Maya Gabeira, Mikaili Sol, Iballa Moreno, and Ayaka Suzuki: Athletes of the Year 2018 by SurferToday

SurferToday has officially named the "Athletes of the Year 2018."

Two thousand eighteen has been a groundbreaking year for women, not only in watersports but also in life in general.

The winners of the 10th "Athletes of the Year" Award by SurferToday reflect a turnaround in the way female performers are paid and have access to equal opportunities in their professional activities.

Surfing, kiteboarding, windsurfing, and bodyboarding have all introduced significant changes in the way the work and dedication of women are valued and acknowledged, whether via event organizers, governing bodies or professional tours.

But the "Athletes of the Year 2018" by SurferToday also share a couple of similarities - they have added an exclamation mark and wrote their names in the history of their sports.

Maya Gabeira, Mikaili Sol, Iballa Moreno, and Ayaka Suzuki, this was your year. Well-deserved!


Maya Gabeira


Maya Gabeira

Maya Gabeira is one of the lone wolves of women's big wave surfing. The Brazilian surfer has once again changed his life and address to chase a dream. She installed her camp in Nazaré, Portugal, and continued pursuing her dream.

In 2018, and after a long and lonely quest to have her name on the Guinness World Records, she claimed the inaugural Women's XXL Biggest Wave Award and fulfilled her dream. Gabeira's lobby also opened the way to equal prize money for men and women in the World Surf League (WSL).


Mikaili Sol


Mikaili Sol

Mikaili Sol is a 14-year old kiteboarder from Brazil. Despite her young age, she has already won four world junior titles. In 2018, Sol was crowned world freestyle kiteboarding champion and became the youngest athlete in the sport to claim that title.

Mikaili not only is a talented rider, but she is also a humble and mature sportswoman capable of breaking age barriers and stereotypes of all forms. Sol is always smiling. And that is probably one of her most treasured possessions.


Iballa Moreno


Iballa Moreno

Iballa Ruano Moreno is one of the most successful windsurfers in the world. The 41-year-old waterwoman from the Canary Islands has already won six world wave sailing titles and is also comfortable in freestyle and slalom.

However, in 2018, Moreno added more medals to her trophy room. She was crowned 2018 Association of Paddlesurf Professionals' Women's Surfing champion, and 2018 ISA SUP and Paddleboard vice-world champion. What's next for Iballa?


Ayaka Suzuki


Ayaka Suzuki

Ayaka Suzuki is a classic example of the athlete who never loses sight of her dream. Hailing from Japan, Suzuki steadily improved her skills over the years by watching her idols perform in outstanding conditions and world-class surf breaks.

Step by step, Ayaka mimicked their moves and built her won riding style. Japan has never had a longstanding tradition in bodyboarding, and the number of professional athletes can be counted on fingers, but Suzuki opened a new chapter. She won the first world bodyboarding title for her country two years before Tokyo 2020.

Congratulations to the "Athletes of the Year 2018" by!

Top Stories

The most successful competitive surfer of all time, Kelly Slater, rode what may have been the last heat of his 24-year professional career.

We can't choose our height, and 80 percent of it is genetic. But if you're into surfing, taller and shorter surfers feel noticeable differences in getting acquainted with boards, paddling for, and riding a wave.

Big wave surfing is an industry with an industry.

Ryan Crosby is the new chief executive officer (CEO) of the World Surf League (WSL).