Exposure Skate to hold annual event in Encinitas

Exposure Skate will be holding an in-person event in Encinitas.
(Jaime Owens)

A local nonprofit that supports women and transgender inclusion in skateboarding will hold its first in-person event since 2019.

The organization, Exposure Skate, has held the event every year to showcase about 200 female, trans and nonbinary skateboarders who are at various levels of their careers. Due to the pandemic, in 2020 and 2021 it partnered with Thrasher Magazine for a video competition that drew more than 200 submissions from around the world in 2020 and 2021.

This year, Exposure’s namesake event will be held Oct. 22-23 in Encinitas.

Exposure Skate was co-founded by professional skateboarder Amelia Brodka, who represented Poland in the 2020 Olympics. Brodka’s own journey began when she was a child in New Jersey and the X Games were in Philadelphia.

“We were just walking around and somewhere off in the corner we saw one of the vert ramps was being skated,” she said. “As we got closer, we saw it was women and girls and they were doing a demo. I had never seen skateboarding by any non males at that time, and it completely inspired me and opened my mind to the possibility that maybe one day I could also skate giant ramps. So that’s what got me on that journey of wanting to skateboard and I got completely obsessed with it.”

Her rise to prominence as a skater was complicated by obstacles that disproportionately affected women in skating, such as the cancellations of events and difficulty getting sponsorships.

But a lot has changed over the years.

“There’s a lot more visibility in terms of non-male skaters being featured in magazines and sponsorships and all these kinds of things,” Brodka said.

She continued, “The girls that are skating today have been around it, they’ve been exposed to it at a young age and it clearly seems like something they can participate in. So we’ve already seen a lot of the change that we wanted to see. Because at first, I would always be the only girl skateboarder that I knew when I started skating, and it definitely made it a lot harder to be a part of the sport, because it was always a boys club.”

Pro skater and Olympian Bryce Wettstein, who is from Encinitas, has been one of the top success stories to emerge from an Exposure event. She attended the first one at age 7.

“We really helped create a competitive avenue for her when there wasn’t one,” Brodka said.

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