Full Name: Alfred Louis Layer IV
Hometown: Haiku on the island of Maui
Sponsors: Well I don’t have any main ones. Xcel, SOS shapes, and High Tech Surf Shop all help me out though.
Ryan Brower: What are you most famous for? Growing up next to Laird Hamilton?
Albee Layer: Yeah, he was actually my neighbor till I was like seven. He’s one of my dad’s really good friends still to this day. They all used to play volleyball together all the time, the whole “straps” crew. My first wave I ever really stood up was on the front of Laird’s board when I was two or something.
So watching him pioneer Jaws, did that lay some groundwork for your big wave endeavors?
For sure. When I was young those guys would always say, “Oh yeah, we’re gonna see you out there in a couple of years.” And then I got caught up in the whole contest thing, I almost kind of forgot about it. Then one day, my friend Marlin got a jet ski and we got our shit together and went out there with some of the lifeguards from Maui, and I was just like “Whoa!” We both got absolutely addicted to it. Then we brought our friends Matt and Billy, and we just couldn’t stop.
That’s right, you’re good friends with Matt Meola ? Who else is in your crew on Maui?
Yeah he’s a pretty rad guy. My main crew I guess is Matt, I definitely surf more with him than anyone. And around my town Marlin, Louis is another kid we surf with, Billy Kemper (who just won the HIC Sunset Pro), and then the Hana kids like Dege O’Connell, Hank Gaskell, and Ola Eleogram.
What’s that backside frontflip thing you tried in this clip [at the 3:37 mark]?
Yeah, [laughs] Matt actually named that for me. He calls it a Flayer [pronounced flare], because it’s like my last name Layer, which is actually a catchy name. I was at Windmills one day and Matt was doing all sorts of crazy airs and backside you’re kind of limited, so I wanted to try something new, and then it just kind of worked. I’ve done a million out the back, but I haven’t really stomped a good one. It’s actually really funny, I was watching the X-games and the BMX guys do a thing called a “flare”, and it’s the same kind of rotation somehow.
Yeah, that’s kind of weird that he named it a “Flayer”.
Yeah we had no idea, and I was looking at it and thinking, “Maybe we should call it that.”
Do you think that’s a better name than the Flynnstone Flip?
[laughs] I think so, that’s a little too long. Flayer is catchy, it rolls off the tongue.