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Can dogs surf? Yes—and they will at this competition in Pacifica

Skyler the dog and her dad, Homer, catch a wave at the World Dog Surfing Championships. | Courtesy Jojet Ortega | Source: Courtesy World Dog Surfing Championships

Pacifica’s silliest surf competition will soon return to the shores just south of San Francisco. Wave riders by the names of BigRed and Cookie Dough will doggy-paddle out to the breakers on Aug. 5 for the annual World Dog Surfing Championships.

The competition will feature both veteran boarders and novice pups—also known as “groms”—who will vie for the “Golden Surfie” award alongside their humans or solo.  

Dog surfing may be a gimmick, but it’s a gimmick with a long history. Legend has it that dog surfing traces back to the 1920s in California and Hawaii. The 1932 silent film On the Waves of Waikiki included footage of a surfer named Philip Auna catching a wave with his terrier, Night Hawk. 

This particular contest kicked off in 2006, when Kevin Reed, the author of The Dog’s Guide to Surfing, pitched the idea to the Loews Coronado Bay Resort near San Diego. Reed’s book, which serves as a resource for people hoping to hang loose with their four-legged friends, has since spurred similar dog surfing contests on beaches across the globe. 

The event will also include a dog fashion show and other activities. There will even be pet adoptions for any spectator inspired to train the next great nose rider. 

World Dog Surfing Championships 

🗓️ Aug. 5 | 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 
📍 Linda Mar Beach, Pacifica