Ken Block is a legend. He founded DC shoes, he’s an epic racecar driver and he invited us to join him in Barcelona with 12 beautiful girls. And who were we to say no? So off we went, in the name of journalism.
Okay, so some context. Ken was in Barcelona with Monster Girls. He was also performing in Spain, so had a bit of time to hang out with us and take a few photos. We asked Ken about his favourite sneakers, the story behind his gold tooth and who he'd vote in the FHM 100 Sexiest...
So Ken, we feel bad meeting the founder of DC shoes wearing a pair of Nike hi-tops...
That's not a problem! I’ve always respected certain brands and the one I’ve most admired is Nike. Just because of their technology and what they’ve been able to do. Officially I’m not really supposed to say that! I live and breath DC but you’ve got to be able to respect what is good.
What makes an awesome pair of shoes? You know we value your opinion...
Obviously styling is important, but so is construction - it has to be a good, comfortable shoe. No matter how stylish something is, if it sucks to wear, you won’t wear it! I’ve definitely had shoes that I like the looks of them but after a while, I just couldn’t wear them. That's no good.
Are good quality trainers the most important part of a guy's wardrobe?
Well, the funny thing about trainers is that you can have a dirty T-shirt and a dirty pair of jeans but as long as you have some fresh shoes on, you look good. Other way round? Not so much!
Ken likes Naya. And Ryan Reynolds, but let's concentrate on Naya.
We noticed you've got a silver tooth... must be a good story there, right?
Yeah, I broke two of my teeth playing basketball when I was younger. I had my teeth clenched and somebody had the ball, I was following them and they turned really fast and hit me in the face with their elbow so it shattered two of the teeth inside my mouth. It used to be a gold tooth, you know.
From your days as a pirate?
Ha! It was the early '90s, hip-hop was a big part of my life so that’s why I had a good tooth for a year or two. This tooth down here [points] just eventually went dark grey so I had to replace it. I actually said to the dentist, “can you get me a platinum one?"
Are you pretty busy over the next few days?
I'm preparing for a race in the World Rally Championship, it's actually over about six days. So for the first couple of days we do reconnaissance; we drive the stage roads and make notes for all the stages. So that’s Tuesday, Wednesday and then on Thursday we have ‘shakedown’ where we get to go practice on a small practice stage for a couple of hours and then we have opening ceremonies on Friday and Saturday and then we have the race on Sunday. I’m busy for seven days straight but I’m a lucky bastard that I get to come out and do this!
One copy of FHM was actually damaged on our trip. R.I.P
You've spent the day hanging out with beautiful women in Barcelona. You have one of the best jobs in the world!
It’s definitely up there. It could only get better if I was winning all the races! It’s one of the most difficult championships in the entire world and it takes years to get up to that speed. The national championship in the States is very small, so I’ve had to learn a lot.
Have you always been into racing?
I actually did a lot of skating when I was growing up, I did snowboarding, riding and racing Motocross - basically what you call action sports nowadays. I never had much interest in playing the typical American sports as a kid... I did a bit of baseball, but that was about it.
Is racing fun? It looks a bit mental...
Racing is a lot more serious because of how much you invest in it. You can buy a skateboard for $100 and just go out and enjoy yourself. With a WFC Rally car, you’re talking $500,000 and every time you turn it on, it costs money. There’s a much more serious side to that but the cars are so amazing and I enjoy it so much and that I try and take them out of the racing scenario as often as I can and play with them. I don’t just want to be stuck on the side of all that what matters in gaining or losing that extra second.
Each year FHM does a Top 100 Sexiest Women in the World poll, who would be your top one?
I really like the girl on this month's cover, Naya? Apart from that, Jeniffer Aniston would be at the top. After my wife, obviously!
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Photographs: Alexandre Chailan & David Piolé