Maya Gabeira’s talent, exploits, and the fact that she’s a woman holding her own in the big wave waters many surfers fear to tread, have garnered much attention. Traveling continuously, she’s amassed a repertoire of waves to make even the most seasoned professional a little jealous.
On November 1, 2007, Maya towed into the snarling beast of a wave at Teahupoo for the first time during an epic swell that brought out the sport’s most elite riders. The only girl in the line-up, Maya took some devastating wipeouts before catching what she calls, “the wave of my life.” Rides like these have earned her the prestigious XXL Big Wave Awards four times, from 2007 to 2010.
As for the future of women’s tow-in surfing and big wave surfing in general, expect Maya to stay out in front. Though she laments the fact that there aren’t any women’s tow-in competitions just yet, she understands the challenges. “It hard for the guys,” she explains. “It’s not a sport like the CT or the QS. Sponsors are hard to find because it’s expensive and dangerous. So imagine what it’s like for the girls! But it’s coming; I’m positive!”