Ken Block: HHIC

Ken Block: HHIC

     On Jan. 2, 2022, Ken Block, a racing legend who co-founded DC Shoes and Hoonigan Racing, passed away at age 55 after a snowmobile accident. Hoonigan first announced the death on social media, followed by a confirmation from the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office that Block had tried to navigate up a steep slope, causing the craft to fall back on top of him. Officials pronounced him dead at the scene. 


     “Ken was a visionary, a pioneer and an icon. And most importantly, a father and a husband,” Hoonigan wrote in the statement. “He will be incredibly missed.”


     Block co-founded DC Shoes, a popular skateboarding and shoe brand in 1994, building the brand into a global success through strategic sponsorships and athletes’ endorsements. After selling the company in 2004 for $87 million, he became better known as a rally car legend, winning 16 national titles in the sport from 2005 to 2014. Block raced in around 150 total rallies, 23 of which were wins and 43 of which podiums. He also earned five medals in the X Games for rally racing and became one of only four Americans to score points in the World Rally Championship.

     Block founded Hoonigan Industries in 2010 initially to support Hoonigan Racing Division and help him compete for world championships in rallying. The founding of the company gave him the title “HHIC” or “Head Hoonigan In Charge”. The team was first sponsored by energy drink company Monster, and was called Monster World Rally Team, but was later renamed Hoonigan Racing Division.

     In addition to his performance in the car, Block has been a driving force in shedding light on the sport of rally within the United States. His keen branding and marketing acumen, combined with his talents and skills behind the wheel, has also allowed Block to achieve global fame as a rally driver through his wildly successful series of videos called Gymkhana—a franchise which has garnered over 600 million views on Youtube alone. Adding Climbkhana and Terrakhana to the franchises of videos in recent years, Block’s media platforms continue to bring in new fans.

     Block was also competitive in motocross and skateboarding, but his true call to fame was documenting his automotive aeronautics on social media. His YouTube channel, which amassed over 1.95 million subscribers, credits itself for driving America’s burgeoning appreciation for motorsports. Block had shared pictures about the heavy snowfall at his Utah ranch on social media hours before the accident, writing, “hell yeah!” across an Instagram photo of snowmobiles.

     Tributes to the icon were pouring in across his platforms on Tuesday morning. “Ken was truly an idol and inspiration for me, getting me into rally. […] I’ve never been hit so hard by someone’s passing,” wrote Facebook user Troy Dawson. Dave Smith, a YouTube commenter wrote, “I never understood the draw to extreme sports until watching one of his videos. HE was the draw.” Block’s legend is likely to live on through the rally racing success of his family. His 16-year-old daughter, Lia, has been competing for Hoonigan racing since age 11 and his wife, Lucy, made her all-wheel-drive rally in 2022.


     Ken Block was the reason so many people got into rally racing, and the reason why even more wanted to build all-wheel-drive tire-shredding monsters. Block was truly an inspiration and an icon, he was one of the main reasons I, the writer, am into cars. Block was no stranger to a challenge and never saw anything as impossible. 

“If you aren’t scared, you aren’t going fast enough.” -Ken Block