Eight Nine came out last night, I thought I would get caught up with a little Gymknana history - and rate them.
I dig what Ken Block does.
No, not the part about missing out on WRC points, or selling things like flat brim hats, energy drinks, puffy sneakers, and Hoonigan apparel.
What I love is HOW he’s selling things like flat brim hats, energy drinks, puffy sneakers, and Hoonigan apparel.
It’s these marketing videos I love, but it’s not for the reason you think.
We need young enthusiasts.
Sitting here in my mid-40s, I recognize that I never connected with Ken Block or The Fast & Furious, the same way my parents never connected with The Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider, or CHiPs - but those cheesy TV characters of my youth are probably the reason I ride motorcycles, drift shopping carts around grocery stores, and power slide Vanagons in the snow whenever I can.
Whenever I see kids at car shows wearing Block43 shirts, I know that there is a good chance they are could on their way to becoming enthusiasts.* And I’m pretty sure they’re wearing them because of these gymkhanas/infomercials.
*If they stay away from Gizmodo’s “ban car” articles.
So here are the
eight nine Gymkhana videos, in order, rated on a scale of 1-5 Blocks.
Note - I originally posted this back in March when Eight came out, I just edited it to include Nine.
GYMKHANA PRACTICE - 2008
I didn’t know who this “Block” guy was, but this was pretty cool. A fun YouTube video of a rally driver in a Subaru. 3/5 Blocks.
GYMKHANA TWO - 2009
Very similar to ONE, but there were a few gimmicks and Michael Bay content that turned me off a little, so it lost a point. 2/5 Blocks.
GYMKHANA THREE - 2010
Out-fucking-standing. Amazing venue, amazing course. More driving than explosions. 5/5 Blocks.
GYMKHANA FOUR - 2011
Great driving, but that brick wall wasn’t real. 3/5 Blocks
GYMKHANA FIVE - 2012
Great place to do it. I’m glad they pulled it off. Lots of variety. 4/5 Blocks
GYMKHANA SIX - 2013
My least favorite. I’m impressed how they moved the course to a fresh piece of tarmac for filming, so it looked like there wasn’t two full days of practice, but it was boring. You can only hold my attention so long within a parking lot. 1/5 Blocks
GYMKHANA SEVEN - 2014
I thought this one was great. Not sure if it was the car this time, or the choice of Jane’s Addiction at the end. 5/5 Blocks
GYMKHANA EIGHT- 2016
I liked the donuts around the Raptor, 747, and the roundabouts on The Palm Jumeirah. This was San Fransisco without all the sweet jumps. 3/5 Blocks
GYMKHANA NINE - 2016
Simple, back to basics. I was going to give it a three, but the dock edge pucker moment and the railroad crossing jump pushed it to a soft four. 4/5 Blocks