California Stages 10th Annual Surf City Surf Dog Competition. The celebration, in the beach of Huntington Beach, in California, gathers puppies that, instead of going to run, play or “make friends” in the sand, show that they know how to get around the waves as expert surfers
Dozens of dogs participated this Saturday in the tenth annual edition of the Surf City Surf Dog, a competition specially designed so that the best friends of man can demonstrate their skills by avoiding the waves.
The celebration, on the beach of Huntington Beach, California, brought together puppies that, instead of going for a run, playing or “making friends” in the sand, proved that they know how to get around the waves as expert surfers.
This is how a report appeared in the Los Angeles Times of dogs from around the world that came to the beach to perform feats of balance and skills on the waves, and that showed off their skills as solitary surfers, in tandems of two dogs and in the dog-human variant.
Surfing Is Not Just About Humans
For many, the sea is synonymous with life, energy. It is the best medicine for the body and for the mind. Hence the popularity of hashtags such as #VitaminSea or #BeachLife. There are studies that even assure that those who live near the sea are happier than those who do not and, apparently, some dogs think the same. They arrive at the beach and without hesitation, they run to take a good dip. Some cool and go out, others swim a good time. But then there are those who go a little further and even dare to surf because no, surfing is not just about humans.
Dogs have a natural capacity for balance that allows them, with a little practice, to master the board and move between the waves better than many experienced humans. The key to teaching him, as always, is that the animal enjoys what he does, that he lives it as a game and, of course, that he fully trusts his human. For safety reasons, the dogs are not tied to the board and must always wear a lifejacket. For the rest, the canine version of the sport is quite similar to the human one and its popularity is increasing.
10th Annual Surf City Surf Dog Competition
These adorable four-legged surfers are popularly known as ‘surfers’ and have several competitions around the world where they show their skills. The third edition of one of the most important will take place on August 4 in California, USA: the World Dog Surfing Championship. A competition that attracts dogs from all over the world and that this year will have more than 60 participants. In addition to surfing, in this opportunity, there will also be a costume contest and a competition to find balls. Part of the profits raised with the inscriptions will go to non-profit organizations that help dogs, surfers and the environment.
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@cheriethesurfdog plowing through surf . . Source @jet.renu ・・・ #Tbt 🤙🏼🌊☀️Sponsored World Champion Surf Dog Athlete @cheriethesurfdog catching a wave #sickmoves #backside #yewww #Rad #beachgirl #Stankaway #surfcityusa @worlddogsurfing #huntingtonbeach ™️#petrenu #™️jetrenu . . . Throwback Thursday to hitting the waves! I can’t wait to get my pink surfboard back in the water!!! 🏄♀️🌊🤙🏻 PC: @darensfotos #frenchbulldog #girlswhoshred #surfergirl #surfdog #socal #bigwaves #catchsurf #seventhwavenz #dogsurfing #surfdog #surfingdog #surfing #dogsurfing #dog #dogs #surfdogphotography #dogsurfingcompetition
For the competition, the dogs enter the water with their owners, who are the ones who push the tables and determine in which wave to place the dog. It is not worth anyone. If it is too strong, the dog may fall, but if it is too weak, it may get stuck in the water and not reach the shore, thus losing the opportunity to score. The categories are established based on the weight and size of the animal. There are six: small dogs, medium dogs, large dogs, extra large dogs, equipment of 2 or more dogs and dog-human equipment. In each round, the participants have 10 minutes to catch as many waves as they can and get a maximum of 10 points from each judge.
The performances are rated by a panel of judges that evaluates the duration, technique, confidence, style, the difficulty of the wave surfed and how much or little the dog enjoys the activity. The three competitors with the highest score in each category are declared winners of their group. Of those, the two best compete in a second round with the two best of the other categories, excluding the two categories of equipment ( Tandem ), and hence the absolute winner of the competition.
The ‘Kelly Slater’ of the dogs is Abbie, an Australian Kelpie, abandoned on the road when she was a puppy (2006). After a few months she was adopted and in 2008 she started surfing. Her human, Michael Uy, taught her with the idea of helping her to improve her self-confidence and little by little she realized how much she enjoyed at sea. Since then, he has made a podium in all competitions in which he has participated. He has two Guinness Records and in 2014 he became the first dog to be included in the International Surfing Hall of Fame. It is a legend.
Surfing Dogs Are Not Alone in California
In Australia, Chris de Aboitiz, former world champion in tandem surfing and canine trainer, uses this sport to fight against abandonment. Aware that behavioral problems are one of the main reasons for abandonment. He argues that surfing can teach dogs to be more disciplined and humans to better understand their dogs and connect with them at a deeper level. For almost 10 years, Aboitiz has traveled the Australian coast with its four adopted dogs, helping many families find their balance through surfing.
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