We launched the ‘Get on Board’ project in 2022 with the simple goal of getting more kids on skateboards, regardless of their financial means. Since then we have given out 900+ high-quality, complete skateboards and helmets to kids in the Des Moines area, a retail value of over $125,000. This project helps us activate a unique community asset, the Lauridsen Skatepark, as a hub for healthy activities for Des Moines youth.

Skateboarding is a unique activity because it combines extreme physical exertion with precise muscle coordination and balance. It’s a great activity for kids’ physical and mental health. Skateboarding also encourages kids to interact with one another and builds vital social and interpersonal skills. Skateboarding also teaches perseverance. 

Although skateboarding is a sport with a low barrier to entry (about $150), we know that not all youth can access equipment and as a result, many miss out on the multiple benefits. In 2024 we plan to give out equipment to at least 500 kids.


To be eligible for this project, you must: 

  • Be enrolled in school in Polk, Dallas, or Warren county in grades K-8, 
  • Have a passion for and want to try skateboarding,
  • Complete the application below

How to apply 

This form is intended to gather information about prospective skateboard recipients. Skate DSM is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to grow the skateboard community in the Des Moines metro area. To be considered for a helmet and skateboard, applicants must be enrolled in school (grades K-8) in Polk, Dallas, or Warren counties. Applicants must also complete the form below, and please be as detailed as possible as the answers to these questions will help us determine the recipients. 

Equipment recipients will be notified by email and text with details on how to pick their new skateboard and helmet at future distribution events.

Project Sponsors and Supporters 

  • Atlantic Bottling Company 
  • Blank Children’s Hospital
  • Casey’s
  • Cowtown S.K.A.T.E. Nonprofit
  • Cultivating Compassion: The Dr. Richard Deming Foundation
  • Des Moines Public Schools
  • Divitia, LLC
  • Element Skateboards
  • EMC Insurance Companies
  • Fareway Stores
  • Iowa State Bank
  • Virginia & Nix Lauridsen 
  • MidAmerican Energy
  • Polk County
  • Polk County Conservation
  • Protec
  • Simonson Charitable Fund
  • Subsect Skate Shop
  • Variety – the Children’s Charity
  • Carl & Susan Voss


Addilyn loves her new skateboard. Seeing her gain confidence while trying a new sport like skateboarding is wonderful. Addilyn knows the importance of wearing her helmet because of the intentional guidance she received from Skate DSM. She hopes to continue to practice and build momentum to try new things on her skateboard and grow in strength and courage.

– Nicole Van Houten

Izzie absolutely loves her skateboard. She is always trying to find different ways to travel and skateboarding is no different. She will put her helmet on and skate down our driveway to her friends house or as far as she can get! Her brother is currently showing her new tricks to try at the skatepark! 

– Beth Chrzastek

Kilian was thrilled to receive his new skateboard! It made the whole experience even better that he was able to attend the Dew Tour in combination with receiving his board. Kilian loves to join his older cousin (who also received a new board) at the skate park and practice new moves. The skater community make’s learning extremely easy by being such an open and welcoming place.

– Patty Toth