Growing up in Rio de Janeiro as a rebel teen, Maya Gabeira finally discovered her passion in big wave surfing. Today, the 24-year-old surfing goddess rides towering, dangerous waves that were once reserved only for men like Laird Hamilton and Garrett McNamara. I really admire Gabeira’s passion, talent, and achievements. She’s so graceful in surfing the waves that many surfers even think several times before they ride. Visiting surfing spots from Brazil to Hawaii, from South Africa to Sumatra, she has experienced riding various waves to make even professional surfers a bit jealous.

 

Maya Gabeira – The Best Wave Of Her Life

I saw Gabeira in 2007 during a significant event for big wave surfers at Teahupoo in Tahiti. The event enticed professional and famous surfers around the world. I think she was the only woman there, and she faced damaging wipeouts before riding the best wave of her life. She was gracious, unfearing, and skilled surfer, so there’s no wonder that he earned the famous Billabong Big Wave Award not only that year but for the next three years. In the field of big wave surfing for women, I expect this surfing goddess to be in the front lines. Although there are still no women competitions for big wave surfing and tow-in surfing, she knows the dangers. It is difficulty for men, and not like any other sports where you can get easily look for sponsorships. Tow-in surfing is really a luxurious sports and quite dangerous.

 

Big Waves At Waimea Bay

I have seen a video where Gabeira stood at the beach holding her surfing board, watching male surfers several yards from the shore. I think the surfers were also looking at the horizon, preparing for the gigantic waves. She recounted that she was feeling adrenaline rush that time, and she admitted being very terrified in paddling out in the towering waves. She was just 18 years old then, at the most unforgettable place in her life in Waimea Bay – the best spot in this planet if you are looking for the most dangerous surf. Looking at the videos makes my heart pound at the doubles.

 

Maya Gabeira Conquers Gigantic Waves Progressively

At Waimea, Gabeira had conquered a gigantic wave at least 25 feet. She said that it was the moment when she realized she is really into the sport. After training and so much hard work, she had conquered bigger waves, that even some male surfers would be shaking to ride. I have learned that in order to ride more gigantic waves, she regularly trains a rare form of surfing wherein the surfer has a partner in a Jet Ski to paddle the wide face of waves, pulling the surfer who needs to hold the rope. Large waves as tall as 70 feet have been ridden using this extremely modified form of water ski.

 

Shuttling The Best Surfing Beaches Around The World

Maya GabeiraNowadays, I have learned that Gabeira travels around the world to ride gigantic waves on famous surfing beaches. But I can confidently say that her groundwork remains the same – guts, confidence, passion, and determination. Despite of her achievements, I know Maya Gabeira has a long way to go before she finally reach her ultimate goal of becoming one of the best professional in big wave surfing and tow surfing.