Photo Credit: Hung L Truong
Today, we pay tribute to a true legend in the world of skateboarding and roller derby, William W. Walker, affectionately known as Wild Bill. Since the early 80s, Wild Bill has been a fixture in the Texas skateboarding scene, leaving an indelible mark on the sport and the community. His passion for handcrafted protective gear through Pro-Designed, Inc. revived the love for skateboarding, roller derby and quad skating in the past two decades.
William W. Walker, founder of Pro-Designed, Inc., proudly sponsored skateboarders and roller derby skaters worldwide. Among his extensive list of sponsored athletes, he took particular pride in Tony Hawk, knowing that his elbow pads were worn by the skateboarding icon. When Tony Hawk landed the historic 900, he was donning Pro-Designed elbow pads, a testament to the quality and impact of Bill's products. Today, as we mourn the loss of Wild Bill, we must also acknowledge that his handcrafted pads have become legendary in our community, influencing and inspiring other protective gear companies to evolve for the better. Wild Bill was a true Texas craftsman, creating the best protective gear in the world. Countless skateboarders and roller derby athletes reached new levels of skill and confidence thanks to his contributions.
Photo Credit: SteveDeMent Photography
Across our community we have seen many reminisce about the countless conversations and shared shenanigans we had with Wild Bill at various events, skate sessions, and after parties. Over the past 40 years, Wild Bill became more than friends; many can call him a kindred spirit, united by our unwavering love for both four and eight wheels. Hearing the news of Wild Bill's passing has filled us with profound sadness, and our thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time. Looking through the photos that many have shared, one thing is evident: Wild Bill loved to have fun. He embodied the spirit of adventure and lived up to his legendary moniker.
Wild Bill’s impact on our lives and the lives of so many others cannot be overstated. The loss of our dear friend, Wild Bill, has left many heartbroken and speechless, and we know we’re not alone in feeling this way. Whether you rolled on four or eight wheels, we have lost an ambassador of our sports—a true pioneer who left an irreplaceable imprint on the world. His unmatched craftsmanship and dedication to his trade will forever be remembered.
Thank you, Wild Bill, for everything you did, for sponsoring the many athletes, for your contributions to skateboarding, roller derby, and, above all, for prioritizing our safety.
Today, the meaning of "Yeehaw" takes on a new significance, but it will forever remain your signature. Rest in peace, Wild Bill. You will be deeply missed, but your spirit will live on in the hearts of all those you touched. With love and gratitude, we say goodbye to an extraordinary individual.
Wild Bill’s Funeral information
Immaculate Conception Church
7250 Harrisburg Blvd
Houston, TX 77011
Friday, July 28, 2023 at 7:00 P.M.
Please dress nice, per his family's request. There will be a separate wake for PD Family at a later date.