Bianca Valenti is a San Francisco-based professional surfer who rides some of the world’s biggest waves. Instead of wearing a string bikini on a white sand beach, she dons a wetsuit, a hood and protective gear to take on some of the world’s deadliest swells. When she first took on Mavericks—notoriously difficult surf just south of San Francisco—she almost drowned. But that experience, coupled with her drive to overcome sexist stereotypes about female surfers, only motivated Valenti to become a better surfer. The results, as you can see, have paid off.