Layne Beachley was born Tania Maris Gardner on 24 May 1972 in Sydney, Australia. Her mother was only seventeen years old and unmarried so she was soon adopted by Neil and Valerie Beachley, who lived in nearby Manly. When Layne was only six years old, Valerie suffered a post-operative brain hemorrhage and died, leaving Layne and her brother to be raised by a family friend. Beachley has spoken publicly about personal struggles, including the fact that she was conceived during a date rape and later adopted out. She met her biological mother for the first time in 1999. Beachley was brought up in the competitive Manly surfing scene and was competing and winning against mens heats at 15. It is thought that here is where she had developed her strength and style that would make her an unbeaten world champion and big wave rider. Beachley was always available when possible for any worthwhile cause in the community whether it was for sewerage outfall protests or promoting the sport and charities that she is close to.