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The first female surfer in Iran

Irishwoman Easkey Britton has made waves, surfing in Iran.

When she climbed onto a surfboard on a beach in Iran, the whole of the local village turned out to watch and I’m sure they were impressed. Easkey is the five time Irish surf champion and is a natural in the water.

“They were just so friendly and so curious – they hadn’t seen surfing before,” she said.

You can see Easkey and her journey in a new documentary about being the first woman to surf in the Islamic country.

Initially, she and filmmaker Marion Poizeau were unsure of their reception in the country.

As they got on with their surfing in the sea close to Chabahar, southern Iran, last September, a police car pulled up and they became more concerned.

But there was no need.

“The police were just checking we were okay. They were worried about the rocks on the beach and whether we knew about them.”

Easkey – named after a famous surf break off the west coast of Ireland – is passionate about the ocean.

“I have been fortunate, I was born into surfing. There is no other experience like it for me,” she explained.

Easkey travelled to southern Iran last September.

“We headed off to this Islamic Republic as two women looking for waves,” she said.

It seemed a little bizarre and they had a few preconceptions that were quickly squashed.

“The moment we landed, people were incredibly welcoming and Iran has an amazing heritage. Yes, as women we had to have our heads covered and it was incredibly hot.”

The other issue was one of respect for the local culture and rules.

“I bought a lycra hijab which had not been designed for the surf. But it covered me,” explained Easkey.

“The water was so hot … but it was certainly no place for bikinis and board surfing.”

Now Easkey wants to bring her love of surfing across the world, to cultures where women do not normally get the opportunity to enjoy the sport

We think this is an awesome achievement and applaud Easkey in her goal to give more women a chance to experience the joy of surfing. We look forward to hearing more about her travels.

Read more about Easkey’s story on the BBC News. Or check out the documentary!

If you have surfed in any unusual places we’d love to hear about them! Send us your stories and pictures. 🙂

Billabong All Girls Surf Camp with Surfista Travels Summer 2012 by Steph Jarina

Billabong Surf Day in the Phillippines!

Surfista Travels Siargao, Philippines

As I was browsing through the internet, mainly on Facebook, I came across a photo with a huge “Learn to Surf” sign on it. At first I wasn’t interested, I mean, who has the time, right? But then I always seem to find it on my newsfeed somehow. Out of plain curiosity, I clicked on the photo and took down the details of this all-girls’ surf camp that was set to take place in San Juan, La Union.

My first time to ever “catch” a wave and balance on a surf board was also in San Juan, La Union, last May 2011. A few months after that, I booked a ticket to Siargao just to, well, surf. But it did not push through because I decided to join the rat race instead. At that time, I was obviously unaware of what I missed. So when the Billabong All-Girl’s Surf Camp…

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Florianópolis, Brazil – Surf Travel

Florianópolis, Brazil – Travel to Surf, Surf to Travel.
Florianopolis (or Floripa, as the island is known by locals) is a must visit if you are planning to surf and travel around Brazil. Located in the South of Brazil, this beautiful island will take your breath away and surfer’s will be spoilt with over 40 pristine beaches to choose from. With waves, gorgeous scenery, soft white sand dunes and sparkling lagoons, Floripa is not to be missed.

Surf: Floripa has some of the most consistent surf spots in Brazil. It picks bigger swells coming from the South Atlantic and Antartica. The best surfing periods are from early March to late May, and late September from early November. Always take your wetsuits, even in summer as the currents are cold!

Photo by Bruno Matos

Places to surf: Most famous beaches in the area are Joaquina, Praia Mole, Praia Brava and Naufragados.

Beginners: Barra de Lagoa, it’s a beach break with a sandy bottom and breaks both right and left. Lot’s of fun. Best during the week at any tide, with an easterly swell and south facing wind (3ft).

Photo by Bruno Mato

Intermediates: Canasvieiras, Galheta, Ingeleses and Praia Mole. These breaks are all different, but all provide great waves, make sure you check the surf report before you pick!

Photo by Bruno Mato

Experienced: JoaquinaNaufragados and Caldeirao. These breaks are powerful, fast and demanding. However, if you paddle out you will be rewarded.

Photo by Bruno Mato

Travellers tip: Be friendly and beware of hostile locals (these guys deal with massive influxes of tourists to their home breaks). The guy to girl ratio is 9:1 and while you don’t need to worry about anti-girl sentiment, the guys may snake your waves. Prepare to challenge and call people off your waves, be assertive and you’ll get more waves.

Relax after a surf!

Places to stay: I stayed at Back Packers Share House Floripa, which was incredibly fun. Located on the beach front at Barra da Lagoa, the area is stunning. They rent free surfboards and are only a bus ride from popular surf beaches like Moçambique, Mole and Joaquina. Other great hostels include Floripa Surf Hostel (closer to breaks), Backpackers Sunset (incredible view, great facilities) and Submarino Hostel (more bang for your $$$).

Travellers Tip: Make sure you try the ice cold Acai with granola and banana at the beach hut on Barra da Lagoa. It’s healthy and delicious!

Other things to do: There are loads of other adventure sports to get involved in such as sand-boarding, diving and dune racing. Check at your hostel for more information. The nightlife in this area is also fantastic and you will find a good number of dance floors.

Enjoy the beautiful view.

Getting there: If you want to fly, Hercílio Luz International Airport is the closest to the city (12km). Catching a bus from there to Floripa is easy as it is a well known tourist destination. Alternately you may want to travel by bus from Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, many companies service this route and your closest bus station will offer tickets. For more information check out ‘how to travel to Florianopolis‘.

More Information:
Check the Surf Report and find more breaks.
When looking for places to stay in Brazil, don’t miss Hostel World.

Have a travel question?
Feel free to add your tips or ask any travel advice in the comments. Or you can email us your travel stories. 🙂

Photos by: Carmen Angerer and Bruno Matos. Bruno is a brazilian surf photographer who’s blog we loved. Check out his other photos!

Wave Watch – Photos of Local Breaks

Here are some shots of a wave called Impossible’s or known lovingly as “Posso’s” to the locals. Off the beaten track near Victoria’s famed West Coast. Posso’s is a great wave for experienced and beginner surfers (depending on the conditions of course).

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We’ve recently gotten our Tumblr up and running, so send us your local break and we’ll put them up here and on our awesome Ola Tumblr! (Don’t worry all locations will remain secret! Unless you don’t mind a few more lady surfers at your break!)

~ Love Ola

Real or Man Made- Which Do You Prefer?

Have you ever been in a wave pool? Or surfed on Flow Rider? For those who haven’t heard of it, a Flow Rider is an artificial wave that’s usually super expensive and with a line a mile long!

Here’s a video of surfer Sophie Hellyer surfing a man made wave in Dubai.

Or you can watch the lovely roxy ladies surf some delightful natural ripples.

So what’s better?  An au natural wave or a man made tube?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments! 🙂