Professional surfing has increased on a global scale. Medium reports that there are over 35 million surfers in at least 162 countries.
The number of women participating on a professional level has also increased drastically. One of those woman is the phenomenal Maya Gabeira.
The 33-year-old Brazilian recently broke her own world record by surfing a 22.4 meter high wave in Nazaré, Portugal.
Event though the event took place in February already, the announcement as the Guinness World Record holder was only made recently. That's because it literally takes teams months to calculate exactly how big a specific wave is – you can't exactly just pull out your tape measure and ladder to do a quick measurement.
CBS Sports reports that teams from the University of Southern California, WaveCo Science Team and Scripss Institution of Oceanography, all had to study the footage to get an accurate reading on how massive the wave actually was. They use coordinates, scientific calculations and referencing the surfer's height and board length to determine the size of the wave.
Once the calculations were done and confirmed, it was announced that Maya beat her own world record by 1.67 metres.
In 2013, Maya made headlines when she lost consciousness and nearly drowned while surfing a massive wave at Nazaré, the same beach where she set the new world record. Wikipedia reports that she was saved by her fellow Brazilian big-wave surfer, Carlos Burle. Maya had to be revived on the beach and later ended up in hospital.
A documentary made by her sponsor, Red Bull, titled Return to Nazaré showcased Maya's return to the beach where she nearly died… and then went on to break the world record – twice. What a comeback!
Maya has also been nominated twice for the Laureus World Sports Award for Action Sportsperson of the Year in 2014 and 2019.
Watch the Guinness World Records video below to see Maya in action as she surfed the biggest wave ever.
Image credits: Stuff, World Surf League and Guinness World Records