Dog Surfing

Dog Surfing: Tips on How to Train Your Canine to Surf!

Dog surfing is a surfing process where dogs are trained to surf. The dogs surf atop surfboards, bodyboards, skimboards, windsurf boards or any bodysurf. Dog surfing as an activity has been historically documented as early as the 1920s in the United States. In present times, there are a number of competitions and exhibitions that highlight surfing dogs. These events occur in different coastal regions across the United States.

Dog surfing started in 1920 in California and Hawaii. In 1930, a silent film came out titled ‘On the Waves in Waikiki’, where there was a person and his terrier canine surfing together. They were surfing on a wooden surfboard in Hawaii. In the film, the terrier was performing the hang ten surfing act on the surfboard.

Later in 1944, an image of Rusty, the surfing dog, was published in National Geographic magazine. During the 1950s, there was another picture of the surfing dog Sandy. The canine was surfing in Hawaii and the image was displayed in newspapers in the United States.

Man and Dog Surfing
Credit: Sportsmatik

Dog Surfing Competitions

There are several dog surfing competitions that occur across the United States. In these competitions, the judging criteria tallies the overall certainty of the canine on the surfboard, the wave size and the surf ride length.

Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition

The Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition that is held at Imperial Beach in California is the biggest dog surfing competition to ever happen in the United States. It first occurred in 2006. In 2011, more than fifty dogs participated in the competition. The participants witnessed dogs of every kind and size- small dogs, huge dogs and tandem dogs.

The tandem dog surfing competition involves two or more dogs taking the surf together on one surfboard. It can also be a dog surfing with a human. The June 2012 version of the Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition witnessed participation of fifty dogs and three Guinness World Records were broken. There was also a new record of eighteen dogs photographed together on a surfboard. The Imperial Beach Dog Surf Competition is another fundraiser event regularly held for the San Diego Humane Society.

Surf City Surf Dog competition

Another yearly dog surfing competition, the ‘Surf City Surf Dog competition” occurs in Huntington Beach, California. The first was held in October 2009. In addition to the surf competitions, there is also a surFUR expo that occurs there.

Noosa Festival of Surfing

Since 2012, there is the Noosa Festival of Surfing that occurs in the Shire of Noosa every year. This festival also hosts the Surfing Dog Championship. The event, earlier popular as the Surfing Dog Spectacular, got a new name; Surfing Dog Championships in 2017! This was keeping in view the enhanced caliber of canine participants. The Noosa Surfing Dog Championships is an invite-only event, where the canines and humans tandem together on surf boards. This competition witnesses judges like surfing legend Layne Beachley.

In July 2013, the Big Dog Ranch Rescue of Wellington, Florida held the Surfs Up, Dogs competition. The competition, held in Florida, was a fundraiser for a NGO. The World Dog Surfing Championships is another dog surfing event in Northern California.

Dog on the Waves
Credit: Pixabay

Things to keep in mind while Dog Surfing

Fun is not something that you can have with a dog only on land, there is water too for exploration! However, there are some dogs who don’t want to surf, while there are many who love it. So, keep the ones who love to surf by your side on the surfboard.

The dog surfing event is good for the balance and strength of the canine, and is great fun to watch too. While planning to take your dog surfing, see if it loves waves and swimming. If that’s a yes, then your canine is ready for trying out surfing too! If the answer is no, you may want to get your dog used to the waves around by taking them to the waves slowly, playing a ball on the waves and getting them acquainted with them.

There are a few important things that one should keep in mind before taking one’s canine dog surfing.

Salt Water is Dehydrating for Dogs

Make sure you have lots of fresh water on hand for when your dog is surfing. Allow your canine to stay in the water for short periods. Allow them short pauses in between playing in the water to avoid tummy aches. The sand and salt water may cause diarrhea.

Canine Floatation Device

Don’t take your dog out in the surf unless they’re strapped with a properly fitting Canine Floatation Device (life-vest). Even if they are skilled swimmers, if they fall off the board, they may tumble or get caught in a rip current. Do not venture out into the water if your dog is not comfortable.

Surfboard to Use

For dog surfing, you only use a soft top (foam board) or any special dog surfboard. The dogs can hold them much better, and if it strikes them, it won’t hurt either. You should also start with a long board as it is simpler to balance on. You may rent surfboards from your local surf shop. Just make sure your dog doesn’t chew a hole in it! For the extremely small canines, you might also use a boogie board.

Get your Dog Used to Surfboarding

Begin with sand or at home. Feed him on the board at home. Give him rewards just when your dog gets on the board. The goal is to entice the canine to join the board. Show them that it will not injure them by allowing them to jump on it, stroll on it, lie on it, and get used to it. Then put it in very shallow water and show them that it is safe to stand on.

Do when your Dog is Ready

Begin with the whitewash. For the first few times you go to the beach, don’t take your dog out into large waves. Allow him to become accustomed to his balance on the board and falling off in shallow water. When you go out, keep one hand on the board’s tail (back) and one under your dog’s tummy.

As you move out into the waves, you may press down on the tail to go over the top of the wave while securely holding your dog. It also makes turning around simpler when a wave approaches. Assure that your surf dog is standing at the rear of the surfboard. As the wave comes, gently move to match the wave’s speed, then let the wave take him. There would be no abrupt movements. Always remember that it is purely a game. Give plenty of encouragement and praise. Initially, they may run away to the shore, but after catching on in a few waves, your dog may eventually like it and swim back. He may even jump right back on the waves for more.

Practice Makes Perfect

Most dogs prefer to sprint to the front of the board, causing a nosedive beneath the wave. It only takes a little practice to get them to stay in the proper place on the board. Don’t give up hope. It will surely take some of your efforts to get your dog ready for his first surfing competition. You may also have to experiment with different sized boards and tactics as every dog is different. Some may not return to the water. It is essential that you make it enjoyable for them. If your dog doesn’t like it, never force it on them. There are several more things you could do with your dog!

Dog Surf Wave
Credit: Pixabay

Surfboards for Dog Surfing

Did you know that there are products on the market that are particularly made for dogs? First, let’s have a look at some fantastic choices for surfboards for dogs that are readily accessible on the market. So, without further ado, let us begin!

Wavestorm Classic Longboard

The Wavestorm, a foam board, is a Classic Longboard and one of the finest surfboards for dogs. It features a curved surface that is comfy for your four-legged companions. In terms of proportions, it is suitable for people of all sizes. While an eight-foot board would be suitable for a large dog, a smaller canine might comfortably fit a six-foot board. Furthermore, this board type is the cheapest in terms of pricing.

The Wavestorm Classic Longboard has a three-stringer system and a strong EPS core. With a crosslink top deck and an slick HPE bottom, this great board is secure. Furthermore, the Wavestorm embellishes the entire length with horizontal lines to make it more attractive, suggesting motion and speed. The longboards come in a variety of bright, vibrant, and dramatic colour combinations, making the board easy to see even in broad water.

The longboard comes with an ankle leash and a set of detachable fins. This board also has a capacity specification of 86 litres. To put it simply, you should not hesitate to post your favourite Labrador or golden retriever here. In summary, this product is one of the cheapest surfboards for dogs of all sizes on the market. As a result, if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on your dog’s surfing equipment, this board is a great alternative.

What makes the Wavestrom Class Longboard unique?


  • The board is cost-effective and has a dependable foam.
  • It has a smooth HDPE bottom and an attractive design.
  • It has a capacity of 86 litres.
  • Consists of EPS core

Cons: It is easily susceptible to scratches and chews.

Paragon Surfboard Retro

Because of its extra-long proportions, the Paragon Surfboards Retro will be excellent for you and your dog to surf. This surfboard comes with a nozzle function that ensures maximum performance on the water, and it measures 9x22x3 inches. Furthermore, the Paragon Surfboard comes with a fin to help you offer your four-legged companion more control and acceleration. Additionally, the bottom glass work and the glossed finish of the surfboard would ensure your dog glides smoothly and effortlessly over the ocean.

The Paragon Surfboards Retro is one of the best surfboards for dogs and will not fail you in terms of quality. The surfboard is made of para-lite epoxy, a substance that provides increased durability while also making the board stronger, lighter, and more buoyant. As a result, you and your canine companions should have no problem achieving excellent performance in a variety of waves.

Credit: Pixabay

The Paragon Surfboards Retro is designed for novices and has a forgiving plank. This surfboard is more inclined to produce balance than acceleration. This surfboard is ideal for people who want to teach their dog to surf for the first time. This board also has a capacity of 72 litres and can handle weights of up to 250 pounds. As a result, even Labrador or Golden Retrievers will not have issues getting into it.

What makes the Paragon Surfboard Retro unique?


  • There is a para-lite Epoxy substance, which makes it light but strong.
  • It features a single bottom concave with a gloss finish.
  • It has 50/50 rails.
  • The board is appropriate for larger dogs.

Cons: The speed and acceleration of the surfboard are lower.

Goplus Super Bodyboard

If you are unsure whether your dog is truly interested in water activities, you should consider buying hands-on, cheap surfboards. As a result, we propose purchasing the Goplus Super Bodyboard for your four-legged friend.

Despite being a less costly board, the Goplus Super Bodyboard has some interesting characteristics. The bodyboard has an EPS core that has been expertly constructed to ensure longevity, balance, and maximum buoyancy. Furthermore, this board can withstand so much weight that your dog should not be worried about becoming wet. A soft and light IXPE deck is another addition to the bodyboard that strengthens it.

A soft and light IXPE deck on the bodyboard strengthens it. The bodyboard also has an HDPE slick bottom, which gives additional projection and speed, allowing dogs to have one of the finest wave rides of your lives!

The Goplus Super Bodyboard has rear channels, a rail layout of 60/40, and a crescent tail. It offers improved mobility and control. If you’re searching for “value for money,” the Goplus Super Bodyboard is something you should consider getting for your furry companion.

What makes the Goplus Super Bodyboard unique?


  • The bodyboard includes an extra IXPE deck, which increases the board’s stability and security.
  • Priced reasonably.
  • It has an EPS core and an IXPE deck.
  • It has a rail layout of 60/40.

Cons: It is not appropriate for huge dogs.


Dog surfing is a fun activity if your canine friend is up for it. Next time you think of getting your furry four-legged friend out on the waves, keep the pointers in mind and also get the best surfboard to have an unforgettable surfing experience.  Happy surfing!

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