Throughout the years, a countless number of people have found their soulmates via a shared interest. Amelia Brodka can certainly attest to that, as she met her partner, Alec Beck, at a skatepark in California. However, while the skateboarder was in the middle of an interview, her boyfriend executed a stunt that changed their lives forever.
A resident of Los Angeles, C.A., Beck was a student at Loyola Marymount University before focusing on a career in skateboarding. As a result, he entered his first contest in July 2013, joining the Shop Battle Van Doren Invitational Qualifiers. Unfortunately, though, things didn’t quite go according to plan.
Indeed, out of over 30 entrants, Beck finished 28th in that particular contest. Undeterred, he went on to enter another Van Doren event the following year in Huntington Beach, C.A., but the results weren’t much better. The skater came 26th in that competition.
However, Beck enjoyed a career-best performance in July 2015. It came as he returned to Huntington Beach for the next Van Doren contest. Competing against 26 other skaters, the L.A. resident finished in 13th place that year, which earned him five global rank points.
Off the back of that impressive display, Beck then entered the Vans Pro Skate Park Series Qualifiers in July 2016, once again held in Huntington Beach. Unfortunately for him, though, he couldn’t build on his previous success. The skateboarder finished in 76th place out of close to 100 entrants.
As for Beck’s work outside of the contests, he scored a job at the Tony Hawk Foundation in 2015, taking on the role of Programs Manager. “I help people with their public concrete skatepark projects,” he told Transworld Skateboarding magazine in October 2018. On that note, the skater then lifted the lid on that particular process.
“Anyone in the world who wants a public skatepark in their town can email or call us and we will teach you how to make it happen,” Beck said. “Long story short – you make a group, figure out what size park you need, [and] talk to your city. [And then] connect with a local service organization to act as your bank.”
“[Then] start raising awareness and funds. Connect with designers [and] builders to discuss what you want to skate and pull your group through to the finish line,” Beck continued. “It’s a decent amount of work, about two to three years’ worth. You put in a little bit every week and get the homies and family to help out.”
At that point, Beck spoke about the benefits of pursuing a project like this. “By the end of the process, your community has a new skatepark,” he said. “That’s really good because you’re a skater and you had a hand in the process. You know everyone in the city and have learned some very valuable skills.”
“On top of that, you have a killer piece for your resume or college application,” Beck added. “How many people build a half million-dollar public infrastructure project for their town?” However, while the programs manager continues to do good work with the foundation, his personal life changed forever in November 2012.
Indeed, Beck was at the Vans Skatepark in Orange, C.A., at that time, standing on the edge of the Combi Bowl. There, he met fellow skateboarder Amelia Brodka, kicking off their romance. Much like him, Brodka was about to compete in a number of skating competitions, where she could showcase her talent.
Born in Poland, Brodka now resides in Vista, C.A., with her first event coming in July 2013. The skater finished fourth in the qualifiers of the Van Doren Girls Contest, progressing to the finals with five others. However, while she ended that competition in last place, she still earned 350 global rank points.
Brodka went on to compete at the Exposure Pro Bowl and Pro Vert events in November 2013, finishing in fifth and seventh place respectively. After that, the Vista resident returned the following year and showed plenty of improvement. Indeed, she ended the Pro Bowl in fourth, while the Pro Vert saw her take third place.
From there, Brodka participated in events such as the Combi Pool Classic, the Van Doren Invitational and the X Games. Outside of competing, though, her reputation in the sport was already fairly high. The skater had directed an important project in 2013, titled Underexposed: A Women’s Skateboarding Documentary.
On that note, Brodka gave some insight into her work on the film, explaining why it was made. “Underexposed: A Women’s Skateboarding Documentary explores the growth of women’s skateboarding in contrast with the way in which [the sport] is perceived/supported by the action sports industry,” she told the website Girls Skate Australia.
“It came from my experience of seeing more and more girls skateboarding at a higher level and simultaneously witnessing opportunities for girls and women in skateboarding dwindling,” Brodka continued. “I wondered where the disconnect was and I just wanted a way to show people that women’s skateboarding is growing on a global scale.”
Brodka then laid out her main aim in taking on the film project. “There didn’t seem to be any way for girls to pursue their passion,” she told Girls Skate Australia. “I wanted to use the documentary as a vehicle to figure out what can be done to help support this growing movement of girl skaters.”
The documentary was released in February 2013, which led Girls Skate Australia to ask Brodka an intriguing question. Indeed, the website queried if she’d noticed any major differences in the sport since her film came out. However, the Vista resident was reluctant to accept the credit for any potential changes.
“I’ve certainly seen a lot of changes that have happened to occur after the release of the film,” Brodka said. “But I wouldn’t be as bold as to draw a direct correlation to the film. I have definitely seen women’s skateboarding blow up in the past few years.”
“It has been a cumulative effort of all of the girls pushing the level, women running similar non-profits that get more girls on board and more and more female-oriented skate companies popping up,” Brodka continued. “Everyone is working hard to make it all happen!”
With that in mind, the subject was brought up again at the Vans Pools Party event in May 2017, held at the Combi Bowl in Orange. Brodka spoke about the documentary during an interview with Neal Hendrix at the annual gathering, completely unaware of what would happen next.
“It is so amazing to see the level of progression and the amount of change that has happened in women’s skateboarding in the last few years,” Brodka tells Hendrix. “Since the documentary came out, it’s almost strange to watch it, because so much has changed.”
“There’s so many more opportunities, there’s so many more girls skating,” Brodka continues. “[And they’re] skating at a really high level.” At which point, Hendrix speaks about the impact that Underexposed has had around the world, before asking the Polish competitor about the future of women’s skateboarding.
“Oh my gosh, it’s going to be really exciting,” Brodka responds. “There’s going to be events all over the world, and girls and women really coming up from the woodwork from all over the place. I mean at Combi Classic this year, some of those younger girls from Japan were doing nosebones on the peninsula and just blowing everyone away.”
From there, Hendrix redirects Brodka’s focus to the Combi Bowl, touching upon some of her previous achievements at the skatepark. After expressing her excitement about the Vans Pool Party event, the skater is then asked a very different question. Noting that she met Beck there a few years earlier, the interviewer probes for some more details.
“Yes I did [meet Beck here] actually,” Brodka says. “He was standing right there, and I was standing right there. And our eyes met across the shallow end.” At that point, the Vista resident reveals a special piece of jewelry that her boyfriend made her.
“[Beck] actually made this necklace out of [the skatepark’s] tiles,” Brodka continues, lifting it up from her neck. “We actually celebrate our anniversary, the day we met at Vans, [by coming] here every year.” After grabbing Beck’s attention, Hendrix invites him over for an “interview,” with his girlfriend still standing by.
Coming back from a quick break, the camera then cuts to a shot of Beck on the other side of the Combi Bowl. The L.A. resident is dressed in his skating gear, holding on to his board. A few moments later, he skates across to Brodka and Hendrix, but no-one could’ve predicted what happened next.
Indeed, in one smooth motion, Beck pops up over the halfpipe and lands on his knees in front of Brodka. He quickly adjusts himself by lifting his right leg, before proposing to his girlfriend. After showing some initial shock, she proceeds to jump up and down in excitement with a beaming smile on her face.
Brodka and Beck then share a warm hug and a kiss, as the crowd at the Vans Pool Party cheers them on. The surprises didn’t end there, though. During the couple’s embrace, Hendrix presents them with a pair of custom-made Vans to commemorate their special day, topping the moment off.
Following Beck’s memorable stunt, Brodka reflected on her initial reaction to it all. “I was confused when I looked over to see Alec in his knee pads,” she told the Huffington Post in May 2017. “But I had no idea what was going on until he was on one knee in front of me.”
“I fantasized about Alec proposing, but this was better than any scenario I could have ever imagined,” Brodka added. As for Beck, he lifted the lid on his preparation for the big moment. Indeed, the skater practised his move a number of times at the Combi Bowl, some 24 hours before he did it for real.
“I knew I needed to focus on only two things,” Beck told the Huffington Post. “First, don’t fall dropping in and two: When I ask, make sure [Brodka] knows it’s just about the two of us and that no-one else exists.” He then looked back at Brodka’s memorable reaction to the proposal.
In Beck’s mind, though, it didn’t come as much of a surprise, as he noted Brodka’s sincerity. “That reaction is one of the things I love most about Amelia Brodka,” the L.A. resident added. “She’s not afraid to show excitement or enthusiasm and is incredibly genuine.”
Unsurprisingly, Beck’s ambitious stunt certainly proved a big hit on social media. Indeed, online users flocked to send their best wishes to the happy couple. Brodka uploaded the interview clip on YouTube in May 2017 and the video has since earned over 230,000 views and more than 2,000 likes.
Meanwhile, Beck’s boss, Tony Hawk, also shared the clip on his Facebook page. His involvement saw the video racking up over a million views. “You’ve seen clever wedding proposals, but you’ve never seen a kneeslide-engagement before,” the famous skateboarder wrote in the accompanying post. “Congrats Alec and Amelia on winning the best trick at #vanspoolparty yesterday.”
Elsewhere, both Beck and Brodka took to their respective Instagram pages after the proposal. In fact, the couple both shared images from their special day. “Thank you, Alec Beck, for making me the luckiest girl on the planet!” the accomplished skater later wrote on the social media website. “Thank you everyone for the love and wishes!”
Brodka’s post earned over 4,000 likes on Instagram, while also generating more than 150 comments. As for Beck, his words also drew a similar reaction. “Thank you, Amelia Brodka, for saying yes, and being you!” he wrote. “This was both the smallest and biggest trick of my life.”
Much like Brodka’s, Beck’s post also drew a big response on the social media website, earning close to 4,000 likes and garnering over 150 comments. Since the proposal, the pair have continued down their respective paths, with the latter still plying his trade at the Tony Hawk Foundation.
Meanwhile, Brodka went on to win two skating competitions in that time. She finished first in both the Vans Park Series Women’s Continental Championships and the Vans Park Series Europa Continental Championships. The skateboard lovebirds eventually tied the knot on June 16, 2018.