Over the 13th-15th April, we invited our Women of the Sea to join us for an industry first, Women’s Wetsuit Tester Camp. The weekend gave testers the opportunity to share waves and connect whilst also discussing the wetsuit and the programme as a whole.
Led by Finisterre Ambassador, Easkey Britton, we caught up with her and her reflections on the weekend.
I arrived after a heady week, a long day of travel, feeling fragmented and pushed and pulled by the world ‘outside’. I wondered how I was going to remain present and open in an unfamiliar setting and meeting so many new people. I couldn’t remember the last time I camped in a tent in a windy field. I feel shy and awkward when on my own in social settings meeting groups of people I don’t know.
When I arrived a beautiful semicircle of women had already formed. None of us knew each other. We wandered over spontaneously to the edge of the field on the cliffs above the Cornish sea to watch a blazing sun drop out of grey skies and sink into the sea. The stories flowed in this moment of nature connection. Stories of our journey to get here from all corners of the British Isles and Ireland, our fears and expectations, why we surf and how we weave life around the sea in different ways.
We were such a diverse group yet in our own unique way were all women of the sea: A junior medical doctor who finds her own healing in the sea and surf; an RAF pilot who shared the challenges of a rank and file society in desert conflict zones and her preparation for a surfing competition for military personnel; the London city-worker who lives for her weekend escapes to the coasts, unfazed by the distance; the new Mum with her kid in the camper van; a fluent Welsh speaker who had come to learn Cornish; a woman who recalls her father mistakenly using her belly-board as kindling for the fire when she was 12 years old in the 1960s; another who trained as a dancer far from the sea but always had surfing pictures on her bedroom wall until she finally got in the sea in her 30s and started water dancing!
My resistance and worries melted away. I felt at home. The power of the sea to connect never ceases to amaze. New connections formed and deepened over shared waves, food, feedback and music. A different kind of energy entered the line-up as the gender balance shifted the other way. It never felt crowded, it felt like a celebration.