About Maya Gabeira
Maya Gabeira was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The daughter of noted politician, Fernando Gabeira, she initially pursued ballet before discovering surfing at the age of 14.
In 2004, Gabeira decided to chase the professional surfing dream, and at 17 and moved to Hawaii to focus on her passion for heavy water and big waves. With an affinity for the dangerous conditions, she quickly emerged as an elite female big-wave surfer. Her surfing at challenging spots like Mavericks, Waimea Bay, Todos Santos and South Africa’s Dungeons earned her four consecutive Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards in the Best Female Performance category from 2007 to 2010.
In 2013, Gabeira was the first female to tackle Nazare in Portugal. However, that same winter, after a harrowing wipeout, she lost consciousness and nearly drowned at the wave. Displaying great resolve and fortitude, she returned to Nazare the next season, overcoming serious obstacles, both physical and mental, to surf there once again.
Her incredible commitment and talent were rewarded in January 2018 when she rode a 68-foot wave at Nazare, which was recorded by Guinness World Records as the biggest wave surfed by a female surfer.
In 2019, Gabeira partnered up at Nazare with German surfer Sebastian Steundnter, doubling down on her commitment to the big wave spot. On February 11, 2020, at the inaugural WSL Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge, she broke her own Guinness World Records title, riding a wave that measured in at 73.5 foot (22.4 meters). It was another massive milestone in an incredible career and further cemented Gabeira’s position as one of the most influential big wave surfers in the sport.
First season2009 Women's QS