I received my first board as a Christmas present back in 2000–an X Games branded Variflex from a Sears catalog. It wasn’t the best board in the world, but it would work for a beginner like me. At the time I had no concept of skate spots and didn’t realize how difficult it would be to learn to ride and do tricks. I only had a general sense that I needed to roll around on pavement and eventually learn tricks like 180s. Fortunately, I had a lot of interest and enthusiasm for figuring it out.