The waters off California’s Huntington Beach were host to an unusual sight over the weekend — surfers on all fours paddling through the choppy waters.
They weren’t your typical surfers clinging to stay on top their boards, however, but surfers using all four legs because, well, they’re dogs.
They were taking part in the Surf City Surf Dog contest, held annually in the well-known surfing mecca to raise money for animal charities.
The event’s organizers tried to set a new Guinness World Record this year by getting 20 dogs to ride the same wave for five seconds, but the waves were too choppy.
“I can’t surf, and here are these dogs hanging 10, or hanging 20. It’s amazing. We get to see a lot of cool stuff, and this is something that is totally new,” Mike Janela, the Guinness judge on hand for the attempt told the Orange County Register before the dogs’ first try. “Hopefully, they are successful – but even if they aren’t, it’s a great event to get all these people out here.”
Nearly 1,500 people came out to the beach’s shores to watch the competition’s 48 dog competitors, officially called “SurfFURS. The dogs got some assistance from their human owners in the water during Sunday’s competition, where they were awarded two points for lying on the board, three points for sitting and five for standing on all fours.
The dogs were divided into four different weight categories. Extra points also went to the dog that completed the longest ride and the one that negotiated the biggest wave, according to the event’s website.
To prepare for the big competition, event organizers also offered one-on-one surfing lessons for the dogs in the summer months leading up to the competition.
Profits from this year’s event, its fourth, benefited six separate charities. In addition to the surfing competition, the weekend’s festivities also included a red carpet at Friday’s Opening Ceremony, a canine costume contest and owner look-a-like contest, a beach fashion show for dogs and a “Yappy Hour” cocktail party.