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CLOCK-IN: Morgan Campbell

Carparks, kerbs and Chinese herbs...



Outskirts of Melbourne, in a van – 1:48pm

What mission are you on today Morgs?

I’m just driving out past Melbourne airport right now. I’m currently working as an art department assistant on a feature film. So, talking to you on my lunch break and then getting back in to it.

What ‘s a day in the life of an art department assistant involve?

I basically help out all the set dressers and art directors and make sure they’ve got what they need and just lessen the load for them. I do lots of running around and shopping, fixing things, problem solving. Just anything that needs to be handled.

I assume you know your way around Bunnings by now?

Oh, you wouldn’t believe it. Bunnings is like my second home. But it all depends on what I’m chasing. Right now I’m looking down at my list and I need to find 200 easy wipes. I just bought 4 bunk beds too [Laughs] So, that’s 8 beds all up.

Do you brush shoulders with any A-listers?

Nah, I’m well and truly behind the scenes and don’t have to deal with that side of things. If you’re in production you have to deal with that stuff, but in the art department it’s more about aesthetics rather than humans.

You currently have an apartment just on the outskirts of the Melbourne CBD…

Yeah, the zone is known as inner city, but there are no tall buildings.

How long does it take you to skate in to heart of the city?

I can get there in about 10 minutes. I allow 15 but I’ve been known to get there in 10.

“when you’re over 40 a kerb is still high enough off the ground to give you an adrenaline rush!”

Tell me about your love of multi-story car parks.

Well, I guess it stemmed from having grown up in Perth, Western Australia. Undercover spots are few and far between over there. Actually, I can only think of one under cover flat bar in the entire city. It’s only 2 metres long and your head touches the ceiling when you do a board slide. There’s also only one real multi-story car park in the whole city. So, what I like about them in Melbourne is that there are so many. I think it’s between 50 and 100. I’ve been exploring them all with a few friends, like Mike Martin, Nick Maughan, Daniel Luxford, Leigh Barlow and a few other legends who come out less regularly. Lately though I have been skating the Shazza kerbs in Edinburgh Gardens a bunch, they are super close to my house.

 With the city ever expanding, do you find more and more are popping up?

Funnily enough, I’ve noticed that they are actually starting to disappear. A lot of the higher stories are always empty and in a lot of cases there is no security at the bottom level, so a lot of the time you can just go straight up to the top without getting hassled. That’s actually one of my favourite things, juts getting up the top and looking out at the view around the city.

Observation deck with a bonus…

Exactly! You get to check out some scenery, and then there’s a hill to bomb and when you get to the bottom and you’re all pumped up you always find a little spot, like a nook with a kerb to session. Unlike ledges, kerbs are very rarely capped, so it’s like an abundance of terrain and when you’re over 40 a kerb is still high enough off the ground to give you an adrenaline rush! [Laughs]

The city is so heavily capped to what it was 10 years ago, right?

It’s crazy. The ledge is a dying breed. But the kerbs are plentiful.

I heard you were creating a map with all the car parks pinned and rated…

I did start doing that, with the ultimate goal being to skate every single one. But I got a little lacklustre and have only mapped out about half of them. It’s easy for it to turn in to ground hog day, because it’s easy to get them mixed up and forget which ones you’ve been to. But it is fun to try and explore every corner of the City.

Alongside your weathered passports and maps, you’ve also collected a lot of skate oriented pieces of memorabilia. Is there a particular prized possession?

Well, the rarest thing is probably my signed Hawk board (Circa: 1983) but I also have a signed Everslick Gonz, which I would definitely grab if the house was burning down

Let’s get back to skateboarding and being over 40…

43 actually.

What’s your secret to keeping on keeping on?

I find that if I don’t skate much I get really sore when I do, so the secret is just to keep skating as much as possible.

Aint nothin’ to it, but to do it?

Yeah, if I’m just skating all the time I tend to bounce back really quickly. I also use a thing called Zheng Gu Shi if I’ve got a bruised bone or something, that’s like a Chinese liniment. I also have this stuff called Sports Spray, which has Arnica and a bunch of other herbs in it, which is also really good for bruises. I tend to fall really hard, so I tend to get plenty of them. But I think the best remedy of all is lots of water and eating well. That seems to be the most basic thing to keep you going.