As the legendary story goes, in the 1960’s Easkey’s grandmother, Mary Britton, a hotel owner, returned to Ireland from a trip to California determined to bring two Malibu surfboards back to her local beach, Rossnowlagh. Her intention was to offer them to hotel guests, but instead her five sons, including Easkey’s father Barry took the boards to the waves, making the Britton boys some of the first pioneers of Irish surfing. By the time Easkey was born, surfing was a regular part of her family’s life. Her parents taught her to surf when she was four years old and her life has revolved around the ocean ever since.
Her father remains her number one surfing companion.
Easkey is the first Irish woman to be nominated for the Global WSL Big Wave Awards but there’s more to Easkey than surfing. It is her intellect and her quest to learn and create change in an often unfair world that really defines her. A scientist, academic and social activist, with a PhD in Environment and Society, Easkey is always one to look in places others aren’t for the answers to difficult questions. Her curiosity and passion for fairness and gender equality are the qualities that others to her.
She is co-founder of the non-profit Waves of Freedom which uses the power of surfing as a creative medium for social change and spear-headed the world’s first global Surf for Social Good Summit in Bali, Indonesia. A recent graduate from THNK’s Creative School of Leadership, Easkey is an inspirational public speaker – her work and unique connection to the ocean led her to being asked to talk at TEDx Dublin and as a keynote speaker she has presented her work at international conferences, addressed global organisations and published numerous book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Easkey is a one off, wild hearted and free spirit. She’s ridden some of the biggest days in Ireland; no audience, no blue skies, no golden sands, just her and a crew she trusts. Doing something she loves; chasing cold water mountains.
Coming up next:
Feb 2016: Honorary visiting research fellow in Sport and Leisure Studies at Waikato University, where she will co-host a number of conferences including, ‘Surfing Social: Challenging surfer identities and sauces” Raglan, New Zealand, 10-12 February 2016.
April 2016: Joining National University of Ireland, Galway as a post-doctoral research fellow on the NEAR – Health project focused on nature-based solutions to health and wellbeing funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Health Service Executive (HSE).
Easkey’s nomadic lifestyle allows her to work, consult and collaborate with people, initiatives and organisations around the world, although she is most at home on the wild, north-west coast of Ireland where she likes to recharge and let her creativity loose, surfing, writing and painting.