Local spotlight & local knowledge: Kent Miller-Randle of Urbnsurf
Welcome to our new Locals feature where we meet the wave-pool obsessed, where they surf and discover what traumatic life event made them this way. Each guest also provides insider information on their local wave pool – the cool stuff you don’t get from the Instagram clips or company website. From water temps to those weird anomalies in the wave to the best wind direction and more.
Our first feature focuses on Kent Miller-Randle, a gent who has the artificial wave jones pretty bad. He’s sampled chlorine novelties in Dubai and was fortunate enough to surf at Kelly’s one time with the rich and famous. Kent sessions at Urbnsurf three to five times per week. In hearing his story we learn why epoxy boards work best, why the left is better than the right and how you’ll never find a lineup with a better vibe.
What is your local wave pool?
My Local wave pool is Urbnsurf in Melbourne Australia and it’s 12 minutes from my Place in North Melbourne, door-to-gate.
What is your surfing background?
I’m 50 years old and have surfed since is was about 10. However, grew up in the city so surfing was on weekends when I stayed at my mate’s Holiday home at Phillip Island or at my mum’s place on the Mornington Peninsula. When I was 18 the love affair really began with annual trips up and down the east coast and trips to Bali and Lombok. I generally do a boat and land trip every year to the Mentawais in Sumatra and I do a trip to Latitude Zero in the Telo Islands every October followed up by a week in Hawaii during the Pipe Masters.
How many sessions a month?
I surf the pool between 3-5 times per week mainly on the expert sessions and on the left. The expert session is one hour of barrels with the wave being ramped up in the second half of the hour to a thicker slab style barrel.
We also heard that you surfed in Dubai and Kelly’s – share with us what that experience was like
I was lucky enough to do two private hours in the pool in Al Alin (Wadi Adventure Park) in Dubai which was great fun and my first wave pool experience. In April 2019 I also got to spend a day surfing Kelly’s Pool aka the Surf Ranch which was one of the best days of my life thanks to Andy Potts, a mate of mine who I had met years earlier on a Mentawais trip with Occy. Andy introduced me to Michael Schwab who is one of the owners of the surf ranch with Kelly and the WSL. Michael kindly invited me to his birthday party which was a day surfing the Ranch all day in Lemoore. Words can’t describe the experience of surfing perfect man-made waves (that break for 55 seconds) in a lake basically in the middle of nowhere. A truly epic day with epic people and one that I will never forget.
What is the best thing about your spot?
The best thing about being able to surf Urbnsurf for me is it’s guaranteed 18 barrels an hour and with a great crew in the water. Your wave is your wave as there is no snaking or dropping in and everyone is pumped. I have met lots of really cool people at the pool and love the vibe of the place. It’s also great to have the guys and girls from Surfchimp capturing everything with photographs and video which is pretty cool as how often do you surf and know that that barrel or turn was captured? Basically never unless you’re on a boat trip.
What is the worst thing about your spot ?
The only negative is that it’s really cold in winter (colder than the ocean) however nothing that a 4/3mm Rip Curl E Bomb, booties, gloves and beanie can’t fix.
Share with us something most people dont know about the Urbnsurf wave pool
Something most people don’t know about the pool is that the left is a way better wave than the right. The CEO told me they poured the concrete on the right first and the left second and that a few mistakes were made. I agree with him as I find the right pushes you more towards the wall when you take off. However, I am a goofyfoot and the running joke with all the Urbnsurf staff is “Does Kent ever go right?”
Biggest piece of insider advice you can give to someone about the Urbnsurf wave pool?
Best advice for someone surfing at Urbnsurf would be to ride epoxy boards. My favorite boards in the pool are Channel Island Neckbeard 2 and the Fishbeard both in Spinetek. I find the Spinetek technology gives you that extra floatation and helps carry you through your turns. I see so many people riding the wrong equipment and I can see how it’s affecting their surfing. The great thing is that at 50, I feel like I’m still improving and have signed up to Brad Gerlach’s Waveki to fine-tune some parts of my surfing.