Last November, Mahina Maeda‚Äìthen 16‚Äìbecame the second woman in history to surf the legendary waves of Nazare, Portugal. Now, video of her incredible feat‚Äìsurfing waves topping around 30 feet‚Äìis one of the entries for Billabong‚Äôs 2015 Ride of the Year in the XXL Big Wave Awards.
Mahina reached Nazarre fresh off her win of the junior world title in Ericeira, looking to keep up her momentum. Aided by her ‚ÄúUncle Garrett‚Äù‚Äìlegendary surfer Garrett McNamara‚Äìshe strapped on two life vests and rode out into Nazarre‚Äôs dangerous surf. Only a year prior, the same surf had caused Brazilian surfer Maya Gabeira to lose consciousness and nearly drown while attempting to set a world record for biggest wave surfed by a woman.
Mahina wasn‚Äôt intimidated. She took three deep breaths to ‚Äúreset‚Äù herself, stating, ‚ÄúMy mind just went blank‚Ä¶I could hear just my heart pumping. That‚Äôs it.‚Äù
Then she cascaded down not one, but two big waves! The second wave crashed around her, and she resurfaced with a toothy grin. Check it out in the video below:
Mahina is traveling the world as part of the World Qualifying Series. She hopes to become one of the top six women who will qualify to join the World Surf League‚Äôs Women‚Äôs Championship Tour. She‚Äôs currently tied for No. 4, and is surfing in Fiji with two-time world champion Carissa Moore and Australian ripper Dimity Stoyle. She‚Äôll then head to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Best of luck, Mahina! And for more on incredible surfer girls around the world, visit our exhibit, Surfer Girl.
Girl Museum Inc.