With a little planning and practice, stand up paddling can be a rewarding experience for both you and your fury friend!
Here are some tips to maximize fun and safety while out paddling with your K9 passenger:
- Some adventurous dogs will jump right on your board, while other dogs might need a little more time to get comfortable going along for the ride. One technique to get more timid dogs to be comfortable on-board is to keep your SUP in a place the dog can walk and sit on the top to get comfortable in your home, garage or yard, before getting on the water. You can also place a treat on the board in a way that your dog will have to climb on to get rewarded. Doing this periodically with reinforce that your SUP is a fun place to be, and practicing sitting on the board is also advisable!
- Wide and stable SUP’s are helpful when carrying extra passengers and larger dogs. The Huey Inflatable SUP for example has a 390 pound payload and a 34’’ width for exceptional stability even with a larger dog.
- If you have an epoxy board, or your dog has trouble with stability, you can add a stick-on traction pad to the nose of your board. Non-slip traction pads are available in various colors and sizes on Amazon and through online manufacturers like NSI
- Make sure you and your copilot are rocking a life jacket. The handle on dog life jackets can help you pull your dog back on-board if they end up in the water. A brightly colored life jacket will also help you find your dog if you get separated and of course it will help your dog stay afloat if it goes for too long of a swim and gets tired.
- Keep your dog’s nails trimmed to avoid damage to the traction pad and the topside of your board. If you end up swimming with your dog, having their nails trimmed properly can also help keep you from getting scratched.
- Don’t forget to practice! Energetic dogs will be more likely to jump from the board when they get excited, so be sure to stay balanced if your dog has a tendency to jump from the board. When larger dogs move around on the top of your board, be prepared to shift your weight and remain balanced!
Happy paddling and for more information you may want to check out this handy book for more information about paddling with your pup!