It could be the unwavering wag, the optimistic pant, or simply that life is undoubtedly better with four paws next to us. In the end, the question truly is, “Why wouldn’t you take your dog with you?” Whether your dog is the curled up fluff under the desk, or waiting patiently by the door when you get home from work, they are always game for trying something new outside.

Stand Up Paddleboarding, which originated in the Hawaiian islands, is a rapidly growing sport that is taking our rivers and lakes by storm! The allure of moving on the water’s surface and the general accessibility of this popular activity make SUP one of the most exciting new sports to experience with your dog. From very wet personal experiences, to polling fans and pros alike, here are some tips we’ve found that will help you and your mutt get afloat, SUP-style.

What will I need?

–       A Stand Up Paddleboard. Think rental, buy, or borrow!

–       PFDs for both humans and Canines 

–       Lots of water!

Ok, I have all these things. Now what?

Because your dog doesn’t necessarily care how far, long, or hard you paddle, there could be a slight learning curve to work with before you go pro. Short of summoning a dog whisperer, here are a few tips that will help tremendously with your first SUP experiences with your pup.

–       Exercising your dog prior to hopping on the board is always a good idea. This will make the calm coast of your float much more…well, calm!

–       Drop down to your knees when your dog gets on and off the board. The more stable you are, the less likely you both are to take an unplanned dip.

–       Stand in a wide stance facing forward. This will not only allow your dog to move around freely, but it also provides a steady center of gravity for board navigation.

–       Find a board with non-skid padding. This “soft-top” will not only help protect the board from unsteady paws, but also make it easier for your dog to stay on the board.

–       Get out there and try it! As with most things, practice makes perfect, so…GO!

Take it from us, sharing this experience with your dog is an amazing way to bond in a new way. After a few deep breaths you’ll notice that your four-legged friend is enjoying the view just as much as you are.

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