• Maya Gaberia for Adventurer of the Year

National Geographic has made its top picks of outstanding individuals in exploration, conservation, action sports, and humanitarian work. Now they leave it to you (Reader's Choice) to pick the Adventurer of the Year. In the running is Billabong's big wave charger Maya Gaberia of Brazil.

Bobbing in the South Atlantic, her partner, Carlos Burle, 42, still half unconscious after losing a battle with one of the first waves of the day, Maya Gabeira considered turning back. From the seat of her Jet Ski, the 22-year-old Brazilian watched as South Africa's Dungeons break swelled to 50 feet. Holding on behind her, Burle was badly shaken: "I almost died," he said over and over. Then the sun came out, and Gabeira spoke up: "Can you drive?" Read more

Cast your vote on National Geographic's website