In the 00s, Knox Godoy was everything your parents hated about skateboarding, in the form of a 7 year old boy. He was a little redhead kid from the Baker clan who cursed more than you, skated better than you, and was a complete shithead to everyone (At least, according to the Baker videos). He was the ultimate shitstirrer and it was characters like this that helped make Baker become the most raw, exciting and mischievous brand at the time.
Although Knox seemed to have a future in skateboarding, he never really held a career that long, eventually splitting ways with Baker and never really picking up a successful major sponsor after that. For those of us not in the industry or that knew him personally, it seemed like the kid disappeared or self destructed overnight.
Hearing some rumors that he was in jail recently, I tracked him down on Instagram and caught up with him to talk about his wild upbringing, problems with the law and his new board brand, Slight Of Hand.
For people that don’t know you from Baker, maybe give us a little background on how you came up in skating…
I was pretty much born on a skateboard. My dad and my uncle are ex-pro skaters. My uncle, Art Godoy, skated for H-Street, and my dad, Steve Godoy, skated for Circle A. They even had their own company called Iron Cross for a little bit. These motherfuckers are original punk rockers of skating, tattoo buck motherfuckers. They didn’t have any basketballs or any toys for me, just straight to skating.
So I first got sponsored by Birdhouse when I was 7. J Strickland was the Team Manager of Birdhouse at the time, and once he left Birdhouse and started Baker with Andrew Reynolds, I went with him. I was like the first rider on Baker, it was me and Andrew Reynolds. Over the next couple of years I was a wild kid. My dad would let me do anything I wanted. I didn’t even go to school. I stopped going in like 6th or 7th grade.
So you don’t really have an education, you learned multiplication and dipped, huh?
You know what’s funny, Danny Way said all you need to know is how to read, write, add and subtract and you’re fucking solid. I believe he might have the same education as me, but look at how smart that man is.
So you were raised by your dad and your uncle. Did you have a mom?
No, I really had no female figure in my life at all except for a bunch of random chicks that my dad was fucking. He was like the ultimate player. But those motherfuckers saved me from some shit. I know my moms gonna be butthurt about me saying this, but my mom was a junkie and even kidnapped me once before my dad took me back from her. I don’t remember any of this, but he found me in the backseat as a new born baby with no car seat on while my mom was in the front seat shooting up heroin. He saved me from all that shit, so more power to him for being a good ass person.
Any tips your dad gave you for picking up chicks?
Fuck man… Here’s a gnarly one he told me once: “Never use a condom. AIDS, that’s fake, it’s a man-made retro virus.”
When you you started riding for Baker were those dudes really partying hard?
Fuck yeah, dude, did you ever see the Baker Tour 2001 footage? That’s the one that I was in. Dude, it was full-force party. Me and Terry are running around expensive hotels dumping water on everybody, breaking shit. I caught Reynolds in Chicago with a $100 sack of crack and I punched him in the mouth and he started crying, and then Trainwreck took the crack and flushed it down the toilet. I made that fool cry a couple of times. I was just a little kid calling him a piece of shit. I was a dickhead when I was little. I wouldn’t stop, I would just lay in, and these fools are adults so they can’t hit me and shut me up. I would just keep running my mouth, putting them down, making them feel low.
How old were you then? Who was taking care of you?
I was only like 9 years old then. I survived off of candy and Smartfood popcorn. Baker had some crazy ass per diem they were paying us everyday for the tour, giving us money to eat and live off of everyday. But J. Strickland, the Team Manager, took my per diem, cashed it out and bought weed with it so I was broke the whole tour. He just dicked me over. [laughs] He was like, “Reynolds will buy you food.” So I got food from whoever was around, and then I’d sell skateboards for cash. The whole tour I lived off of Smartfood popcorn, candy, a beer here and there, some soda, and skating.
When you were on tour, were the guys pulling a lot of chicks?
Around those years there were a lot of chicks around, but all I would do is makeout or suck some titties… basic shit. I’m pretty sure Terry [Kennedy] had his fair share. I wanna say maybe Trainwreck is the ultimate trim trimmer. What’s funny about that tour video is you actually see Evan Hernandez‘s first kiss. In the background you can hear Beagle go, “Woah, that’s Evan’s first kiss!”.
Do you remember Patrick O’Dell on that trip too documenting it?
Yeah, I tortured the fuck out of him. It was me and Terry [Kennedy], little asshole motherfuckers, and Patrick had to drive me, Terry, and Evan through part of the tour. He had this CD book that was nothing but emo music, no hip hop, and all we wanted to hear was hip hop. It was thunderstorming out and Terry is sitting in the front seat of his car going through his CD book, putting a CD in, testing out a song, then going, “Ah fuck this shit, cuz!” and then just throwing the CD out the window in the middle of the highway. He emptied out the whole CD book. Patrick was so bummed.
Baker always portrayed you as an insane dickhead kid. Were you naturally this way, or did people egg you on?
That was me naturally, but being blessed to be around all these pros and in front of the camera all the time, it just made me act even crazier.
Why did you eventually part ways Baker skateboards?
Ah dude, there was some broad that worked for Baker that I didn’t like, that Robin chick and we bumped heads. She was like, “Have you figured it out? Do you want to stay or not?” and I was just like, “ahh, nah, I’ll go.” I just figured I could move on and go somewhere else.
Were you getting paid at the time at all?
I was.. I’d get money for random shit. Right when I left I was starting to get money. But I was getting paid from other companies too. I did a series of Baker graphics and those and they gave me like a $7000 dollar downpayment on them, and then royalties every month off of them. I was getting between $500 – $1000 off of royalties a month, which was good for a 11 year old kid.
What did you do after you left Baker?
I started getting boards from Alien Workshop, and then I was on Seek, and they were gonna turn me full am but then boom, they went out of business. After that I was on DGK for a second, but then Stevie Williams got mad at me because I sold some early release DGK boards to a skateshop and the DGK rep saw them. Shops didn’t even have DGK yet, so I got busted from that. From there I just kept skating and got boards from everywhere. I was just living in Long Beach, couch surfing. I got into graffiti and stuff, and that was a lot of fun. I was still only like 15 at this point, so that became my lifestyle. Weed, bitches, partying, graffiti… and I was still skating, but it wasn’t going the way I thought it would go. Eventually I got kicked out of my dad’s house with no income, so I started stealing for a living.
”Eventually I got kicked out of my dad’s house with no income
so I started stealing for a living.”
What would you steal?
We’d go up to CVS, Wallgreens, wherever, and go into the birthday aisle and grab these Spongebob Squarepants or My Little Pony bags, the big ones that you’d put presents in. Then we’d go along the aisles and we’d take all the Crest White Strips, all the razorblades, a bunch of other shit, and just fucking walk out the door, beep the fuck out of the security censor, and we’d have a driver ready to go, so we’d hop in the car and bounce. Then we had a cash out lady in Torrance, so we’d make like $4000 from 3 stores.
Did you ever get caught?
Never. My homies still do it to this day, but I don’t do it. I’m chilling, I got income, but they are professional thieves. Those were some fun days. I was only running that for like a year though. Not that long, but even to this day, sometimes if I catch something slipping I’ll do it. That’s why my company is called Slight of Hand. I’m really mellow now, but my life has been kind of gnarly.
What else would you do to get by during those years?
I sold drugs for a while. It’s not gnarly money, but it was way better than a 9 to 5 job. Also, I knew this broad, and I knew she was a complete whore. So one time I sent pictures of her to random old fools like, “Come drop off some cash and meet her at the Rite Aid at the corner of Pacific and Anaheim,” or whatever. I’d collect money from these old dudes, and then they’d go to the parking lot and just sit there and the chick would never show up [laughs]. It’s fucked. Poor guys, I feel bad now, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
So that lifestyle lead me to go to jail multiple times. I got caught for graffiti, I had a robbery charge, and just mad violations of probation because I don’t like to work with them, I don’t like to answer to anyone, I like to be free. That’s pretty much what stopped my skating, just being in and out of jail so much. And realistically my shoulder is fucked too. But I’ve been in and out since I was 16, and I still am in and out. I’ve been out for about a year and a half now.
What is life like being in and out of jail?
You know what’s funny, I’m doing a board with Antwuan [Dixon], and we were in jail together. Different dorms though. Another time they put Jereme Rogers in as my fucking bunky. I gave him my shower shoes and put him on game on how to run his shit in jail. He was on the top bunk. I woke up and I was just like, oh my god, it’s Jereme Rogers. I go to the yard and I’m doing my pushups or whatever, and this fool walks up and is like, [spoken in high-pitched Jereme voice] “Hey… is it ok if I do pushups here too?” And then he’s like, “Wait a minute… Knox? Oh my god, I haven’t seen you in years!”
Did you and Jereme get along?
Oh, fuck yeah, we get along. He’s def a bit frizzled… Molly, hallucinogenics or something. He just looked scared. He had all these gangster ass tattoos and shit. You gotta back that up when you’re in there. Think about it, add it up: LA County Jail is the #1 most gnarly place next to Rikers. I only saw Jereme for 2 days before I got transferred. A lot of people knew who he was, they knew me too. There are a lot of skateboarders who are criminals, you would be surprised. [laughs] At another spot I ran into Adam Alfaro too.
What was he in jail for?
Drugs… I hope he stopped. I tried to tell him to stop. Me and this fool became straight crimies together in jail. We’d save up our peanut butters and trade them for Ramen, and then take Ramens and trade them for Klonopins with the fucking drug dude. And we’d get these pills just because we wanted to sleep the whole time we were in there. We’d go to Alfaro’s bunk and chop the pills up and sniff ’em to knock ourselves out for the whole day. It was funny.
”I did smoke weed in jail too. People do have weed.
But I’m pretty sure it came from the butthole.”
How do you trade up like that?
You buy ramen and stuff from the commissary… and a lot of people like peanut butter in there, so you save your peanut butters, and if you stack up enough peanut butters you can trade for a Klonopin. The inmates, they make these things called spreads. It’s like Top Ramen with all sorts of fucked up accessories in it. Like Slim Jims, pickles, cheese, mayonnaise, sriracha, hot Cheetos, and some dehydrated beans. It’s bomb. I still make them on the outside sometimes just for theatrics. I’ve never done more than 3 months at a time, but I’ve been in and out 15 times. Once they get you in the system it’s so hard to get out of it. I did smoke weed in jail too. People do have weed. But I’m pretty sure it came from the butthole.
Did the weed smell a bit funkier?
I think it was well wrapped up [laughs]. It’s like fucking Cheech and Chong… “Fucking dog shit, man…”
What are you doing for a job now?
I was a chef for about 6 years up until last year. All kinds of fine dining. I can cook anything you can think of. Now I consult for a skateboard brand and I focus on my company.
What’s the deal, you just launched a board brand called Slight of Hand, but I thought you already had a brand called “Sleight of Hand” in the ’00s…
I just flipped up the spelling. A lot of people were sayin it like “Sleet of Hand” so I changed it. I started it super independently and had this fucked manufacturer, so I stopped doing it for a while. But now we are coming back full force, I got an investor, and am working with Bareback, which makes the best boards. My board company is based off of all guest pro models, they are all cruiser boards. Antwuan [Dixon] is one of my homies for days, so I figured why not launch it with me and him to start off. We have a whole lineup of guest models for the next run too, and they are all different shapes.
Looking back are you bummed by how you managed your career?
No, I’m not bummed at all. Skateboarding for a living is stressful. That shit is like not fun, pretty much, once you have to get clips and do shit like that. I’m stoked just starting up this brand, it’s a lot of fun. It should work out, you know?
Do you feel bad for any of the things you did when you were a little kid?
Ahh….. nah, not at all. I was a little kid. Everybody comes up to me and is like, “Knox! When you were a kid I fucking hated you until I met you and you are like the coolest person ever dude!” I’m like, yeah motherfucker, you don’t know me… Look at the videos they put out, they take all the clips when it was gnarly or whatever and used them, it’s just a gimmick. Don’t be a hater until you meet me.