July 31, 2010

Ken Block On Boardsports Business

Ken Block has got to be one of the most knowledgable guys around when it comes to action sports. He kicked off in 1991 when he got together with Damon Way to create Eightball Clothing which then moved into Droors, Dub, and finished with skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing powerhouse, DC. He has taken the company from startup in 1993 to where it is today as one of the leaders in action sports footwear. Oh, and he managed to do a bit of driving in there too.

He has spoken to Mike Lewis over at Transworld Business about both the future of the sports we love and the direction of DC. When asked about the expansion from skateboarding, Block says, “For a really long time…our consumers were only skateboarders, but with the growth of snowboarding in the late 80s and early 90s and surfing making itself cool again in the mid-90s, we saw an expansion of [the] consumer base buying our products and it was a matter of us embracing that and adding [them] into our targets.” Which of course then leads into the question, how do you cater for each of these markets? To which he replies, “It’s all about being very knowledgeable about the markets you’re in and catering to the consumer’s tastes and or trying to lead those consumers’ tastes. If you’re tyring to sell the wrong shoe to a particular market or you’re trying to send the wrong message, you’re not going to succeed. Snowboarders aren’t always into the same things as a BMX’er or a skateboarder. A lot of times the general trends follow the same directions but there are definitely sects and paths of things that happen in each of these markets.”  There’s a lot in the article but it’s well worth a read –  Check it out here.

(Via Transworld Business)

PS. Just wanted to include my favourite Ken Block driving clip in here – Enjoy!

by Dave