Brazilian pro surfer Maya Gabeira won the cbdMD XXL Biggest Wave Award and set the new World Record for the largest wave ever surfed by a woman. As part of the Red Bull Big Wave Awards (BWA), the BWA validated Maya’s ride as the new Guinness World Records title holder.
“This wave was during the [WSL Nazaré Tow Surfing] contest and although I say I’m not a competitive person, I was very in the zone and braver than I usually am on this day,” said Maya. “I was risking more than I usually like to do. When I let go of the rope, I had a feeling it could be the one but wasn’t sure. The speed was very high but the noise that the wave made when it broke made me realize that this was probably the biggest wave I’d ever ridden.”
Maya’s record-setting wave measured 73.5 feet, besting her own previous World Record, 68 feet. She broke the record at the infamous big-wave surf break, Praia do Norte in Nazare, Portugal, as part of the WSL’s inaugural Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge event. Although the men’s and women’s divisions are separate for this category, Maya’s ride also beat the men’s 2020 cbdMD XXL Biggest Wave, which was won by Kai Lenny and measured 70 feet.
The largest wave ever surfed by any human being is 80 feet, set in 2018 by Brazil’s Rodrigo Koxa.
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