has grown into a veritable empire in skateboarding, consisting of a wide variety of brands, including Independent, Flip, Krux, Ricta, Mob Grip, Nor Cal Clothing, OJ Wheels, Creature, Santa Cruz Skateboards, Santa Cruz Surfboards, Santa Cruz Snowboards, Bullet Skateboards & Safety Gear, Skateboarding Is Not A Crime, Banana Board, Gold Cup, Road Rider, and strangenotes.com. The story of NHS can be traced back to 1973 when Novak, Haut, and Shuirman began selling fiberglass raw materials to surfboard shops, boat makers, and race car / tomato carrier fairing manufacturers. A year later, in late 1974, a man named Tony Roderick came into Novak and crew’s surf shop with the revolutionary idea of putting a precision bearing in a urethane wheel. They helped Roderick tweak it to work, and thus spawned the legendary Road Rider, one of the most innovative skateboard products ever invented.
The mid-’70s marked some of skateboarding’s most game-changing products ever, and for the first time, it seemed as if a legitimate industry could be born. Along with the Road Rider, Ron Bennett developed the Bennett Truck while G&S had the Fiberflex board. Now with the main three components needed for a proper, cutting-edge skateboard, the respective inventors of each set out to create a legitimate skateboard industry that wouldn’t rely on anyone but themselves. With the intention of supporting pro riders, promoting skateboarding, and advancing product technology, the group of Richard Novak, Bill Bahne, Jay Shuirman, Brian Logan, Dave McIntyre, Dave Dominy, Paul Sims, Ron Bennett, and a couple staff members from Skateboarder magazine came together to make sure that skateboarding would from then on have the support it needed to survive and ditch its reputation of being a passing fad. Fast-forward to today and NHS is regarded as one of the most influential brands in skateboarding. Celebrating their 40th year, Novak and company are committed to maintaining their lifelong ethos of innovating and having fun. Here’s to 40 more!