Yes, it’s possible (and extremely fun!) to stand up paddle board with your dog. As long as you take the extra safety precautions, like making sure your dog isn’t terrified of water and wrapping them up in a life vest before you go out, you and your dog can have a grand time out on your SUP.
But, what sort of board will you need to bring along your dog? Does it need to be wider? Longer? Those are the questions this article is going to answer.
Your dog probably won’t be helping you balance your SUP, and they’re likely going to lean to one side or sit/lay down in a way that throws the board off balance a bit. You’ll be able to get the hand of it pretty quick and you’ll soon find yourself naturally compensating for their weight shifts, sort of like people do when driving a motorcycle with someone behind them.
However, that brings us to an important point. Before you can learn to “compensate” for your dog’s lack of balance and direction, you need to be able to confidently and easily maneuver your paddle board with just you on it! Once you have that down, though, bringing your dog along won’t be much of a problem.
Now, if you’ve looked into paddle boards, you know there are quite a few different options when it comes to size, shape, and material. If you plan to take your dog along, you’re going to want a solid sup paddle board—for obvious reasons. Inflatable boards are definitely a no-no for you and your pooch.
Type of SUP Paddle Board
When shopping for a stand-up paddle board you can bring your dog along on, you’re going to want to shop for something wide, like one marketed towards beginners or SUP yogis. They are built to be more stable and they will help accommodate for your dog’s weight and movement. Additionally, you’ll want to look for one sup paddle board that isn’t meant for speed (they tend to be shorter and slimmer, and therefore less stable) and one that’s more meant for just casual paddling.
There’s no doubt you can get a stable board up to pretty good speeds with your dog in tow, but if you shop for a sup paddle board that’s smaller and meant for surfing or high-speed paddling, you and your dog are definitely going to take a tumble due to the lack of stability!
Before you grab a stand up paddle board, make sure that both you and your dog are accustomed to the water. You should take your sup board out a few times by yourself to get the hang of it before putting your pooch on it. You should also be extra safe and always give your dog a life vest to wear before taking them out on the lake or river. With those things in mind, you’re ready to go!