It was revealed overnight that DC Shoes Co-founder Ken Block died following a snowmobile accident. Whilst he was more well known for his status as a rally driver and his connection to automotive brand Hoonigan than anything in skateboarding, Ken’s stamp on the skateboarding community was large. DC Shoes became a mega-brand in the world of skate shoes in the 90’s, and projects like The DC Video would set the tone for skateboarding in the 2000’s.
His ability to bring a skateboarding mindset to Motorsport is what gave us the endlessly entertaining Gymkhana videos – a combination of the rally driving prowess I had admired as a kid, combined with the editing and energetic camerawork of skateboard films. Ken Block made rally driving cool again, rather than it being for 50 year olds in rain macks sat in the Welsh countryside waiting for a Ford Focus to barrel past, it opened it up to younger car enthusiasts who could engage with it on many different levels. His taste in cars and his vast collection of Hoonigan modified vehicles had a huge impact on my own taste in cars – adding to my love for the Mk 2 Ford Escort, the OG Ford Mustang and the boxy 90’s Ford Mustang Foxbody.
When you look at what DC achieved within skateboarding, building an enviable team of top names and competing with the likes of Vans, Emerica and Lakai, and then still remaining strong against competition like Nike and Adidas – it was proof that what Ken co-founded was filled with the enduring spirit and core ideals of why we skate, why we push forward and proceed, and why we create within this space in the first place. Ken left behind an awesome legacy and skateboarding is better off having him support our way of life, even if it was brief.
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