William Sharp Book Project – Wally Inouye

wally Scan

Wally Inouye

Tom Wally Inouye

If my memory serves me right, this shot was taken in late 1978,  right after I left Sims for Caster. At the time, I was living in San Diego and would make the drive north to skate places like Marina, Lakewood, and Upland. In this shot I’m riding Chris Strople’s model, with a flat deck, no concave and a wedge tail. It has Gullwing trucks and Wing wheels with TRW MRC 38ff bearings ($138.00 a set). The Marina Del Rey skatepark– back keyhole –saw some amazing sessions.

For me it was about my equipment. Jumping ship from Sims to Caster was not motivated by money, but by performance.  Bill Caster was a premier surfboard shaper for the Big Rock and Wind-n-Sea crew and truly believed in quality not quantity. He along with Ken Watson (Watson Laminates) brought this quality to skateboards. Casters boards were made from hard rock maple with epoxy resin and two layers of 6oz fiberglass. Not only were they strong but they had a life characteristic to them we called BOING. Gullwing Trucks came from the slalom side of things and Mike Williams first gave me a set to try. While still on Sims, I decided to join the Gullwing team along with Strople, Kubo, Kimbel, Martinez, Piercy and Williams. They developed Wings wheels, which were very fast for their time.

Brad Strandlund would always help me with my equipment by taking all my wheels and putting them on his lathe and making them perfectly round. Sometimes, he would cut grooves on the riding surface if I was going to ride plexiglass for added traction. He would lathe me special inside and outside lips or conicals. Brad also turned me on to the best bearing ever. It was the TRW MRC 38ff bearing.  It was an aircraft bearing and you could turn your board upside down and spin your wheel and it would still be spinning for as long as ten minutes!

Other random things from this photograph. Rampage stickers. Rampage were the first halfpipe skate ramp plans done by Tom Stewart. SIO sticker by Barry Zaritsky. SIO were padded skate shorts. Town & Country. Everyone knows Town & Country. The Sharp brother’s. I can’t say enough about them. They took me to pools in the Valley with Valdez and Senatore. They were great photographers and easy to work with.  Pool riding today blows my mind. What I see these kids doing in backyard pool is totally insane. They are taking it beyond known limits. Pool riding will continue forever. If you want to see it live and you have a pool in your backyard, then CONSERVE WATER – DRAIN YOUR POOL. Once it is empty… skaters will find it.- Wally Inouye
Inouye’s Pool Service since 1976
This will be the last post on Blue Tile Obsession for the most part. I am putting things on hold while I focus on the massive task at hand. We have thousands of slides to review and scan, pages to layout and interviews and stories to collect. I am trying to finish everything in December so it can be ready for publication in January. I will post an occasional update on Blue Tile Obsession during this time. Thank you for the support. Have a rad holiday. Spend it with someone you care about…  Love- Ozzie



7 thoughts on “William Sharp Book Project – Wally Inouye

  1. I really enjoyed the Wally post. Good luck on the book! Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

  2. Love Wally. I copied his IPS sticker in 77 and made my own APS stickers. Good luck with the book Oz and looking forward to it. Have a great Christmas.

  3. I feal like those guys at the end of the movie the truman show, “what do we do now” All I can say is I really hope things go well with the book. Yes I want to see the finished product but really I just need my daily pool fix!

  4. Thanks WaLlY & OZziE, Ditto the above comments. Love hearing the background insider stories. Hope all goes well 4 ya OZ.

  5. Fantastic post by Wally! He was always one of my favorite skaters, with amazing style. His attention to detail, right down to the bearings and stickers on his board, is wonderful to read.

    Now, regarding your Addendum…Say it ain’t so! I need my daily dose of BTO! Please TRY to put up a FEW random posts while you finish up the book project! Thanks, and Happy Holidays!

  6. Good luck with the project Ozzie, really looking forward to the final product.

    All the best

  7. Such a great photo early marina without the fence seeing Wally killing the upper keyhole .great great photo

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