Surfing Dogs: Your Furry Friends on a Board


Surfing isn’t just for humans! Your furry friends can also ride a surfboard! This is a growing trend globally, and we expect to see more of this in the coming years. However, it isn’t as easy as giving your dog a board. It requires training and patience.

Want to know more about surfing dogs? Keep on reading and we’ll talk about some of the most popular surfing dogs in the world.

1. Abbie Girl

Starting our list is one dog that can be considered an icon in surfing. An Australian kelpie, Abbie Girl started her surfing career in 2008. In 2011, she was at the headlines when she made a record for the longest wave ever surfed by a dog. A rescue dog, she was also inducted to become a part of the International Surf Dog Walk of Fame at the Huntington Beach Surf Museum. This fearless dog lives an adventurous lifestyle beyond surfing. She also once went skydiving with her owner! Now, that’s a life many of us can only be envious of!

2. Ricochet 

Ricochet is a female golden retriever from San Diego, California. Born in 2008, she was one of the first surfing dogs. She was only 15 months old when she participated in her first surfing competition. She is not only a surfer but also an advocate. Ricochet was named a Canine Ambassador for Surfers with Disabilities. Her role as an advocate includes providing therapeutic assistance and unique surfing experiences to those who are in need. She is also often seen in fundraisers and events as a volunteer.

3. Sugar

Ryan Rustan, Sugar’s owner and trainer, is a recovering drug addict when he rescued the dog in Los Angeles. It is believed that the two were both saved in a way when they found each other. Sugar was also inducted at the Surf Dog Walk of Fame. Her accolades include gold for the 2018 Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge and 2017 Dog Surf-a-thon. The dog loves her shortboard, which makes a head-turner amongst people who are enjoying Huntington Beach.

4. Derby

Beyond surfing, Derby is also known for his looks. Like his owner, Derby sports a blue punk-rock mohawk, making it easy to see him even from afar. Along with his owner, Kentucky Gallahue, they took home the gold medal for tandem surfing during the 2018 World Dog Surfing Championships. If you think that you have already seen Derby on TV, that might exactly be the case since he has already been featured in National Geographic’s Pet Talk.

5. Dozer

Dozer passed away in 2017 but remains one of the most popular surfing dogs to date. A bulldog, he has been a part of the Surf Dog Surf-a-thon since 2009. In 2013, he won Best in Surf. He has also appeared in movies and television shows, specifically at Marmaduke and Saturday Night Live. He also has a children’s book called Dozer Surfs. No surprise, he was one of Southern California’s most recognizable surf dogs.

6. Antonio

A rescue spaniel mix, Antonio is also called Cap’n Tony. He has won several awards in surf dog competitions, including second place for the 2009 Surf City Surf Dog Competition, second place in the 2011 Purina Incredible Dog Challenge Surf Dog Competition, and second place tandem for 2014 Unleashed by PetCo Surf Dog Competition. While surfing is Antonio’s favorite, he is also known for his love of other sports.

7. Betsy

An English bulldog, Betsy is another dog worth mentioning when we talk about surfing pets. Betsy was seven months old when she fell in a pool and drowned. The pool of the house where she lived had no fence, and hence, the accident. It was a blessing in disguise. The accident did not harm her in any way. It paved the way for the owners to see what the dog can do. She loved the water! This is when the owners decided that they can also teach Betsy how to surf.

8. Buddy

Buddy has made a reputation as one of the pioneers of dog surfing. It was in the 1990s when he started riding a surfboard. A Jack Russell terrier, Buddy was at the inaugural Surf Dog Surf-a-Thon. He was also one of the first winners of the Surf Dog competition. Buddy was also the first inductee in 2011 at the Surf Dog Hall of Fame. He was also featured in a book called The Dog’s Guide to Surfing. Many people believed that this book made the sport of dog surfing popular globally. Need proof that Buddy is infamous? He appeared in some shows on CNN, ESPN and Animal Planet to name a few.

9. Tristan

One of the most photogenic surfing dogs, Tristan has appeared in numerous magazines and television shows. He was also on the cover of the 2017 edition of The Dog’s Guide to Surfing. In terms of his achievements, Tristan is proud to be amongst the big winners in the 2017 and 2018 World Dog Surfing Championships. A west highland white terrier, Tristan is more than just a surfing dog. He also became popular because of helping ailing marines. As an emotional support dog, he regularly visits the Wounded Warrior Battalion in Camp Pendleton, California. Calm, friendly, and empathic, Tristan is sure to be a gentle friend to anyone.

10. Turbo

Also called Turbonator, Turbo is a golden retriever born in 2012. He first joined surfing even in 2015 and he ended up winning. Since then, he has been one of the regulars in dog surfing competitions. His mentor and big brother was a victim of cancer. With this, Turbo is also an advocate for cancer. He is volunteering to raise money for the Animal Cancer Foundation. He is also an annual participant at the 100 Wave Challenge for Boys to Men. It is an advocacy that helps troubled men, including drug addicts, suicidal, and men who struggle in their lives.

Surfing is no longer just a sport exclusive to humans! Even dogs can get on a surfboard and show off their skills. They can ride boards like a pro. There is a growing number of competitions that focus on surfing dogs, which is a testament to the growing popularity of the niche sport!

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