Thursday, August 22, 2013


On Sunday we had a different kind of adventure - we went on a SUP (stand up paddleboard) ecotour at Pocohontas State Park led by our friends at Black Dog Paddle.

On the lookout for beavers

I had been on a paddleboard twice before, during our vacation last October, so mom knew I wouldn't have any difficulty staying on the board.  (See my mom's guest blog post Dog Paddle - Learning to SUP With Your Dog and my post Fearless Friday to read about our first time SUPing together.)  I did really well - I didn't even come close to falling off or tipping the board over - and we had a wonderful time paddling around Swift Creek Reservoir with our friends.  It was overcast and drizzly, but we didn't mind - we love being outdoors and mom LOVES paddleboarding.  We saw a bald eagle, a muskrat, a number of great blue herons, and a couple of beavers!  (And, no, I didn't try to chase any of the creatures we saw.)

Using mom's foot as a pillow
(As you can see, I'm strangely relaxed about
being on a tippy floating thing with a
notoriously clumsy person.)

Modeling my Ruffwear PFD
(PFD stands for puppy floatation device)

If you're interested in trying stand up paddleboarding with your dog, we recommend the book How to SUP With Your Pup, available through Amazon.  (Also check out the How to SUP With Your Pup Facebook page.)  Our friends at Paws and Pedals also recently wrote a helpful post about paddleboarding with a dog, SUP Dog - Paddleboarding With Dog

Photo courtesy of Ripley's momma

Before you try SUPing with your dog, it's best to first become comfortable on a paddleboard without your dog.  If you're anywhere near Richmond, Virginia, mom and dad highly recommend taking a class with Black Dog Paddle.  Brian and Camille are awesome instructors, and - most importantly - they're dog people.  They even named their business after their black lab Emmy.   If you don't live near Richmond, you can search this List of Certified Instructors for an instructor near you.

Dad wasn't comfortable on a paddleboard at the
beginning of this summer, but he rocks it now!

I just hope she doesn't expect me to help paddle


  1. OMD. You are SUPing?!?!!!!! WOW.
    I see peeps doing it all the time around here… but never with dar best friends. You are one adventurous dog.

  2. Garth you are amazing and you didn't even try and chase those critters. Have a tremendous Thursday.
    Best wishes Molly

  3. Hey Garth, it sounds like you have a very exciting adventure with your mom!

  4. We think this is just pawsome! The pics from the paddleboard are great, too. That must take a great deal of balance!

    Hope you have a happy Thursday!

  5. Sounds like a great idea letting the pawrents do all the work
    Benny & Lily

  6. good thing that was a chauffeured paddle board

  7. Garth you are so brave to even be out there on that thing. My human sister has tried it and can't seem to get the hang of it. I love your vest, very becoming on you.

    Loveys Sasha

  8. Mom has heard about this and thinks it would be fun for her and I but we haven't gotten around to trying it. Looks like you are pretty good at it.

  9. Aroooooooo, Garth! Look at you on that paddle board! You ROCK! We have paddle boarding down here in FL but Ma and Daddy-dog have never tried it. I know I wouldn't like it...I hate the water. BOL

    It was soooooo great to meet you, your mom and your Daddy-dog at Barkworld! I think you might just be my Daddy-dog's favorite Yellow Lab. BOL
    *high paws* pal,

  10. Looks like great fun Garth, but you are always having fun! It might be tough to do this on the Pacific Ocean by our house, it's pretty rough and cold...not fun.

  11. Looks like great fun Garth, but you are always having fun! It might be tough to do this on the Pacific Ocean by our house, it's pretty rough and cold...not fun.