The dark side of a perfect big wave ride

October 28, 2013 | Surfing
Praia do Norte: you've never seen anything like this, really | Photo: José Pinto

Maya Gabeira almost lost her life in powerful waters of Praia do Norte, Nazaré, Portugal, despite doing everything right.

If you still have doubts about the power of the Nazaré North Canyon, plan a trip to Portugal and watch with your eyes. Praia do Norte is the most powerful wave in the world, when it comes to big wave surfing.

It's the whole Atlantic Ocean in its pure strength. Despite only being discovered as a big wave surfing destination in the 21st century, the salted waters of Nazaré have never claimed a surfer's life.

Maya Gabeira was lucky, even though she respected all big wave surfing security procedures. Moreover, she rode the giant wall of water perfectly. Flawlessly.

The Brazilian waterwoman caught the wave, managed to absorb the bumpy face impacts and almost survived the whitewater push. In other words, Gabeira did everything right, from start to finish, but she could easily have lost her life.

Big wave surfing can really be a matter of luck and, more than an individual sport, extreme wave riding requires team work and camaraderie. The 10 commandments of the big wave surfer may not be enough, when the power of Nature doesn't go our way.

Looking back at Maya Gabeira's accident, we can't leave a certain feel of unrest and uneasiness out of our minds. Is it really worth it? uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more on our About section.