(Feature Photo by Lorrie Palmos)
Last week I mentioned that I would be interviewing female pro skater and co-founder of Exposure Skate, Amelia Brodka, so that readers can learn more about the mission of Exposure, how it’s positively effecting the industry and how WE can push the mission forward.
Interview with Krystal Berry of 3 Thirty and Amelia Brodka.
Tell us about yourself:
My name is Amelia Brodka.
I was inspired to skate when I saw Lyn-z Adams Hawkins, CB Burnside and Jen O’Brien skating at a women’s vert demo at the X-Games in Philadelphia.
What was your big break in to the pros?
When I started competing there was just a “girls” division that didn’t differentiate Pros and Ams, we were all just in a big group. Since they started separating the “Pro” and “Am” divisions, all of us who competed together before the separation just automatically were qualified as Pro.
Describe the skateboard industry for females, as you have experienced it:
The industry is still learning that there are more and more females getting involve with skating and most companies have not figured out how to properly support this growing demographic. Because of that, it is complicated for girls to figure out where their place is within skateboarding. On the one hand we are very supported and accepted an on the other hand many skate companies are still using non-skateboarding models to promote their women’s products instead of through a skate team as they do with the guys side. However there are companies that are challenging the norm and working on ways to support the girls. I am very grateful for the sponsors I have! Thank you Black Bear B12, XS Helmets, Arbor Skateboards, Vox Footwear, Theeve Trucks, Concrete Disciples and 187 Killer Pads!
Tell us about your documentary Underexposed:
UNDEREXPOSED was created at a time when there was a lot of confusion for all of us girls who were skateboarding at a high level. It seemed like the only way for a girl to “pursue” skateboarding was through competitions. Suddenly there was a year where all of the women’s divisions in big competitions were cancelled. This was especially confusing since the level and participation rate of girls skateboarding was increasing rapidly. I wanted to know whether the people who were working within the skateboarding and action sports industry saw this growth and progression the way that I did. I also wanted to find out where they thought female skateboarders fit in to their industry. The goal of the film was to juxtapose the ideas that decision makers within the industry had about female skateboarders with footage of women and girls skating at a high level all over the world. The documentary is now available for viewing on iTunes and other on-demand platforms. You can see the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE6rE6z2Zo8
Tell us about the inspiration behind exposure skate and what the mission is:
EXPOSURE Skate was a way to empower women and girls in skateboarding. The nonprofit creates opportunities for women and girls to learn, compete and travel for skateboarding. Our events not only create an avenue for these ladies to succeed but also raise money for female skateboarders. We have filled the void that some of the larger competitions made when they dropped their girls divisions as well as created a platform for amateur and beginner girls to get involved in skateboarding. We now run the biggest all-female skateboarding event in the world.
What is/are an accomplishment(s) of Exposure Skate that you are most proud of?
I am most proud of bringing women and girls of all ages from all over the world together in a way that brings them all joy and friendship. It is always wonderful to feel that all of the smiles and excitement of the event also raise money to help empower survivors of domestic violence.
What is your perspective on the importance of female skaters in the skateboard industry:
I think that the skateboarding industry should be excited about having a growing marketplace. Properly speaking to and supporting female skateboarders will only help their business to grow.
3 Thirty has committed to help raise funds that would assist in covering travel expenses that some female competitors may face when traveling to Exposure Skate 2015. How important is it to your organization, the competitors and the skate industry, that you generate this type of support?
It is a joy to see 3Thirty so excited and willing to help EXPOSURE Skate grow. By helping us to raise a travel stipend, 3Thirty is creating a way to get new up-and-coming girls the opportunity to live their skate dreams and to become a part of the global community of female skateboarders. I know there are many girls who would have loved and benefitted from the opportunity to skate in EXPOSURE but it is very difficult for them to find the support to travel out to a competition, especially if they have limited competition experience. Allowing new competitors the opportunity to participate in EXPOSURE can help open the doors for them to pursue their goals.
What message do you have to give to females who are amateur, professional and interested in learning to skate?
Skateboarding is a beautiful, inclusive community. Join us in sharing the joy we feel when we do what we love!
About Exposure Skate’s Campaign:
3 Thirty is raising funds to support the female skaters who want to compete in the upcoming Exposure Skate 2015 competition but require assistance with travel expenses. To support this cause go to www.shop3thirty.com/shop
Exposure Skate is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that hosts an annual skateboarding competition and benefit event that provides female skaters an avenue to succeed while at the same time raising money to su survivors of domestic violence. Check out the organization at www.exposureskate.org