IT STARTS WITH OUR NAMESAKES. Hear Spud and Rich tell their story in their own words.

To make products that are more fun, so kids will put down their screens and play with each other.

Stare less, play more.

Spud Melin and Rich Knerr started Wham-O in Rich's Folk's garage. Their first product was a slingshot sold by mail order.

How many of these do you remember?

Watch the video to see some of the original TV commercials!


Just before Slip 'N Slide, Spud and Rich worked on the beginning of a contraption we call  Whirly•Go•Round.

It was pipes and plywood and not ready for market. Chuck Knerr was a 5-year old test pilot. "Dad constantly warned me to not get tangled up in the steel legs. I'll never forget the exhilaration of spinning. Our patio was like Cape Canaveral!" But Spud and Rich had their hands full with Slip 'N Slide sweeping the country so they gave up!

Watch the video to hear Chuck and Rich tell how Whirly•Go•Round has been 60 years in the making.

Chuck was selling Slip 'N Slides door-to-door, the same summer he was testing what we now call Whirly•Go•Round.
Indoor Thrill-Ride

Whirly•Go•Round harnesses phenomenal properties of physics for Funomenal Fun! Kids use their core muscles to propel themselves as fast and long as they like.

Whirly•Go•Round is designed to deliver lasting value; so the fun is sustainable for years. We hope your child will want to pass it down to your grandkids.

More Than Fun--

Remember the first time you threw a Frisbee? Or running barefoot on the lawn, hurling yourself along a wet sheet of yellow called, Slip 'N Slide? Or dropped your first Super Ball?

I felt the same joy and wonder. Only difference was, my dad didn't bring those toys home from the store; he brought them home from the factory.

Toys Spud and Rich made were a special kind of fun. They harnessed phenomenal properties of physics to produce what I call, "Funomenal Fun."  It's what makes a Hula Hoop defy gravity or a Frisbee float across the sky.

These kinds of behaviors defied expectations, invoking a kind of awe, even a thrill. Describing the physics involved is dull compared to streaking across a Slip 'N Slide, feeling a Super Ball exploding skyward, or the exhiliration of spinning as fast and long as you like. It's Funomenal!