Today marks the third anniversary of one of the most important people in both the skateboard and snowboard world – Wee Willi Winkles. If you want to know your roots, take a moment to read this.
Willie contributed so much to action sports, it is really impossible to put it into a blog post. Suffice to say, if you ride a laminated board, you can thank Willi. If you wondered where the word SNOWBOARD came from, look to Willi. He also impacted wake boarding…and believe it or not, redesigned the half pipe to make it ridable. Willi thought up the name SNOWBOARD and rode the first prototypes. I first saw Willi Winkels at a demo in July of 1977 in London, Ontario. His team were incredible. He even raced around on a motorized skateboard. My mind was fully blown. Twenty years later, I tracked Willi down and interviewed him for my book The Concrete Wave. I had the privilege to know Willi and a week before he passed, I was able to interview him. Willi continues to inspire skaters with this photo, which remains of the most iconic in all of skateboarding. On behalf of riders everywhere, THANK YOU WILLI! One of the greatest, most iconic skate photos of all time.