Maya Gabeira, indomitable spirit and surfer of giant waves

Alvaro Pastor's picture
Alvaro Pastor
07 · 19 · 2019

¡Congrats surfers! October 2018 has been a nice month for surfing but, specially has been an historical month for feminin surf. This is because the surfer Maya Gabeira has obtained again a Guinness record  by taking a wave of practically 21 meters…

For the extraordinary Gabeira this is not the first time she has achieved this fact, since in 2014 she managed to ride a wave of approximately 14 meters high ... almost nothing. The award received by the Carioca surfer this time is the XXL Senior Women's Wave from the World Surfing League and the recognition of the new Guinness record for the biggest wave surfed by a woman.

This incredible action marks a date in the surfing calendar. It was done nine months ago, when on January 18th, 2018 the Brazilian surfer managed to dominate a wave of 20.75 meters in the Portuguese Praia do Norte de Nazaré, located 120 kilometers from Lisbon and known for its enormous and dangerous waves.

However, the official recognition by the World Surfing League and the Guinness Book of Records did not become until October 1st, when she finally announced in its social media profiles so precious recognition. But why has this achievement taken so long to be recognized?
First, Maya Gabeira had to win a battle to make the female category of giant wave surfing exist, since in both the WSL and the Guinness World Records there was only one category, which had always been won by men. According to the surfer "it was completely necessary to have a separated record".

Once she surfed the monstrous wave of 20.70 meters, Gabeira turned to the headquarters of the WSL in Los Angeles to request their support, being without a clear answer. That is why she decided to make a request to support from his followers through the method that most people gather: the Internet.

This request was launched through the platform. in which she wrote that "there are people who definitely do not like to have women surfing the bigger waves." "Maybe I have not shouted loud enough." As it was expected, this request took effect and was echoed in social media, serving as an example and inspiration, both for surfers and for women who want to be recognized in their work environments. According to her, it is necessary to create spaces for women where they do not yet exist, to expand their possibilities.

Maya Gabeira is an example of a tremendous fighter. He had been trying for a long time everything she had achieved, which meant in 2013, on the same beach where he has achieved his long-awaited record, almost losing his life trying to catch another giant wave. The wave threw Maya off her surfboard and injured her, leaving her unconscious, with the luck that Carlos Burle, a friend of Gabeira who pulled her with the watercraft could rescue her from a tragic death by drowning.

This incident was near to separate her from the waves for life, but thanks to a strong personality and a spirit of tireless worker, this 31-year-old surfer achieved the dream she had in mind for years.
The real key to achieve this was that after the accident the athlete moved to Nazaré where she dedicated most of her time to the place itself, focusing on improving, her safety and the people needed to achieve her goal. Little by little the time invested was paying off, reaching 100% of its capabilities, and managing to break down a challenging place.