Did you know that dog surfing competitions are a thing? If not, I’m happy to be the one to tell you all about them. I’m even more delighted to share photos of the cutest water sport you’ll ever see!
Surf City Surf Dog is an annual competition that takes place in Huntington Beach, California. At the end of September, fearless dogs with incredible balance take on the waves and are judged on their surfing skills.
After taking a hiatus during 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Surf City Surf Dog competition is back in a big and too cute way.
About The Surf Dog Competition
In this sport, “SurFURs” compete in 10-minute weight-based or shredder heats. There’s also a tandem event that’s twice the cuteness.
Obviously, it’s all super adorable, but these dogs are serious athletes who are in it to win it. No dog gets on a board in this competition without wanting to. Plus, the competition is ruff!
In many heats, the dogs’ people act as launchers or handlers. The dogs get judged on the length of their ride as well as their skills and confidence on the board.
For their safety, dogs must have prior surfing experience and have to wear life vests while in the water. They also wear contest-provided rash guards that offer visibility in the water. You can learn more about the specific rules for this competition and the judging criteria here.
Prizes And Fundraising
All participating dogs receive a “pawticipation” medal. The first, second, and third place winning dogs get a commemorative trophy shaped like a surfboard (and bragging rights.) But these dogs are all winners to me, someone who has never stood up on a surfboard.
The event also serves as a charity fundraiser. Charity partners include Barks of Love, Heal Our Troops America, Miracle Foundation SD (which focuses on rehabilitating and rehoming animals in high-kill shelters throughout southern California,) and more. The list of charity partners is available on the Surf Dog Events website.
Spectators are, of course, welcome at this event, so if you’re able to make it to Huntington Beach next September, you likely won’t regret taking the trip. Check out the Surf Dog Events’ Instagram page for, well, more photos of doggies surfing. Here’s one more just to tide you over until next year:
Surf’s up, pups!