Maya Gabeira

Maya Gabeira used to go to the beach just to tan. She was 14, living in Rio de Janeiro and dating a surfer dude. She would watch from the shore as he carved up the ocean. "I'd see him coming in with that big smile, all soaked, and I'd feel like I was missing out on something," she says. "So with his support, I started surf school."

Within about 3 years, Gabeira had moved to Hawaii to pursue surfing professionally. Now 24, she holds the women's world record for the largest wave ever surfed, a 45-footer in South Africa.

Read more at Men's Health:
She has won four consecutive Billabong XXL Big Wave awards and an ESPY; she is arguably the most well rounded female big wave surfer in the world.

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