Local Surfing Legend Dean Randazzo Trades Wetsuit For Lectern

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Dean Randazzo, of Ventnor, will share his story of surfing success and cancer recovery at the Lecture For A Cause Thursday, Dec. 27, at Atlantic City Country Club. (Courtesy Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation)

Dean Randazzo is typically a man of few words. New Jersey’s most successful professional surfer has always expressed himself on the water, riding the biggest waves in the world.

But he has a story to tell.

Randazzo, who formerly lived in Somers Point and is a longtime fixture of the Ocean City surfing scene, will share his story of becoming a professional surfer, battling cancer and his recovery at the Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation Lecture For A Cause 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 27, at Atlantic City Country Club in Northfield, according to a press release.

Admission is free, and the event is presented by Morris Antebi Pain Specialist. Guests will enjoy light appetizers and a cash bar as Randazzo shares tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the value of a positive attitude and the importance of early cancer screenings.

Surfers compete in one of the Dean Randazzo Surf for a Cause competitions. (Photo Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation website)

Born in Atlantic City, Randazzo grew up in Margate and Somers Point. He now lives in Ventnor. As an amateur surfer in 1989, he represented Mainland Regional High School at a National Scholastic Surfing Association competition in California. He turned pro the following year. In 1996, he qualified for the ASP World Championship Tour, becoming the first New Jersey competitor to do so.

At the height of his career in 2001, Randazzo was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

He lost some sponsors, but a groundswell of support energized his recovery and his next mission — the Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation.

Randazzo received multiple bone marrow transplants from his brother, Joe, to help him battle through four rounds of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and climb back up the ranks of competitive surfing.

His return to Lower Trestles in San Clemente, Calif., in April 2002, earned him third place, after placing second the previous year before his diagnosis.

Randazzo won the Garden State Grudge Match in 2002 and again in 2007. In 2004, he earned MVP honors at the X Games and won the Red Bull Icebreak.

He has represented the United States in the International Surfing Association’s World Masters Championships and is a member of the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame.

Surfers gather during a competition. (Courtesy Dean Randazzo Foundation website)