Download Full Size Rendering (3.2mb .jpg)

The Des Moines Regional Skatepark Committee and California Skateparks collaborated to create a world-class skatepark in Des Moines that is set to be the largest open park in the nation totaling more than 65,000 Sq. Ft.  The City of Des Moines, Iowa worked with the Committee to select a site located along the Des Moines River adjacent to School St. and 2nd Ave.  The skatepark will incorporate an extension of the Principal Riverwalk, giving pedestrians an option to travel through the passive part of the skatepark.  The nearby Women of Achievement Bridge spanning the Des Moines River adds an additional element to the setting enhancing the interest of the skatepark’s location.  The bridge will also serve as a route to the skatepark from the East Villiage.  Centrally located to downtown and the freeway, The Des Moines Regional skatepark will be a welcome addition to the network of parks in the city.

Design inspiration was gathered from plazas and architecture found around the world to create the design for the skateplaza. The clover bowl and kidney pool are reminiscent of all the influence from backyard pools and 70’s style snake runs.  At a base level, the skate plaza is intended to provide safe, fun and challenging opportunities for skate­boarders and spectators alike.  The plaza terrain maintains a focus on modern street/plaza and elements with an orientation towards beginner through advanced level users of all ages.  Design con­siderations also address the opportunity for users to grow and progress in their skills.  The park has ability to host a variety of events including demos, competitions and concerts.  Attention has been given to incorporating a safe pedestrian walkway and inviting viewing/socializing areas.

At more than 65,000 square feet of skateable terrain, the design consists of 3 main areas. The lower plaza/pedestrian walk, the main plaza and the snake run, bowl and pool.   The park includes decorative paving patterns and an earth tone color pallet consisting of tans, shades of grey, black and steel blue giving the design a unique style that integrates with its surroundings.  Detailing for the hand rails, ledges, seating benches and shade structures were inspired by the arches and cables seen on the bridges throughout Des Moines.

The entire skatepark was heavily influenced by the existing topography of the land and the water table. The design also responds to the powerful currents of the river.  The snake run lends itself to the flow of water at high speeds.  The 2-tiered downhill snake run is over 300 feet long and includes a bit of everything.

The plaza has varying heights as it terraces down the hill in all directions. The lower and upper plaza will contain all the essential elements for modern street skating as well as a pedestrian friendly walkway with shaded seating adjacent to the river. The plazas imaginative architecture replicates the organic nature of real street spots.  Features were meticulously designed for optimum functionality and to reflect the true power of skateboarding.

California Skateparks

California Skateparks is a multi-disciplinary company specializing in the design and build of public and private concrete skate parks, plazas, skate spots and progressive recreational facilities. We are the leader in the industry and produce the highest quality concrete skate parks utilizing our innovative state of the art construction methods and techniques.

We have worked hundreds of projects and produced some of the most notable, world class facilities ever created including projects for Rob Dyrdek, Tony Hawk, Bucky Lasek, Lance Mountain, Andrew Reynolds, Ryan Sheckler, The Berrics and Woodward (East/West and China). In addition, we design and build projects exclusively for professional events such as the Street League, Maloof Money Cup and X Games. We take great pride in our work and have gained the reputation for developing skate parks with the highest quality craftsmanship possible.

California Skateparks offers an extremely knowledgeable and talented group of individuals. Our diversified staff includes professional skateboarders, landscape architects, general contractors, civil & structural engineering experts and master builders. Our approach focuses on creative design, sound planning, systematic project costing and solid construction methodology, with the needs and desires of our clients and the community as our main priority. Through the utilization of state-of-the-art technology combined with attention to aesthetics and detail, California Skateparks delivers a focused, cohesive effort from concept to completion.

About the Designers

Colby Carter
Colby is a skateboarder/designer focused on designing and coordinating the various aspects of developing terrain, skate art and facilities for skateboarding. His diverse background in professional skateboarding, design and construction make him unique as a designer who can successfully address both the client’s as well as the skater’s needs.
For 10 years from 1989-1999 Colby was a professional skateboarder then went on to study landscape design and horticulture ultimately transitioning his career as a pro skateboarder into one as a skatepark designer in 2000.In addition to his skateboarding career, he has designed and developed over 300 skateparks since 2001. 25 years of achievements and industry related experience in skateboarding, skatepark design and construction has given Colby the extensive knowledge and insight necessary to develop architecture for the future of skateboarding.

Colby is 100% dedicated to being an integral part in the evolution of terrain built for skateboarding through the creation of unique and innovative designs and construction methodologies. Because of his experience and involvement with the skate community, Colby is able to facilitate skater’s dreams from an idea to reality.


Lance Mountain
Lance Mountain brings over 35 years of skateboarding experience and expertise to California Skateparks. As one of the five most legendary members of the Bones Brigade Lance helped push the bowl and pool movement in the 80′s with such skaters as Steve Caballero and Tony Hawk.Through his career Lance has done and accomplished so many incredible things like one of the original inventors of the fingerboard, Co-designer of the Independent Stage V truck, and owner of his own skateboard company, “The Firm” in 1991.
Lance has been through the radical changes of the skateboarding industry and has continued to push skateboarding to new levels with strong passion and un-matched creativity. His collaborations with California Skateparks have led to new designs, construction methodologies and state of the art pools and bowls for skate parks across the country.