Maya Gabeira: big wave surfing in Brazilian mode

April 13, 2012 | Surfing
Maya Gabeira: big waves are her daily menu

Maya Gabeira is delicate, pretty, calm and serene. She had the inner characteristics for being an architect, executive, engineer or doctor, but she decided to dedicate her life to extreme big wave surfing.

Gabeira was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1987. His father founded the Green Party, in her country, but she wouldn’t take the path of politics. When Maya started surfing at the age of 14, she felt that water is a really good place to work.

As years passed by, the Brazilian surfer felt she could raise the bar. In the last decades, Maya Gabeira's attitude towards huge walls of water started to shift from fear to challenge.

When boys are pursuing the biggest waves in the world, she might be the only girl in the block. Chasing swells is now her daily job, alongside with Carlos Burle, her trainer and tow-in partner.

Maya Gabeira has been opening hidden doors for women in the extreme surfing territory where not all men dare to enter. Award after award, trophy after trophy, the Brazilian collected the fearless medals delivered by the world's biggest wave arenas.

In 2009, Gabeira's infamous 45-foot wave ride at Dungeons, in South Africa, was considered the biggest wave ever surfed by a female.

Her favorite surf breaks are Waimea, Teahupoo and Sunset. She practices yoga, wakes up early and believes fear should be controlled, not defeated.

Maya Gabeira: big wave surfer girls are pretty

"In big wave surfing, fear is a reality. It will always be there. But, if you're in a situation that you feel you can manage, fear becomes a good thing because it brings the survival instinct and fast reasoning. It even brings you a greater calm than in a normal situation", explains Maya Gabeira.

"When you're confident and you know you'll be challenging extreme moments, you enter another level. You get super calm and it is the only way you're going to survive that situation. Fear is important, but it shouldn't dominate you", she adds.

Watch Maya Gabeira's daily routine.