Every weekend I, or rather my FireStick, chooses a random surfing film as our Sunday Surf Flick. Recently, I stumbled upon Easkey Britton’s Into the Sea. Easkey set out to surf a remote break in southeastern Iran in an area where women not only had never surfed, but had limited equality. It was a fascinating story.
Not only was Easkey met with enthusiasm from the young locals, she also received support from the community leaders. It was a process though. She respectfully and courageously explained her goals to the local council who agreed that sport was a healthy pursuit and had no restrictions placed upon women, as long it it was practiced according to the rules of Islam. That would mean being fully covered including the traditional hijab. That didn’t deter anyone. This film is a delightful story of surfing. In a part of the world where even locals fear traveling into remote areas, surf once again proves to be a universal language that unites and empowers people regardless of their diverse cultures and beliefs.
I went on to find out more about Easkey and she may be my new favorite person. Not only has she charged some of the world’s biggest waves – including Teahupo’o, but she was a WSL Big Wave finalist for a killer ride at Mullaghmore, in her home country of Ireland. A scientist, academic and social activist, with a PhD in Environment and Society, Easkey is co-founder of the several non-profit projects including Waves of Freedom (soon to become Like Water) which uses the power of surfing as a creative medium for social change. She also spear-headed the world’s first global Surf for Social Good Summit in Bali, Indonesia.
Her Ted Talk ‘Just Add Surf’ discusses how surfing can be a catalyst for social change. She also dives into the apparent lack of female role models in surfing, but notes that it’s a lack of women in the sport, but rather a lack of media coverage of those women – sound familiar #WomenWhoSurf?
While we may be late to the party on finding this amazing woman, the discovery is none the less exciting! Be sure to check out Into The Sea as your next Sunday Surf Flick.