In California, it’s no strange sight to see first-time surfers trying out the waves in summer surf camps.
But starting this weekend, visitors to Del Mar’s dog-friendly North Beach may be doing a double-take. The warm up in the temperature signals the start of the most unique surf school in the city - Helen Woodward Animal Center’s annual Dog Surf Lessons! The highly-anticipated classes are taught by beloved local group, the SoCal Surf Dogs, with opportunities to join in all summer long. Originally started to prepare beach-loving pups for the Center’s Annual “Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon,” scheduled for Sunday, September 11th, 2016, the lessons have expanded to accommodate pros and beginners alike. Back by pup-ular demand, Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) Boarding classes will also be hitting the water for dogs that prefer smooth waters to white water surf.
Join them this weekend, Sunday, June 26th and dive into class with dates through July and August!
How do you take your dog from land-lover to surf dog stud? GromMUTT Dog Surf Lessons begin with a 20 minute group class on land – familiarizing even unexperienced pups with the surf, the sand and the sport. During the next 30 minutes, you and you dog will be paired up with a SoCal Surf Dog instructor to try out the waves. Here you’ll learn basic and advanced techniques to teach your dog how to surf, so be ready to get in the water! San Diego Pet Training will also be on hand for guidance.
Those more inclined to the calmer seas may choose to enroll in Paddle Paws Stand-up Paddleboarding (SUP) Classes, with SoCal SUP Dogs leading the instruction. SUP classes will take place in the Del Mar Dog Beach Channel at the 8:30am timeslot when the waters are most mellow.
Helen Woodward Animal Center Surf Dog lessons offer limited spaces in each class to maximize safety and fun, so spots fill up quickly. Surf classes run 50 minutes in length and SUP classes run 70 minutes in length, each take place mostly in the water with brief on-land instruction at the start. All classes cost $45 with a 20% discount offered off any additional lessons and include the required canine life-vests and surf or paddle boards. Lessons are scheduled at 8:30am (Stand-Up Paddleboard only), 10:00am, 11:00am and 12:00noon on June 26th, July 10th and 31st and August 14th, and 28th. Dogs who take to the waves are encouraged to register for Helen Woodward Animal Center’s 11th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon on Sept. 11th, 2016. All proceeds from the classes and the annual competition go towards the pets and programs at Helen Woodward Animal Center.
For more information, questions or to register, go to animalcenter.org or call (858) 756-4117 x 350. You may also stop by Helen Woodward Animal Center at 6461 El Apajo Road, in Rancho Santa Fe.