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13 Things to know about Bindi Irwin’s boyfriend, Chandler Powell (PHOTOS)

If you’ve been tuning into this season of Dancing with the Stars, you’ve undoubtedly come to the same conclusion as the rest of us: Bindi Irwin is pretty gosh darn adorable. And that’s a sentiment obviously shared by her boyfriend, Chandler Powell.

The two made their public debut as a couple on Monday, Sept. 28, posing together on the red carpet — and, as to be expected, they couldn’t be any cuter if they tried. This was made all the more evident by the black-and-white pic Irwin shared of the two of them on Instagram after being reunited.
Here’s what we know thus far about Irwin’s arm candy.

1. He’s not from Australia
In fact, Powell was raised in Seffner, Florida. His home base is still in Seffner, in a house on a lake (a lake that apparently never has any fish in it). He’s currently attending the University of Central Florida, where he is majoring in marketing with a minor in international business.

2. He met Irwin in November of 2013

During a trip with his family for a wakeboarding event, Powell stopped by the Australia Zoo to spend the day with the Irwin family and the staff. On Powell’s Instagram post, Irwin commented at the time, “Thanks so much for coming. It was wonderful to meet you and your fantastic family. Good luck in your comp.” Afterwards, Powell tracked Irwin’s contact information down through the zoo and gave her his email address. “We stayed in touch and became great friends,” Irwin told ET. “I can’t really say when it turned into more. It just evolved over time and bloomed into this wonderful thing.” Aw!

3. But he was already a fan of the family
Earlier that year, Powell shared a picture of none other than the late Steve Irwin, Bindi’s famous crocodile whispering dad. Obviously, he was a fan — and, now, the family is a fan of his, too. In a recent interview, Bindi admitted she isn’t the only one who adores Powell. “My brother approves. I don’t know who loves him more, me or Robert,” Bindi said of her little brother.

4. He’s a professional wakeboarder
According to Powell’s website, he first discovered wakeboarding when he was 12 years old. After picking up the sport, he spent nearly every day at the cable park around the corner from his Florida home. By the age of 15, he was competing professionally.

5. He got his start as a skateboarder
In a #TBT post, Powell revealed he was a skateboarder long before he found his way to the water. He picked up skateboarding at the tender age of 4 and soon after scored several sponsors.

6. He shares Irwin’s passion for wildlife
A true nature lover, Powell became a Global Ambassador for the Irwin family’s Wildlife Warriors program — a conservation organization started by Steve and Terri Irwin in 2002. Powell’s passion for wildlife and its preservation is readily apparent on social media, where he often encourages others to get involved.

7. And he’s got a soft spot for all kinds of creatures
It isn’t just exotic species Powell’s looking out for. He’s been known to take hiatuses from wakeboarding competitions to rescue local wildlife like baby birds and adorably tiny turtles.

8. He especially adores his pets
This includes his two pups, Percy and Cocoa, as well as a ball python and a prairie dog. Yes, a prairie dog.

9. Like his GF, he’s a bit of a daredevil
No wonder these two make such a compatible pair — they’re both fearless. In addition to routinely flying through the air on his wakeboard, Powell thrives on adventures like jumping off waterfalls.

10. His travels have taken him all over the world
Thanks to his wakeboarding skills, this Florida boy has seen the world. In his first year of competing professionally alone, he made his way to China, Abu Dhabi, the Philippines, Australia and Thailand. He’s also since done the London circuit.

11. He’s still a country boy at heart, though
Powell couldn’t hide his excitement over seeing country star Lee Brice perform at the Strawberry Festival, adding hashtags like “#murica” and “#trucksandrednecks” to the snapshot.

12. He likes to surf
A man of many talents, Powell doesn’t just shred wake — he also rides waves in his spare time. Surely this pastime will serve as a good excuse to travel to Australia to see Irwin, as the Gold Coast is a favored surf spot.

13. He can’t help gushing about his girl

Powell sweetly supports Irwin’s stint on Dancing with the Stars, saying, “Bindi is crushing it… I am really proud of her.” Bindi’s boyfriend often shares photos of her on his social media pages, like this one from her birthday. His “#ISwamTheCrocPond” hashtag adorably honors the late Steve Irwin, who joked that whoever Bindi dated in life would have to swim the croc pond.

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