Action sports icon Ken Block dies in snowmobile crash at 55

Jan 2, 2023, 7:04 PM | Updated: Jan 3, 2023, 9:16 am
FILE - Skateboarders cheer as DC Shoes President Ken Block, center, wearing black shirt, smiles aft...

FILE - Skateboarders cheer as DC Shoes President Ken Block, center, wearing black shirt, smiles after pledging $1 million to support skateboarding in Philadelphia's LOVE Park on June 1, 2004. Block, the co-founder of DC Shoes and a pro rally driver who won multiple medals at the X-Games, died Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in a snowmobiling accident near his home in Park City, Utah, authorities said. Block was 55. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma, File)

(AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Ken Block, a motorsports icon known for his stunt driving and for co-founding the action sports apparel brand DC Shoes, died on Monday in a snowmobiling accident near his home in Utah.

Block, 55, “was riding a snowmobile on a steep slope when the snowmobile upended, landing on top of him,” the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. The incident occurred in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Block, who grew up in Southern California, was a co-founder of DC Shoes, a manufacturer of skateboarding and snowboarding shoes and apparel that in 2004 was purchased by Quicksilver for $84 million.

Afterward, he rose to fame as a rally car driver and in 2005 was awarded Rally America’s Rookie of the Year honors. He won multiple medals at the X Games and also competed in other action sports, including motocross, snowboarding and skateboarding.

Block’s most lasting imprint on action sports may perhaps be his marketing prowess: his YouTube stunt-driving videos showing him navigating difficult terrain and man-made obstacles have garnered more than 1 billion views.

“He created an industry,” Steve Arpin, Block’s Hoonigan Racing teammate told ESPN.

Hoonigan, the Park City-based team that Block founded, called Block “a visionary, a pioneer and an icon.”

“He will be incredibly missed,” the organization said in a statement.

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Action sports icon Ken Block dies in snowmobile crash at 55