Lewis Marnell was just 12 when I first met him. It was in the confines of the now defunct SMC Skate Shop in Melbourne – one of the only skate stores in Australia that had a mini-ramp in it. He was the little grommet that came in and showed off to all the older skaters and we almost hated him for being a smart arse – if only he wasn’t so good at what he did. Since then Lewis has mellowed out and grown up, but more importantly he’s gone on to become one of Australia’s most coveted skaters. He now boasts an impressive portfolio of skate sponsors. More importantly he is the only ‘official’ Australian skater to ride for Nike SB International. There are heaps of Aussie’s who actually are on the local SB team, but Lewis is the man of the moment.
Name and claim to fame please….
Lewis Marnell. And I’m nowhere near famous. All I know is that I’m one of the luckier skaters from Australia who can live off skateboarding.
How long have you been skating for Nike SB?
They kinda rang me out of the blue one day when I was in Melbourne in 2004, asking me if I liked the shoes to skate in and it all just blew up from there. Things have been good from then on.
What has been the most valuable pair of SB’s (that you know of) you have skated in?
I’m not sure. I normally skate in them all when I get them. One of my all time faves was the Futura dunk low. I had heaps of those. They were fresh!What is your favourite pair to date and why?
The Dunk Mids. In the tan colour way. They are super fresh and always will be. Ill be happy if they just gave me a never-ending supply of those.
Do you even care if they are worth money?
Not at all. It’s always about the skating first for me. I know all you freaks fiend for some of them, but I’ve never been like that with shoes. Have always loved them, but you all are on another level with that shit.
What are the perks of skating for a company like Nike?
You get treated like a professional athlete with Nike. And that’s a good thing. Its weird cos I’m just a skateboarder….but I guess we are athletes in one way or another. The fact also that they are a massive company allows them to give us a lot more support than most others. Things are always sorted and there are very little hiccups when we’re on the road or at events. Plus I know we get to skate in some of the most sought after sneakers on the market these days. Something almost unthinkable to some of you I bet!
What else do you do in you free time? Hobbies?
Collect music. Play the guitar. Hang out with my lady. You know usual stuff.
I have to ask you this, and I know you hate it, but how many times in the day do you get compared to John Butler?
HA! It happens all the time. Doesn’t matter where I go. From little country towns in France - to people wanting pics with celebrities for scavenger hunts in big cities - to kids wanting autographs and all that. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing looking like someone else tho.
I hear you bought a remote control helicopter not long ago. I only ask cos I bought one not so long ago as well. It’s now kinda broken….
Well, mine was short lived too. I got it in the states and loved it. I remember it almost taking my head off when I first got it. I set it up, put it down and hit the throttle. It wasn’t trimmed yet so it took off in my direction and almost sliced my head off!!! But then when I came back the last time, I left it at a mates place. So I had to get it sent back here. And then when I finally got it back, I didn’t think about the difference in voltage in both countries. I plugged the charger in and it started smoking. And that was pretty much the end of my flying career. Now it kinda just sits there. Maybe one day Ill get it fixed and earn my wings again.
Which came first? Chicken or egg?
There ain’t gonna be no egg without no chicken.
Interview by Hans DC