Maya Gabeira is a big-wave boarder, Brazilian beauty and subject of some of the coolest, most artistic photographs in this year's ESPN the Magazine Body Issue.
Seriously, you don't want to miss them.
Even the world's most important critic for photos like this—Maya's father—thought the pictures came out well, she told Jon Coen of ESPN.
"I've been getting some good feedback. My family liked it—my Dad, that was a big relief," Gabeira told me today, "I liked it myself. I felt more artistic than exposed. But the picture came out alright."
Of course, Gabeira, five-time Billabong XXL winner, 2009 ESPY "Female Action Sports Athlete of the Year," generally considered the best big wave woman on the planet, handled it with pure grace.
Along with the awesome photo you've already seen above, the picture of Gabeira under water is a gorgeous shot.
If you haven't seen Gabeira shred a gigantic wave, you're missing out. She has some serious stones to ride the waves she tackles, and she handles them smoothly and seemingly without any fear at all.
Frankly, I get worried watching videos of her riding those waves. Actually doing it?
I think I'd lose my lunch.
Surfing generally attracts some of the most attractive ladies in sports, and Gabeira continues that trend, but don't assume she's just some beach babe who looks good on a board but can't handle legit waves.
She's a surfer first and a beauty second, and as the Body Issue shows, she's a sleek, toned athlete. That's what the Body Issue is ultimately all about—yes, many of the pictures are sexy, but they are primarily about showcasing the athletic form.
And making the rest of us jealous along the way.
Surfing is one of the coolest sports out there, so it deserves to be represented in the Body Issue in a hip, classy and artistic way. Thankfully for all of us, Gabeira's photos did just that.
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