Stab Magazine | Nervous Laughter Is The Best Big Wave Preparation

Nervous Laughter Is The Best Big Wave Preparation

It’s also the film that Jaws deserves.

news // Apr 19, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

You can stretch all you want. Go to Tibet, take a breathing class. Lift heavy weights and moan like a sea lion while doing it.

All of those things are great ways to prepare for big wave surfing. None of them protect you from your own mind when you’re eyeing up 20-feet-at-18-seconds of atmospheric anger stampeding into Jaws or Maverick’s. The confidence boost that fitness provides only takes you so far in the moment when shit becomes real.

You know what does help, though? Nervous laughter. And Nervous Laughter. The first nervous laughter is a psychological quirk that arises when you take your survival instincts and light them all on fire in pursuit of some inexplicable thrill. The second is a new motion picture out of Maui. It invites you inside the lives of five close friends who, hey, just happen to be some of the world’s best big wave surfers: Albee Layer, Kai Lenny, Billy Kemper, Dege O’Connell and Torrey Meister. Table for six, please.

Albee produced the whole thing while Dan Norkunas directed. Wanna chat with Albee about it?

Albee Layer Nervous Laughter drop

Stab: Tell me about the movie.
Albee Layer: Have you seen Distance Between Dreams? It’s the same thing, except Rated R.

I already love it. (Laughs) It is actually similar to Distance Between Dreams – it’s the story of this past winter on Maui and at Maverick’s. But it’s not meant to feel like a piece about how awesome we are. It’s more real. We didn’t have any major sponsors and in a way, that was really cool. We got to tell the story the way we wanted it to be told without filtering anything.

I already love it more. Good, but I think people will have mixed opinions. Some people will probably hate it. I think Dege O’Connell will become everyone’s hero though. People will love Kai Lenny because he’s so good at interviews and not swearing. All of our stories are unique but are tied together by big waves. We’ve pretty much all been paddling Jaws for 5 years and it felt like it came to some sort of a culmination last year.

Do you feel like you portrayed big wave surfing in a more relatable way? We’re not, like, the stars in surfing. We’re just people. So it’s an honest, intimate look. We didn’t sugarcoat anything. We are who we are. Nervous Laughter shows how we really talk and prepare before surfing those waves. We show the shit you don’t get to see in a normal edit. Like how we’re scared, but also laughing. That’s how we make ourselves feel better about what we’re about to do.

You can and should buy Nervous Laughter on iTunes here.


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