The world of skateboarding was rocked when the death of Ben Raemers was recently confirmed.
Known for his role as part of the professional skateboarding team on skateboard deck, clothing and style brand enjoi, fans have been shocked by the news.
Here’s everything you need to know: What happened to Ben Raemers? How did the enjoi skateboarder die? And what has sister Lucy said about mental health and the skateboarding profession?
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Who is Ben Raemers?
The enjoi skateboarder was renown as something of an icon on the ramps and amassed over 50,000 followers on Instagram and just as many on Twitter.
He represented enjoi from 2014 as well as Converse and Volcom.
Ben is from Walton-on-naze in Great Britain, which is a small town in Essex
What happened to Ben Raemers?
On Wednesday, May 15th, it was announced that Ben had passed away during the weekend of May 11th/12th.
Friend Louie Barletta announced the death in a statement via enjoi’s Instagram page:
Just found out my friend Ben passed away this weekend. There are no words to describe the sorrow of losing someone so close. He wasn’t a teammate, he wasn’t just a friend … he was family. I love you and will always miss you, Ben.
Friend Louie also announced a longer tribute in skate mag Thrasher Magazine
It was here where Louie confirmed that Ben had “took his own life”.
Ben Raemers took his life over the weekend. Words can’t describe the pain and hurt in my heart right now thinking of his poor soul and the burden he must’ve carried deep within. On the outside, Ben was such a happy-go-lucky guy who would share everything he had with his mates. To best describe him would be to say he was a puppy dog—bundles of energy mixed with dumb curiosity tangled within a body with absolutely no coordination.
Every day was an adventure. Every experience, no matter what it was, was the best thing he had ever done. He had this aura about him and he left an impact on every single person he met. I loved Ben like only an older brother could—being disappointed with him at him at times, and so, so proud of him at others. I have this overwhelming feeling of guilt for not seeing the signs.
I’m devastated he never reached out for help, but mostly I’m angry I’ll never see my little buddy again. Ben will forever live on in my heart as that naive puppy dog running around happily exploring the world. He will forever be young. Your friends will always love you and miss you, Ben. —Louie Barletta
Other tributes included that of Dj Kickflip, who also questioned the death in relation to Jake Phelps’s death, who passed away in March 2019 aged 56.
Dj Kickflip said: “How the f**k did Ben Raemers die? What a tragic year for skateboarding. Pspliff, Phelper, now Ben. I am at a loss for words, aside from we love you and will miss you forever.”
Tributes on social media and from enjoi
Tributes from fans, skaters and enjoi have been flooding out.
The BBC also confirmed that a JustGiving page was set up to raise funds to install a bench at Ben’s local skatepark. They raised close to £12,000 in just two days.
enjoi changed their Instagram display picture to a photo of Ben while thousands of tweets have been sent in tribute.
One of my biggest inspirations in life and in skateboarding died a couple of days ago. Sucks knowing that one of my all time favorites is now dead. He had such an awesome and inspiring personality. Ben Raemers you'll be missed ;( pic.twitter.com/tMuJUwXr92
— bmx (@bmxyy_) May 16, 2019
RIP Ben Raemers literally one of the soundest guys in the industry, you will be missed 😣❤️🛹
— elle (@ellekvt) May 15, 2019
Very saddened to learn about the passing of Ben Raemers at age 28. He was an incredibly talented and truly creative skateboarder who was taken too soon. There will never be another one like him.This ad was in the first @sbcskateboard I ever bought #benraemersrip pic.twitter.com/i19fq7Cbx4
— Nothing Serious (@itsnothnserious) May 16, 2019
Lucy speaks up on mental health and skateboarding
Ben’s sister, Lucy, spoke to the BBC about how her brother was suffering from mental health issues.
Lucy also correlated his mental state te skateboarding, saying that the sport is associated with a rock and roll lifestyle where you’re constantly skating, boozing and having ‘fun’.
With skateboarding you have a lot of spare time on your hands so it’s easy to fall into a hole of addiction. He (Ben) would ring me and say, ‘I’m suicidal’. He was drinking loads. He was up and down the whole time. He tried to get help but he didn’t want it and he just plummeted.