This isn’t the first time that a surfer has been nude in ESPN‘s Body Issue, and it won’t be the last. Surfing is very physically-demanding. The latest surfer to feature in the annual collection is big-wave gal Maya Gabeira. Big wave surfing is traditionally a men’s domain but Maya don’t want none of that. She’s 25, she’s Brazilian and she has grit. Not just in the water, either – posing nude for photographs that’ll be seen by millions is brazen, and Stab loves!
“It’s okay to stare,” says ESPN. “That’s what The Body Issue is here for. Each year, we stop to admire the vast potential of the human form. To unapologetically stand in awe of the athletes who’ve pushed their physiques to profound frontiers. To imagine how it would feel to inhabit those bodies, to leap and punch and throw like a god. To … well, gawk. So go ahead; join us.”
Maya was shot by Francesco Carrozzini, duck-diving and paddling. “Most women are afraid of being too strong,” she told ESPN. “When you surf, your muscles get bigger, especially your shoulders. But this sport is great because it’s so aerobic that it doesn’t make you bulky. My board can weigh up to 20 pounds. To be strapped onto a 20-pound board when you’re going 40 or 50 mph is an incredible feeling.”
To admire some other forms, go here. To see which surfers have featured in the Body Issue previously, look down below. Clockwise from top left: Steph Gilmore, Claire Bevilacqua, Kelly Slater. Who’s next? Or more importantly, who you wanna see?!