Action Sports Tech Companies Thrive on Big Legacy in Santa Cruz

Special to Santa Cruz Tech Beat

 

The following article by was originally published in Santa Cruz Tech Beat.

WaterSHRED: A celebration of world class, home grown extreme sports innovators and outfitters that fuel themselves on the San Lorenzo River, the perfect setting to demo our county’s innovative action sports industry. Ride the riverwalk.

WaterSHRED – Action Sports Expo along the San Lorenzo River
Saturday, June 10, 2017, 11am-4pm
440 Front St., Santa Cruz, CA
Tickets $10
Purchase tickets here

We all know that Santa Cruz is a mecca for action sports. Locals and visitors alike enjoy world-class surfing, mountain biking, and road biking, and our county is full of lively skateboard parks. Climbers can visit Castle Rock and other amazing local climbing sites. But even many locals do not know that Santa Cruz also has a deep tradition of developing the technology behind many of their action sports hobbies.

Skateboards were the real foundation of Santa Cruz action sports – local company NHS was founded in 1973 and is the longest-running skateboard company in the world with its Santa Cruz brand of boards. That decade also saw the founding of Fox Racing Shox in Watsonville, now located in Scotts Valley and manufacturing suspension systems for motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles, and mountain bikes.

Mountain Bikes have since led the way to making Santa Cruz an actions sports tech mecca. Ibis Bicycles was originally founded in Scot Nicol’s garage here in 1981, and Santa Cruz Bikes followed in 1993 when bike engineer Mike Marquez and Santa Cruz Skateboards’ Rich Novak got together with professional skateboarder Rob Roskott to form a partnership that would become the emblematic Santa Cruz company. Further innovations in bicycles have been fostered locally in recent years by companies like Blix Electric Bikes, and Calfee Design, maker of bamboo bikes, which moved its headquarters to Santa Cruz in 1997.

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