40 Years of Santa Cruz: NHS Skate Museum & Rider Rally

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We had the honor of attending the Santa Cruz Skateboards 40th anniversary dinner on Saturday, October 5th and the Independent Rider Rally at Lake Cunningham Skatepark on Sunday.

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Held at the NHS Distribution warehouse in Santa Cruz, California, the 40th anniversary event and the opening of the NHS skate museum was all stoke from the start.

Legendary west coast skateboarders were there like Bruce Logan, Steve Olson and John Hutson, Eric Koston, Geoff Rowley, Chris Haslam and so many more. Decks were covered front and back with signatures. Smiles and high fives were exchanged non-stop.

The Mayor of Santa Cruz, Pamela Comstock, took the mic and forgave NHS founder Richard Novak for decades of troublemaking. She officially decreed October 5th to be “Richard Novak Day” in the city of Santa Cruz. Novak’s speech was hilarious and humble and historic. Cheers, Rich!

The crux of the celebration was the NHS Skate Museum. The museum outlined the history and origins of NHS and Santa Cruz Skateboards, Independent Truck Company and Road Rider Wheels during the 1970s and 1980s.

There was a killer afterparty at Pono Hawaiian Grill. Music by Salba’s band Powerflex 5. They’re legit California surf rock and you should definitely check ‘em out if you ever get the chance.

On Sunday, we drove to the Lake Cunningham Skatepark in San Jose. This park is gnarly. Everyone from the night before was there and ripping. The skate jam featured Independent Team Legends and Pros; live music from The Odd Numbers, Clay Wheels and Powerflex 5; BBQ from 12-3 pm; as well as a classic car and bike rally.

Confirmed riders of the jam included: Rick Blackhart, Steve Caballero, Steve Olson, Steve Alba, Duane Peters, Jeff Grosso, Christian Hosoi, Peter Hewitt, Lance Mountain, Scott Foss, John Lucero, Doug Saladino, Omar Hassan, Darren Navarrette, Eric Koston, Chris Haslam, Emmanuel Guzman, Ben Raybourn, Mark Scott, Dan Drehobl, Willis Kimbel, Chet Childress, Sam Hitz, Al Partanen, David Gravette, Josh Borden, Alex Horn, Keith Meek, Bryce Kanights, Randy Katen, Cody Chapman, Shuriken Shannon, Taylor Bingaman, Omar Salazar, Keegan Sauder, and many more!

We all had a blast. The food was good, the NHS Skate Museum was amazing, the skateboarding was top shelf and we wish NHS and Santa Cruz Skateboards a very happy 40th birthday.

Like the NHS Skate Museum and Lake Cunningham Skate Park on Facebook and check out this epic walkthrough with Jake Phelps:

Shop Santa Cruz, Independent and Road Rider at Skate Warehouse.

Did you go the anniversary celebration or rider rally? Hit us up in the comments!