By William Burgess
Rally driver & racer, action sports star, and immensely talented stuntman Ken Block, 55, was tragically killed Monday in a snowmobiling accident nearby his home and ranch in Park City, Utah.
Hoonigan Industries posted a memorialization of the viral sensation and iconic Gymkhana star late on Monday night. They remembered him above all as a friend, a husband, and a father.
Block was born in Long Beach, Calif. and raised in San Diego. He met Damon Way at Palomar Community College in San Marcos, Calif, who would later co-found the Eightball clothing brand and would launch the creation of the highly successful skating and snowboarding shoe brand, DC Shoes.
Block was only in his early twenties when he launched these brands in 1994, but by the following year the company revenues indicate the massively popular lifestyle shoe and clothing brand had already earned $7 million in sales.
In 2004 DC Shoes was acquired by Quicksilver in a deal worth $87 million, as Block started turning his sights to rally car driving, and the eventual creation of the sensational Hoonigan Racing Division (formerly Monster World Rally Team) in 2010.
In 2008, prior to the launch of Hoonigan, Block shared a video of his heavily modified 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, as it raced, drifted, and stunted around an airport tarmac set up with obstacles and slaloms as the driver deftly handled the hurdles ahead.
Although a little rough around the edges, the rest, as they say, would be history, as the first Gymkhana Practice video launched a new wave of hoonage in the automotive world and made Block a household name.
Block would go on to become a brand ambassador for BRP Can-Am off-road racing taking their UTV lineup to new heights (literally!) when he toured the top of Baldface Mountain Lodge in Nelson, British Columbia, in a Can-Am Maverick Max XRS Turbo RR outfitted with an Apache track system, and delivered via helicopter to the remote lodge.
Ken again took a Can-Am Maverick to the streets in a bonus video to his hotly anticipated Gymkhana Ten, in the portion of the globe jumping video that was filmed in Guanajuato, Mexico.
Block continued to set his sights on bigger stunts and badder vehicles ultimately culminating in his 2022 video ELECTRIKHANA: a high energy thrill race through the streets (and into the casinos!) of the Las Vegas Strip with an all electric Audi S1 “HOONITRON” developed and built by Block. Today the Hoonigan YouTube channel boasts well over 1 billion views worldwide.
Just days before his accident, Block shared photos to his social media of his Utah ranch covered in snow, along with photos of his Ski-Doo snowmobiles and Can-Am UTVs, as well as some Kubota excavators.
In an article published by The Salt Lake Tribune, the Wasatch County Sheriff indicated to the press Block was killed when his snowmobile flipped and landed on the rider during a group outing Monday afternoon, though he was alone at the instance of the accident.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Block is survived by his wife Lucy, and his three children. Adrenaline Powersports Magazine extends our gratitude to Ken Block and all he accomplished in life, as well as our heartfelt sorrows to his family on the occasion of his untimely death.
Will Burgess is a journalist with Adrenaline Powersports Mag