In a sport historically dominated by men, the women of skateboarding got their due this past weekend.
Exposure 2014, a skateboarding contest for women and girls, was held Nov. 8 at the Magdalena Ecke YMCA skatepark. With dozens of photographers, sponsors and a few hundred spectators watching, 66 competed in vert ramp and bowl events.
“We don’t have many events that are this large,” said pro rider Nora Vasconcellos, 21, just before signing an autograph for a fan. “I like seeing the variety of ages out here, especially the young girls skating.”
Competitors ranged from 5 to 50 in age, coming from as far as Australia.
Vasconcellos added that women’s skateboarding is gaining more attention thanks to events like Exposure.
Amelia Brodka, another pro, founded Exposure in hopes of sparking more cash prizes and sponsors for female riders. Brodka also made “Underexposed,” a documentary chronicling how tough it is for female skateboarders to compete professionally, given so few sponsorship opportunities.
“‘Underexposed’ was an incredible journey,” Brodka wrote on her website, ameliabrodka.com. “When I started, it was just me, my iPhone and a powerful desire to show the skateboarding industry that there were girls skating at a high level all over the world. I was frustrated by the cutbacks happening for women’s skateboarding and wanted answers.”
Exposure featured $20,000 in prize money. And a portion of the proceeds went to Carol’s House, a shelter for survivors of domestic abuse that’s run by the Community Resource Center in Encinitas.
“With a large gap in government funding for domestic violence programs in San Diego this year, we couldn’t be more appreciative and thankful for the Exposure event,” said Paul Thompson, chief executive officer of Community Resource Center, in a press release for the event. “Our Carol’s House program and comprehensive domestic services continue to change lives for those who have suffered abuse.”