Now in its third year, the Des Moines Streetstyle Open has grown to boast not only its biggest prize purse to date—$28,000—but a roster of some of the world’s top professional skateboarders.
Modeled after beloeved international skate competition the Copenhagen Open, the Des Moines Streetstyle Open is a multi-day skate contest at locations throughout the Des Moines area, with the final contest held at Lauridsen Skatepark, which opened in 2021 and is the United States’ largest public skatepark.
In 2021 and 2022, Lauridsen was home to Dew Tour, the annual professional action sports competiton.
Skate DSM, a non-profit formed in 2018 to develop and implement programming for skateparks across Central Iowa, wanted to take advantage of Des Moines’ world-class Lauridsen Skatepark and create smaller, local events that could highlight amateaurs and pros alike.
In 2021, one such event was born as the Des Moines Streetstyle Open.
As Skate DSM President Norm Sterzenbach told me in 2021, the thinking was, “How are we going to showcase the amazing talent in Des Moines but make sure skaters are involved and that the stuff that comes out of here really has the local skaters in mind too?”
Now in its third year, the Des Moines Streetstyle Open has attracted the attention of top pros including two Thrasher Skaters of the Year in Leo Romero & Mark Suciu; Sean Malto, Torey Pudwill, David Reyes, Boo Johnson, Franky Spears, Ryan Townley, Taylor Kirby, Pedro Delfino and Sammy Montano, as well as many top amateur skaters from the Des Moines area and beyond.
In addition, USA Skateboarding CEO Johnny Schillereff, who founded skateboarding brands Element Skateboards and The Heart Supply, and Puerto Rico Olympic Skateboarder Rio Batan will speak to local high school and elementary school students.
“Now in our third year, the Des Moines Streetstyle Open is quickly becoming a must-go-to event for skateboarders,” Sterzenbach said. “We are excited that this year’s event will be the biggest one yet! We are bringing in some top-tier talent and expect to see some world-class skateboarding.”
The event kicked off Thursday with the “Hill Bomb” contest at Des Moines St. and East 5th St. and the Jump Ramp Contest on Robert D. Ray Dr. Following those contests, there will be a kick-off block party at Subsect Skate Shop.
Friday’s programming includes a Best Trick contest and Red Bull’s “Mind the Gap” Contest on Court Ave between 3rd & 4th St.
The anchor of the weekend, Saturday’s Open Street Contest for the men’s and women’s divisions will be held at Lauridsen Skatepark starting at 2 p.m. That contest will see $20,000 of the $28,000 total prize purse allocated to winners. The event is free and open to the public and no tickets are required to attend.
“When Polk County invested in the new Lauridsen Skatepark, these kinds of locally grown events were exactly what we had in mind,” Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly said. “We are so excited to welcome world-class skateboarders from around the country to visit us for the 2023 Des Moines Streetstyle Open.”