Maria Souza was born in Recife, Brazil. As a child Maria trained competitively in gymnastics until she fell in love with surfing at age 13. She travelled the world surfing and then settled on the North Shore of Oahu to build her big wave surfing skills. Maria was the first woman ever to tow-in to the powerful waves of Peahi, Maui, also known as “Jaws”. She moved to Maui when the sport of tow-in was born. In Maui she gave birth to her daughter Bela. And soon after the birth of Bela, Maria began to train hard again for tow-in surfing. Maria, along with Andrea Moeller, finished first on the first ever stand-up paddle channel crossing in 2005, 2006, amd 2008, a 7-hour crossing.
Maria went to college for marketing and she designs her own line of swimwear. She practices tow-in surfing, foil surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, Hawaiian canoe, longboarding, tandem surfing and stand-up paddle. She teaches surfing, longboarding, kitesurfing, windsurfing, and stand-up paddling.