Wednesday, July 8, 2009

How to Choose a Surfboard for your Dog

In honor of my puppy Omar's 8th birthday, I've dedicated this post to him (albeit he's a bit afraid of waves).


Want to take your canine buddy surfing with you? Plenty of keen surfers do; it just takes a little patience in teaching your dog, as long as your dog is willing to try it out. Fortunately, today's modern surf doggy has many options when choosing the right board. This article discusses a progression through which you can encourage your dog to use different types of surfboards to surf either individually, or in tandem with you.

  1. Start with a boogie board. Boogie boards have the speed and maneuverability that a dog may be able to maneuver better. It is small and a dog tends to feel that it can control it better, so this is the best board to start your dog with.
  2. Get a soft top. Hard fiberglass resin boards are tough for a dog to grip. If you do use a resin top, reduce the slipperiness by putting on a deck patch, which is some rough material glued to the surface of the board. However, it will still be hard for your dog to stay on. Foam soft top boards works better for dogs because they can get a grip by digging in their claws to get more traction and stay on top.

  3. Try moving to a longboard. As your dog progresses from the boogie board, a longer board allows for more margin of error. Your dog can navigate from the nose of the board. It is also great for tandem surfing with you, as your dog can grip on to the board at the nose and get better traction with the claws.

  4. Rock on. The more curvature to the board, the easier it is for your dog balance on the wave. The older boogie boards tend to have more curve, are softer, and are better for dogs to balance on. The newer ones are very flat. You might be able to pick up older ones from online auctions or used surfboard dealers.
  5. Be prepared for chewing. Your dog will become attached to its favorite board and in response, will probably chew it. Expect it, along with all the claw marks from digging in. See it as your dog modifying the board for its own personal use. And in other words, if it's your prize board and you don't want bite or claw marks in it, don't use it with Fido!


rodndtube said...

You are saying that I am a dog???!!!

Matt said...

I've never considered bringing my dog surfing. I had no idea they had rigs and boards for dogs.