Iran’s First Women of Surf Risk All to Catch a Wave
by Owen James Burke
(Photo: Surfer Magazine)
“…it’s especially inspiring to see that surfing is a tool that women and girls can use for empowerment…What’s truly unique, is that the whole story of surfing in Iran will have been started by women. It’s quite incredible really to have a surf history in any nation be led by women.” — Easkey Britton
Balochistan, The New York Times once wrote, may be “The Scariest Little Corner of the World.” But stretching across Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, it’s also got the only coastline in Iran that’s even somewhat susceptible swell.
In 2010, Irish surfer Easkey Britton took time off from working toward her PhD in Marine Science to travel to Iran after a friend told her they’d seen surf there. Until then, only a couple of surfers had ever passed through, and literature detailing the Gulf of Oman was limited to a paragraph in the Stormrider Guide.
Uncertain at best as to what she might find, she arrived and, lo and behold, found small but rideable beachbreak surf. Apart from suiting up in neoprene, Britton took the precautionary measure of also covering up with a hijab, which seems to have worked, because now she says there are at least 20 women surfing along the coast of Baluchistan, undisturbed. (She also estimates there are an additional 40-60 boys and men finding their way into the lineup, amongst the women.)
She’s returned twice since 2010, and last year brought along filmmaker Marion Poizeau to compose a documentary, titled “Into the Sea.” Watch the trailer here:
Read an interview with Easkey Britton at Surfer Mag — OB