Easkey Britton has long blond hair, she’s attractive, athletic and sponsored, but that’s pretty much where the surfer girl stereotype ends.
Easkey has recently been thrust into the limelight following her surf trip to Iran. But before we talk about that here’s why Easkey Britton is no ordinary surfer girl:
• Named after a legendary Irish reef break, ‘Easkey’ not ‘Britton’.
• 5 times Irish National Women’s Surf Champion
• British pro tour champ in 2009
• First Irish person to surf Teahupoo, at just 16
• First Irish woman to be nominated for the Billabong XXL awards
• First woman to surf Ireland’s big wave spot ‘Aileens’
• 1st Class BSc Hons in Environmental Science
• PhD scholarship in Marine Science
• Founding member of Wellcoast.org, a ‘human wellbeing & coastal resilience network’.
• Has supported Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi’s cause, from the age of 5.
Easkey’s tireless pursuit of excellence in surfing, study, marine conservation and humanitarian work sets her apart from the crowd, but her recent trip to Iran is truly extraordinary.She takes a humble, unassuming and open-minded approach, with a genuine desire to understand and experience before forming any opinion. Easkey wrote: “I guess the goal of the trip was to experience what it was like to be a woman in Iran, to be a woman surfing in Iran” (Wavelength, Issue 216).
There’s some amazing articles written by Easkey about her trip to Iran in Wavelength and Surfer Girl. So if you want to know all the gritty details from Easkey’s perspective, you’re better off reading them.
However, if you’re short of time here’s a summary:
‘It was the sense of the unknown that attracted me to the trip’ Wavelength
‘The first thing I did was Google hijabs (head coverings) for surfing.’ Wavelength
‘The grey, miniature mountains reminiscent of Mordor in Lord of the Rings were juxtaposed by big stretches of empty beach.’ Wavelength
‘Iranians love the beach…but they’d never seen surfers before.’ Wavelength
‘We stayed on the cost for five days and scored surf every day in empty beach breaks with consistent banks’ Wavelength
‘I wore a long- sleeved black rashvest, with t-shirt over it. Black boardies with leggings underneath and a lycra hijab made by a Dutch company who design sportswear for Muslim women – I didn’t have to worry about sunburn!’ Surfer Girl
‘Alcohol is forbidden in Iran, although they do make excellent non-alcoholic beers, my favourite being the pomegranate one.’ Wavelength
‘Iran is full of the unexpected – nothing is quite as it seems.’ Wavelength
‘The men said they thought it was great to see a woman surf and hoped one day Iranian women could do it too.’ Surfer Girl
‘Iranians are a fun-loving, family-oriented, people with very familiar hopes, dreams and values’ Wavelength
‘Surfing shouldn’t be your primary motivation to go to Iran, but if you do go I recommend you do so with an open mind and an open heart. You may come away with a much greater understanding of the human condition and appreciation for humanity, and possibly even a wave or two.’ Wavelength
Instead of the usual surf flick that follows a surf trip, a thoughtful documentary has been created by Marion Poizeau. The full documentary was aired on French TV last month, hopefully it will come to our screens soon. Until then here’s a flavour: