Maya Gabeira makes waves in the Body Issue of ESPN Magazine

For big-wave surfers like Maya Gabeira, the long wait between swells can be a a bore. But this beautiful Brazilian from Rio De Janeiro is used to making her own waves.

It started years ago when she began getting towed into huge waves at Jaws, Tahiti’s most renowned big-wave break. It’s a place even the bravest male surfers on the planet find excuses to avoid.

Gabiera’s gusty performances earned her instant respect in the elite club of big-wave riders. And her gorgeous looks didn’t hurt when it came to gaining added fans.

These days, Maya, 25, gets paid to travel the world in search of scary-big surf, and not surprisingly, do some modeling on the side. In combining those interests she was recently chosen as one of the 27 world-class athletes to disrobe for ESPN’s Body Issue. The issue hits newsstands on Wednesday, and no doubt there will be a lot of debate about who looks best in the buff. Call us biased if you want, but we’ll take Maya. Francesco Carrozzin’s lovely shot of Gabiera punching under a set wave is the stuff of dreams.

photo:francesco carrozzin/espn