surfing dogs Archive

Dogs Rule at Annual Surf Dog Contest

Screen shot 2010-09-13 at 8.08.47 PMZazou, Kiki, Schmoo and the Muttropolis team and I had a blast last weekend at the 5th annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon held at Del Mar Dog Beach in Southern California. Benefitting the Helen Woodward Animal Center, the event raises funds for orphaned animals at the Helen Woodward Animal Center and promotes responsible pet ownership.

This year, we enjoyed judging the hilarious Surfer Babe and Beach Bum Costume Contest alongside none other than Shorty from Animal Planet's Pit Boss and one of his darling Pit pups, Hercules

The contest featured countless creative costumes, but we all agreed that a slightly portly German Shorthair Pointer, nicknamed "Surfer Joe," deserved best in show for costume creativity and spirit! Our second favorite costume was terrier mix who had a darling Palm Tree sprouting from his haunches and a surfer riding his rump! Check out the gallery below for some of our other favorite moments from the event!

The Best in Surf Was….

None other than our favorite Extreme Sports Sporting dog, Abbie Girl, mastered this year's winning ride, clinching the title of "Best of Surf." Abbie really wowed the crowds with a particularly tricky move at the end of her ride – check out the video of her amazing move here> 

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Palm Tree Dog
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Ruffwear: Top Choice of Pro Surf Dogs

On Board
Keeping Surf Dogs Safe in the Swells

Considered the "world's largest dog surfing event" with attendance topping nearly 4,000 last year, the annual Dog Surf-a-thon benefitting the Helen Woodward Animal Center was last week  and I turned to my friend and surfing dog aficionado Michael Uy, owner of Abbie Girl the Extreme Sports Dog, (at right) to find out what gear he considers to best for keeping the longboarding Lhasa-ahpso's safe in the swells. 

"People have several reactions when they see Abbie surfing on her own at the beach," Michael tells The Daily Treat, "But what always surprises me is the interest in her life jacket (never mind the custom board she's riding!). Most people have never seen a doggie flotation device, more don't know what they're for, and nearly everyone wants to know where to get them." 

Why a Doggy Life Vest?

A doggy life vest is great for any dog that likes playing in water, whether it's shredding waves or paddling around in a lake. 

"For surf dogs like Abbie, a doggy life vest has the added job of protecting her in a wipeout," says Michael, "so we use a pretty serious vest. We've tried tons of vests since Abbie started surfing 2 years ago."

ruffwear float coat surfing dog
Top Five Reasons Michael Picks the Ruffwear Float Coat 

Of all the field testing he's conducted, Michael and Abbie have settled on the Ruffwear Float Coat and here are Michael's top five reasons:

1) It looks awesome. Everyone knows you only surf as good as you look! There are two styles, and each comes in a few colors. Yellow is the easiest to spot in the ocean, especially if you're going deep to impress the dog surfing judges! I even love these little velcro clasps that tie-off the excess straps once you've fitted the vest to your dog. There are also NO flaps to fold over, or things to tuck in, like many other vests. The Ruffwear looks sleek, compact, and clean.

2) They have the most float. Ruffwear Floatcoats are the "floatiest" vests we've tried, which means it's much easier for your dog to paddle around. And in a wipeout, these things keep Abbie from getting pushed under. Additionally, the clean design of the Ruffwear let's it cut through the water efficiently, which is great when your dog is trying to paddle out of a gnarly wave that's double-over-tail.

3) Bomb-proof. The Ruffwear vest is tough. The cordura fabric has some pretty serious stitching, and the straps go all the way around. The top part of the vest is reinforced so it distributes weight along the length of the vest, and also supports a rescue handle. A rescue handle lets you grab your dog to pull them out of a wave, or assist them up stairs out of the water. And believe me, we've used this, and you can count on it!

4) Geeky. The Ruffwear has this one geeky feature that I love – a light loop. It's a small loop on the back support that lets you attach a waterproof light to your dog. We've done some surfing at sunset, and having a light lets us sneak in a few more waves even at dusk. Totally geeky, but I just love the light loop.

From a training perspective, Michael especially likes doggy life vests because they're a good signal to your dog that you're going to play in the water. Abbie wears her whether they go swimming, surfing, paddle boarding, or boating. This way she knows she's going to be near or in water, and it makes her more comfortable in new situations. According to Michael, communicating with your dog this way establishes a trust that gets them motivated to try new things more than traditional obedience training.

Makes sense!

Starting at $49.95 you can find the Ruffwear Float Coat at

Fur Real: Marmaduke + Surf Dogs Hang 20 for Charity

Abbie Girl Surfs Surfer Doggy Dudes + Dudettes Shred it at Annual Competition

Super stoked pups of all walks hit Imperial Beach here in San Diego over the weekend for the 5th annual Loews Coronado Bay Surf Dog competition. Each dog (or team) had 10 minutes to catch their top two waves, and were scored on confidence level, length of ride and overall ability to "grip it and rip it." 

Among the epic pro-pooch surfers was our friend Micheal Uy and his constant four-legged companion Abbie girl, who is front and center in the dog-surfing craze spreading across the nation. In fact, Abbie was cast as a surfer-girl in the soon to be released film Marmaduke, due in theaters June 4 from 20th Century Fox.

George the Great Dane , the 200-pound dog who plays the miscreant Marmaduke in the film was also on hand for the surf competition, along with actors Owen Wilson and George Lopez who are voice actors for the film.

Article reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley