In the pictures of her record-breaking trip, the Brazilian surfer Maya Gabeira is a tiny blade on the water, slicing a line of white spume down the deep ridge of the huge gray wave that climbs behind her. The wave in query measured 22.4 metres (73.5ft), the very best ever surfed by a lady, the primary to be measured and verified by Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and a few toes larger than the one surfed by her nearest rival. It can also be the most important wave measured this 12 months, surfed by man or girl.

Gabeira, who broke her personal earlier Guinness world document of 68ft, attributes her achievement to what she calls “taking a critical line”. In brief, she takes her board to the fiercest and tallest a part of the wave, “where the most powerful energy is, where it is actually breaking”. This, she says, is how “you put value into your wave”.

The peaks surfed by Gabeira are classed as measurement XXL by the World Surf League (there is no such thing as a XXXL). Hawaii and California as soon as drew the big-wave group, however Gabeira believes that the small Portuguese fishing village of Nazaré, the place she lives and works, is residence to “the most incredible big waves in the world … The speeds are incredible. You are going so fast and the wave is building behind you; it’s a lot of water moving, an incredible feeling, and you’re very, very present, which has always been my favourite part of the sport. To feel connection with a very powerful force.”

Gabeira’s enthusiasm is the extra intense on condition that she almost died in the identical spot in 2013, when she was upended by a wave quicker and taller than any she had beforehand tried. It broke her ankle on the third or fourth bump, hurled her from her board, and unloaded an estimated 144 tonnes of water on her.

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