Best Paddle Boards for Dogs

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In this article, we will be showcasing our best paddle boards for dogs of all shapes and sizes. 

We will show you our recommended paddle boards as well as provide a guide as to how to find one that will custom suit both you and your newfound SUP Pup.

We will also be going through some SUP Pup tips and things you need to help you on your maiden journey. Ready? Let’s get into it!

Best Paddle Boards for Dogs List

The following is our list of the best inflatable paddle boards for dogs. This list is compiled based on first-hand experience as well as a lot of the criteria we set in our buyer’s guide. 

Best ISUPs for Dogs Are:

(Top Pick)
Gili Komodo

Gili Komodo

  • Dimensions: 10’6 X 33” X 6”
  • Weight: 21 Lbs
  • Max Capacity: 340 Lbs
  • Materials: Dual-layer fusion laminated PVC
  • Best For: Paddlers who want a board length deckpad for their pup.
(Big Dog Pick)
Nixy Monterey G4

Nixy Monterey G4

  • Dimensions: 11’6” x 34” x 6”
  • Weight: 25 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 400 Lbs
  • Materials Used: Dual Layer Fusion with Dual Chambers and Carbon side rails
  • Best For: Paddlers with bigger dogs who need more room onboard
(Premium Pick)
BOTE HD Aero 11'6

BOTE HD Aero 11'6"

  • Dimensions: 11’6” x 35” x 6”
  • Weight: 30 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 315Lbs
  • Materials Used: Aero BOTE Technology
  • Best For: Paddlers who want to bring a bigger pup onboard a stable platform.
(Top Pick)
Nixy Venice G4

Nixy Venice G4

  • Dimensions: 10’6 X 34” X 6”
  • Weight: 23 Lbs
  • Max Capacity: 350 Lbs
  • Material: Dual Layer Fusion Laminated Drop Stitch
  • Best For: Paddlers who want a full deckpad with non intrusive deck webbing. 
(Stability Pick)
iRocker Blackfin X

iRocker Blackfin X

  • Dimensions: 10’6” x 35” x 6”
  • Weight: 27 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 450 Lbs
  • Materials: Triple Layer Composite PVC Construction
  • Best For: Paddlers who have a bigger breed of dog that want maximum stability  
(Durability Pick)
Atoll 11'

Atoll 11'

  • Dimensions: 11” x 32” x 6”
  • Weight: 21 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 550 Lbs
  • Materials Used: dual layer fusion PVC
  • Best For: Having one or two dogs onboard with a clean deckpad layout.

1. Gili Komodo (Top Pick)


  • Dimensions: 10’6” x 33” x 6”
  • Weight: 21 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 340 Lbs
  • Materials: Dual Layer Fusion Construction

Total Score: 8.1 (Average of Below Numbers)

  • On-Water Performance – 8.5
    • Stability 8.5
    • Tracking 8.5
    • Speed 7.5
    • Maneuverability 8.5
  • SUP Construction – 8
  • Board Features – 8
    • Deck Pad 9
    • D Rings 8
    • Deck Bungees 8
    • Action Mounts: 7.5
    • Handles 7.5
  • Accessories – 8
    • Backpack 8
    • Paddle 7.5
    • Pump 7
    • Fins 8.5
  • Set-Up/ Take Down – 8

Why is it a Good Dog Pick?

The Gili Komodo ticks all the boxes when it comes to a dog-friendly deck pad. It features a deck pad that sprawls the entire length of the board. On Top of that, the deck pad has 3 different surfaces including the grippier parts in the middle and back of the board. Often times these placements are where you want your dog to be seated.

It is also extremely lightweight at 21 pounds thanks to its dual-layer fusion laminated PVC material. It always helps when your SUP is lightweight and easy to manage, especially when you have a dog leash in the other hand! 


The Gili Komodo is a great stable platform for small to medium-sized dogs thanks to its 10’6” length and its 33” width. If you look on Gili’s page you will see that many customers have used this board for their dogs. One customer even takes their 100 lbs 4 legged friend on all of her adventures by her local lakes and rivers.

Board Features and Design

Besides the large deck pad, the Gili Komodo also can harness things like action mounts, 2 placements of bungee storage (both of which are removable), a paddle holder and 4 free D rings for a cooler or Gili’s kayak conversion kit

The board features a 3-fin set-up that allows the board to track well while remaining stable when paddling forward. The 5” side fins provide that extra support for more bite in the water while keeping the board stable while moving. 

The board’s profile is hydrodynamic in that it glides smoothly without its profile causing too much drag in the water.  Its 340 lb max capacity should be enough for you and most sizes of dogs. 

What Customers Think

Some of the most common compliments seemed to be directed at the board’s stability. But many other compliments were directed at Gili’s customer service. Many customers found them to be supremely helpful with their requests.

This board as stated above seems to be a favorite with dogs. I found 3 verified reviews of people taking their big dog on the board

Gili Komodo Big dog

You can see the Full Detailed Review on the Gili Komodo 10’6″ SUP here.


  • The deck pad has a lot of space
  • Deck bungees are removable so your pup does not trip
  • Lots of verified dog customers recommend this board
  • Board has good stability for its size
  • A portion of sales goes to ocean charities like Save Our Turtles


  • The pump that comes with it is basic
  • Could have a gripper material on the front deck pad like diamond groove deck padding

2. Nixy Monterey (Big Dog Pick) 


  • Dimensions: 11’6” x 33” x 6”
  • Weight: 25 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 400 Lbs
  • Materials: Advanced FusionTech dual layer laminated, woven drop stitch. Dual Chamber construction

Total Score: 8.8 (Average of Below Numbers)

  • On-Water Performance – 8.4
    • Stability 9
    • Tracking 8.5
    • Speed 8
    • Maneuverability 8
  • SUP Construction – 9.5
  • Board Features – 9.2
    • Deck Pad 9.5
    • D Rings 9
    • Deck Bungees 9
    • Action Mounts: 10
    • Handles 8.5
  • Accessories – 9.1
    • Backpack 9
    • Paddle 9
    • Pump 9
    • Fins 9.5
  • Set-Up/ Take Down – 8

Why is it a Good Dog Pick?

The Nixy Monterey is a great dog pick because of its supreme stability thanks to its 11’6” length and 34” width. On Top of this, it has some extra built-in safety features that are helpful in “just in case” scenarios

Some other note-worthy things are its expansive deck pad as well as 6 rows of bungees for gear (that can be removable). 


The Nixy Monterey has some of the best stability in the game which is crucial, especially when you are out in slightly choppy conditions. The Nixy Monterey makes a great training board because of the longer length and wider width that makes it feel like more of a steady platform to learn on for bigger breeds like huskies and rottweilers

The bigger dimensions compared to the Komodo makes the board more stable to stand on, even if your pup is darting around in uncertainty. This added stability makes this a good big dog pick.

Board Features and Design

A few paragraphs ago I said that the Nixy Monterey has an added safety feature, it’s double-chambered! This means the Monterey features a smaller chamber in the middle of the board that can not only be relied upon as backup in case of a puncture. But it also provides an extra layer of rigidity to the board.

Monterey board profie

The Monterey is one of the most feature-rich boards on this list thanks to its action mounts for rod holders, cup holders and holders for various recording devices like go pros and cell phones

It also features 2 Scotty mounts that allow you to mount a fishing rack if angling was your thing. Lots of people love taking their pups fishing with them! 

For added protection, the Monterey features carbon side rails that not only protect the side of the board but also adds some extra rigidity to the board as well.

What Customers Think

The Nixy Monterey is a relatively new addition to the Nixy line-up so you won’t see a ton of reviews out just yet. But so far it does sport a 4.7/5 star review on the Nixy website. 

Many were surprised by the Monterey’s speed but most were pleased with the stability that the board provided. 

You can see the Full Detailed Review on the Nixy Monterey G4 SUP here.


  • Great board for bigger pups to learn on\
  • Lots of room onboard
  • The deck pad covers a good amount of area
  • Very stable for beginner paddlers and pups alike
  • Extra bladder provides another layer of safety


  • Takes longer to set up/ takedown due to dual-chamber
  • The nose and tail are narrow which means less room at each end for dogs

3. Bote HD Aero 11’6” (Premium Pick) 


  • Dimensions: 11’6” x 34” x 6”
  • Weight: 30 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 315 Lbs
  • Materials: AeroBOTE Technology

Total Rating 8.25/ 10 (Averages of Below Scores)

Why is it a Good Dog Pick?

The Bote Aero 11’6” (Full Trax) is a great pick in that almost the entire board has grooved deck padding. Groove deck padding is ideal because your puls nails are able to grip the board better when things get rocky on the water. 

What’s also handy is the Magnepod compatibility. The Magnepod is a magnetic device that holds Magnepod compatible cups in place. This could be a super handy device to store water in with little hassle of shuffling through dry bags and bowls


The Bote HD Aero features the same dimensions as the Nixy Monterey on our list. So what’s different and why does the Nixy Monterey get the nod? 

While I would give the deck pad advantage to the Bote HD Aero, the extra bit of stiffness that Nixy’s carbon side rails and the extra bladder provide give it the nod. These features also give it a bit of extra stability on the water. The price of the Monterey is also a few hundred dollars cheaper. 

Board Features and Design

Bote Aero HD has a few features to keep note of. One of my favorite ones, is the capability of the paddle sheath. The paddle sheath is a device placed at the front of the board that you can clip your paddle in place. 

The paddle sheath would be extremely handy in the early training days while you are training your dog to stay on the board, without having to worry about the paddle

This is also handy because you don’t have to bend down or kneel to clip the paddle to the side of the board. Although the Aero HD does have velcro paddle straps on the side if you did want to do that. 

On top of this BOTE also features Scotty mounts for a fishing rack as well as Kula cooler compatibility which is BOTE’s version of a bucket. Useful for storing treats, dog toys, and bowls. 

What Customers Think

As of the time of this review, the HD Aero does not feature anything below 3 stars out of 521 reviews. Which is a remarkable feat in itself. On Amazon, the HD Aero board has a 4.9/5 star rating as well.

Lots of customers commented how they loved the quality that BOTE puts into this board. One customer has even accumulated this board as their 6th BOTE board! Customers who go with BOTE often become lifelong customers of the brand because of the quality they put in their boards. 

You can see the Full Detailed Review on the BOTE HD Aero SUP here.


  • Full Trax is a great option to get for dogs
  • The Paddle sheath is handy especially when actively training your pup
  • Board is very stable in the water
  • Magne Pod holder can be used as a quick and easy device for your pup to drink out of


  • Heaviest board on the list
  • The total package weight is 49 lbs which can be tricky to lug while with your dog

4. Nixy Venice (Medium Sized Dog Pick)

Nixy Venice


  • Dimensions: 10’6” x 34” x 6”
  • Weight: 23 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 350 Lbs
  • Materials: Advanced FusionTech dual-layer laminated, woven drop stitch

Total Ratings 8.8/10 (Average of Below Numbers)

  • On-Water Performance: 8
    • Stability: 9.5
    • Tracking: 8
    • Speed: 7
    • Maneuverability: 8
  • SUP Construction: 9
  • Board Features: 9
    • Deck Pad: 9
    • D Ring Placements: 9
    • Deck Bungee Placement: 8
    • Action Mounts 9
    • Handles: 9
  • Accessories: 9
    • Backpack: 9
    • Paddle: 9
    • Pump: 9
    • Fins: 9.5
  • Set-Up/ Take Down: 9

Why is it a Good Dog Pick?

The Nixy Venice is a solid pick due to its nonintrusive front deck bungees. Many dog breeds prefer to be perched on the nose of the board, as a result, they often trip on the deck bungees on the board. Which can often lead to both of you going for a swim. 

The Venice also has an expansive deck pad area which makes it a good platform to stand on. In Fact, you can even partake in yoga with this board. 


The Nixy Venice is one of the most stable paddleboards of its size. Its extra 1-inch width makes it a bit more steady than the Gili Komodo. But some glide is sacrificed.

If you look at the Nixy Venice’s profile you will see that the board has a wider girth from top to bottom instead of it narrowing in more gradually at the nose and tail. This gives the board more of a platform feel which also helps keeps both you and your pup stable when going through chop

Board Features and Design

The Nixy Venice features 4 action mounts and 4 available D rings for things such as kayak seats and even a larger cooler if need be. While the deck pad is expansive I’d prefer to see slits in the pad for dogs. As these provide more grip for dogs as opposed to flat deck padding. 

What Customers Think

Many customers who buy this SUP use it for yoga but there have been plenty who have been happy to use it with their dogs as well. 

Lots of customers love how Nixy treats them including myself. They are fast and respond to queries quickly and answer any questions you may have

Nixy Venice 2 people and dog

You can see the Full Detailed Review on the Nixy Venice G4 SUP here.


  • Unobtrusive deck bungees in the front
  • Large deck pad area
  • Stability-wise it feels like a platform
  • Board is lightweight


  • Wish the deck pad was not so sleek and had grooves in it
  • The preferred use is as a Yoga board
  • Lacks some speed

5. iRocker Blackfin X (Stability Pick)


  • Dimensions: 10’6” x 35” x 6”
  • Weight: 27 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 450 Lbs
  • Materials: Triple Layer Composite PVC Construction

Why is it a Good Dog Pick?

The iRocker Blackfin X is a SUP that has more than enough room for most breeds of dogs. Best of all its 35” width allows it to be the most stable 10’6” board on this list. So if both of you still don’t have your sea legs just yet, this is a good pick to learn on. 

Its triple-layer PVC provides extra protection against freshly cut nails, although truth be told this is usually not too much of a problem as long as the SUP has more than a single layer of PVC protection.


The iRocker Blackfin X is often used as a fishing vessel so you can be sure that the folks at iRocker ensured that it would be as stable a platform as possible for continuous movement.

The wide width will also keep you stable during areas of chop compared to shorter width boards that are 32” board.

Board Features and Design

The iRocker Blackfin X, like the Nixy Monterey, features plenty of onboard amenities. The board features 3 rows of deck bungee at the front and rear of the board as well as 8 action mounts and 2 Scotty Mounts and 6 free D ring areas.

Ideally, we would like to see the deck pad take up more of the board like the Monterey or Komodo as it only is part of ⅔’s of the board. With the later end tapering more to the middle. This addition would be ideal in helping your pup with traction with the board. 

What Customers Think

Customers appreciate the stability of the board with lots of them mentioning how they do fishing and fly fishing off of it. One lady even mentioned how the board was perfect for her husky pup.

Many customers commented how the Blackfin X was much more stable than entry boards that got them into the sport. Especially with Pups, you want a board that will be steady in the water when learning. And the Blackfin X certainly isn’t a slouch in that department


  • Board is one of the most stable on the list
  • Lots of features available to the paddler
  • Has a high maximum capacity limit which is key
  • Accessories are of good quality


  • Heavy for a 10’6” board
  • The deck pad could take up more space
  • Deck bungees could get in the way of your pup

6. Atoll 11 (Budget Pick)


  • Dimensions: 11 x 32” x 6”
  • Weight: 21 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 315 Lbs (Tested to 550)
  • Materials: Machine Laminated Dual Layer PVC

Total Score 8.2/10 (Average of Below)

  • On-Water Performance: 8.5
    • Stability: 9
    • Tracking: 8
    • Speed: 8
    • Maneuverability: 8
  • SUP Construction: 9
  • Board Features: 8
    • Deck Pad: 8.5
    • D Rings: 9
    • Deck Bungees: 7.5
    • Handles: 7
  • Accessories: 7.5
    • Backpack: 7
    • Paddle: 7
    • Pump: 7
    • Fins: 8
  • Set-Up/ Take Down: 8

Why is it a Good Dog Pick?

The Atoll 11 is a great pick for those who don’t want to spend over their budget for a stable paddle board. Although the board is 32” wide I’ve personally tested it in the winter and I had no stability issues with it whatsoever in calm water.

The Atoll 11 has a decent-sized diamond grooved deck pad which is relatively simplistic with the ability to add more. The deck pad area is wide enough to support most breeds of dogs while the board has been max tested to 550 lbs. 


I personally have not tested this board with a dog but when I had a go on it I felt stable doing a wide variety of maneuvers. While I do not currently have a dog, it’s something I definitely would love to play around with on this board in the future (I guess I should find a dog!).

The 32” width does not make this the most stable board on the list but to me, it felt more like a 33” board than a 32” from my impressions. The bonus of this is that there is less surface area of the board on the water which makes it more hydrodynamic to give you a tiny bit of extra speed.

Board Features and Design

Unlike most of the boards on this list, the Atoll 11 does not have all the bell and whistles. But it does feature a heck of a lot of D rings. This means Atoll leaves extra deck strapping to your imagination in case you want to strap extra cargo like coolers or bigger bags with you

The design feature I personally liked was the diamond grooved deck padding. I find this to be the grippiest of the deck padding designs. Something that may not favor dogs so much is its narrower nose profile. If you have a smaller to medium-sized dog that perches on the nose this will be fine. But for bigger dogs like labs or huskies, this may cause some issues with balance onboard. 

 What Customers Think

As an Atoll owner, I personally like the board for solo paddling purposes so if you have a smaller to medium-sized pup this board will be more than sufficient. It’s also a great entry board and a very underrated backcountry pick due to the board’s light 21 lb weight.

Other customers like that the Atoll is well constructed for a board of its price range. For folks who want simplicity and don’t need the bells and whistles, the Atoll is a fantastic pick. 

me paddling Atoll

You can see the Full Detailed Review on the Atoll 11 SUP here.


  • Reasonably priced
  • Has a lot of praise from customers
  • Many customers love to use this board for their dogs
  • Diamond grooved deck pad helps with grip on dog paws
  • Board is lightweight


  • The deck pad could be bigger, especially in the front
  • Accessories could be a bit better
  • Small side bite fins do not allow the board to track as well

How to Choose and Inflatable SUP for Your PUP

There are a ton of SUP options out there, and maybe you want to find your own board. Below is a set of criteria that we find helpful when choosing a paddle board for your dog. 

The Boards Shape and Design

The shape of the board largely depends on the size of your dog. If you have a small chihuahua or daschund this will not matter as much as their lightweight frame will cause little interruption to your SUPs’ on-water dynamics. 

As you get into bigger dogs the shape and design of the board become more important. Especially if you are bringing a retriever or husky along for the ride. 

All-Around board shapes are ideal as they are built to be a balance between stability and on-water speed. 

You also want to ensure that the board doesn’t handle “like a dog” in the water. When looking at a SUP make sure that the board does have an uplifted semi-pointed nose like the brands mentioned above. 

Flat rounded noses that do not have any rocker tend to plow water. That added with a heavier dog perched on the nose of the board will affect on-water performance which will drag the board’s speed down. 

While you don’t need speed when you are learning it will be handier down the line when both of you have your paddle board legs and get more experienced.

– Editors Note


The Boards size will help add more on-water stability. This is crucial, especially in the learning stages of paddling with your pup.

Board dimensions I look for typically are at least 32” wide and 10’6” long for medium-sized dogs. Boards like the Gili Komodo and Atoll 11 are ideal for these types of dogs.

For larger breeds like Newfie’s, huskies, labs, and retrievers I would look at a board that is about 34” in width and 11’6” in length. Boards such as the Nixy Monterey and the Bote Aero 11’6” Full Trax are prime examples of this. 

Smaller pups you do not need to cater to as much for board size. they do not make as much of an impact on the board’s stability or glide in the water. 


The stability of your paddle board will be mostly dependent on the above two dimensions. But there is more to it than that.

The stability you get from the board will also depend on where the dog stands on the SUP

This is what I would call an “unsteady” board!

You will get the most stability when the dog is in between your legs when paddling. If you have a medium-sized/ bigger dog that likes to move around on the nose you will probably both be going for an unplanned swim!

The wider the board the more stable it will be. For prime stability boards like the Blackfin X with its 35” width. It provides about as stable a platform as you can find for a board of its length. 

We will go through how to make your dog stay on the board below. 

Deck Pad and Deck Considerations

Something I look for when looking for a SUP for a Pup is the deck pad. When related to grip deck pads are not as important for inflatable SUPs as it is for the more slippery fiberglass coated hard boards. This is because their paws can still grip the PVC surface while with fiberglass it’s more slippery when wet. 

Having said that a larger deck pad is still important because:

  1. It gives your dog a more grippy surface to stand and move around on
  2. It protects the PVC material from scratches that may occur

I also like deck pads to have some element of diamond grooved or slit grooved deck pad shapes as this help the paws and claws grip better onto the board. This is important, especially during those more choppy/ windy days that you may encounter. 

The Gili Komodo and BOTE HD Aero Full Trax are optimal deck pads that feature grooved or diamond deck pads to provide optimum grip for paws (and claws).

Materials the SUP is made of

One thing that is very overlooked with a paddle board but very important is the materials of the SUP. To a beginner’s eye, many paddle boards look the same and should therefore perform the same.

This cannot be further from the truth. When looking for an inflatable paddle board I recommend:

  1. Looking for a paddle board that has the term “fusion” in it. These are made by machine pressing two layers of PVC together. This process requires less glue which means leaks are less likely. Double and triple-layer PVC works with dogs as well but just be aware that they require more glue. 
  2. Military Grade” usually means single layer PVC. While you can use these for dogs, they won’t last as long and won’t be made with as much quality as fusion/ double/ triple layered PVC. Dog nails are also more of a hazard for this type of material.

Another good way to tell if the company has confidence in its paddle boards is by looking at the warranty information. Warranties I look for will be around 2 years against defective materials. Some paddle board companies like iRocker or even Red Paddle have warranties of 3 and 5 years respectively for their boards. 

Also take a look at customer reviews on other sites such as Amazon, the brand’s Facebook page, or Trust Pilot. All the reviews from these have to be posted. As opposed to on the brands Ecommerce website where bad reviews can be left out. 

Accessories to Bring for Your Dog

When paddle boarding with your pooch there are some important accessories you must bring with them for safety reasons and your dogs well being.  We ordered these based on the level of importance.

We go in more details in the best paddle board dog accessories here. 


Bring enough water for you and your pup to drink. The sun can deplete both you and your pup’s energy levels, which in some worse-case scenarios can lead to dehydration. I’ve been there in my go-kart racing days and let me tell you it’s not fun!

Signs that your dog might be dehydrated include:

  • Being sleepy or unresponsive to playful behavior
  • Vomiting
  • Dry gums and tongue
  • Thick saliva

You can tell your dog needs water when they start panting more heavily. According to Emancipet Pet Clinicdogs need about 1 ounce of water per every pound that they weigh. Puppies typically drink more than adult dogs. 

This also depends on their energy levels. I found a cool little water calculator tool that shows you how much your pet should drink per day here. 


But my dog knows how to swim! In Fact, he is the 7th generation of great swimmers that…

I hear this quite a bit (ok maybe not this exact sentence) and if your dog knows how to swim that’s a big bonus for paddle boarding for sure. BUT you should provide him or her a doggy life vest to keep them buoyant

Not only will this be of use if they tire out but it’s also easier to grab your pup from the water when you reach and grab the PFD handle. 

This will help your pup get back onto the board more easily. After all chances are high that for the first few SUP training sessions they will get distracted or scared and jump off with little warning!

Dog life jackets are also important because they are a preventative device for just-in-case scenarios, like if your dog has a seizure in the water (this was a frequent problem with my old border collie). 

Dry Bag with Gear

Of course, you need something to carry some of this gear with you so get a good quality dry bag that can be stowed in the deck bungees.

Things you can bring include:

  • Water bowl
  • Sunscreen (for those exposed parts on their noses and bellies)
  • Treats
  • Toys
  • A leash (only put it on when training on-shore or taking them for a walk) 

For longer trips, you will be bringing more things like food, etc but this will only be when both of you are 100% comfortable on the board together. 

Dog Treats

Treats will be the secret ingredient in making your pup learn how to SUP with you. You will be using treats as a reward mechanism to reward them for listening to your commands. 

I’m sure if you have a dog you are well aware of the power of treats. So read below in our Dog tips section as to how to use them as a tool

Doggy Sunscreen

What? Dogs need sunscreen? You betcha! But not in the same areas as we use it.

Sunscreen is best used to prevent dogs’ noses, bellies, and anywhere else where they don’t have a lot of fur from getting burnt. Epi-pet sun protector is a good sunscreen for this as it’s safe, easy to apply, and is the only pet sunscreen that’s actually FDA approved!

Doggy SUP Training Tips

I have a complete guide on how to properly train your pup using multiple training tips from experienced trainers in my Can Dogs Go on Inflatable Paddle Boards? Article. To summarize

  1. Ensure that your Dog is not too scared of the water. This in itself will present more challenges and take more time to get them accustomed to it
  2. Bring the proper accessories with you (see above)
  3. Start off by introducing your future SUP Pup to your paddleboard by inflating it and keeping it in your house. Get them accustomed to it and encourage them to jump on it by rewarding them with a treat.
  4. Now bring the SUP outside in the backyard and repeat the same steps as above. Teach your dog the 4 basic commands “Sit, stay, lie down and off”. Practice these essential commands while they are on the board. You can use a leash to guide them the first few times.
  5. Now it’s time to head to the water! Find a peaceful spot away from lots of activities and distractions. Usually training them on weekdays is best. Place the board partially in the water with the tail in the water and nose parked onshore. It’s time for you to sit on the board and Invite your pup to sit on the board and go through the “Sit, stay, lie down and off” commands. 
  6. Now it’s time for the maiden voyage! And by maiden voyage, I mean having the board right by the shore and slowly pushing off. The first few times your dog may panic and try to jump off. As long as you are close to shore you can use a leash to help train them as to what to do. Make sure you run them through the basic commands and reward them with treats when they do so. Keep a close eye on their body language while launching off.
  7. For maximum control hang both your legs in the water while you are nearby the shore. This will give you both better control of your dog and the SUP
  8. Do not go any further until they are calm on the board and obeying your commands.
  9. As your dog starts getting the hang of this try doing this without the leash and venture just a little bit further each time. A lot of the time this will not be a smooth progression so keep your patience and persistence.

Doggy FAQ’s

Below are some common questions I hear from dog owners about paddle boarding with their pooches.

What is Better for a Dog a hard SUP or an ISUP?

Inflatable Paddle Boards are actually preferred for dogs because they are softer and provide more grip for your dogs feet.

Falling on a hard paddle board hurts a lot more than on an inflatable paddle board! Inflatable paddle boards have also come a long way and are closing up to hard boards in terms of on-water performance as more sophisticated technology gets implemented into them. 

Can Dogs Claws Puncture an ISUP?

If your inflatable paddle board is made of more than one layer of PVC this should not be a problem. A lot of times you will hear the advice of “cutting your dogs nails before going on an ISUP”. This is actually more hazardous as freshly cut dog nails have sharp edges to them that can cause more harm to the board than if they were long.

Cut your dog’s nails 5 days to a week before getting on a SUP to allow the freshly cut edges to be dulled for day-to-day life. 

Is a Kayak or Paddle Board Better for a Dog?

A lot of this is down to preference. There is no doubt that a kayak will feel safer for a dog because it has sidewalls that make them feel more secure. You can always go with a kayak paddle board hybrid like the BOTE Deus Aero which has large Drop Stitch sidewalls and allows you to paddle the Board as a kayak or a SUP. 

Paddle Boards have their advantages too though. If your dog loves the water it’s much easier to jump in when they get hot or chase a toy you throw in the water. Just don’t forget a doggy PFD!

What Are the Best Paddle Boards for Dogs?

The best paddle board for dogs in our opinion is the Gili Komodo. It features a deck pad that goes the full length of the board to help with grip and provides a stable enough base for many breeds of dogs with a 33” width. 

For bigger dogs we recommend the Nixy Monterey G4 which features an 11’6” length and 34” width that makes it a stable platform to stand on. It also features an extra air chamber for extra rigidity as well as safety in the very off chance the main one has a leak. 

When looking for an inflatable SUP for your dog, some things to keep in mind include:

  • The Shape and Size of the Board (All Around Boards work great)
  • Board Size (10’6” and 32” width for medium dogs, 34” and 11’6” for large dogs)
  • Stability (Mind the shape and size of the board as well as where your dog is places
  • Deck Pad and Deck Considerations (Look for a deck pad that takes most of the boards length while having the ability to take things like bungee deck rigging off)
  • Materials (Look for Fusion layered or double/ triple PVC layered SUPs when shopping for a SUP for your dog. Avoid Single layer PVC brands as they are cheaply made and won’t last as long.)

What Paddle Board do you use with your SUP pup? Tell us on our Facebook page!

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Hey, My name is Derek Lenze and I'm the owner of Inflatable SUP Authority. I've had over 20 years experience with watersports and over 10 years of various paddle boarding experience. My new-found passion is bringing my stand up paddle boaring knowledge in an explainable and actionable way all the while giving you my unbiased takes.