It’s been 16 days since Ken Block was tragically killed in a snowmobile accident in Utah, a loss that will echo for much longer. The offices of Hoonigan in Park City, Utah, have been predictably quiet. On Wednesday, the team released a short video to update us on what’s coming and what lies ahead.
As you might imagine, the tone of the video is pretty somber. Hoonigan says they’ve been inundated with well-wishes and tributes to Ken, which is understandable. The Block family has created a foundation in Ken’s memory, the 43 Institute, which now has a website. There’s a “Donate” button on the top right of the page if you’re inclined. The crew also lets us in on an upcoming public service to celebrate Ken, which may be as soon as next month, and the cache of video recorded before his death that may see the light of day.
Hoonigan also shared the tribute video created for Ken’s celebration of life service. The six-minute-or-so clip gives us private insight into what made Ken so compelling publicly: the man was a walking smile. From early skateboarding and snowboarding days to behind-the-scenes footage for his incredibly popular Gymkhana series, Ken’s joy endured, and it was clear that he loved what he did and did what he loved.
Viewers also get to see Ken’s attention to detail which, personally speaking, probably made him one of the most compelling people to talk to that I’ve ever met. Frankly speaking, Ken was a geek, which showed in the inch-perfect ways he drove. He could spout media-trained platitudes like the best of them, but if his interests were piqued by anything—cars, snowboards, outdoors, anything—he’d talk for hours. It was endearing, unscripted, and unreal cool.
It's why the finale of the video is heart-wrenching and affirming, too. We hear Ken describe what he could tell others about living and why it mattered to him. Doing what was fun was who Ken was, and he was very good at it. We’re all the better for being on the ride with him, for as long as we could.
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