Some of our best adventures happen close to home. Maggie and I are both California girls; naturally, we love the beach. A couple of years ago, a friend introduced me to the sport of stand-up paddleboarding, and the next thing I knew, I had a supersized surfboard on the roof of my Jeep and I was setting the alarm for extra-extra-early in the morning to squeeze in some SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) before the workday.
It was only a matter of time before Maggie joined me out on the ocean. Maggie already had some experience surfing with Surf Dogs, so I knew she enjoys the water. SUP is more tranquil than surfing, more about watching marine life and hanging out with your friends amid the dolphins and sea lions. I hoped Maggie wouldn’t find it too lacking in action but apparently, she likes it, because she gets excited and runs down to the water when I put on her life jacket.
Now, a few words about safety. Safety in the water is always our first concern, as it should be for everyone. If you think your pup might like to cruise out on a paddleboard, please make sure that you are confident and stable on a board by yourself before trying it out with your dog. You want SUP to be a positive experience for both of you. Also make sure that weather conditions are agreeable – no high winds, big swells or choppy waves – and that you stay well within your capabilities as a paddleboarder.
Sometimes we fall off, and mostly it’s part of the fun, but this is why Maggie never goes out without her life vest. Neither do I. Because the US Coast Guard classifies SUPs as ‘vessels’, human paddleboarders like myself are required to wear a PFD when out on the water in coast guard waters. Things can happen fast and weather can turn quickly out on the ocean, so don’t let yourself be caught out without proper flotation.
This weekend, Maggie and I went out to the Marina and tried out some yoga moves on the paddleboard.