Stab Magazine | Albee Layer Dissects His "Ride Of The Year" Nominated Stick
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Albee Layer Dissects His “Ride Of The Year” Nominated Stick

The Stab Caddy: One punch boards that Stab would flip burgers for.

hardware // Sep 19, 2016
Words by Morgan Williamson
Reading Time: 2 minutes

They say you got to slay your dragons to get to your princess, or in Albee’s case, get very barreled. As El Niño bloomed through the Hawaiian winter, Albee Layer scratched into some of the best waves ever ridden at Maui’s Peahi. The most notable, a tunnel of unprecedented depth (for Jaws), which scooped him a Ride of the Year nomination. There was also the one on the day the Eddie didn’t run that creased his back, ripped his shoulders apart and left him in a neck brace for a week. And when the Eddie did finally run, despite an invite, Albee was back out at Jaws instead because, as he puts it, “If Waimea is big, then Jaws is definitely going off and I’d be devastated to miss a day out there.”

But perhaps what’s most interesting about the way Albee surfs Jaws, along with his lineup positioning, is his equipment choice. “The one I got (the barrel on) was an 8’8”,” says Albee. He says he doesn’t know the actual dimensions (though, you can read them above), but the board feels right, and that’s all that matters. “It’s a bigger board, chopped down. It’s got quite a bit of foam, some concave and a flat rocker. It’s not made for going straight, for it to really work you have to keep it on rail.”

StabCaddy Albee

This has resulted in some of the most progressive surfing ever done at Maui’s most notorious big wave theatre. And Albee has been toying with the idea of getting barreled at Jaws since grade school. “The first time I surfed Jaws I rode a 10’4”,” he says. “It was pretty easy to catch waves, but it’s a different type of surfing than I want to be doing out there. On bigger boards, there are so many times where I’d be bottom turning, thinking, ‘come on, get the fuck up the face!’” 

“Sean Ordonez, (of SOS Shapes, the man who supplies Albee’s sticks) is out there whenever we are,” continues Albee. “He’s always out doing water safety, he sees what we’re doing and knows how to shape a board fit for what we want to do.” Which is to surf Jaws like it’s Backdoor. Never in the history of big wave surfing have men pushed the boundaries like they did last winter. “Riding a smaller board, you’re forced to take later drops,” he says. “There’s no roll-ins. The balance is I have to trust myself and my surfing enough to know that when it’s good, I can make those late drops. So you take off late, but once you’re up, you have a lot more control to put yourself in the most critical spot and navigate it easier than you would with a bigger board. It’s just a matter of having confidence.”

ScaleWidthWyIxMjAwIl0 Albee TomServais

It’s all about confidence…and balls. Photo: Tom Servais

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