Big-wave star and two-time Guinness World Record holder Maya Gabeira told to quit by surfing legend Kelly Slater; blames tow-partner Carlos Burle for near-death episode at Nazaré; says sexism in surfing made her bald! “It made me sad, broke my heart… hair fell out in blocks!”

Kelly writes, "I think if you continue to do what you're doing, you're gonna die. So I highly suggest you stop."

The Brazilian big-wave chaser Maya Gabeira has made a raft of stunning accusations on an upcoming episode of In Depth with Graham Bensinger, which airs this Sunday. 

Gabeira, who is thirty-four, is noted for a few things, winning a couple of gongs from the Guinness Book of World Records for biggest wave ridden by a gal, busting a leg and drowning (revived!) at Nazaré, getting belted to within an inch of her life at big Teahupoo, and being the daughter of a Brazilian revolutionary whose group famously kidnapped the US ambassador. 

In the interview with Bensinger, Gabeira reveals a DM from Kelly where he tells her she is gonna die real soon unless she cools it in big waves.

“Kelly felt like he saw me almost dying in Tahiti on a huge, huge, huge day… He felt very convicted that I was out of place… He thought it was too big for him or he wanted to save himself for a competition, but it was probably the biggest ever surfed in Teahupoʻo. So, with that said, maybe it was too big for me. I was very scared, I can tell you. And things did go wrong…”

And the DM?

“I wasn’t, like, ‘Yay, can’t wait to see what it is!’ I was like, ‘Fuck [this] can’t be any good’ …  He said something on the lines of, ‘You are unprepared. You are endangering people around you when they have to go in and rescue in such scenarios. I think if you continue to do what you’re doing, you’re gonna die. So I highly suggest you stop.’

When she got her stilt snapped at Nazaré and had to be revived on the beach, Laird said she “didn’t have the skill to be surfing in those conditions.”

Bensinger asks if she has a desire to reconnect with Slater, Hamilton.

“No, I’m okay with it. I really am. They had their points. They could have been more fortunate the way that they passed it on to me, but it was a different era too. It was a different time.I think women were treated differently back then and it was OK.It wasn’t as discussed, our role and our place in society. I think a lot has changed and it was what it was. It made me who I am, so I’m okay with it.”

When it comes to Carlos Burle, Gabeira and her current tow-bro German Seb Steudtner blame him for her near-death episode at Nazaré. 

“I was so caught in the relationship. He was so above what I could criticize that at the time him going out felt natural. I supported him. I wouldn’t right now, but that’s how important he was to me,” says Gabeira.

The bald thing happened when the WSL didn’t include her in the big-wave awards.

“I went to the awards in April in California and they never show[ed] my wave. I was like, ‘Where’s my wave? What the f*** am I doing here? I think around three or four months later I realized that it was going nowhere and that’s when I had the idea of doing something public and that would be the petition… I needed some support, exposure. With that, I also decided to retire. Because who was gonna petition against their own sport league and not retire, right? I’m gonna go out and I’m gonna say all those things about them and say how incapable they are and how they have prejudice or whatever… It made me sad, broke my heart and I lost hair over it. I had blocks of hair fall out of my head. So I could tell the stress was getting to me.”


Comment live, Rip Curl Rottnest Search, Day Three! “Five-to-seven feet!” says Surfline ruler

More tears as field gets whittled away!

Breaking: Crocodile Dundee grows furious over homeless encroachment in Venice Beach, posts bold sign on front gate reading “THIS IS MY HOUSE NOT YOURS!”

Beat it, kooks.

It seems like only yesterday that one-time Australian surf publication Stab based itself very near Venice Beach, California, likely hoping that some of the neighborhood’s pop chill would rub off and bring must prestige.

The plan did not work, as Venice was already well past its prime, many homeless filling the void, mingling with leftover hipsters in  wide-brimmed hats, lightly tattered Black Flag t-shirts, chubby hands with many rings.

Impossible to tell who was who.

Stab shuttered itself behind a premium paywall before giving up entirely, moving to well past its prime Byron Bay back in Australia.


Unaffiliated with Stab but also one-time Australian Paul Hogan, who made himself very famous by playing the iconic Crocodile Dundee, also lives in Venice but unlike the surf publication, has been there for decades and decided to stay and fight the invading horde. Beat reporters snapped photos of him this week marching furiously outside his paywall and posting a note reading “THIS IS MY HOUSE NOT YOURS” to it, written in red Sharpie.

Later he reemerged and underlined the words MY HOUSE.

Tyler Proctor, a politician who lives locally, empathizes with Hogan describing the neighborhood as “hell on earth,” continuing, “His house is like a fortress and it needs to be. I can see why [he] wants to move out.”

At time of printing, there is no word if the homeless are staging a massive anti-Australia protest, burning Akubra hats on his doorstep etc.

More as the story develops.

The feral kid from Mad Max (pictured) was not at the protest.
The feral kid from Mad Max (pictured) was not at the protest.

Enraged children, parents, take to the streets in Maui demanding the return of surf competitions: “These kids just want to go out there and chase their dreams and it’s tough to chase their dreams when they don’t know how they’re doing unless they’re in front of a judge with a hooter going off!”

Give us surf!

Quarantine hardened children and their parents took to the streets in Lahaina, Maui yesterday afternoon demanding the resumption of surf competitions and terrifying tourists with colorful signs reading “Let us surf!”

News of the protest, which spread like wildfire across the island via Hawaii’s famed coconut wireless, was in direct response to elected officials allowing soccer and other outdoor sports to resume while not lifting the ban on formal, competitive surfing.

Famous big wave surfer and snowboarder Ian Walsh, who sponsors the annual Menehune Mayhem competition, told Honolulu’s Star-Advertiser, “There’s water polo events, there’s soccer events, there’s baseball events, there’s basketball events, and I think with all those events operating, there should not be a ban on amateur events for surfing or other ocean activities, whether it be canoe regattas, Junior Lifeguards or whatever that might be. We just want to give these kids a chance to surf. A lot of them don’t have other sports; surfing is their primary outlet, and they’ve been standing by the wayside for some time. With these other events being able to operate successfully, we’re hopeful that they will allow us to put these events on for the kids.”

Zolten Poulsen, the to U12 surfer in Hawaii, was at the protest and told the local ABC news outlet, “Surfing is really an amazing sport it’s super fun super exciting when we get to compete and with COVID that got taken away.”

His father, Eric, added, “These kids just want to go out there and chase their dreams and it’s tough to chase their dreams when they don’t know how they’re doing unless they’re in front of a judge with a hooter going off.”

April Colpas, whose eighth grade daughter competes, felt incensed that she has to sit on the couch while blow-ins are allowed to do as they please, seeing crowds of them, maskless etc. lining up for boats and parasailing adventures.

“Our jaws just dropped. It was actually the first time it was in our face that you don’t get to compete, but all these people who are visiting, they’re coming here, spending money, and they get to line up for a freakin’ boat ride when my daughter can’t even do a four-man heat? It doesn’t make any sense.”

Jodi Leong, spokesperson to Hawaii’s governor David Ige, feeling the intense pressure issued a statement reading, “Gov. Ige is currently working through the details and is expected to make an announcement soon.”

Seriously, though, how are youth surf competitions still not happening in Hawaii?

Is it the World Surf League CEO Erik Logan’s fault for making a mockery of the state’s Covid-19 protocols way back in December?

It totally is, isn’t it.

Sorry, kids.

Killer Great White shark likely fifteen-foot “local” nicknamed Bruce; surfer tried to warn others before dying in shallow-water attack; fisherman on jetski says he was “confronted” by “huge” amount of blood in the water

“Bruce has been swimming around there for years now finally big enough to attack someone. RIP old mate”

On a pretty autumn morning on a particularly dreamy slice of Australian coastline yesterday, a fifty-nine-year-old surfer was killed in front of his mates by a fifteen-foot Great White.

Locals were familiar with the animal, posting on Facebook, “Bruce has been swimming around there for years now finally big enough to attack someone.”

(The name Bruce refers, of course, to the nickname given to the mechanical Great White in the 1975 film Jaws, sourced either from director Steven Spielberg’s accountant Bruce, who kept balking at the cost overruns on the fake shake, or Spielberg’s lawyer, also called Bruce.)

Fisho Michael Guest, who was on a jetski nearby, told morning TV,

“People just started pointing and yelling at me. I zipped over to just around the corner of the break wall to see what was going on. I didn’t know if somebody was drowning. Then this gentleman said, ‘There’s a guy getting attacked by the shark over there’. Hearing those words straightaway, I just… flattened the throttle on the jet ski. It wasn’t a nice thing to see, to be perfectly honest. I couldn’t believe there was so much blood in the water.”

Three other surfers dragged the man to the beach. 

“They pulled the gentleman up, lifted him up around water level,” said Guest. “I could see the horrific injuries that had occurred. Even though it’s a big animal, I don’t know where it was, it was obviously just there somewhere. I didn’t see the shark but the damage was done.”

Last year was the deadliest year for shark attacks in Australia since 1923, pointedly the worst for surfers in the country’s history: five fatals out of the eight, all of ‘em by Great White. 

Much hand-wringing in media. Climate change done it and so on. 

From a BBC story, Is Australia Really Seeing More Shark Attacks?,

Scientists know that climate change is affecting ocean current movements and weather patterns. Depending on its impact, Associate Prof Hart said, we could in future “potentially see an increase or equally a decrease in shark attacks perhaps in response to those changing environmental variables”

No mention, of course, of the mathematics of what happens when you protect an apex predator for twenty-two years.

After the fourth attack on a surfer last year, and just before a Gold Coast real estate agent was hit and killed at the Superbank, Steve “Longtom” Shearer asked,

Are we at a tipping point where we say, maybe it’s time to take the gloves off? 

“By accident and on purpose, an almost ideal world for the White shark has been created. Protected in Australia since ’99, but likely, according to the supplementary material on the CSIRO population study, to have faced decreasing threats from humans since the late 80’s, bolstered as adults by increases in whale and seal numbers. Boosted as juveniles and sub-adults by decreases in commercial fishing in NSW and the establishment of marine parks along the Australian coastline. We’ve created a world tailormade for our old pal the White shark.

“But if you create such a world, and the White Shark Recovery Plan makes clear such a world is a desirable and wondrous thing then ain’t there a slight ethical obligation to consider the kiddies and old sea dogs who wind up in the jaws of nature’s most long lived apex, opportunistic predator?

“The people who have to drag them in, watch them turn grey while they wait for the chopper to arrive?

“The Mums, Dads, school mates, drinking pals, girlfriends and boyfriends etc etc etc?

“Is there an end state where we can say, OK, too many, let’s go fishing?

“I almost daren’t say it, but it feels like we could be close.”

After yesterday’s fatal attack by a Great White, the first for 2021 though certainly not the last, the smart money is on… never. 

For despite everything, despite the overwhelming evidence that Great Whites patrol beaches in abundance and with impunity, nothing, not the roll call of surfers dying, literally, in the mouths of sharks, including a seventeen-year-old girl and a fifteen-year-old boy, will shift a perception in the essential perfection and mythology of the Great White. 

This morning, an eight-foot Great White was caught a few hundred metres away from the sight of yesterday’s attack.




One local resident, Kellie Hilder, told the Daily Telegraph her kid Chloe had given up surfing Tuncurry’s clean little tubes ’cause of the Great Whites.

“For the past six months she’s been too scared to go out there. There are so many sharks she’s given up surfing.”