Maya Gabeira: Big wave surfing’s queen

Back in October, Brazilian big wave surfer Maya Gabeira nearly died while surfing at Nazaré, Portugal, Europe’s capital of titanic-sized waves. Luckily she emerged with only a broken ankle. She may have in fact come away with a broken record too, for being on the biggest wave ever ridden by a female surfer, before disappearing for several minutes in the rough waters. She was eventually pulled unconscious by Carlos Burle, who was acting as her jet ski partner. Amazingly, after rescuing Gabeira, Carlos hit the waves himself and may have set a new world record for the biggest wave ever surfed.

It looks like Maya Gabeira has the same spirit as her compatriot and big wave surfing partner, Burle. Though currently still recuperating in Los Angeles, California, Gabeira plans on returning to her surfing lifestyle as early as January 2014. So… just after Christmas.

From an interview with Condé Nast Traveler:

I’m in the last bit of rehab, maybe another two weeks or a month until I can surf. Just working out and getting my fibula to heal. All is good. I spent a month and a half in Brazil, and now I’ve just arrived in Los Angeles. It’s good to be back. –Maya Gabeira

She’ll spend the winter on Hawaii’s legendary North Shore. Besides Hawaii, next year she’ll be hitting Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Europe, Tahiti and again California.

Gabeira’s sport of big wave surfing is dangerous, make no mistake, but dicing with death seems to have benefitted her career immensely. Of course it doesn’t hurt that she’s good-looking either. According to an article in the Portuguese language website Surf Portugal, “Maya Gabeira” was one of the top search terms on Google in Portugal for 2013. She even beat out Lance Armstrong and Oscar Pistorius to become the most searched sports personality. Our very own Ericeira was the most searched destination by Portuguese Google users, so Maya’s in great company! Let’s hope she stays alive a lot longer.

Maya Gabeira

Maya Gabeira (right). Pic: Shawn Alladio (Flickr CC)

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