Matthew McConaughey sat down with Gabeira to talk about her career in a series from Wild Turkey called Talk Turkey. It may seem like an odd pairing, but there is a whole lot of gold in this twelve-minute interview. Of course, much of it centers around Gabeira’s Nazaré wipeout.
On October 28, 2013, Maya Gabeira came very close to death. The footage of her wipeout at Nazaré circled the globe, and for a while, her name was on a lot of lips. Wipeouts are par for course in surfing, but when you’re surfing waves the size that Gabeira does, the consequences are a little higher.
When she was just 17, Gabeira moved to Hawaii and, as many do after moving to Hawaii, started taking an interest in bigger waves. “I got into big waves when I was 18,” she remembered. “I started traveling with Carlos, following him and using his experience to figure out where it was going to be good.”
Over the course of the next few years, Gabeira threw her entire weight into surfing the biggest waves she could. Despite the naysayers—and there were many—she kept at it, inserting herself firmly into big wave lineups around the world. Now, after all these years, she holds the Guinness World Record for the biggest wave surfed by a female and she’s not going anywhere.