5 Reasons Your Dog Would Love Surfing

By Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A special tail-wagging thank you goes to GoPro and the new Fetch dog harness for the dog POV video in this episode.

Have you ever seen a surfing dog? It’s a silly, but heartwarming sight.

On a recent business trip to uber pet-friendly San Diego, I decided to stay an extra day for some surfing business! Specifically, I attended the Surf Dog Surf-a-thon Championships on Del Mar Beach, benefitting the Helen Woodward Animal Center.

While I expected to see dog-eat-dog competitive action, I actually witnessed a celebration of the beach and the bond between man and surfing beast. Check out the five reasons (in bold below) why you and your dog would love this soggy-doggy sport.

First, teamwork is key in dog surfing—who knew?  Each dog appeared to have a pit crew of sorts—several people running about, all dressed in their team color (the dog too) making sure the board was ready, the dog was outfitted with appropriate life jacket and POV camera gear.  Dogs in the queue for their heat waited patiently atop their surfboards. Adorable!

Once in the water, the team would slip into action. One crew member floated the dog and board out to the appropriate wave-catching depth, while other team members wait in the shallow surf to catch the pooch upon beach entry.

I was amazed at the level of confidence the dogs exhibited as they rode their respective waves into shore, remaining stable on all fours, tails a waggin’. What great exercise.

From shore to surf, and back to shore again, the human-dog routine simply epitomized fun in the sun.

On land, hundreds of two and four-legged friends hung out on the beach relaxing, spectating, socializing or taking in one of a dozen other activities, like the paddle board parade, dog-centric vendors and GoPro moments at every turn. Incidentally, GoPro just launched their new Fetch dog harness. They gave me one for my dog, so stay tuned in weeks to come for some Chilly POV video!

I interviewed several humans that day, and time and time again was told dog surfing is all about having fun and bonding with your dog.

If you live near the coast in Southern California, the So Cal Surf Dogs and the Helen Woodward Animal Center offer surf classes for beginners and they guarantee fun and safety is always the name of the game!

So, to recap, here are the 5 reasons your dog (and you) would love to surf:

1. Exercise

2. Fun

3. Enjoy the sunshine and the beach

4. Socialize and make new friends

5. Human-dog bonding time

If you don’t live on the outer crust of the country, where surf actually happens—no problem. The overarching idea here is that “dog surfing” is simply a unique way to enjoy time with your dog.

Clearly surfing isn’t the only way to do that. Fall offers great outdoor opportunities for you and your pal, like the pumpkin patch, a fall festival, or a pet Halloween costume contest.

Where will you “surf” with your pet this fall?