Randall “The Vandall” Harris Interview
Evening With The Stars always always brings some of wakeboarding’s biggest names to Active Water Sports but last year’s event featured a special surprise appearance from Randall “The Vandall” Harris.
The retired professional wakeboarder is one of our sport’s true pioneers, a legendary west coast rider and an all-time great. He is probably your favorite wakeboarder’s favorite wakeboarder. Although he has been out of the sport for several years now, his iconic style still makes him a fan favorite to this day.
Before the 33rd annual Evening With The Stars event kicked off, Dano the Mano, host of the Golden Mic Podcast, sat down with the wakeboard legend to talk about his illustrious career and what he is up to nowadays. We are very excited to be releasing exclusive footage from the long anticipated interview.
Randall has really stayed out of the wakeboarding scene since retiring so his appearance at Evening With The Stars and this 1 on 1 interview are a big deal. Like always, Randall keeps it real while looking back at his career and talking about the many ups and downs throughout his life.
Keep reading to check out some highlights from the interview and make sure to watch the full interview to hear everything The Vandall has to say. Enjoy!
Reflecting on being honored as a Wakeboarding Mag Legend Award Winner and inducted to Wakeboarding Hall of Fame over the last couple years
That whole trip and that experience was pretty wild. When I stopped wakeboarding, I’ve just been working construction and been bottom of the totem pole, starting from ground zero. You know the gopher, the dude that does like the grunt work and everything. So to snap out of that and go back into the wake world for a couple days when I went to Orlando for the Hall of Fame and the Legend Award thing was really just kinda mind blowing. It was definitely one of the highlights of my career for sure.
Talking more about his new career and what it has been like transitioning into life’s next phase
For me it’s not like the first time that I’ve had to step away from the wake industry for awhile. When I do, it feels good to do something else. But it’s hard at 35 to start a new trade and not really knowing anything about it. It’s humbling, very humbling. Being a professional wakeboard athlete for 25+ years doesn’t really set you up for too many job opportunities. It was kinda like “well I got to start doing something”. Start from the bottom and see where I can go with it. So it’s been tough but humbling.
Not being loud with his mouth but instead letting his riding do the talking
From a very young age I let my actions speak for me. It’s so much more powerful when other people are talking about you and other people always have your name in their mouth as opposed to like someone sitting there and bragging about themselves all the time. I just try to let my riding speak for me and when it came to board graphics, I looked at it very much like a tattoo. I wanted every board graphic to mean something, to say something, to represent me and what I believed in. And what I thought looked cool.
Developing his aggressive, unique style of going fast and riding long lines
I think a lot of the pain that I was dealing with internally really added to that. Just wanting to put my everything into every trick that I did, you know like put all my energy into every single trick to just go as hard as I could and as big as I could. I think that was me just fighting my demons and at the same time it was what was fun. The reason you lengthen the rope is because you can actually float in the air longer so it’s like the tricks feel slower. Even though I was speeding up the boat, you are in the air longer and I just love the feeling of flying through the air and grabbing the board as long as you can. That’s what I was all about, it was fun.
A normal set for him when he was really riding
Oh man when I was really riding… a standard hour or hour and a half. Especially if we were shooting I would ride for anywhere from 45 minutes on the short side to two hours, two and a half to three hours if the lighting was good and everything was on point. I would just ride man until I couldn’t anymore.
Putting together his dream boat crew
Well we are gonna need a big boat. It would be Byerly, Gator, Nelson, Josh Smith, Erich Schmaltz, Josh Twelker, Tyler Higham and Trever Mauer. Yeah Josh, Trever and Tyler Higham are my three favorite riders right now. I’d have to throw Ben Greenwood in the mix too and Rusty Malinoski to be honest. I mean that would be like the squad right there, those are all my favorite riders. And of course my lil homie Bobby Starkey would have to get up in there too.
The full interview with Randall Harris was brought to you by Active Water Sports and filmed at AWS’ 33rd annual Evening With The Stars event. It is episode 131 of The Golden Mic Podcast.
The Golden Mic Podcast takes you into the world of wakeboarding with interviews from your favorite athletes. Hosted by the voice of wakeboarding, Dano the Mano, this podcast is a must-listen for any wakeboarder or waterskier. Follow Dano the Mano on Instagram and listen to the Golden Mic Podcast free at NoiseoftheNorth.com, iTunes or SoundCloud!