Paddling onto a 70 foot wave must make every nerve in your brain scream STOP! The deafening roar, the wedge like tons of water curling over then hurling you down towards the reef visible beneath the shallows at the bottom of the drop. The explosion occurring all around as you reach an impossible speed if you are still standing at the base of the beast, as you then desperately try to cut across the face to escape the monster that seeks to crush you. Frankly it is inconceivable that anyone has such courage. And wave names like Jaws and Killer do nothing to misconstrue or deceive.
In what has been the domain of male big wave legends like Laird Hamilton and Eddie Aikau, there is a group of determined female athletes challenging the status quo. And from some of the venom and vitriol I read on social media a lot of the surfing establishment is not happy. But these woman are a force that cannot be ignored. Check out names like Paige Alms, Keala Kennelly and Aussie Felicity Palmateer. But today I talk to the surfer of the biggest wave ever ridden by a woman, Brazilian born Nazare resident Maya Gabeira. Check out the footage of the wave here and Maya's website here