Randy Stoklos 

Class of 1999
Active: 1979 - 1997
122 Open Victories

 

by Jill Gottesman

As the "cover boys" of beach volleyball in their heyday, the legendary duo of Randy Stoklos and Singin' Smith dominated the growing sport in the late '70s and '80s–a classic pairing of fire and ice on the court.

But it was Randy, with his sheer physical presence and tenacious style punctuated by big blocks and powerful hits, who inspired such strong and varied sentiment among the masses who would gather each weekend to watch.

Indeed, beach volleyball fans either loved Randy's larger than life persona, or hated it; even today, as he looks back on his reign as the King of the Beach, he recalls the emotion he inspired courtside. "My favorite aspect about playing beach volleyball was the intensity of the game and the crowds of adoring fans," he says. "I miss....that roar of the crowds."

Randy started playing beach volleyball when he was 14, at the south side of the Santa Monica pier. But as his career took off, he had success all along the Southern California coast, especially in the South Bay. HIs first Open win was in Manhattan Beach in 1981, playing with partner Jim Menges (the only win of his career playing the right side).

It's Randy's partnership with Singin' that has became the stuff of legends along the beach–and it's that decade of sheer dominance that Randy is proud of. "We brought international exposure to our sport, and eventually a berth in the Olympic Games," he says.

Randy points to their chemistry as a team for their success. "Combined, our individual talents made us a very good side-out team," he says today. "My blocking ability along with Sinjin’s defense really put pressure on our opponents every play."

 

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