Watch: Fearless Pups Hit the Waves at Annual Surf Competition

By: Jessica Remitz

On the hunt for a dog who can hang ten? Look no further than Imperial Beach, California. On the last Saturday in July, more than 50 dogs of all sizes participated in the 12th annual Imperial Beach Surf Dog Competition, an event that raised money for the San Diego Humane Society.

Approximately 3,000 spectators lined up along the beach and nearby pier to cheer on the surFURs, who participated in heats based on their weight as well as a tandem dog heat (for multiple dogs on one surf board) and a dog/human heat.

Breeds of all kinds, including Pugs, French Bulldogs, Border Collies and Labrador Retrievers, were graded by professional surf judges, with a stand out in the tandem dog division including four Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers decked out in patriotic surf gear riding a single board, event director Lisa Scolman said.

Dog surfing

While some pups made waves in the water, others hit the sand to participate in a secondary event, dubbed BARKNADO in honor of Shark Week. Over 60 dogs dressed in their “landshark” finest to break the Guinness World Record of most dogs dressed in shark fins. Record setting is nothing new to this event—a world record was set for most dogs on a surfboard (12!) at the competition in 2012.

The dogs are trained by their owners for the event, says Scolman, and in addition to bragging rights, get to take home a Surf Dog Event trophy.

Dog with shark fin

The entry fee for the event, $10 per surFUR, benefitted the humane society, as did a portion of the proceeds earned at the event’s beer garden. Scolman estimates that approximately $2,000 was raised overall.

The Imperial Beach competition, which pioneered official dog surfing competitions, is part of the Surf Dog Event Series, which culminates with the Surf City Surf Dog event in Huntington Beach on September 23rd.

Images via: Charmaine Gray Photography