Maya Gabeira: is this an 80-foot wave | Photo: Bruno Aleixo

Brazilian big wave specialist Maya Gabeira may have surfed the largest wave ever by a female surfer in Praia do Norte, Nazaré, Portugal.

The first analysis indicates that Gabeira could have ridden an 80-foot (24-meter) wave.

But, as always, in this particular surf break, it's not easy to assess the size of the liquid mountain.

In 2013, she almost died from drowning and had to be revived on the beach.

Five years later, Maya Gabeira is aiming for the Guinness World Record with a behemoth wave caught and ridden during the swell that hit Praia do Norte mid-January.

Towed into the beast by French-Brazilian surfer Eric Rebiere, Gabeira managed to keep her composure and drew a smart surf line that sliced the enormous moving and breaking wave in two.

"It was an incredible sensation. I could not complete the wave that I caught in November and suffered a tough wipeout. So, this time, I made several adjustments, changed the board, and challenged myself to complete this giant wave," explained Gabeira.

"When I left the channel, I was rescued by Eric, and he didn't even believe I rode the wave. It was really cool and super exciting, and there were several people I admire in the water. The celebrations were huge."

The 30-year-old surfer from Rio de Janeiro is one of the regular faces at Praia do Norte each time winter takes over and the North Atlantic swells hit the local underwater canyon.

"I was super anxious because I expected this swell all week, and we knew it would be a giant one. I had not performed since my accident, so I was anxious and pretty tense. I waited for hours in the water to find that left-hander," added the big wave surfer.

"Why not measure and document a world record for the biggest wave surfed by a woman in Guinness like the men? It would be important for women athletes to have that opportunity! It doesn't matter if it's mine or not. Women deserve recognition," concluded Maya Gabeira.

Maya Gabeira will now have to wait for the official announcement made by the World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Awards.

In case the size of the wave is confirmed, a formal request is sent to the Guinness World Records for official validation.

Hugo Vau is also waiting for the WSL to scrutinize his historic ride.

According to the initial estimates, his wave may have reached never-seen-before proportions, i.e., 115 feet (35 meters).

Top Stories

I'm now making a surfing video game called "Surfers Code," but I probably shouldn't be.

He's one of the legends of surfing history who passed away too soon. Sion Milosky was 35 when he rode his final wave.

It's hard to find a secluded surf break these days. But when it seems impossible to be alone and surf with your thoughts, magic happens.

Zimbabwe might be a landlocked country, but there's actually a very good wave for surfing here.