Our summer was pretty fantastic! Riley and I paddled nonstop – we taught Kona how to ride on the board with us and instructed SUP PUP classes, where we trained other dogs to ride safely on paddleboards with their humans. We also traveled a bit in hopes of inspiring others to SUP with their PUPs. It was an action-packed summer, and we had a blast.
Here in Virginia, the leaves are starting to change colors and the days are sadly getting shorter. Now that classes have finished for the season, we’ve had some extra time in the schedule, so we’ve been switching gears and doing more hiking. We’ll certainly SUP as much as we can throughout the colder months, but it’s still fun to change gears and do something different.
Riley and Kona both know what’s in store for them when they see their K-9 Float Coats come out, and the same thing happens when they see their harnesses – they do that famous Aussie butt wiggle and release a few howls before hopping into the car. Some of our favorite hiking spots on the East Coast include Shenandoah National, Acadia National, and Prince William Forest parks. All of these are dog friendly and offer a nice variety of terrain.
Recently we got the best of both worlds on a trip up to Acadia. I packed our inflatable SUP into a large backpack and made the dogs wear their K-9 Float Coats to lighten my load. We hiked about 2 miles up to a small lake, where I then inflated the board and paddled around with both dogs. We had the whole lake to ourselves; it was a pretty special experience. Thank goodness for inflatable SUPs!
As we head into winter, we’ll be pulling out the Webmaster Harnesses more often than the life jackets. Mountain biking, trail running, or skijoring, maybe? We’ll be out there staying active, finding new adventures, and updating you along the way.
– Maria Christina Shultz is the author of “How To SUP With Your Pup – A guide to stand up paddling with your dog” and Ruffwear Ambassador. Follow her, Riley and Kona’s adventures HERE.