Last Updated on June 8, 2023 by April
Searching for the best paddle boards for dogs to start your canine-friendly outing? We’ve got you covered with our top choices. Let’s dive in!
Paddle boarding with your loyal canine companion can be a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors and create lasting memories together. For dog lovers like me, finding the perfect paddle board that caters to my needs and those of my furry friend is important.
With so many options available, choosing the ideal SUP can become overwhelming, but worry not because I am here to help you narrow your search.
In exploring the best paddle boards for dogs, we must consider factors such as stability, durability, and size to ensure that both the owner and the dog feel safe and secure during their water adventures.
As we delve into these and other highly rated paddle boards, we will pay special attention to their unique features, strengths, and user experiences. By the end of this article, you will clearly understand which paddle board is best suited for you and your dog’s needs.
Tips for Paddle Boarding with Dogs
Appropriate Dog Size
When it comes to paddle boarding with dogs, size does matter. Ideally, small to medium-sized dogs are the best companions for this water sport.
However, larger dogs can still enjoy SUP if you have a suitable board to accommodate their size and weight. Look for a board at least ten feet long and 32 inches wide for greater stability.
Before taking your dog out on a paddle board, it’s essential to ensure they are comfortable and well-trained. Start by introducing your dog to the paddle board on dry land so that they can become familiar with the feel and texture of the board.
Gradually progress to shallow water near shore, allowing your dog to hop on and off the board easily. Once your dog is comfortable, you can practice paddling with them seated, eventually working up to standing up.
Some key training tips for paddle boarding with dogs include:
- Use positive reinforcement to encourage your dog to stay on the board.
- Teach your dog basic commands, such as “up” and “down,” to help guide them on the paddle board.
- Ensure your dog can swim and is comfortable in the water before attempting to paddle board with them.
Safety is crucial when paddle boarding with your dog. Investing in the proper safety gear will help keep you and your dog safe while on the water. A few essential items include:
- Dog Life Jacket: A well-fitting dog life jacket will help keep your pup afloat and make it easier for them to re-board the paddle board if they fall off.
- Human Lifejacket: Always wear a life jacket for safety while paddle boarding.
- Board Leash: A leash will keep your paddle board close if you or your dog fall off. It’s a good idea to use a coiled leash to prevent entanglement. Please note: the board leash is for you and not for your dog.
- Repair Kit: Bringing along a basic repair kit for your inflatable SUP (if you have one) can be useful in case of punctures or leaks.
Remember, at the end of the day, the key to paddle boarding with your dog is patience, practice, and a good sense of humor. Enjoy the bonding experience and have fun out on the water!
Paddle boarding with your dog can be a fun and enjoyable experience, but it’s important to prioritize safety to prevent accidents or injuries. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when paddle boarding with your dog:
- Ensure your dog is comfortable and confident around water. Before taking your dog paddle boarding, ensure they are comfortable and confident around the water. Consider introducing them to water gradually, starting with shallow areas and gradually increasing the depth.
- Invest in a well-fitted life jacket for your dog. Just like humans, dogs can tire easily and may struggle to stay afloat in the water. A well-fitted life jacket will help keep your dog afloat and provide added safety.
- Choose the right paddle board. When paddle boarding with your dog, choosing a wide, stable board to accommodate you and your furry friend is essential. Look for a board at least 10 feet long and 32 inches wide with a non-slip traction pad for added grip.
- Start slowly and gradually. When introducing your dog to paddle boarding, start slowly and gradually. Begin with short trips and shallow water, and gradually increase the duration and depth as your dog becomes more comfortable.
- Use a leash. A leash can help keep your dog close and prevent them from wandering off or jumping off the board. Ensure the leash is securely attached to your dog’s life jacket or harness.
- Be aware of weather conditions. Before heading out, check the weather forecast and avoid paddling in strong winds, heavy rain, or thunderstorms. Always be prepared for changing weather conditions and bring appropriate gear, such as a wetsuit or waterproof jacket.
- Bring plenty of water and snacks. Paddle boarding can be tiring for you and your dog, so bring plenty of water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized.
By following these safety tips, you can ensure a fun and safe paddle boarding experience for you and your furry friend.
The 5 Best Paddle Boards for Dogs
Rave Sports Kota iSUP 11’2″ (Large Dogs)
The KOTA iSUP Series is durable and lightweight, measuring 11’2″ long, and constructed with Rigid Drop Stitch Air Beam Core construction for the ultimate in a durable yet lightweight inflatable paddle board.
The package is also convenient and portable, including everything paddlers need to get out on the water wherever they go, and designed for easy, convenient portability and storage.
The iSUP includes features such as a hull designed to shed water, military-grade PVC material with double-layered sidewalls, a large comfortable non-slip foam deck pad, elastic straps to take along your PFD and gear, and a neoprene-covered grab handle.
You can buy with confidence as a one-year warranty covers our paddle boards.
- 11’2″ x 34″ x 6″
- 26.9 lbs
- Rider Weight Limit: 300 lbs
Rave Sports Cruiser 11’6” (Medium Dogs)
Rave Sports Cruiser 11’6” is a traditional surf-style SUP that is a perfect combination for paddlers looking for a good workout or short to moderate excursions. The SUP features an EPS foam core with a wooden stringer and an Epoxy/Glass finish for added durability.
It also has a hybrid keel nose for optimum wave cutting and tracking, hard rails, and low rocker. Other features include an EVA deck pad, five leash plugs, a 10″ removable fin, and a self-venting plug.
- 11’6” x 31” x 4.5”
- 28.5 lbs
- Rider weight limit: 250 lbs
Rave Sports Nomad 10’6” (Small Dogs)
The Rave Sports Nomad 10’6″ is a nearly indestructible stand up paddle board that is perfect for both commercial and personal use. The SUP is constructed with outer layers of Polycarbonate Composite (PCX) material to make a super strong, tough exterior and a standard EPS foam core for a lightweight, super buoyant board. It features a standard planning-style hull for stability and easy steering, making it the perfect all-around SUP for recreational paddling.
- 10’6” x 32” x 5”
- 28 lbs
- Max Rider Weight: 250 lbs
Rave Sports Journey 11’4″ (Medium Dogs)
The Rave Sports Journey 11ft 4in is a Thermoform molded Touring SUP suitable for commercial and consumer use. It is constructed with ABS/Polycarbonate composite for superb durability and impact resistance, with a GLOSS finish.
The SUP also features a molded 14kg EPS foam core for optimum buoyancy, a self-venting plug, and a recessed, ergonomic carry handle. Additionally, it comes with ONE 9″ Molded Polyurethane FLEX™ center fin.
- 11′ 4″
- 28 lbs
- Max Rider Weight: 260 lbs
Rave Sports Aqua Power Fitness Mat
While not a traditional paddle board, the Rave Sports Aqua Power Fitness Mat is an interesting and functional option for pet owners. This mat can be used as a platform for exercising and SUP with your dog.
Its features include:
- Large, stable surface for dogs to stand on
- Inflatable design for portability and storage
- It weighs around 15 lbs
- Max Rider Weight: 250 lbs
- Size: 7′
4 Key Features to Look for in a SUP
Deck Pad Space
One of the most important features when looking for the best paddle board for dogs is the deck pad space. A spacious, non-slip deck pad is essential to ensure you and your furry friend have enough room to stand or lie down on the board while paddling comfortably.
Some boards are designed with a full-length traction pad or even an extended pad that provides extra grip for your dog to stay secure. Additionally, watch for boards that feature bungee cords or other accessories to help keep your pup safe and secure on board.
Another critical factor to consider when choosing the best paddle board for dogs is the weight capacity. It’s essential to choose a board with a maximum capacity that can support the combined weight of you and your dog and any gear you may bring along. Weight capacity varies by the board, so pay close attention to the specifications.
Here’s a rough guide to help you gauge the weight capacity required:
- 200 lbs: Suitable for small dogs
- 250 lbs: Great for medium-sized dogs and most riders
- 300 lbs or more: Ideal for large dogs or multiple pets
Paddle boarding with your dog will likely expose the board to more wear and tear than usual. Hence, it’s vital to find a board made from durable, military-grade materials, such as PVC, that can withstand scratches from your dog’s paws and claws. Both inflatable and hardshell boards can exhibit excellent durability, but you may consider choosing an inflatable board that is made from military-grade PVC, as these can be especially rugged and resistant to damage.
Stability is crucial when paddle boarding with your dog, as it ensures a safe and enjoyable experience for both of you. Factors contributing to a stable paddle board include a wide width, a thick profile, and a design optimized for balance.
Boards with a width of 30 inches or more typically provide good stability and are suitable for beginners or when paddling with a dog. Additionally, a 6 inches or more thickness can further enhance stability and buoyancy, making it easier for you and your dog to stay on board.
In summary, when looking for the best paddle board for dogs, consider the deck pad space, weight capacity, durability, and stability. By paying attention to these key features, you and your furry friend can enjoy a fun, safe, and comfortable paddle boarding experience together.
Best Boards for Small, Medium, and Large Dogs?
The volume of a paddle board (length, width, and height together) determines how much weight it will comfortably handle and remain stable. In other words, a shorter, thinner SUP will hold less weight than a longer, wider SUP.
Most paddle board companies will give specifications regarding the weight limit for their SUP, so combine your weight with your dog’s weight to know the best board for you and your dog. A SUP 10’6” and 32” wide will be good for small and medium-sized dogs, and if you have a large dog, you’ll want a 34” wide and 11’2” SUP.
Also, consider that there are two types of paddle boards — inflatable and rigid (closed cell foam covered by a hard epoxy coating). Inflatable paddle boards are preferred for dogs because they are softer and provide more grip. Look for an inflatable paddle board with a large foam deck pad to optimize your pup’s comfort.
Be aware that dog claws may puncture cheap inflatable paddle boards sold by overseas companies because they are constructed of thin PVC; it’s worth spending a bit more for quality.
Accessories and Add-ons
Electric Air Pump
An electric air pump is a great accessory to have with your paddle board for dogs. Electric air pumps can make inflating your paddle board easier and faster. One popular option for inflating your paddle board is the Dual Stage Rapid Pump from Rave Sports. With this pump, you can easily inflate your board in just a few minutes, saving time and energy.
Quick Inflate Hand Pump
If you prefer a hand pump, quick-inflate hand pumps are available and designed specifically for paddle boards. These pumps often come with pressure gauges, so you can accurately inflate your board to the recommended PSI.
A lightweight aluminum paddle is a must-have for paddle boarding with your dog. Unlike wooden or carbon-fiber paddles, aluminum is durable and affordable, making them perfect for sharing the sport with your furry friend.
Paddle Board Leg Leash
Safety is important when paddle boarding, especially when you have your dog with you. A paddle board leg leash keeps your board securely attached to your leg, preventing it from drifting away if you or your dog fall off the board.
To transport your paddle board safely and protect your car’s roof from any damage, roof pads are a great addition to your paddle boarding accessories. They are designed to securely hold your paddle board in place while you drive to your next adventure.
D-rings and Paddle Holders
D-rings provide attachment points for leashes, gear, or even additional riders. Paddle holders allow you to secure your paddle in place when you need your hands to be free for other tasks, such as helping your dog on or off the paddle board.
When paddle boarding with your dog, keeping your personal belongings safe and dry is essential. Waterproof bags allow you to pack essentials like your phone, wallet, and keys without worrying about getting wet. Different sizes and styles are available to fit your specific needs, such as roll-top bags or waterproof cases for smartphones.
Warranty and Customer Support
When looking for the best paddle board for dogs, it’s important to consider the board’s features and the warranty and customer support offered by the manufacturer. In my experience, paddle board companies that provide excellent customer service and good warranty coverage are likelier to have satisfied customers and high-quality products.
Most paddle board manufacturers offer at least a 1-year warranty on their products, including some of the best dog paddle boards. This warranty typically covers defects in materials and workmanship, ensuring that you are protected in case your board faces any issues during its initial use. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the specific warranty terms for each brand or model you’re considering, as coverage may vary.
In addition to the warranty coverage, it’s crucial to consider the customer service the paddle board company provides. Having responsive and knowledgeable customer support can make a difference if you encounter any issues with your board or need assistance with maintenance and care. It’s also helpful to have a customer support team that understands the unique needs of paddling with dogs, as they can guide you through any pet-specific concerns.
Some ways to gauge the quality of a company’s customer service include:
- Reading online reviews and testimonials from previous customers
- Contacting customer support to ask questions or request assistance
- Monitoring the company’s response time and helpfulness in case of issues
Don’t forget to take advantage of additional resources the paddle board company provides, such as instructional videos, maintenance guides, and user forums. These can be incredibly helpful for novice and experienced paddlers sharing the SUP experience with their canine companions.
In summary, when searching for the best paddle board for dogs, consider warranty coverage and customer support, as these can significantly impact your overall satisfaction and enjoyment of paddling with your furry friend.
FAQ About Paddle Boards for Dogs
Are inflatable paddle boards good for dogs?
Yes, inflatable paddle boards can be good for dogs. Inflatable paddle boards are typically made with durable materials that can withstand scratches and punctures from dog claws.
Additionally, many inflatable paddle boards are designed with non-slip traction pads that provide a comfortable grip for your furry friend. Inflatable paddle boards also tend to be wider and more stable than traditional hard boards, making it easier for dogs to balance and enjoy the ride.
However, it’s important to choose a paddle board that is suitable for your dog’s size and weight, and to ensure that your dog is comfortable and confident around water before taking them paddle boarding.
Additionally, it’s important to prioritize safety and follow proper safety measures, such as using a well-fitted life jacket and a secure leash.
Do dogs need a life jacket on a paddle board?
Yes, dogs should wear a life jacket when paddle boarding. Just like humans, dogs can tire easily and may struggle to stay afloat in the water. A well-fitted life jacket will help keep your dog afloat and provide added safety.
Additionally, a life jacket can make lifting your dog back onto the board easier if they fall off or jump into the water. It’s important to choose a life jacket that is appropriate for your dog’s size and weight, and to ensure that the life jacket is properly fastened and secured.
Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, a life jacket can provide added peace of mind and help prevent accidents or injuries.
Do you use a dog leash with a paddle board?
Using a dog leash with a paddle board can be dangerous and is generally not recommended. A leash can pose a risk of entanglement or getting caught on something, which can cause your dog to become trapped or injured.
Additionally, if your dog falls off the board, the leash can create a dangerous situation by dragging your dog through the water or pulling them underwater.
Instead of using a leash, it’s recommended to train your dog to stay on the board and to use a well-fitted life jacket or harness to keep them safe and secure.
It’s also important to choose a paddle board suitable for your dog’s size and weight and to ensure that your dog is comfortable and confident around water before taking them paddle boarding.