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Close READER POLL 2017
We promise this won't (really) hurt.

Wanna win a new surfboard? We have a custom Chilli ‘Black Vulture’ to gift (plus all the trim you’d expect from a premium dealer). To be in the running, just answer a few questions for us. It won’t take long.

Seven Stunning Fashion Photos Of The Women’s Big Wave World Record Holder

The recently crowned queen of Nazaré, Miss Maya Gabeira, took the world record from the folks at Guinness for the biggest wave ever surfed by a woman – the first record of its kind. 

Maya was understandably thrilled. It’s nearly everyone’s childhood dream to hold a world record in something, whether that something is how many hot dogs one can devour in the course of an hour; most spoons balanced on a human body; naked patrons on a theme park ride; or the priciest dessert in world ($25k Frrrozen Haute Chocolate – which contains five grams of 24-carat gold), is up to the individual.

As all of the above are legit world records, it's odd that the biggest wave surfed by a female hadn't yet made it into the Books.

The lofty goal of doing something bigger and better than the rest of the world has been on Maya's radar since she nearly drowned at Nazaré in 2013. After a brief conversation with death, she moved to Portugal and became a student of the notorious rolling mountain.

“I always knew the record was there [Nazaré],” Maya tells Stab. “The giant waves are there, so I never left. The potential at Nazaré makes things possible. It’s amazing to get the record after what happened a few years back [the aforementioned near-death experience].”

The wave that nearly killed her. Following this wipeout Maya was taken to the hospital with a broken shin.

Her winning wave came from the stream of energy that sent Nazaré into a frenzy mid-January. When sets of tapered avalanches slammed into Portugal’s premier big wave break, Maya held the rope behind Eric Rebiere’s ski.

“It was a giant day,” Maya says. “We made a plan to catch a big left. We waited for hours. Then this one set came in and we were further out than everyone. So, we chose the second wave. I remember dropping in thinking I wanted to find a line and make the wave. That has always been my challenge on the big ones – not to be on the shoulder but ride the wave in a way that’s critically compelling.”

Miss Gabeira is stunning sliding down a 68-ft wave and is a natural beauty on land – so here's a celebration of both!

Miss Gabeira and a very timely pose for Tag Heuer.

Photography Tag Heuer.
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When Maya attended the Big Wave Awards in Los Angeles last April she showed up wearing all Gucci.

Maya in evening light for GQ Brasil.

Photography GQ Brasil
ScaleWidthWyIxMjAwIl0 Maya Gabeira Nude ESPN 1

Pure in the elements for ESPN the Body Issue.

Photography ESPN
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Sweeter than strawberries and sugar!

Photography Tag Heuer

Taken shortly after her near drowning for TPM Magazine.

Photography TPM / Murillo Meirelles

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