Willy Santos Bio
Hometown: Mira Mesa & Subic Bay Philippines (Olongopo City)
Current Set Up:
Birdhouse “Peoples Champ” deck size 7.875
Tracker Axis size 129
Ninja Santos Abec 7 Bearings
Satori Santos “20 year Anniversary Pro” 52mm Wheels
Iron Horse Griptape
Upful 1 Inch Hardware
Upcoming Video’s, Trips Or Interviews:
You’ve got to just follow my blog & twitter…
Favorite Places To Travel: China, Australia, Japan, Hawaii & Philippines
My family… Shalihe, Willy Junior, Phelisha & God.
Powell & Peralta “Animal Chin”, Blind “Video Days”, All The H-Street Videos
World Industries “Rubbish Heap”, Birdhouse “Feasters”, Girl “Yeah Right” & Lakai “Fully Flared.”
Up dating my blog, Play Street Fighter II, Play Soccer, Watch the “Chargers” home games, Eat, Collect Beatles, Dr. Seuss stuff & Japanese Toys.
The life of Willy Santos revolves around skateboarding. Born in the Philippines and raised in San Diego, CA his effortless
style has remained constant over the twenty-some years he’s skated. As a professional, he has a achieved a level of
international recognition that allows him to be an ambassador for skateboarding everywhere he goes.
Born in the mid seventies, Willy grew up in the Subic Bay (Olongopo City) Philippines & mostly in San Diego, Ca. Mira Mesa -
also home to such street legends as Kien “Donger” Lieu and John Reeves.
From the moment he began frequenting spots like Ericson Elemantary, Mira Mesa High School, and Jerabek
Elementary (School W) in 1987 his prodigious talent quickly turned him into a local legend. Sponsorship soon followed, and
Gordon & Smith turned Willy pro in 1991. At G&S Willy worked with people like Neil Blender and a young Rob Dyrdek,
contributing his first notable video part to ‘Footage’ in 1990.
At the tail end of skateboarding’s highpoint in the late 80‘s / early 90’s, Tony Hawk decided to leave Powell Peralta. Partnering
with another Bones Brigade alumnae, Per Welinder, they created Birdhouse Projects in 1992. Tony and Willy had met a few
years earlier during a session at School W. Just before Birdhouse started, Tony asked Willy to be one of Birdhouse’s original
pros. A rarity in today’s modern skateboard business, Birdhouse continues to be Willy’s board sponsor to this day. Willy has
had prominent parts in each of Birdhouse’s videos over the years, sharing screen time with such luminaries as Andrew
Reynolds, Bucky Lasek, Ocean Howell, Jeremy Klein, Steve Berra, Dan Rogers, Shaun White, and Tony himself.
Their most recent full length video, The Beginning, was released in October 2007.
In 1993, TransWorld Skateboarding readers selected Willy as their skater of the year for 1992. During the 90’s and early 00’s,
Willy was a fixture on the contest circuit. He got 3rd place at the inaugural X-Games Street Contest in Rhode Island.
Highlights include winning the Munster World Cup Street Contest in 1997, the New Jersey Vans Triple Crown Street Contest
in 1998, and the Gravity Games Best Trick Street in 2000. Also in 1997 Willy joined Steve Caballero as one of the first Vans
riders with a signature shoe. Throughout his career Willy has travelled all over the world.
The year 2000 saw the opening of Willys Workshop in Penasquitos. The brainchild of Willy and soon-to-be-wife Shalihe Cabiling.
Willys Workshop has become a hub for skaters in San Diego and beyond. Both with the products it sells and the community
it builds, the Workshop is an outgrowth of Willy’s lifelong passion for skating. In recent years, plans for a Philippines location are in the works.
It’s also no coincidence that the Penasquitos skatepark was built just down the street from Willys Workshop. Through demos,
videos, and frequent events Willys Workshop has furthered the careers of skaters like Jimmy Cao & Jamie Palmore.
Willy married Shalihe in 2002. Their two families are instrumental in Willy’s skateboarding ventures.
Shalihe’s brothers Ryan & Raibyn Cabiling contribute designs and creative ideas to
the brand that is “Willys Workshop”. Willy Junior joined the family in 2008 and his daughter Phelisha joined the family in 2010 as well and
comes along with his parents to just about every skate event they attend.
Willy and Shalihe have always made an effort to give back to their community. A proud Filipino, Willy’s involement with the
Gawad Kalinga nation building organization actively helps to rid the Philippines of poverty. Willy also has helped out the
Kabataang Inyong Dapat Suportahan (K.I.D.S.) Foundation that fights for underprivileged children’s rights in the Philippines &
other local schools & charity events is San Diego & in the Philippines.
Willy’s outlook for 2011 is bright. He’s began the process of getting a Willy Santos Foundation & a new skatepark/ plaza in his
old neighborhood of Mira Mesa in San Diego. He and Shalihe hope to expand the Workshop overseas to the Philippines and
continue boosting their online presence. He expects to be featured in a number of magazine interviews and pictorials. He
continues to showcase his smooth style in photos and videos, skating and shooting as often as he can.
Willy Santos Website – http://www.willysantos.com
Willy Santos Twitter -http://twitter.com/willysantos
Mira Mesa Skate Park/ Plaza – http://www.miramesaskatepark.org/
Gawad Kalinga – http://gk1world.com/