Dogs riding waves may not be an Olympic sport, but it is arguably more popular than many professional sports. There are annual competitions in which anywhere from 50 to 100 dogs catch winning waves for a medal. Some of the four-legged animals are so popular that they have several sponsors and help raise money for various charities. Many are inducted in their own Hall of Fame and become members of the So Cal Surf Dogs, a well-known fun loving group of dog owners who surf with their dogs. They promote the sport for both the mental and physical health of you and your best friend.
Ricochet is arguably the most famous award-winning surf dog in the world. [See: The Coolest Surf Towns in the World] She not only wins contests but surfs with purpose – she is the Canine Ambassador for Surfers with Disabilities. Ricochet is a SURFice dog® that provides therapeutic assistance, while creating unique surfing experiences to empower kids with special needs, people with disabilities, wounded warriors, and veterans with PTSD. She is also in two Surf Dog Halls of Fame.
Abbie is a Guinness World Record Surfing Dog because she is the longest competing and most awarded. She has medaled in every competition since 2008. She was rescue dog that was found on the roadside and rescued by Humane Society Silicon Valley. Abbie was adopted by Michael Uy, who started bringing her to the beach to rehabilitate her. Abbie is also celebrity animal athlete featured in TV, film and print in several countries.
Dozer is also very famous. He, too, has been surfing since 2008 and has 11 awards to show for it. His surfing career started while watching an event and a board washed up onto the beach. Dozer jumped on it and would not get off. He loves the water but he also likes to play fetch with the water toys.
Antonio’s nickname is Cap’ Tony. He was brought to his owners by their daughter who wanted to adopt and take care of him. They say he was super skinny and only had patchy hair.[See: The Most Dangerous People Foods for Dogs] Now, he is almost 20 pounds with a reddish coat and loves to play all kinds of sport. Surfing is his favorite though. He has medaled in four major competitions. Antonio also likes to get petted, play tug-o-war, sleep and eat.
Unlike many surf dogs, Sugar likes to ride a 5-foot shortboard. You can see her as she takes off and rides a monster doggie wave “hanging 10” at the 2012 Surf City Surf Dog contest in this video. This is believed to be the biggest wave ridden to date from a dog this size in small dog surfing contests. Her owner, who saved her from the streets of L.A., is well-known Huntington Beach surfer, Ryan Rustan. He credits her with saving his life and staying sober.
Betsy used to live in a home that had a pool with no fence, according to her profile on So Cal Surf Dogs. When she was 7 months old she fell in and almost drowned. [See: 15 Dog Breeds That Are Prone to Obesity] That never scared her and she loves the water. Her favorite activities are swimming and surfing. “We have to drag her out of the water as she continues to fight to stay and swim a little more,” her owners say.
Competing since 2009, Kalani is one of the most accomplished surf dogs in the world. Last year she was inducted to the Surf Dog Walk of Fame. [See: Most Athletic Dog Breeds] After birth, Kalani was part of a “Puppy Prodigies” neo-natal and early learning program where she was taught exercises, socialization and stimulation. In addition to being a champion surfer, Kalani is also a Certified Canine Good Citizen.
Faith is part of Team Rockstar, which includes her two brothers Action Ace and Franky The Surfing Dobie, and sister Raven D. Rockstar. Faith is also quite famous and even has sponsors. She is just 4 years old but already has several surf competitions behind her. Faith has won several surf dog awards in the medium dog group. You can see her catching a wave in this video.
Haole is introduced as a dog that has a true passion for surfing. As a puppy Haole was naturally drawn to the ocean but he was almost 5 when he started surfing. His owner, John, was coming in on a wave when Haole paddled out and attempted to get on the board. Soon after that he finished first in the 2013 Surf City Surf Dog Competition XL Dog division at Huntington Beach. He has won several awards after that.
Bono has his own Instagram account. He and his owner Ivan Moreira broke the record for the Longest Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) ride on a river bore by a human/dog pair with the impressive 1.05 miles journey down the Mearim River in Arari, Brazil. Ivan and Bono are the first human/dog tandem to hold this record.
Beans The Whippet has been jumping on surf boards and boogie boards in and out of the water since he was 4 months old. Beans is believed to be the only whippet who surf. These dogs only have about 2 percent body fat, so they get very cold as soon as they are in the water. He was even sponsored for a competition.
Labradoodle Kona Kai competes in the extra-large division as well as in tandem of him and a person. He has medaled in both disciplines. Just recently, he was third in the 2016 Unleashed by Petco Surf Dog Competition in Imperial Beach, California where more than 350 dogs participated, and about 3,000 people watched.
Kona is often the dog to beat at competitions. In the summer of 2008 she and her owner went to see a surf dog contest where Kona had “much more interest in being a pawticipant than spectator.” She was then enrolled in the “San Diego Surfing Academy” for lessons, and she has been surfing ever since. To date, she has helped raise about $3,000 for various animal and human charities.