The California-based Independent Truck Company is owned and distributed globally by US company NHS Inc., also distributor of other skate brands such as Flip Skateboards, Ricta Wheels, Mob Grip and Santa Cruz Skateboards. The Independent range now boasts grip tape, clothing and accessories, as well as the company’s trademark trucks.
The company was co-founded by Fausto Vitello and Eric Swenson (who would also go on to start Thrasher magazine) in 1978 as a response to the lack of quality skateboard trucks on the market at the time. The Stage One, the first Independent truck, was a great success and many more have followed since, including a series of signature pro models by Andrew Reynolds, Eric Koston, Chris Haslam and Geoff Rowley.
Independent sponsors an extensive list of team riders, which reads like a who’s who of some of skateboarding’s biggest stars – the current squad includes Ryan Sheckler, Greg Lutzka, Lizard King, Justin ‘Figgy’ Figueroa, David Gravette, David González, Matt Miller, Luan Oliveira,, Evan Smith, Ben Raybourn, Lance Mountain, Dan Drehobl and Christian Hosoi. In January 2013, the legendary Tony Hawk was also added to the Independent roster, having previously ridden for Theeve.
In 2008, Independent celebrated 30 years in the market, and, to mark the occasion, released the 52-minute 30th Anniversary Tour video featuring many of the brand’s most famous names. This was followed by a European tour video in 2009, featuring Alex Olson, Haslam, Darren Navarrette, Jeff Grosso, Peter Hewitt, Steve Olson and Stu Graham.