Laird Hamilton: Maya Gabeira Had No Business Being Out There
As one of the founders of tow in surfing and a legend in big wave circles, Laird Hamilton has an opinion on Maya Gabeira’s recent near-death experience at Nazaré (famed big wave spot in Portugal) that is sure to ruffle a few feathers. Summed up, his thoughts are this: Carlos Burle’s “100 foot” wave shoudn’t be considered a world record because he didn’t finish the wave, and, Maya Gabeira had no business being out there because her surfing skills aren’t up to par.
Here’s my opinion: Laird’s right on the money when it comes to Maya Gabeira. While there is no doubt as to her bravado, she is not an expert surfer. I’ve surfed with her and seen her average skills with my own eyes. This is now the second time she’s nearly died (that we know of), and while it’s her choice to do whatever the hell she wants, I don’t ever want to write a “Maya Gabeira Drowns” article. As far as the Carlos Burle “100-footer” I agree with Laird in that you can’t measure just by face size alone. That said, that’s one hell of a wave and should deservedly win some kind of XXL award.—Justin Coté