A trio of related Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers and Bugle the Beagle share a wave. Photo by Chris Stone
A trio of related Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers and Bugle the Beagle share a wave at the 2021 Surf Dog Surf-a-Thon. Photo by Chris Stone

Registration remains open for surf-lovers and their canines to enter the 17th annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon at Del Mar Dog Beach on Sept. 18.

All proceeds from the event support work at the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe. Top pooches are also eligible for prizes for their humans, including a stay at the Town & Country Resort and $200 worth of dining credits.  

More than 70 surfing dogs – SurFURS, thank you very much – are expected to compete in 10 minutes heats. They will be judged on the length of their rides, wave technique and enthusiasm and confidence on the board.

The top three winners will be awarded for each weight class, with first place moving on to the finals – Best-In-Surf.  There’s also a freestyle contest with points awarded for creativity and tandem rides for dogs and their best friends or favorite human. Tricks and costumes are encouraged to wow the judges, who will include local celebs and surf pros.

There will be more than surfing on tap. The fun includes a canine costume contest, with the theme of “sporting legends,” an agility course for dogs, a kid’s activity area with crafts and games and the BARKet Place with exhibitor booths featuring pet products and local businesses offering giveaways.

Surfing entries start at $55, while the fee for the costume contest is $15.

The event, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., is free to attend. Parking will be available near Border Avenue, Via De La Valle, Hwy. 101 and Camino Del Mar for a $20 donation.



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Ellen Bullock