Born in California in 2006, the sport of competitive dog surfing is relatively new but growing quickly, with competitions held in Hawaii, Florida and Texas and even around the world in France and Australia. These 25 four-legged surfers have become animal celebrities for their amazing surfing skills.
Abbie Girl is one radical Australian Kelpie. Since beginning her career 2008, she's medaled in every surf competition she's entered. She's been induction into the International Surf Dog Walk of Fame at the Huntington Beach Surf Museum and holds a Guinness World Record for longest wave surfed by a dog (open water). Abbie is a rescue dog who was found on the roadside and later adopted by Michael Uy, who started bringing her to the beach to rehabilitate her. The fearless pup took to the waves and has even been skydiving with her owner. Now a celebrity athlete, Abbie has her own custom surfboard and sponsors and was given the 2018 World Dog Surfing Championship (WDSC) Spirit of Surfing Award.
Unlike many surf dogs, Sugar likes to ride her own 5-foot shortboard. Her owner, surfer Ryan Rustan, was overcoming drug addiction when he rescued an abandoned dog from the streets of LA. He soon found she had a natural gift for balancing on a board and says the pair saved each other. Sugar has been inducted into the International Surf Dog Walk of Fame at the Huntington Beach Surf Museum. She won gold for the big dog segment of the 2018 Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge and Best in Surf at the 2017 Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon.
Award-winning surfing golden retriever Ricochet is fine surfing solo but she loves riding with other people, from celebrities to kids with special needs to wounded warriors and veterans with PTSD. A certified SURFice dog, Ricochet and her owners believe in "pawing it forward" by working with people, volunteering at events and fundraisers and serving as he canine ambassador for Surfers with Disabilities.
Goldendoodle Derby and his owner Kentucky Gallahue are famous for their matching punk-rock mohawks, which Derby rocks in a striking shade of blue. Derby won the large dog division as well as gold in tandem surfing at the 2018 World Dog Surfing Championships as well as second place in surfing at the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge. He's been featured on NatGeo Wild's "Pet Talk" and SportsCenter's Top Ten.
Brandy, you're a fine girl indeed. This daring pug has medals in many doggy surfing competitions, including the Imperial Beach Surf Dog Competition and the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon. Owner Jonny Dorman also taught this loveable pug how to snowboard.
White pug Gidget was trained as an agility dog, but the sea called to her. After some balance training, Gidget was able to not only surf, but also go pro, riding waves in competitions in Southern California, getting sponsors and raising money for charity organizations. She came in first in the small dog division and overall in the 2018 World Dog Surfing Championships and the 2018 Imperial Beach Surf Dog Competition. The 5-year-old has appeared in Sports Illustrated and has her own line of merch.
Prince Dudeman is truly the triple threat of surf dogs. A trained therapy dog, he and his owner Ryan Thor have also appeared on "The Gong Show" and Nick Jr.'s "Mutt & Stuff." And when he's not catching waves, he can be spotted around Los Angeles riding his own doggy motorcycle. Recently, Dudeman placed second in the small dog division of the 2018 World Dog Surfing Championships and first at the 2017 Surf City Surf Dog ComPETition.
While many surfing pups learn from riding with their owners, French bulldog Cherie was drawn to the sport without the help of her owners, Amy and Dan Nykolayko, who adopted her from the French Bulldog Rescue Network. “I can’t catch a wave myself,” Dan told The Orange-County Register. Cherie has been surfing in competitions and raising money for charity since 2013 and has appeared on "The All-Star Dog Rescue Celebration," "Nightline" and "Good Morning America."
After being rescued from living on the streets at 2 months old, Rusty the Surfing Min Pin competed in his first event in 2016 when he was still a puppy. Since then, he's won both solo and tandem surfing awards. In 2018, he was honored with the special achievement WDSC All Heart Award. When he's not surfing, swimming or skateboarding, Rusty is volunteering at charity events.
Four-year-old Rhodesian ridgeback mix Giselle was a natural when it came to hanging 20. A 30 minute lesson was all it took for Giselle to begin her surf career. Less than a month later, she competed in her first dog surf contest. With the help of owner Susanna Gan, she's gone on to win the small dog surfing title at the 2018 Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog National Championships. She and her tandem partner, fellow "redhed" Rusty, also won the dog-dog tandem title at the 2017 Imperial Beach Surf Dog Competition and 2017 Surf City Surf Dog ComPETition.
When Beans was just 4 months old, his owner noticed he had a special interest in the water and was keen to hop on a boogie board. As whippets are bred as agile hunting dogs and have extremely little body fat, Beans, who is also mostly deaf and has two different colored eyes, has to make sure he stays warm in the water. He is a certified therapy dog and also works as a spokesmodel for brands.
A fixture on the dog pro surfing circuit, Faith is a 6-year-old Pitbull who was rescued with her brother, Action Ace, after being abandoned in a California parking garage. Faith has placed first in the large division at the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
French surfer Bastien Desvergnes began taking his terrier out with him on his board since his pup seemed to like the water. Though Desvergnes was forced to give up traditional surfing because of his back, he and Al began stand-up paddleboarding together on a special board fitted with non-slip pads for Al's puppy paws. They surf together almost every day, and Al has won French canine surfing titles.
Seven-year-old Brazilian chocolate lab Bono is world-famous. He is a four-time surfing world champion, and has his own TV show and set a Guinness World Record with his owner, Ivan Moreira. In 2018, they set a new record for the longest stand-up paddleboard ride on a river bore by a human/dog pair by traversing more than 1 mile on Brazil's Mearim River.
Yellow lab Haole was naturally drawn to the ocean as a puppy, but he was almost 5 before he started surfing. His owner, John, finally got the hint that his dog wanted to learn when Haole paddled out and attempted to get on his board. He's since won several awards and competitions and volunteers with A Walk on Water, a water therapy organization for special needs children.
Toy American Eskimo surf dog Ziggy might be small but she can ride big waves with the best of them. In 2014 and 2015, she won the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge small dog surf competition and won Best in Surf at the 2015 HWAC Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon. She also enjoys paddle boarding, boating and biking with her owner as they travel around the country in an Airstream trailer.
Teddy is a 4-year-old Goldendoodle and trained surfing therapy dog known for his man-bun hairstyle and his role as an ambassador for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. He and his fellow Goldendoodle Derby have won the tandem surfing title two years in a row at the World Dog Surfing Championships. He also won the Extra Large dog category at the 2017 Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon.
Red Queensland Heeler Skyler and his pro surfer owner Homer Henard make quite the team. They have won the Tandem Human/Dog Award two years running at the World Dog Surfing Championships and Skyler was named the 2018 WDSC Shredder of the Year. They also won the tandem event at the 2018 Imperial Beach Surf Dog Competition and the 2017 Surf City Surf Dog contest. The pair volunteer with nonprofit surf organizations Operation Surf and Waves of Impact.
The world's most famous, and perhaps only, surfing corgi, Jojo is a trained therapy dog whose on-board antics and funny costumes, including his special shark life vest, are sure to put a smile on anyone's face. Jojo initially took to the water as part of hydrotherapy to recover from being attacked by two other dogs. When not attending ComicCon and movie premieres or waddling around Disneyland, the Pembroke Welsh corgi loves catching waves on vacation in Hawaii and Oregon as well as competing in California, where he's won several awards.
Six-year-old golden retriever Turbo won his first surfing event, the Surf Dogs Surf-A-Thon, in 2015 and has been a fixture on the competition circuit ever since, both solo and in tandem with other surfer pups. Turbo's mentor and "big brother" Mackey died of cancer, so he raises money for the Animal Cancer Foundation and participates in the annual 100 Wave Challenge.
Seven-year-old Westie Tristan placed in the top three in medium dog solo surfing at the 2017 and 2018 World Dog Surfing Championships. He's also skilled at tandem surfing with his pal Beans the whippet. The photogenic fellow has appeared on TV and in magazines promoting dog surfing and is featured on the cover of the 2017 edition of "The Dog's Guide to Surfing."
Cavalier King Charles spaniels Samson and Delilah are known as "The Littles" when they compete in tandem dog surfing events. Samson was the first to catch a wave on accident while playing in the water in Monterey, California. He got swept up by the water and when he landed safely on the beach, wanted to run back in for another ride. Delilah wanted in on the fun as well, and their owners Don and Connie Horn decided to see if they could hang on a surfboard. Samson has placed in the top three of the World Dog Surfing Championships as a solo small dog in 2018 and 2017 and won the small dog category at the 2017 Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon.
With his adorable underbite, Dozer the bulldog was an iconic face on the dog surf scene before he passed away at the end of 2017. He got his start by jumping on a stray board that washed up on the beach and refusing to get off. He had been surfing in the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon since 2009 and won Best in Surf in 2013. He appeared in the movie "Marmaduke" and on "Saturday Night Live" and even has his own children's book, "Dozer Surfs."
Buddy the Jack Russell terrier is considered a pioneer in the sport of dog surfing. Nicknamed "the Ambassador," Buddy began surfing in the 1990s with his owner Bruce Hooker. He won one of the first two Surf Dog competitions in history in 2006, the inaugural Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon, and maintained his reign for the next three years. Buddy was also included in the seminal book "The Dog's Guide to Surfing," which is seen as the book that helped launch the fledgling sport of dog surfing. He appeared on Animal Planet, ESPN, CNN and more, and Steve Jobs played a video clip of Buddy at the Apple event where he launched the iPad. In 2011, Buddy was the first inductee into the Surf Dog Hall of Fame.