Surfing with man’s best friend has been around for a while, apparently. Dog surfing all started around the 1930´s after footage of a terrier called Night Hawk was documented in Hawaii, the birthplace of surf. A few years later, a National Geographic story was written about dogs performing tricks on surfboards and has inspired dog owners ever since.
This craze of dog surfing has gained so much traction now, an annual Dog Surfing Championship is held in California. Owners paddle their dogs out to the line up and begin to guide them into small clean waves in the bay of San Francisco.
Before any doggy style wave riding is carried out, proper training must be undertaken. First off, you must ensure your dog is happy to be in the ocean – it can be a scary place as a human surfer, so encourage him with lots of love and treats! He also must be able to swim, as naturally the first few times being on the board his instinct will be to jump ship. Dogs have less balance on a board than us so take care of him and be ready to collect him speedily when he falls. Most importantly, kit your dog out with a good life vest – it will give him a little confidence boost in the open water.
There are already a few famous dogs in the surf world. Abbie Girl, the cute canine from San Diego, holds the world record for longest wave surfed – measuring at 107.2 metres! Gidget, the small pug, has been known to have sponsors, feature in Sports Illustrated and have her own merchandise after winning many surf competitions. Prince Dudeman is the real deal when it comes to surfer dudes. Usually you can find the Bijon mix riding his own mini motorcycle down to the beach with his owner to check the waves. You might find you have some tough competition when you see these participants.
So next time you’re thinking of going for a surf, or think you would like a pal to catch some waves with, introduce your best friend to your board. You never know, you could have the next dog version of Kelly Slater on your hands!