We’re big fans of those in skate, surf, and snow who integrate their passion for the sport with positive social change and working towards the greater good. This is one of the reasons we were so thrilled to attend this year’s Exposure Skate (in Encinitas, California), the largest skate event for women and girls in the world. While Exposure Skate is a world class skateboarding event, you cannot truly appreciate what the organizers and participants are doing without also reflecting on their commitment to empowering women through skateboarding and their commendable efforts to seek social change through this unique event.
At first glance when you watch our video highlighting some of the best footage of the day, you will see some incredible skaters pushing the limits, yet this event is so much more. This year spectators watched over 150 of the world’s best women skaters from around the globe compete, while also being a part of a movement that seeks to be more than another skate event. Exposure Skate not only brings together phenomenal skaters but also creates an important and unique space for beginners, amateurs, and professional skaters – something that the skate community has long been missing – while also weaving social change and empowerment throughout the event. Of note is their commitment to supporting at-risk women and girls through raising awareness and the collection of $40,000 for local nonprofits benefiting the survivors of domestic violence. As if this alone doesn’t set their important work apart, the event itself has been designed from top to bottom to bolster the representation of women and girls in skateboarding in ways that benefit the skate community as well as at-risk women and girls beyond this community. Furthermore, spectators and participants are also treated to a vendor village, which has been designed to showcases women focused, health, and socially-conscious companies. While many have much to say about gender issues in skateboarding, Exposure Skate is unique in their total and holistic commitment to advancing women and girls both in the sport and beyond. This is nothing short of incredible, and if you’ve been paying attention to the news (both within skate culture and beyond) you know how critical a gender lens is in these challenging political times.
Exposure Skate has created something incredible that empowers women and girls through the sport while also using their platform, networks, and connections to give back to the community in real and tangible ways and be a part of the important process of creating positive, grassroots change through each and every part of their mandate. We can’t help but think that with organizations like Exposure Skate out there, the future of women and girls in skate (and beyond) is in good hands.
To learn more about their important work and to explore ways that you can support this work, please visit their website. While there also be sure to check out Underexposed: a women’s skateboarding documentary to learn more about the incredible things women and girls are doing in this skateboarding.