It was a year ago this month when champion big-wave surfer Maya Gabeira set out to ride the biggest wave ever ridden by a woman off Nazaré, Portugal. She’s surfed 46-foot waves in South Africa, but nothing like the monstrous 50-foot-plus waves that formed off the underwater cliffs in the Atlantic last October. As Gabeira set out to ride one of these massive waves, she fell into the surf and suffered a near-fatal accident before being rescued.
Outside magazine covers Gabeira’s frightening experience in their October 2014 issue, focusing on just how determined Gabeira is to keep surfing. What would deter most people from never surfing again has only propelled Gabeira to continue surfing and breaking records—especially in the face of criticism she has received from some of her male competitors. You can watch Gabeira talk about her near-death experience in this video below by Outside:
Not only is Gabeira an accomplished surfer, but she’s also an ocean advocate. She recently starred in a PSA with Oceana to “help the oceans catch a break” and raise awareness for ocean conservation. Prior to her PSA, she partnered with Yana Surf to create a limited edition balsa wood longboard, with portions of the proceeds going to Oceana. She also joined Oceana at the Nautica Oceana Beach House in 2013. In case you missed it, take a look below to see Maya’s PSA in helping the oceans “catch a break:”