Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Experiences

A Day with Dogs: Del Mar Dog Surfing Competition

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SDSU chapter.

When my friend asked me to go watch dogs surf with her, the only answer was “yes!” This weekend I attended the “Del Mar Dog Surfathon,” the 17th annual event of its kind. The event featured 70 competitive surfing canines, all with their puppy dog eyes on the prize of “top surf dog.” The day was amazing, with vendors at every corner and even a dog costume contest! Not to mention, you cannot beat being around so many happy pups… they were literally everywhere. From Great Danes, to Bull Dogs, to Chihuahuas, dogs of all shapes and sizes were shredding the waves and playing with each other in between rounds.

I gazed at the water, dumbfounded, and was struck with a plethora of questions but the most precedent: Is this safe for the dogs? I was truly worried about animal exploitation, that is until I met Rosie. “Rippin’ Rosie,” was the sweetest yellow lab you could ever meet, and according to her enthusiastic owner, Rosie has always had an affinity for surfing. All the dogs I witnessed were jumping through the water excitedly, wagging their tails, and ready to hop back on the board when they fell off. Additionally, after researching national surf competition procedures, I discovered there are many safety precautions in place for the dog’s safety. According to the World Dog Surfing Championships website, dogs are only allowed to surf on foam surfboards, they must use a lifejacket, and they cannot be attached to the board via a leash or another medium. Overall, if it is a beach-loving dog and the proper materials and protocol are utilized, it seems to be a generally safe and enjoyable experience.

The event was so much fun, for dogs and humans alike. Aside from the obvious fun and sweetness of the day, the best part was that the whole day raised money for charity. All donations from the day went to unadopted pets at the Helen Woodward Animal Center. As stated on their website, the animal center is “a no-kill facility that receives no government funding,” so donations like these make a big difference for the services provided at the center. Altogether, it was a beautiful day of sun, surf, and super cute pups.

I am a 3rd year communications major at SDSU, and junior social media director at her campus SDSU chapter. I am minoring in creative writing and love to write poetry and opinion pieces. I am excited to pursue social media management this year through Her Campus as well as write many fun articles for the chapter.