Des Moines, Iowa, is quickly becoming the epicenter of skateboarding in the Midwest. The new Lauridsen Skatepark, which opened in May as the largest skatepark in the United States, hosted this summer’s Dew Tour, which served as an Olympic qualifier for men’s and women’s street and park skateboarding.

Eager to capitalize on the momentum generated by Dew Tour, the city looked to host another skateboarding event this summer. But Skate DSM, a non-profit formed in 2018 to develop and implement programming for skateparks across Central Iowa, wanted to be sure Lauridsen Skatepark didn’t solely host large-scale national events.

With a stated goal to advocate for the local skateboarding community by working to make Greater Des Moines a community where skateboarding is a celebrated activity for people of all ages and backgrounds, Skate DSM president Norm Sterzenbach wanted to stage an event that would celebrate that local skateboarding talent while diverging from the standard street skateboarding contest setup.