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A group-ride takes to the waves in Huntington Beach on Sunday, when the third Surf City Surf Dog competition was held.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Joey launches off his board Sunday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Hanzo hangs four paws in his Hawaiian shirt on Sunday. The canine surfing contest was held at Huntington's dog beach.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Hanzo, a boxer, tumbles into the water.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Elliot, an American bulldog, keeps his head up in the whitewash Sunday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Newman, an English bulldog, leaps off his board.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Joey surfed in the small dog category Sunday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Luigi is a picture of balance -- must be the ears.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Keyhey, a terrier mix, gets a hand during the small dog competition in Huntington Beach.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Joey shows off his board shorts before surfing Sunday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Chris Berkenkamp of Santa Monica dries off Elliot, his American bulldog who was found in Compton.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Michael Uy gets in tune with Abbie before the competition Sunday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Joey gets airlifted to the water before his heat Sunday at the Huntington dog beach.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Hanzo waits for his chance to surf.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

This big guy is carried out to the waves. Beats dog paddling.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

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Nearly two-dozen dogs competed Sunday in the Surf City Surf Dog competition in Huntington Beach.

All around Huntington’s dog beach Sunday were Labradors and boxers, bulldogs and Jack Russell terriers — and just about every other breed, large and small — surrounded by competitors, spectators and a host of businesses set up to cater to them.

Competition started just before 10 a.m. The dogs each had 30 to 40 minutes to show off their skills and were judged on a point system. The goal, of course, was to stay on the board and ride to shore. Doing that while standing on all fours was worth a lot more than doing it lying down. And doing it backward or managing to recover after almost falling off was rewarded with more points.

Read the full story.


  1. September 26, 2011, 6:56 am

    Love the board shorts! great shots.

    By: steve
  2. September 26, 2011, 9:47 am

    Those dogs don't look too happy. Surfing is not their natural inclination. Rather, their inclination as land animals is to get back to shore ASAP. This whole dog-surfing thing seems to me, to be for humans' entertainment at the expense of the dogs.

  3. September 26, 2011, 1:33 pm

    No dog will stay on a board if they don't want to…and it's definitely not for every pooch but those who do it, love it. My Boston Terrier jumps into the waves and onto a boogie board with no persuasion from me and would stay out in the water all day if he could. Surfing is not a natural inclination for humans either but that doesn't keep us from loving it!

    I understand your position, but if you were to see how much the pups enjoy it you might change your mind…there's no money or glory in it for us humans…we do it because it makes our furry little best friends happy. 🙂

    By: elece
  4. September 27, 2011, 1:12 am

    I was at the competition, and my dog Elliot was competing. I would never in a million years think of myself as the dog competition type, but the first time we took Elliot to Dog Beach in San Diego, to the surprise of my girlfriend and I, he jumped on wayward surfboard all by himself. He then became obsessed with jumping on every surfboard he could see, so we bought one for him, and now it's by far his favorite thing to do. This "competition" really isn't a competition at all. It's in fact a celebration of a very strong bond that humans and animals have with each other and with nature. I understand your point of view, but if you were in my shoes you would see that in fact this is a very beautiful thing. My pup Elliot was rescued from a high kill shelter in Compton by a rescue agency called Ace of Hearts only a year ago by my girlfriend, and now we are having a blast surfing in Huntington beach!! Elliot and I are all smiles 🙂 And so was every dog and human on the beach that day!

    By: chrichrisb
  5. September 26, 2011, 10:04 am

    […] photos via] /la-style/cowabunga-dudes-pups-hit-the-swell-for-the-surf-city-surf-dog-competition […]

  6. September 26, 2011, 10:56 am

    Love these pics, so cute and exciting. really wanna get my own dog out there 🙂

    By: bulletdogtv
  7. September 26, 2011, 1:05 pm

    Surfers living out their dreams through their dogs! LOL

    By: Manilakeyway
  8. September 27, 2011, 10:30 am

    […] The annual surfing dog championship in Huntington Beach took place again last weekend. Check out some great photos from the LA Times. […]

  9. September 28, 2011, 11:51 am

    KEEP 'UM COMING!!!!!

  10. January 1, 2012, 6:48 am

    I am an avid surfer a beloved dog owner of over 25 years and this is completely WRONG. A surfboard gone astray can seriously hurt even a novice surfer, no less an animal that does not know what is going on in a outside surrounding element. The boxer in this picture slideshow is going head first over a longboard with fins in very shallow water. You are gonna tell me this looks safe and the animal is having fun? How about spend time and play with the dog on the beach on a calm day with toys and fetch games. This is photo opp BS………..sorry its an open forum…….

  11. July 14, 2012, 8:50 pm

    I am the proud owner of  “The Boxer”  his name is Hanzo and I can tell you that he would rather be surfing than doing anything else. We can’t just go to the beach and play fetch.  He is obsessed with the sport of surfing!  and that look is not scarred, it’s focus.  The board he rides is a softtop with rubber fins for safety.  We also promote safety in the water by wearing a Canine Flotation Device (CFD).  

    Checkout this video of Hanzo and then tell me he is not enjoying himself.  

    If you would like to teach your dog to surf please checkout:

    By: Eric

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