Iran may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of surfing, but a group of pioneering women is changing that. In a country where women are often discouraged from participating in sports, especially ones that require showing skin or physical contact with men, these women are breaking barriers and pushing boundaries.
One of the trailblazers in Iranian surfing is a 29-year-old snowboarder and surfer, Mona Seraji. She started surfing in 2009 after seeing a picture of a woman surfing in Bali, and she was immediately hooked. Despite facing resistance from her family and society, Mona pursued her passion and became the first Iranian woman to participate in international surfing competitions. In 2015, she won a bronze medal at the Asian Surfing Championships in Sri Lanka, becoming the first Iranian to win a medal in a surfing competition.
Mona is not alone in her quest to surf in Iran. Other women are also making waves, including Shahla Yasini, who founded the first female surf club in Iran. The club, called “Banoo Surf,” has around 100 members and provides a safe and supportive environment for women to learn and practice surfing. Shahla says that surfing has given her a sense of freedom and empowerment, and she wants other Iranian women to experience that as well.
Another inspiring figure in Iranian surfing is 21-year-old snowboarder and surfer, Shalha Yasini. She started surfing when she was just 14 years old and has since become one of the best surfers in Iran. Shalha has competed in international competitions and has won several medals, including a gold medal at the Asian Surfing Championships in 2019.
These women are not only breaking down stereotypes and challenging social norms, but they are also inspiring a new generation of female surfers in Iran. They are showing that women can be strong, athletic, and independent and that they can pursue their passions despite the obstacles they may face.