Dog surfing was first documented in the U.S.A. in the 1920’s. Hawaii is famous for some of its breaks so it’s not surprising the dogs have joined in.
A trip to the Gold or Sunshine coast here can deliver a glimpse of dog surfing occasionally. Surfing Dog Championships are held every year at Noosa where 100’s of onlookers attend. Huntington beach California boasts an annual canine surf competition which also attracts a lot of international attention. Referred to as a surFUR expo, folks can attend for free to barrack for the hairy participants. It seems there isn’t too many limits on the breeds enjoying this pastime, but you will find size-wise they cannot be extremely big or very small. There’s no shortage of hooting and hollering from the audience at such an event.
We admit some of the dogs look a little unsure about this kind of ride but plenty of them can’t wait to get on the board and come back for more. If you are thinking about getting your dog ‘on board’, first you have to know how to surf. And if you or your dog are not strong and enthusiastic swimmers already, we suggest you do not even contemplate dog surfing. Introduce your dog gradually but use a dog surfboard which is purpose-designed and has a surface where she can get traction with her paws to help avoid injury. Slippery is too hazardous and using a regular board which is waxed plays havoc when remnants of wax retain sand and debris in their paws. Boards designed for dog surfing also feature a softish traction with acts as a bit of cushioning in case you ‘wipeout’. Additionally, dog surfboards are designed for the distribution of weight for human and dog, so the board doesn’t constantly nosedive.
It takes some practice and balance to enjoy the board with one’s master but it’s a great way to have some quality time together. She needs to be used to going on the board on the sand to begin with. If your dog is scared or reluctant you have either rushed her or it’s just not for her so don’t push it. We recommend canine floatation devices for water activities with your dog. Always take fresh cool drinking water to the beach for your dog and provide shade for him or her.
To get a closer look at some of these hydro-hounds check out the action at Huntington beach below…
Leah & Angela OMeara
Hound Dog Day Care (Specialists in Dog Minding & Dog Boarding, Pet Sitting Brisbane & Doggy Day Care Brisbane)