tribute: lewis marnell


This past January we lost a very amazing human. An old soul who lived a short, yet jam-packed life as Lewis Marnell, the skateboarding Rasta with style whose smile, pop, poise and technique always left us gasping for more. Since Lewis has passed, we have all learned that beyond the skate community, he made a huge impact in all the circles he dwelled.
Traveling around the planet and spreading the skateboard gospel, he literally made friends in every corner he carved. He had many close friends in the musical community around the globe and had recently started DJ-ing with his treasured reggae and dancehall 7”s here in Melbourne. He made an amazing sound-system bike which he pedaled around all over Fitzroy and had just finished working with some buddies on doing up his own vintage VW, his dream car.  The license plate read: JAH LUV. 

He often skated at a park called Prahran, which, like Lewis, is undeniably an Australian skateboard institution. At Prahran, he befriended the underprivileged park locals, many who never skated nor would ever have had the chance to if it weren't for Lewis. He showered them with clothes, shoes and skateboards as a means of giving them light in their often-dark paths. He even got one local to do a series of indigenous-styled pro board graphics for him. His compassion went beyond humans and would always extend to injured animals, too. Lewis really was a master of his craft, a good vibe creator and an epic storyteller. I feel that people who may have only met him once, and some who didn't even meet him at all, will know and love him forever. There were no barriers with Lewis as he was open to everyone… everyone and everything.

I once asked him if he ever wondered how he'd feel if skateboarding rendered him unable to walk. He said to me something along the lines of this: “I would prefer to be old and sore and knowing that I had used my body to its full potential rather than having done nothing with it.”

Those words are inspirational to this very day.

Stoked that Chrome Ball is paying homage in the form of this post. You will find some photos from an Australian mag called the Skateboarder’s Journal, his first print interview in Australian Skateboarding Magazine, and a taste of his international coverage. But before you go on, please check out the message and links below from Lewis’ mum, Janet Marnell-Brown, that she'd like to pass on regarding diabetes which was the cause of Lewis' passing. Lewis still had a long life to live with his beloved wife Nami (who he only married late last year) and if his diabetes was managed a little better in those last months, he may still be here with us.

We miss you, Lew – Morgan Campbell


I would like all of Lewis' fans to pass this message on. Many of you may have friends or family that are diabetics. It is a condition that can be managed with good control. Whilst diabetics are aware of the long-term effects of high blood sugar levels, they often do not realize the dire consequences of low sugar levels (hypos). I am pleading with all those diabetics out there - if your hypos (hypoglycaemia) are not responding to glucose within 15 minutes - see your doctor to adjust your insulin dosage. If you are in a situation whereby it is taking 30 minutes, call someone who knows how to help you. Do not be afraid to call 000 (Australia), 911 or whatever your emergency service number is. Don't think that just because you have a glucagon pen in your fridge that you are safe. You may not be able to get to it. Keep glucose in EVERY room in your house, even your bathroom. I don't want any other human being to be affected this way when, if you take these steps, it can be avoided. Diabetes is not a terrible disease, there are much worse. If you have it - manage it! This is the message Lewis would give you. 
Jah luv. 

-Lewis' mum.

Diabetes Australia: http://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/en/
Juvenile Diabetes: http://www.jdrf.org.au/
International Diabetes org: http://www.idf.org/ 

Thank you to Morgan Campbell and Lewis' Mum for allowing me the honor and privilege to present this material to you.

CBI will return on Thursday.


Keith said...


Crazy how gnarly diabetes can get if it's not monitored. I walk through the diabetes clinic everyday and there's so much FAQ stuff on the walls. Diet is like a science.

Anonymous said...

Its called nutrition bro

Anonymous said...

re en large every articles and that first interviews is so amazing. what a human. all the ads with almost and that volcom nollie heel crooked on the picnic table!!!

chris Jordan said...

!Respect! to a true Rider of life love and compation to skate create and innovate..Thrive on cosmic warrior!

Dave said...

Lewis seemed like a really good dude.

I seem to remember a sequence or photo of him in an old Big Brother where he was backside flipping a set of stairs. Maybe one of the kid issues? I thought he was wearing some Axions (odd that I remember that, but I was super hyped on the company at the time).
Maybe I'll look through my mag stash next time I visit the parents.

Well done Chops and Morgan. Lewis seemed like a really awesome and positive person. Everyone can learn a lot about someone like Lewis who takes the time to enrich the people and environment around him. RIP.

Dustin said...

SIP SIP SIP WE'LL MISS YOU LEWIS. Thank you CBI teared up reading this.

Shantaram said...

Jah Lew.

Shantaram said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James Inderson said...

This is so impressive. I like it.

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Anonymous said...

Mi skater favorito, nunca pude conocerlo.