Up close and personal with Dale Randahl!
Who is Dale Randahl – the man behind the dark sunglasses and quiet unassuming demeanour? Well I got the lowdown yesterday and while Dale is a man of a few words one can’t help but feel that he is somebody worth knowing, a family man – father of two young girls with a lovely wife Bindi, whose cooking is Dale’s favourite food; aw shucks!
He is a consummate professional in all aspects of his life which is why I feel privileged interrupting or distracting him from his ‘Game Plan’ to get up close and personal.
So here goes – start your engines! Put your feet up; pour that glass of wine!
Dale hails from the south coast of New South Wales – a couple of hours drive from Sydney – where the air is clean, the sun shines and the grass is green not to mention having some of the most consistent surf breaks found in Australia. One of the surf breaks is Sandon Point – his local – and on most days you’ll find Dale carving it up. He combines his love of the ocean with mountain bike riding around the various trails close to home.
Dale originally had his baptism of surf on a boogie board but it wasn’t long before his waveski-riding dad introduced him to the sport at the tender age of 13. His natural talent and wiry athleticism didn’t go unnoticed and it wasn’t long before Dale started competing in local competitions before venturing to the big stage. In his first Australian Tiles he won the junior division and then in 1997 he finished 3rd in the World Titles – Juniors.
For the most part of his Waveski journey he’s flown under the radar so to speak but has been very consistent with final placings in both the Open and age divisions. However in the last couple of years wisdom and experience has featured and what we see today is an Aussie charging and pushing the boundaries. He is currently leading the Australian Waveski Tour Series in both the Open and Masters Divisions which is no mean feat given that he’s up against Rees Duncan, Graham Lancaster and Tony Cherry to name a few.
The recent World Titles in 2016 was a testament to Dale’s fighting Aussie spirit for on the last day of competition he surfed in no less than 7 heats, some with only one heat in between. I have never witnessed before someone shaking with the cold with eyes as wide as saucers and still blitzing his opponents. Dale ended up finishing 4th in the Open Men’s in ever changing conditions. His wave scores were right up with the best and being the quiet achiever that he is he took his 4th place with incredible pride and I think utter relief at having got as high a place as he did. He also still had the energy to finish runner up in the Seniors.
Despite his heavy workload (he’s a building inspector for local government and raising a family), he was also the President of Waveski Surfing Australia and Australia’s National Delegate for the World Waveski Surfing Association for a number of years where he was held in very high regard. As such, he’s been selected as Australia’s flag bearer for this year’s World Waveski Surfing Titles opening ceremony, something he feels immensely proud of.
He has a long future in our sport and if he continues to maintain his level of fitness, energy and commitment I’m sure we’ll see Dale Randahl’s name on the podium for many years to come.