At the age of 16 Beachley became a professional surfer. By the age of 20 she was ranked sixth in the world. Beachley became the Women's ASP World Champion in 1998, and won the title again in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003.
She is the only woman in history to gain 7 World Championships, and only surfer, male or female to win six consecutive world titles. In 2004, Layne was given a wildcard entry into the Energy Australia Open held at Newcastle, one of the rare occasions a woman has competed in a men's surfing event.