Easkey Britton

Easkey Britton was the first woman to surf in Iran, here braking down barriers in a burqa.

Easkey Britton, Ireland

http://www.easkeybritton.com/

Easkey is an internationally renowned, pioneering big-wave surfer from Ireland and has surfing in her blood. She comes from Ireland’s first surfing family and grew up in Rossnowlagh surfing with her sister Becky-Finn & her Dad Barry Britton. Barry & his brothers were some of the first pioneers of Irish surfing and it all began when Easkey’s Grandmother returned from California in the 60’s with two malibu boards for her hotel. Fortunately her boys had other ideas, rescued the board and learned to surf!
Barry and Willie both like to charge big surf & Easkey is following in their footsteps. Her Mum and Dad taught her to surf when she was 4 years old and her life has revolved around surfing ever since.
Easkey lives up to her namesake wave, the famous west coast break which can be translated to ‘fish’ in Irish. She got her first taste for travel when she went to Tahiti and became the first Irish person to surf the infamous hell-wave Teahupoo aged just 16 and hasn’t looked back since! Ireland’s 5 x National Champion she is leading the charge of the next generation of Ireland’s surfers taking on the International surf scene.
 

Surfing is Easkey’s active metaphor for life. Leaving the competitive circuit and pursuing big waves, adventure travel, research and artistic expression has given her the opportunity to explore more deeply the values surfing teaches and the importance of exploring more innovative and creative ways of applying and sharing those values to create positive social change.
Her passion for the marine environment led her to co-found the Wellcoast network in 2010 and complete a PhD in Environment and Society specialising in human wellbeing and coastal resilience last year. In 2013, Easkey co-founded Waves of Freedom. The initiative is founded on the belief in surfing as a powerful medium for creating positive social impact and empowerment, especially for more vulnerable groups like youth and women in areas of the world where it is not always easy to follow your passion. Easkey’s ground-breaking journey to Iran in 2013 to introduce the sport of surfing to women and local communities is the feature of a documentary film due for release in early 2014. This winter Easkey’s big-wave performance tow-surfing at Mullaghmore earned her a Global Billabong XXL nomination for performance of the year. It is Easkey’s passion for the ocean that set her on this path, “I always wanted to get under the surface of the ocean and that is what has led my life in this direction,” she says of her work and this latest project.
Easkey’s work and her unique connection to the ocean led her to being asked to talk at TEDx Dublin 2013 about the importance of living and sharing your passion and what we can achieve when we use that passion to connect with others. It is hardly surprising that most recently, Easkey has become a member of Sandbox, a global society of the world’s most extraordinary young game changers and participant at THNK’s School of Creative Leadership.
When not in the water Easkey can occasionally be spotted flying around on a trapeze!