Layne Beachley

Quick Facts

  • Name: Layne Beachley
  • Born: Manly, NSW, 24 May 1972
  • Called Gidget
  • Won the World Championship for six years in a row
  • Won 28 World Championships Tour events
  • Australian Female Athlete of the Year 2003
  • Established the Layne Beachley Aim for the Stars Foundation


Layne Beachley is one of the greatest female surfers in the history of the sport. Soon after her birth, she was adopted by Neil and Valerie Beachley, who lived near Manly, a famous Sydney beachside suburb.  Her adoptive name proved very apt.

At school, Beachley was talented at sport and loved tennis, soccer and surfing. When she was in her teens, surfing was considered a male sport. At 16 she knew she wanted to devote her life to professional surfing and entered professional events all around Australia. She worked at four jobs to fund her trips to international surfing competitions.  By the time Beachley was 20 she was ranked sixth in the world. In 1996 she suffered bouts of chronic fatigue and thought her surfing career might be over. She recovered and in 1998 won her first Women’s Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Title. She won the title again in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003, making her the most successful female professional surfer ever.

Having experienced financial hardship to achieve her goals Beachley established The Layne Beachley Aim for the Stars Foundation to help women achieve their goals whether they be academic, sporting or community based. She says ‘a little bit of finance or just the knowledge someone believes in (them) may be all it takes for a female to achieve greatness’.

Beachley appeared in Billabong Odyssey, Step into Liquid and Live in the Fast Layne,  movies showcasing her skills surfing the big waves. She has surfed waves over 15-metres high. She is often asked how she has the courage to do this. Her response is ‘Life is a challenge, you attract what you fear, so play fair and have fun’.


Video Links

Trailers of Billabong Odyssey and Step into Liquid (New York Times)


Aim for the Stars Foundation