Record-breaking surfer Maya Gabeira conquers a 68-FOOT wave


A Brazilian woman took on a 68-foot wave to break the record for the highest ever surf ridden by a woman.

Maya Gabeira tamed the huge wave at a competition in Portugal that has this week been confirmed as a record-breaking feat.

The 31-year-old from Rio de Janeiro placed her name in the record books after competing in the event at the Praia do Norte beach in Nazaré, 80 miles north of Lisbon in January.

Just five years ago she suffered a serious injury and nearly drowned at the same beach when she ‘wiped out’ and snapped her tibia bone in he leg.

Video footage of the record breaking surf shows her taking to the waves as the huge wall of water builds behind her.

But despite the vast swell she successfully tackled the powerful wave which measured 68ft from trough to crest at the infamous big-wave break.  

According to Guinness, judges had to check through archives going back 20 years to substantiate Gabeira’s award and confirm her and a record-breaker and award her the inaugural Women’s XXL Biggest Wave Award.

The World Surf League tweeted a congratulatory message: ‘Congratulations for making history as the Women’s XXL Biggest Wave World Record holder. #CatchThisWave.’

Sophie Goldschmidt, CEO of the WSL, added: ‘Congratulations to Maya Gabeira for her outstanding achievement.’

On Monday at a ceremony celebrating the opening for the WSL’s Big-Wave Tour season, she was presented with the Guinness World Record for Largest wave surfed (unlimited) – female.

At the ceremony she told Guinmess World Records:’To set the world record has been a dream of mine for many years.

‘But of course, after the accident in Nazaré 2013 [when she was knocked unconscious and nearly drowned], it felt like a very distant dream.

‘It took a lot of work to have a season like last year, to be 100 per cent again; and to complete it with a Guinness World Records title is quite special.’

Alongside a picture of her collecting her award she wrote on Instagram: ‘Dreams come true !!!’ 

A Brazilian also holds the world record for the largest wave surfed by a man when Rodrigo Koxa rode an 80-foot wave, also at Nazaré, in November 2017, according to Guinness.  

At the time athletes and spectators noticed the powerful storms in the North Atlantic creating waves which towered over the crowd standing safely back on shore.

This swell originated on a North Atlantic storm and produced some of the biggest and heaviest waves the town has seen in years.

According to local videographer Pedro Miranda this swell generated two of the biggest days he ever witnessed in Nazaré. 

Nazaré has become the world’s premier destination for big wave surfing ever since Hawaiian Garrett McNamara broke the official world record for the largest swell ever ridden at the spot in 2011, officially measured at 78ft. 

He claimed to have caught a 100ft wave at Nazaré in 2013, smashing his previous record, but this has never been officially confirmed.


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