November 5, 2016
Kickflips, McTwists, Slams and Smith Grinds. These were terms once relegated to the brooding adolescent minority of smelly, rebellious teenage boys shredding their way through the streets of Southern California and onto the revenge list of property owners across the country. But with everything that’s happened in the last forty years no one could have prepared the skateboarding world, or general public, for the increasingly common site of tiny pink-helmeted toddlers spinning 540s, or a tattooed twenty-something punk-rock princess skating backyard pools on the daily. These sights were relatively unseen, especially in the male-dominated, hyper-progression based industry. If you wanted to see a female skater, you had to be one. And to make money, get sponsored or have industry coverage? Think again. One was lucky to get a set of new wheels if you had two of the same chromosomes and all the skill in the world.
But there’s been a sea change in the world of skateboarding lately, largely due to an organization and annual event called Exposure Skate. Stemming from a documentary by Amelia Brodka (Underexposed, available on Hulu and other platforms) that was focused on the lack of opportunity for women and girls in the skateboarding industry, this annual event is becoming the antidote to the problem it uncovered.
Starting 5 years ago as a modest, local women’s skateboarding competition, Exposure has grown into the largest women’s skateboarding event in the world. Exposure’s national and international media coverage has helped expand the field of women’s skateboarding enthusiasts through site and passion. This year’s event will feature 130 top female skaters from countries all over the world, including South Africa, Australia, Sweden, Columbia, Argentina, France, Japan and more. From ages 8 to 45, the generation spread is indicative of the general mission and tone of the homegrown turned world-wide destination for women’s skateboarding. That growth is rooted in support. And with $50,000 on the line, the girls will be supporting each other to skate their best while maintaining their mission to raise each other up. As the support continues to grow from Exposure, the talent and community increases, multiplying the number of opportunities available for girls.
It only takes one session skating with these hardcore rippers to realize they understand and live the spirit of skateboarding as if they discovered it first. Their apparent passion tells as if they care not for the gold, but for the goal–that goal that we seem to all be reaching for–satisfaction in community and self.
Exposure has taken this tone and spread its value among members of the local community.
Evolving into a successful non-profit through the direction of Amelia Brodka and her partner, Lesli Cohen, Exposure continues to grow beyond the premier women’s skate event of the year. They now offer frequent youth skateboarding and volunteer clinics to local girls through their Skate Rising program, run by Calli Kelsay. These clinics provide an opportunity for regular and new girls to get together and feel comfortable stepping into a skate park while learning what it feels like to give back to their community. Introducing skateboarding to young girls (and boys) provides them with a new highway of self-discovery. With the ability to play and create freely,utilizing a built-in technology tree, these girls get the opportunity to set their own goals, fail, fail again, self-assess and succeed. They also get to develop their own understanding of what success, and failure, means to them. To know that you can get back up and make it happen is one of the greatest strengths a person can cultivate. When the strength of perseverance is built in to a community’s shared value structure, there’s no limit to what can be done. Because of this surplus of awesomeness, Exposure also donates a fair share of their revenue to Carol’s House (a resource for survivors of domestic violence) and provides a channel to help communicate the importance of resources like these that provide relief and safe haven to those in need in the community. These forms of giving to the local community provide the girls who participate with level of understand and appreciation for philanthropy and community not found many other places in the industry. Exposure shares and lives these values as they help shift the skateboarding climate to support its latest, raddest additions– this year’s field of 130 international competitors, ready to rip.
To get a taste of how rad it really is, show up on November 5th to the Encinitas Skatepark and feel the palpable electricity in the air as hundreds of eyes flowthrough the bowl following the unique lines of those who draw them. You’re sure to have good time participating. .. As the old saying goes: “There’s no watching in skateboarding.”
To experience the mission of Exposure, come for the shredding, stay for the community and leave inspired. (And likely wanting to pick up a skateboard on the way home)
For more information on Exposure Skate visit www.exposureskate.org or follow @exposureskate
2016 Exposure Skate Event
November 5th, 2016
9:00AM – 5:00PM PST
425 S Santa Fe Dr, Encinitas CA