We caught up with a surprisingly-awake Ben Raemers first thing in the morning and spoke all things skate, Volcom and weather.
Hey, Ben how’s it going?
hey, how you doing!?
Sorry mate, I know it’s a bit early in the morning
Ah no, it’s all good – literally just getting the day started in sunny San Jose, California
Alright for some…
The weather’s pretty nice out here, I’m not gonna lie. [Ben laughs]
So how long are you out in the states?
I’m basically out here until the end of May and then head back, got a busy schedule in Europe!
So what have you been up to in the states?
So, basically I got out here two weeks ago and I flew straight to Sacramento on a Volcom trip – which was 5 days in Sacramento and 5 days in San Francisco, just filming for the last bits of this Volcom video. The crew was really gnarly, it was pretty intimidating – trying to skate in front of these dudes.. they’re the gnarliest skaters in the world.
Has this got you stoked for the release of Holy Stokes?
I think, I’m really stoked… basically from what I’ve seen people doing it’s going to be pretty groundbreaking stuff. To be honest, that new kid Dan Van… Is basically the gnarliest skater I’ve ever seen in my life. He did some stuff while we were in San Francisco which is literally mind blowing. I don’t know, it could be one of the gnarliest parts in the video, I know that’s a big thing to throw out there… but.
….So are you pegging Dan for an ender?
[Ben laughs loudly] I’m saying he’s got to be either first part or last part, to be honest, just because of how ridiculous it is.
So while you’ve been out there, were there any rad spots that you’ve loved?
Because I stay in San Jose, it’s really close to Sacramento and San Fran – I’m actually with Lois Barletta right now, we’re going to go back to Sacramento and get some footage as it’s only an hour and a half away. I’ve literally just moved back into my old house in Sacramento – Turned out someone was moving out as I was looking to move in. Worked out perfectly.
So have you been filming your parts for Holy Stokes with the Volcom guys?
So, basically, they’ve been putting into “missions”, because of the way they’re filming and the cameras they’re using – not everybody has the same format. So whenever we’re getting the footage it’s been specifically with one of their filmers. They basically take you on missions, so I went to New Zealand last year with the crew, some people went off to Australia, some went to South America – so basically lots of locations. In between that, it’s just about finding time to film with one of the guys when you’ve got the chance. I think everyone had a really busy year last year, there was a lot of Converse trips happening for me – we did the Converse world tour thing, so I missed out on a few of the filming missions.
Yeah, we saw the one-star footage, it was pretty rad.
Yeah! It was really cool, we went to some crazy places – we literally went across the whole world. It was really good, saw some pretty cool places. We hit up South America, Asia, Europe and the whole of America – it was really interesting, with some super interesting places. The only hard thing about it was that you kinda just go to one of these new places for like a day and a half… but didn’t have enough time to explore.
Which location was your favourite for spots?
Spot-wise … I’d have to say, Asia. We went to some pretty crazy natural tranny spots made of marble, it’s mind blowing. It’s good to know the places that I want to go back to … and certain places that I wouldn’t want to go back to.
Have you had a chance to skate with any of the other Volcom guys?
Yeah, everyone essentially… well I went on a filming mission with a really gnarly crew – Jake Phelps, P-Stone (Preston Maigetter), Grant Taylor, Rune Glifberg, Pedro Barros and Remi Gaillard it was a really solid crew. When a session starts happening, you definitely feel the energy from everyone, it’s really cool to see.
Do you prefer skating stateside? Or do you prefer the grotty U.K. streets.
I just like the weather in the states… Right now it’s 9am, blue skies and hot… and in England, until its summer… it’s not the same. The older you get, the harder it gets on your body. It’s just not as easy when it’s cold when you’ve had injuries. I’ve had like 2 knee surgeries on top of a broken ankle… it’s just stuff like that when it’s cold, you can feel it. In the nice hot weather, it’s awesome. It’s kinda like your body is already warmed up and you’re good to go… if you know what I mean. But England will always be my home, I’m only here for 2 months. Can’t wait to come back, see my friends and my mum.
Have you guys had any adventures while filming?
To be honest, I went on one proper filming mission, well two. One in New Zealand – it really is ‘get in there, get tricks’ and go on a few adventures. I know a lot of the other guys have been down in Australia and that. I’m super excited to see some of the footage, you’ve got all the drone footage… It’s going to look like it was filmed from outer space.
Sponsors aside, are you as stoked for this as you were for Oververt?
Definitely! I’m so stoked to be a part of it. Even if I’ve only got 6 tricks, I just can’t explain how stoked I am to be a part of it. I feel super lucky to be able to skate with and be in a video with some of my childhood heroes. It’s the same feeling as with Oververt, it took me back to watching ‘bag of suck’. Feel’s like I’m in some weird dream. It’s crazy!
Cheers for that Ben! Hope you have a good time in the states! Catch you at the premiere!
Yeah, I’ll see you there! Come find me and grab a drink!
Holy Stokes premieres on 27th May in the U.K.