Huffpost Comedy

Go West, Young Dog, Because That's Where You'll Get Surfing Lessons

Posted: Updated:
Print Article
SURFING DOG
So Cal Surf Dogs

What is dog surfing? It's a sporting event we can really get behind, is what it is.

In early September, about 80 canine beach bums will take to the waves, for the annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon dog surfing competition. They'll do it on their paws, for a good cause: the contest is a fundraiser for the Helen Woodward Animal Center, a rescue group that adopts out homeless animals and brings therapy pets into hospitals and retirement homes, in addition to encouraging dogs to partake in water sports.

"Dogs are probably better surfers than humans. They have better balance and have an easier time getting out an surfing than most people do. In fact, most surfers even say their dogs are better surfers. Dogs kind of have it, paws down," says Jessica Gercke, a spokesperson for the group. "Many of them have been doing it for years."

For those who haven't, HWAC is offering a series of dog surfing classes through August. This year, stand up paddleboard clinics are also available.

dozer

This is Dozer, a handsome English bulldog who is last year's HWAC Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon winner. Dozer enjoys snacking, snoring and "chasing beach babes" when he isn't riding the waves, according to his So Cal Surf Dogs page.

Seriously, guys, this is something that people -- and animals -- do, out in Southern California, where the competition's past winners have, of course, ended up in commercials and movies ("Marmaduke" employed a number of them).

Some do even more, like Ricochet, the dog in this video -- and the cutie at the top of this story -- who is not only a champion surfer and YouTube star, but also a therapy dog who surfs with kids who might be too scared to do it on their own:

And also, sometimes, with a goat (oh, baah-guiling California!):

goat surfing

These surfing animals -- a number of whom were adopted from HWAC, while others came to this activity independently -- "are popular, hot dogs in the surfing world," Gercke says, though she cautions that even in California, the land of dreams and opportunity, some things are, or should be, off limits to pups.

"There is a guy who started skydiving with his dog. But we don’t support it because you can’t read their minds. The instinct of the dogs, you can imagine, they don’t want to be dropping that fast," she says. "Dogs can do just about anything that they enjoy doing. But it’s best to be realistic with what they’re enjoying."

Same, presumably, goes for the goats.


Register here for dog surfing workshops and the 2014 Helen Woodward Animal Center Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon Dog Surfing Competition, to be held on September 7 at Del Mar Dog Beach -- and get in touch at arin.greenwood@huffingtonpost.com if you know someone doing great things for animals, or unusual animals doing great things on surf boards!

Also on HuffPost:

Animals In The News
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Surf Dog Surfing Lessons - Helen Woodward Animal Center

Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon - Helen Woodward Animal Center

Surf dogs Teach Your Dog to Surf - Surf dog Ricochet

Good Kharma Surf: Dog Surfing Lessons

Water Sports Classes for Dogs and Puppies - San Diego

Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon - Rancho Santa Fe, CA - Event | Facebook

Surf Dog Competition | SurfDog - Huntington Beach

Helen Woodward puts on surf lessons for dogs - San Diego ...

Big Dog Surf Camp - Lessons & Parties

Farmdog Surf School Outer Banks | Higher Education ... - Nags Head