Maya Reis Gabeira (born April 10, 1987) is a Brazilian big wave surfer. She is best known for having surfed a 73.5 ft/22,4 m high wave in Nazaré, Portugal in February 2020, recorded by Guinness World Records as the biggest wave ever surfed by a woman. She also held the previous record for biggest wave ever surfed by a woman, of 68 ft/20,8 m established in January 2018.
|Born||Maya Reis Gabeira|
April 10, 1987
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
|Height||5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)|
|Weight||124 lb (56 kg)|
|Major achievements||Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Award (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012)|
ESPY Award (Best Female Action Sports Athlete (2009)
Teen Choice Awards 2010
Gabeira has received numerous accolades including the ESPY award for Best Female Action Sports Athlete and is considered one of the best female surfers in the world as well as one of the most influential female surfers of all time.
Gabeira started surfing at age 15 in Rio de Janeiro and started competing at 15 years old. In 2004 she decided to become a professional at 17 while living in Australia and moved to Hawaii that same year to surf world class waves.
She quickly emerged as the world's top female big-wave surfer, winning global championships surfing challenging spots like Mavericks, Waimea, Todos Santos, and South Africa's shark-infested "Dungeons".
She has won the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards for four consecutive times (2007 to 2010) in the Best Female Performance category.
In 2009, Gabeira won the ESPY award for Best Female Action Sports Athlete. Later that year, Gabeira surfed the biggest wave ever by a woman when she successfully rode a 14 metres (46 ft) wave at Dungeons, a big-wave surf spot in South Africa.
On October 28, 2013, Gabeira lost consciousness and nearly drowned while surfing a massive wave at Praia do Norte, Nazaré, Portugal; she was saved by her fellow Brazilian big-wave surfer Carlos Burle. She had to be revived on the beach and later ended up in the hospital.
In 2016 the documentary Return to Nazaré by Red Bull TV shows how Maya Gabeira returned to Nazaré after having suffered the accident surfing on the same beach in 2013. It is the portrait of a struggle to overcome obstacles, both physical and mental.
Gabeira has been nominated twice for the Laureus World Sports Award for Action Sportsperson of the Year, in 2014 and in 2019.
In February 11, 2020, Gabeira set a new Guinness World Record for the Largest wave surfed (unlimited) - female. It was held in WSL Nazaré Tow Surfin contest and the wave measured 73.5 feet (22.4 m). The wave was also the biggest wave surfed by anyone that year.
Gabeira is the daughter of Fernando Gabeira, one of the founding members of the Green Party of Brazil. Her father is the son of Lebanese immigrants. Her mother, Yamê Reis, is a Brazilian fashion designer.
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- "Maya Gabeira gives thumbs up after near-drowning experience", Surfer Today, October 28, 2013.
- Lewis, Andrew (2016). "A new Red Bull TV documentary follows the Brazilian's two-year fight to return to Praia do Norte".
- "Guinness World Records". guinnessworldrecords.com. Retrieved 2020-09-10.
- "World Surf League". worldsurfleague.com. Retrieved 2020-09-10.
- "Biggest wave surfed in 2020? USC's Adam Fincham helps settle debate". USC News. December 3, 2020.
- Revista IstoÉ. "istoe.com.br/um-homem-do-presente/". 2017-02-08. Retrieved 2019-02-24.
- "Review of Atlas du Liban: territoires et société, edited by Éric Verdeil, Ghaleb Faour and Sébastien Velut, french-lebanese edition by IFPO (Institut Français du Proche-Orient) and CNRS Liban (Conseil National de la Recherche Scientifique – Liban) Beirut, 2007". 2007. Retrieved 2019-02-24.
- Maya Gabeira - Official Home Page (in Portuguese)