VIDEO: Easkey Britton, First Woman to Surf Iran (That We Know Of)
Back home in Ireland, Easkey Britton is known as a pro surfer and part of the family that helped bring the sport to the country.
However, as Britton waded into the Arabian Sea in Iran with her surfboard, onlookers had no idea who she was or what she was up to.
As she started to catch waves, crowds (including the police) gathered to watch.
Britton traveled to Iran during the Indian monsoon season, hoping that the rough weather would make waves. And indeed she found them.
To respect local culture, Britton made sure to have her head covered the whole time, including while she surfed. A lycra hijab made by a Dutch company that creates sportswear for Muslim women helped make sure she stayed appropriately—and functionally—dressed.
While in the country, Britton was met with many curious stares. However, to her surprise, some of the people had heard of surfing, according to her post for Mission.tv.
“To escape the heat we went for a walk in one of the many local parks where we met an old shoemaker, Mohammed,” she wrote “…when we tried to explain what it was we hoped to do, find surf in Iran, he showed us a picture in a magazine of a woman surfing asking is that what we do? The surfing world had even filtered into the land-locked capital of the Islamic republic!”
The video above is a preview of a documentary by Marion Poizeau that will debut on French television before making rounds on the international film festival circuit.
Britton claims she is the first woman to surf in Iran, however this can’t be verified. Nevertheless, she hopes her trip will inspire more women in the country to become interested in the sport.
"I'd love to see more women surfing and I'd love to see it become a sport for everyone, not just the wealthy," she told theguardian. "There's surfing in the Gaza Strip now, even Bangladesh, believe it or not. It's amazing really."