Updated: June 21, 2010, 11:54 AM ET

Angling for Catfish

Cody McEntire on doppelgangers, nicknames and his skateboard obsession

Rice By Tosh Rice
ESPN Action Sports
Archive

If a person's merits can be determined by the accolades of their peers, Cody McEntire would have Cub Scout vest covered in badges. I've never met McEntire, so I did my research calling team managers, friends and photographers all to get some dirt on "Catfish." You know what I came up with? "He really likes pizza, and he skates everyday" and "He doesn't like red shirts, and he is all about skateboarding." I also got, "I thought he was Canadian 'because he skates so much". Not one person had any mud to toss on McEntire. After speaking with him I realized why. He has one merit badge way too many skaters lack; a genuine and deep love for pure skateboarding.

Hey Cody do you know what noodling is?
Noodling? [Laughs] Um no?

It's when you catch catfish with your bare hands. The fish swallows your hand whole, it's gnarly.
Oh yeah man! I know what that is. I just didn't know they had a name for it.

They do. I had to noodle you. I had to track you down and get my noodle on for this interview.
Sick dude.

How'd you end up with "The Catfish" as a nickname anyways?
We were just on this Volcom tour and Mike Burnett, the Thrasher photographer, gave it to me. I guess I had some funny whiskers growing out of my face. I hadn't been able to shave the whole trip. So he decided that I looked like a catfish and it stuck. The crazy thing about that name is that people will just come up to me and be like "Hey, Catfish!" None of my homies call me that though, unless they're screwing with me.

From what I hear you don't have room for catfish in your diet though, only pizza and beer.
What man?! Who told you that? I do love pizza but as far as the beer, I quit drinking a while ago to just concentrate on skating.

That's rad. Tell me about your fear of red T-shirts.
Oh man. I definitely don't like anything that's red. Red shirts, red trucks, red boards, I can't deal with any of it man. It gives me the chills just thinking about it.

What's up with that?
Well, when I was younger, I was skating in Waco, Texas with some of my buddies. We went to this nine-stair handrail and I had this huge red Spitfire shirt on. I tried to boardslide the rail a couple times. When I went back up for the third try I yelled out to my friends "Third time's the charm." I went for it and slipped out. I broke my wrist super bad, popped my growth-plate out of place. Ever since then I try to avoid the color red as much as possible.

TadashiNever one to take the easy route, McEntire back tails from flat high to low.

Why do people think you're Canadian?
Canadian? People think I'm Canadian?

Do you think it might have something to do with that giant white T-shirt you were wearing when you won Tampa Am?
Well, people used to think I was Grant Patterson. I actually did a Globe shoes demo in Denver one time and all the kids thought I was Grant Patterson. Kids were coming up to me saying "Hey Grant, I thought you rode for C1RCA." I was doing fakie late flips, and he does the nollie late flips. I didn't even tell them I wasn't him. I just played along with it the whole time.

That's awesome. Is that what ended the shirt-skirt phase?
No. People just grow up. Everyone goes through phases in their life. I just got older and everything slimmed down.

You won Tampa Am four years ago. Why aren't you pro yet?
Um, It never really presented itself. I don't care about the definition of being pro. I just like to skate. I could be pro, am, flow or anything you want to call it. If it ever happens, that would be cool. But I'm just happy to be in a position to be paid and to be able to continue riding my skateboard.

I feel you on that. But has the economy made it harder for you to just continue riding your skateboard as an am?
Yeah, definitely. A lot of the trips that we would normally go on haven't happened. The guys over at Street Corner, who distribute Think, they normally have a team budget. Everything has been scaled back, though. It's like where we would have gone on an over-seas trip in the past, we just jump in the van now and go on a road trip.

TadashiThe man from Belton, Texas is nothing to mess with.

Lets talk about your Digital video part for a second. That was your breakout part. Do you think that Lynyrd Skynyrd song had something to do with everyone being so hyped on it?
Lynyrd Skynyrd is just such an awesome southern-rock band. I think it just kinda fit the video part. The way the whole video thing got started is through Bill Wiess (Digital's creator) and Dennis Martin, who is the Supra Team Manager. They were just really getting behind me saying that they wanted me to have a part in the next Digital video. Then Andrew Mapstone, the Volcom Team Photographer took me on a trip down to Australia. I came back to Wiess with footage from down there and everything just happened. It was kinda an iffy deal (at the time), I didn't really know if I was going to get it.

How did the transition from Globe to Supra come about?
I had ridden for Globe for a good, I'd say, four to five years. For the longest time I wasn't getting paid. Then I finally got Globe to give me $300 a month. This is when I was like 18 or 19 and I really had to make a choice about what I was going to do with my life. Am I going to go back to school and work? Or, am I going to skate? That's when I talked to the guys from Supra. They told me they had a smaller team and they could pay me a little bit more. So I went with a company that was more willing to get behind me and make it so I didn't have to think about anything besides skateboarding.

Do you get to go party with Lamar Odom and Samantha Ronson in Los Angeles because of Supra?
[Laughs] No man. I'm not cool enough to go to the VIP parties, I don't think. I mainly just stay down in San Diego and skate.

Who do you stay with here in San Diego?
I actually just moved back to Texas. I moved out at the end of last month. I was living out there for a year with Dennis Martin. In April I'm moving out to San Francisco.

How much time do you spend in California compared with Texas?
I get homesick really easily so I come back home as much as I can.

Where in Texas are you actually from?
I'm from Belton Texas, which is right next to Temple.

I literally have no idea where that is.
It's close to Fort Hood, where that dude went crazy and shot all those people. The day that happened this mom came to the skatepark to pick up her kid and she was yelling, "Get in the car! There are crazy people shooting everybody and they're coming to Temple!"

TadashiCody handles a frontside flip over a hip that seems lost in the jungle.

They're coming to Temple!
Yeah, me and my buddy stayed there and every time a car went by we would duck under one of the quarterpipes. We had no idea what was going on. We just heard there was a crazy guy going around shooting people.

Wow. Texas seems weird.
Actually! Today I built my first snowman ever. It's snowing today in Texas where I live. It's insane dude!

Does it not normally snow there? Shows how much I know.
Sometimes up by Oklahoma and New Mexico it does. Never here, though. It's so cool!

We are in the future now. It's 2010 and snowing in Texas. What else can we expect this year?
The usual answer, I'm just going to keep trying to progress. I know that is the cliché answer. I just want more people to get behind me sponsor-wise. I want to put a lot more stuff out there. Let me put it this way, I just want to be happy where I'm at in my skateboard career. I want to look back and say "Yeah, that was a good move."

Let me ask you this, who's got your back right now?
I ride for Think skateboards, Venture trucks, FKD bearings, Supra shoes and this skateshop in San Antonio called Goodtimes.

Sounds like a solid line-up. I'll let you get back to the snow.
Thanks man! This snow is crazy!

TadashiCody's got snaps. This switch heelflip is no joke.

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