Surfer Maya Gabeira

The first time I saw a really big wave was at Waimea, at the Eddie Aikau invitational.

I was 17 and had just moved to Hawaii from Brazil. I wanted to live on my own.

Maya Gabeira
(Linny Morris)


I wanted to figure out who I was and what I really wanted in life. I knew that day that I wanted to surf those waves.

Maya Gabeira
(Linny Morris)


After a year of sitting in the lineup with the boys, I caught my first big one—maybe 15 feet—and everything just felt right. I was so focused and in the moment. I loved it.

Maya Gabeira
(Linny Morris)


Soon enough I was surfing big waves all over the world.

Maya Gabeira
(Linny Morris)


I ended up at Teahupoo, in Tahiti. I was really nervous.

Maya Gabeira
(Linny Morris)


I took two big wipeouts, either of which could have ended my career. But it didn't feel right to sit on my board and look stupid, to give up.

Maya Gabeira
(Linny Morris)


So my partner, Carlos Burle, towed me out again, and I caught one. People criticized me for taking those risks, for getting in over my head.

Maya Gabeira
(Linny Morris)


And yes, in the beginning I did take a lot of risks, but in the beginning you have to take those risks. How else do you make it? How else do you realize your dreams?

Maya Gabeira
(Linny Morris)

Filed To: Athletes / Surfing / Women's
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