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Maya Gabeira Says She Surfed A World Record Wave, So Why Are WSL Ignoring Her?

The surfer thinks the wave was the biggest in the history of women's surfing

Maya Gabeira claims she surfed the biggest wave in women’s surfing history, yet the World Surf League are refusing to authenticate it.

Brazilian-born Maya moved to the North Shore of Hawaii aged just 17, and she’s been riding giant waves ever since. Five years ago, she nearly died while attempting to ride a wave in Nazare, Portugal, when she lost consciousness and nearly drowned. Now, she says that she’s finally achieved her childhood dream of surfing the biggest ever wave.

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“I successfully rode the biggest wave of my life” Maya explains. “Miguel Moreira, an expert at the University in Lisbon, measured the wave, and tells me that it is indeed a world record.”

“In order to establish a world record, I need the World Surf League to certify the measurement of the wave. For some reason, the WSL has ignored my request.”

In order to get WSL to consider authenticating her record, Maya has now set up an online petition, which currently hold 5,956 signatures, demanding answers about why the wave is being ignored. Could it be, as Maya says in her Petition, that there a some “people who don’t like women riding big waves?”

Read Maya’s full statement below:

“In order to establish a world record, I need the World Surf League to certify the measurement of the wave. For some reason, the WSL has ignored my request. Please sign this petition to ask the WSL to recognize a world record for women in big wave surfing!

Since 2013, I’ve been training in Nazaré, Portugal, home to the biggest waves in the world. In 2011 Garrett McNamara set a world record here, and last year Rodrigo Koxa beat that record. Both of these rides made it into the Guinness Book of World Records. Since I was a girl, I have dreamt of the day I would see a woman recognized in the Guinness Book for big wave surfing. In 2013 while trying to set a record for women, I almost died. But, in January of this year, after five years of recovery and training, I successfully rode the biggest wave of my life.Miguel Moreira, an expert at the University in Lisbon, measured the wave, and tells me that it is indeed a world record.

I researched how to apply to the Guinness Book and learned that The World Surf League must certify every big wave record that is submitted. So, I flew to The WSL headquarters in Los Angeles – where they promised to support a world record for women. But many months later, there appears to be no progress and my emails have gone unanswered. I’m not sure what’s going on, (but there are definitely some people who don’t like the idea of women surfing the biggest waves.) Anyways, perhaps I haven’t been able to scream loud enough? With your voice, though, I might just be heard. If you have a moment, please sign this petition to ask the WSL to make good on their promise to recognize a world record for women in big wave surfing.

It’s been a long time since I first read the Guinness Book. I dream now of some other little girl who might read the book, and see my name, and then one day find her own big waves to ride.” 

Not only should Maya’s demands be met by the WSL, we believe that with her current accomplishments, she should be looking at a place in the Surfing Hall Of Fame very soon.

Let’s make sure one of the best surfers on the planet gets the recognition she deserves. Sign the petition here.

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