When dogs ride the wave: Surfing on all fours
Dozens of dogs gathered near San Francisco for a wet challenge on four paws at the 2022 World Dog Surfing Championship.
A tale of mutts and thoroughbreds
All dogs are welcome to face the waves and the challenge — water-loving retrievers or roly-poly pug dogs. But there is a sense of fairness at this glorious event, and so the dogs are divided into categories according to size, from small to very large. This is Faith, the 10-year-old rescue pit bull who won the large dog competition.
A wild ride
The rules are simple: Every participant must wear a life jacket and their owner has to give them a little push at the start of the ride. The rest is all up to bold dogs such as this golden retriever, Rosie.
Fun for fans
Established in 2006 at Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica, just southwest of San Francisco, the event attracts hundreds of spectators every year.
Points and tipping points
Eleven judges observe the dogs' performances and points are awarded for ride length, confidence, standing, sitting and laying down techniques, as well as for the size and strength of the waves.
Alone and in pairs
The competition isn't just for dogs — humans get to participate too. Skyler (right) and her handler, Homer, made first place in the tandem human/dog category. Skyler also won the medium dog competition on her own.
Just for fun and glory
This 10-year-old goldendoodle, Derby, has an enterprising owner: Kentucky Gallahue offers courses for dog owners wanting to teach their four-legged friends how to surf. The two came second in the tandem, but they didn't win any cash, as no prize money is awarded with the trophies. According to the organizers, "a portion of the proceeds [...] go to dog surfing and environmental non-profits."