Tobin Yelland saw Chad Muska before he was “Chad Muska.”

We went to Vegas in 1992 for an article. We were skating on the outskirts of Vegas with some pros who knew Muska. Everyone in Vegas knew him. He was just a teenager with baggy jeans and a baseball cap turned backward, but he was ripping more than the guys we were with. He’d try the gnarliest stuff-like noseslides down a rail so big nobody else was even going to try it. He also made a lot of tricks compared to the other people. There were these two banks that formed a bump to bump, and he did a backside 180 flip over them. He just talked a lot and was a really nice kid.

He told a story about how he had red laces in his shoes, and the Cryps in his neighborhood made him take them out and punched him in the face. He wanted to get out of Vegas. We hung out for four days, and he was just super nice. I think he broke three boards while we were there.

When I got back to San Francisco, I told everybody about him, but nobody had seen him, so they didn’t care, yet. I remember talking to him on the phone a couple times after Vegas, and then I saw him later with Jamie Thomas, and he said, “I made it out here, I made it!” I’m not really surprised at how far he’s come, because he was so good at the beginning.