Dog Surf School

Posted by Billy Francis

While some pups may be content to paddle in the shallows, those with a taste for the extreme won’t be satisfied until they’re carving the waves for themselves. But before you invest in matching boards, we suggest you teach Fido how to sit, stay and hang ten (or twenty) at one of these radical dog surfing schools.

Good Kharma Surf Instruction

Huntington Beach, CA
"And to think, yesterday I was playing fetch." Photo by

Huntington Beach, known as "Surf City USA" and considered one of the best dog beaches on the West Coast, is a fitting home for Good Kharma Surf Instruction. The school combines dog training and surfing to improve your pet’s obedience while also getting him ready to surf. Lessons focus on increasing your pup’s balance and strength by starting on land, then progressing to the shallows, and finally riding the waves for real.

You may be joined on the water by Kihei (key-hay), Jill the instructor’s Chihuahua mix, a multiple surf competition champion who can show your furry friend how it’s done.

Crash out after your session at Kimpton Shorebreak Huntington Beach Resort. Fido can watch other surfers on the water from his plush bed in your suite with an ocean view.

Salty Dog Paddle

Palm Beach, FL
Helping dogs surf and feel good since 1977. Photo by

Salty Dog Paddle is on a mission to save dogs in need of emergency medical care. Founded in 1977, this awesome company sells apparel and coordinates canine surf lessons on beaches around South Florida to raise funds for animals in need. Classes are taught by teams that include a dog trainer and a surf teacher to cover all angles during the session. Canine swimming lessons are included, with doggy lifejackets on hand for your not-so-buoyant good boy.

Book a lesson with your Labrador at Jupiter Dog Beach, then spend the night at La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Jupiter.

Maui Surfer Girls

Lahaina, HI
“Surfing is one thing, but that’s just silly!” Photo by

Maui Surfer Girls is a female-owned company that aims to keep the surfing traditions of The Aloha State alive by teaching people and pups how to become one with the water. Whether you and your pooch are first-timers or seasoned longboarders, you’ll have fun and learn new tricks during your 2-hour session on the water with dedicated instructors. Maui Surfer Girls’ lessons set off from uncrowded beaches to give your pooch fewer distractions and more chance of surfing success. Let them know ahead of time that you’re bringing a dog to make sure the right instructor is assigned to your class.

After a day of fun out on the ocean, dry off and admire the view from this pet-friendly condo with a balcony overlooking the water.

Outer Banks Surf School

Nags Head, NC
Don’t forget to wave! Photo by

If you’re planning a pet-friendly trip to the beautiful Outer Banks region of North Carolina, sign up for surf lessons with Outer Banks Surf School while you’re there. From Kitty Hawk Beach to Nags Head Beach, this mobile school will meet you and your mutt on your pet-friendly beach of choice and teach you how to surf together. Bring your own doggy life jacket and let them know ahead of time that you’ll be bringing a pooch along with you on your private lesson.

Share dinner with a view of Roanoke Sound on the pet-friendly patio at Miller's Waterfront Restaurant, then head across the dunes to Tar Heel Motel for a retro stay.

Helen Woodward Animal Center

Del Mar, CA
Every student needs positive reinforcement. Photo by Helen Woodward Animal Center

The Helen Woodward Animal Center hosts an annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon in North Beach (also known as Dog Beach) in Del Mar, San Diego. In the run-up to the event, dogs and their owners can take part in beginner lessons with an expert surfer who will teach your dog how to get on a board, stand up and ride solo. Classes are small (and fill up fast), allowing special care to be given to each four-legged student.

There are no winners or losers when you get to return to Les Artistes Inn at the end of the day. Before bedtime, hang out with your hound around the outdoor fireplace at this charming Del Mar inn.

Gulf Coast Surf School

Pensacola Beach, FL
Be sure to bring your dog next time. Photo by

Share the “stoke” with Gulf Coast Surf School on Pensacola Beach and beyond. Operated by former University of West Florida students with decades of surfing experience, this school will teach you and your pooch techniques on land like proper prone position, paddling, the "pop up,” and more before venturing out into the inviting Gulf waters. Don’t forget to ask about the photography package to catch your pooch’s gnarly moves on camera.

Stroll along the private beach at nearby Surf & Sand Hotel together, then retire to your ground-floor room with easy access to the outdoor area.

Jack's Surf Lessons and Board Rentals

Myrtle Beach, SC
Hands up if you’re ready to surf! Photo by

Visitors to Myrtle Beach, home of one of the East Coast’s best dog beaches, can go beyond the sand and learn to ride the waves with Jack's Surf Lessons and Board Rentals. First, future surfers will learn about ocean safety and technique on land. Then, you’ll have a chance to catch a wave with your furry best friend on board. If you want to keep the “pawty” going, rent the surfboard for the rest of the day.

After you slip off the leash to your surfboard, slip off Fido’s leash in the on-site dog park at DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront.

Would your dog enjoy learning how to surf? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

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