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Ken Block Killed In Snowmobiling Accident

Ken Block was an unapologetic visionary. Photo: Audi


The Inertia

Ken Block, a visionary in the action sports industry, was killed yesterday in a snowmobiling accident near his Utah home.

According to a release from the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office, block was riding in the Mill Hollow area southeast of Park City when his snowmobile reared back and fell on top of him as he was attempting to climb a steep slope. He was apparently pronounced dead on the scene.

Block founded DC Shoes in 1984 as a skateboarding brand that would expand into snow and other action sports. After selling the company in 2004 to Quiksilver for a reported $88 million, Block dove into other pursuits. Around that time, he created the DC Mountain Lab between Park City and Deer Vally, Utah – a literal snowboarding play land, with private access that featured all sorts of innovative rails, jumps, quarterpipes, and setups only true aficionados of board and snow could appreciate. DC.MTN.LAB a film about the facility featuring riders like Eddie Wall, Travis Parker, Devun Walsh, Todd Richards, Travis Rice, Bjorn Leines, Simon Chamberlin, and Priscilla Levac, stoked the fire for many young snowboarders of that generation. The Lab was shutdown in 2011.

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A post shared by Ken Block (@kblock43)

“Every snowboarder on the planet was in awe, and young adults dreamed of receiving an invite to party and ride with their favorite DC athletes, which at the time included everyone from Travis Parker to Travis Rice, and a bunch of other uber-pros not named Travis,” wrote Matthew Vanatta for The Inertia in 2018. “It was snowboarding’s hottest destination. It was Kelly Slater’s wave pool that would never open to the public, and the exclusivity made it all the more alluring….The DC Mountain Lab was the pinnacle of snowboarding extravagance. It was the result of two decades of rapid growth in which a small garage industry exploded into a 100-million dollar industry. It was new money opulence. It was gaudy. It was symbolism. It was perfect.”

Block of course, was far from a one-hit wonder. He was an X Games Rally Car driver and not just for fun. He regularly threatened the podium. In 2010, Block founded Hoonigan (a motor sports apparel brand) and the Hoonigan Racing Division (a team that competes in the America Rally Car Association).

“Ken, say it isn’t so,” wrote Travis Rice. “Thank you for everything. You live on in all of us.”

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Block leaves behind a wife and three children. He was 55 years old.

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