STUCK IN TRANSIT
You hear it when you travel, you read it in the travel magazines and online. New Zealand, our country, has a reputation as the most beautiful, serene and untouched place on the planet. A visit to our shores is on most tourists 'Bucket List'. As locals it is easy to take what we have for granted, so we thought from now on we would catch up with visiting surfers that we run into on our travels and get the word from them on their experiences while taking in the waves, views and vibes of Aotearoa. It just might make you appreciate how good we have it just that little bit more. This issue we feature superstar freesurfer Albee Layer who hails from Maui, Hawaii. Albee shot to prominence when he won the Innersection video comp with aerial surfing that defied logic, he is the only surfer to have ever pulled off a 720 alley-oop and he recently spent a month punting through NZ air space, we catch up with Albee on his time up in the Long White Cloud.
WHAT BRINGS YOU TO NZ THIS TIME? I came to New Zealand to try and film a part for a movie project a few others and myself have been
working on this year called 'Attractive Distractions'.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST COME TO NZ? AND WHAT WERE YOUR INITIAL THOUGHTS? My first trip to New Zealand I was eight months old and my parents took me all around the country as a baby. I don't remember much but it was the first place I stood on a surf board, on land but yeah... haha.
AS A PROFESSIONAL SURFER YOU GET TO TRAVEL THE GLOBE TO MANY EPIC LOCATIONS, SO WHAT GIVES NZ
THE BIG THUMBS UP IN TERMS OF ATTRACTING YOU HERE? For me New Zealand is one of my favourite places I have ever been, if not the best. Mostly because of the vibe and the people. It reminds me a lot of the town I live in on Maui but the whole country seems to be in the vibe. Lots of farms, open space, rolling hills and it was a place if you were OK with not surfing the BEST spot every day you could probably surf by yourself at a spot almost as good, and as a traveller too, many other surfers is the number one thing I try to avoid.
SO HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN HERE? AND WHAT HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED? We spent upwards of two weeks in NZ and experienced a lot. From being told we can’t film waves, which I totally understand, to bbq’s with all the friends and people we knew, some great waves, some really frustrating waves, checking cray pots, fishing, diving. We did a lot on this trip.
WHERE HAVE YOU SCORED THE BEST SURF DURING YOUR STAYS? The best surf was kind of by chance. Just a semi random rip bowl at a beachy. The way the current and swell were going it made this kind of uphill right that had a nice barrel at the beginning then tonnes of sections for turns or airs.
SO WILL YOU BE BACK ANYTIME SOON? You boys are gonna probably get sick of me cause I could see myself living there some day.