Carlos Burle Explains A Death-Defying Tow-In Mishap

Carlos Burle and Maya Gabeira have been towing together for the last few years. If there are waves, you can almost always find them working on tow techniques, getting deeper and pushing limits. Earlier this season, things went horribly wrong; here's Carlos' take on how things went down:

“Long story short, these jet skis were not designed for tow-in and have a key that was designed to minimize risks. You wear the key on your right wrist, and in case you fall the key is pulled and the ski stops. Because you move a lot when you are driving the ski during a tow session, sometimes the key comes off acidentally. It’s happened a few times with me before, but I always managed to get out of the situation. What was bizarre this time was that when we started the session the key came off and Maya said to me, ‘This is dangerous and it may happen in a situation where you won’t be able to restart it.’

A couple hours later I was towing her into a wave, coming from inside and going against the face of the left–a classic sling shot technique. But when I did this the key came off again. This time, with no time to react, I saw myself going sideways up the face of the wave with no power. As you can see, I ended coming back over with the lip. The scenario was scary.

At this point I was totally vulnerable to the circumstances and was just praying for the best. I didn’t hit the ski, and when I came up to the surface I saw that Maya was there, so I said to myself, ‘She is all right…but where is the ski?’ We couldn’t see it. Luckily we had help from a friend who was on a ski of their own ski. He helped me find ours, and when I first saw it the sled was all twisted and missing the whole cover part of the hood. I thought that we had totally lost all the gear, but it turned out to be very reliable and the ski was running perfect. Amazing! Thanks to High Surf Accessories!

So we managed to get all boards back and make it safe back to the harbor. Maya was shaken; she said the ski almost killed her.

I’m very grateful that we went through this experience with so little damage. After that day we’ve towed many times…but with no more keys attached to our wrists, and I am definitely careful about listening to what Maya says.”