Photo from Leash Your Fitness
What is dog surfing?
Dog surfing is an exciting sport in which dogs are specially trained to bodysurf or surf on windsurfing boards, dog surfboards, skimboards, or bodyboards. Dogs have been surfing in the United States as early as the 1920s.
Video Best of Helen Woodward Surf Contest by SoCal Beaches Magazine
Are there dog surfing competitions?
In 2006, the first Surf Dog Competitions took place in Southern California. These events attracted enthusiastic crowds and a fan base grew immediately. A variety of dog surfing competitions exist in areas where surfing is popular. A few of the most popular include:
- Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon
- Surfin’ Paws Surf Dog Jam
- Surf City Surf Dog Competition
- Ruff Riders Small Wave Competition
- Purina Incredible Dog Challenge Surf Dog Competition
How much does it cost?
Various competitions charge different entry fees, most of which support local charities, such as raising awareness for orphaned pets.
Can any breed participate?
Any breed of dog can compete in dog surfing, although it is important to use a surfboard specially made for dog surfing. Also, some dogs seem to enjoy surfing more than others.
What equipment is needed?
Outfit your dog with a canine life vest, and make sure to monitor your dog at all times while in the water. Other equipment you need includes:
- Pet tent
- Dog wetsuit
- Dog surfboard
- Travel pet bedding
- Waterproof bungee leashes
How do I get started?
Make sure that you know how to surf and that you and your dog are both avid swimmers. Play with your dog in the water, and encourage him to play on the board. Developing your dog’s trust is the key to success.
Are there clubs or organizations I can join?
Southern California is currently the center of the surf dog world, with most major competitions held in San Diego and Huntington Beach. Check out these clubs to get started: