The Legend of Spyder Wills

 There is a good reason that I met Spyder and I feel quite fortunate about that too but I understand that if anyone had had the chance to encounter Spyder that they would either have found him simply repulsive or just plain fascinating and abundantly artistic in his approach to life. For any outsider or observer of human relations I’m sure it seemed improbable or even a mismatch that Spyder and I would ever get along if we ever met, but we did in a unique way, much like Mutt and Jeff . Spyder and I had very different wavelengths of life going on and our paths never really crossed at the time whether it was intentional or just a consequence of life’s events. However, we eventually met and connected during the Skateboard rush of the mid 70s in Laguna Beach, California while I was collaborating with Jim Freeman and Greg MacGillivray on “The Magic Rolling Board” documentary. I always noticed that Jim and Greg would mention Spyder’s name with an immense amount of admiration while commenting on his absolutely unique outlook on life, but they also shook their heads and smiled while admitting their perplexity regarding Spyder’s eccentricity (mostly misunderstood), but all of this intrigued me about him.
After Spyder and I met we would arrange to spend hours together listening to classical music while sipping on soothing French red wine (Château Mouton Rothschild) that would go down like silk during the hottest of the summer months in Laguna Beach. But sometimes we would switch from wine to Bacardi Añejo Rum & Coke with ice…Anyway, whatever the choice of refreshment was we would shoot the breeze for hours then to my delight Spyder would very often turn the conversation to share his wealth of knowledge and humor about his favorite topics in life: Meteorology (in particular cloud spotting), Body Surfing, Photography, 8/16mm film making, Frisbee, Music and much more. His unique sense of humor was unsurpassed as he would expound on some absurd idea like how cats could stand up and play the trumpet or something; He just had a wild and very creative imagination to say the least. Spyder had a incredible amount of “focus” in whatever he decided to take interest in or in whatever he talked about, in fact, conversation was an important part of his persona when he would narrate and select music for his personalized “live” screenings of surf films along the Southern California Coast…a very impromptu and singular way of creating a soundtrack! We both had an extreme respect for Jim Freeman and it always showed with Spyder when he told stories about his surfing film expeditions around the world with Jim. Then, after Jim died suddenly in 1976, Spyder quite poignantly adopted a precious pair of Jim’s favorite boots and would showcase them to whoever would have the opportunity to be at his house; He would point and say, “I live with a dead man’s boots under my bed, Jim’s boots!”, and would continue, “it’s a sign of respect!”
So, I believe that the reason that Spyder and I connected through the mesmerizing puzzle of life was embedded in a magical place just above all of our heads…that is, in the clouds that Spyder so well followed and described to me with an almost absolute philosophical conviction. The clouds represented the unique and constant transformation of life which created a vast colorful canopy for the open home on the earth that we all share with a common human interest, which for me is simply how and why Spyder and I met…



We start with Z Weyand who had a conversation with the legendary Spider Wills
about the early days in Laguna…

Spyder Wills – Legend

“Who is Spyder Wills? You
don’t know, do you? Well,
he’s probably never heard of
you, either. The fact that he is
the best Frisbee thrower in
Laguna Beach might not excite
you .. . but that’s only because
you haven’t been watching
him. So listen closely: With
his flexible plastic Pluto Platters,
Wills is probing into the outer
limits of Frisbee performance
as yet undreamed of by the
High Performers on their
conventional surfboards. And
these are not simply the outer
limits of Frisbee performance.
What Spyder Wills dreams
today may one day affect us all!
by Drew Kampion

For Frisbee history buffs or general interest about Laguna Beach, check out this video:  A conversation with Spyder Wills

Interview-Spyder Wills-Frisbee:

Spyder Wills-Legend


Encyclopedia Of Surfing


“Spyder is something of a coastal Hunter S. Thompson. Intense, eccentric, and prone to displays of artistic brilliance, he can take out a target the size of a man’s head from 700 yards. In fact, his knack for framing distant, rapidly-moving objects with focus and clarity translated well into the realm of alternative sports.”

—Surfer’s Path

Spyder_Wills_Encyclopedia Of Surfing master


Spyder Wills, Bunker Spreckels and Tony Alva
Spyder Wills, Bunker Spreckels y Tony Alva


Downhill Motion
Spyder_Wills_Downhill Motion


Big Wednesday_1978

Big Wednesday_1978


Spyder Wills-forgotten-island-of-sanatosha





Sunset Towers, Hollywood, 1976
Spyder Wills-Sunset Towers, Hollywood, 1976


Spyder Wills-Vintage


Chasing the Lotus
Spyder_Wills_Chasing the Lotus - movie trailer preview


Chasing the Lotus – movie trailer preview



 Surfer Magazine Cover 1974
Spyder_Wills_Surfer Magazine Cover 1974

Style Masters
Spyder_Wills_Style Masters

Spyder Wills-2