Stand Up Paddleboard with your dog

This summer with COVID we stayed close to home and found a new activity we’ve been enjoying with the dogs: Stand Up Paddleboard, or SUP.

Living in an apartment, our SUP is an inflatable one so it takes up less storage space. It is easy to carry around in the storage backpack provided, and easy to transport in the car.

Once we get to our destination, it takes me around 15 minutes to inflate with our manual pump. I recommend having a JC around because then it only takes him 5 minutes, but that is just to say it is doable on your own when you’re a woman with not much strength in your arms like me 🙂

SUP with your dog is such a delightful activity. Depending on your dog, it may require more or less balance work from you 🙂 Luna moves a lot on the board, and likes to take a sip in the lake, which makes the board move a lot so it requires much more balance for me. Bolt on the other end, is so chill and barely moves, he just sits or lays down and watches what is going on around the lake. 

Overall, I find SUP so peaceful. Gliding slowly along the lake, everything seems to be on pause and you just enjoy the quiet surroundings.

When you are a beginner like myself, I recommend only going on the lake when it’s not too windy, so the water is quiet. When there’s a bit of wind, always go towards the wind first, because it is harder to go towards the wind so you want to do it at first when you’re not tired. Then coming back with the wind in your back is so much better when you start to get tired.

For your dog, some people like to get their dog up on the board on the shore first, to get a feel of the instability and a feel of the board. We personally didn’t have to do that because they are so used to balancing at home with our conditioning exercises that it was just like another exercise for them and they caught up to balancing on the board really quick. They weren’t afraid of the board.

Now, I can barely get the board in the water without them jumping on the board even when it’s still on the shore, which shows how much they enjoy it 🙂 

I personally keep the leash on so it’s easier to get them close to the board in case they jump or fall. But I don’t hold the leash, it just hangs there and doesn’t bother them on the board.

I highly recommend a safety jacket for your dog. First, it can get them more confident if they don’t like water, like Luna. But even if Bolt is a great swimmer, I still out the jacket on for one reason: the handle on the jacket makes it way easier to grab the dog and help him get back on board if they fall. 

Bolt fell a couple times because he wasn’t paying attention, and we played fetch with his ball from the board sometime too. I could safely help him get back on the board with the handle on his life jacket. It requests a bit more balance from you to get the dog back up though, be prepared 🙂

Now that you know a bit more about SUP with your dog, here is a video we made at the beginning of the summer. Do you practice any water activities with your dog?

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