Dogs shred waves in northern Spain surfing contest

By Thomson Reuters May 20, 2024 | 8:06 AM

By Vincent West

SUANCES, Spain (Reuters) – Dozens of furry surfers and their human companions hit the beach in northern Spain over the weekend for the annual European dog surfing championship.

Baloo and Ghost, a pair of Weimaraners, shredded the waves with their owner, 13-time Spanish bodysurf champion Deva Martin Solar.

“The more the dog goes into the water… the more fun it has,” she said. “If you love surfing and creating that link with the dog, the truth is that it’s very nice.”

Chocolate-coloured Labrador Koa and her owner Juan Manuel Santiago were crowned the winners of the third annual championship, held at the La Concha beach of Suances, in the coastal region of Cantabria.

Veronica Lombrana had brought her Schnauzer Kai surfing for the first time. They had a small scare being plunged into the water while riding a wave. Lombrana said it was fun anyway. Kai had no comment.

Manuel Calvo from the event’s organiser, pet food company Dingonatura, said the event has a serious aim: promoting dog adoptions and discouraging pet abandonment by showing off a fun way to bond with your pooch.

GRESCAN, a charity formed by professional emergency workers, gave a demonstration of dogs trained to assist in aquatic rescues.

(Reporting by Vincent West; Writing by David Latona; Editing by Aislinn Laing and Peter Graff)