MAUI, Hawaii – Professional surfer Albee Layer said he had told himself in December of last year that he could accomplish the task of landing an epic backside 540 and set out to prove it.
Within six months of constant training and trying to land it, Layer said his body was tired.
“It was taxing on the body and head,” Layer said during an interview with Take Shelter Productions. “I was furious … because I tried – I don’t know how many sessions to freaking land it…how many broken boards – just hurting my body over and over again.”
I knew I could land it, but just wasn’t doing it. It turned into this monkey that I put on my shoulder.
“It’s not really your trick until you can do it twice,” he once told a production crew that had been following him, attempting to capture him successfully land it. Layer had landed it in the past, but there wasn’t any proof of it.
It wasn’t until he got out on the water in Maui, Hawaii on Friday, November 18 and accomplished his dream.
The production crew captured Layer cruising on a wave and landing a first-ever backside double spin. Video of it shows him land it, including the emotional moment when Layer realized he finally did it.
“I made a conscious decision to put all of my focus, passion and whatever into surfing and progression,” Layer said. “Whether it be paddle a bigger wave, ride a wave differently or doing an air that hasn’t been done… That’s what gives me the most joy out of surfing.”
Pro-skateboarder Tony Hawk shared Layer’s video and even questioned why surfers only refer to the jump as a 540 and not a 720.
“I kinda bought into it being called a 540 not sure why. It is literally a little more than a 630 reverted into a 900 why surfers are so eager to sell themselves short, calling waves from the back for instance, is confusing to me. One thing is for absolute certain I will never repeat never argue about spins with the original king of rotation himself @tonyhawk. So claiming it 720! Haha can’t even believe he shared my air – so stoked,” Layer posted.
Whatever you want to call the aerial surfing move, the surfing world has been celebrating Layer’s feat since video of it was posted online.