Dog Water Sport Gear List

6 04 2017

written by: @lifewithmutts

Original Article Here

Spring is here! It’s really starting to warm up in the South and for our pack that means we’re heading back out on the water. Time to dust off the cobwebs on the kayaks and stand up paddle board that have been sitting idly in the garage all winter.

For those of you who have never tried a water sport with your pup, you may have questions about what kind of gear you need. After years of kayaking and SUPing with my dogs, I have a pretty solid list in my head of what I need when we pack up and head to the lake or the river.

Here are our must-have items:


 **Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that if you buy one of the suggested products using the links provided,  we will make a few cents to help keep our blog up and running, at no cost to you.

1. Watercraft (Kayak, SUP, Canoe)

Obviously in order to spent time ON the water, you need some sort of watercraft. Our favorites are kayaks and stand up paddle boards. You don’t have to go out and purchase an expensive kayak or board to try the sport though. Canoe and kayak rentals have always been pretty abundant, but as the sport of SUP continues to grow, there are now a good amount of options to rent them too, many of which are dog friendly. Just make sure you call ahead and let them know that you’re bringing your furry friend!

(Also, don’t forget your paddle. Sounds like a no-brainer, but believe me it happens!)

2. Life Jackets

If you’ve ever rented a kayak or even canoed at scout camp as a kid, bringing a life jacket for yourself when you’re on the water is probably a no-brainer. In fact, many towns and parks mandate that you wear a life jacket on the water, or at least have one with you on your boat/board. But what about your dog? Even if your dog is a great swimmer, if they are new to water sports, they may fall in accidentally and be caught off guard. Better safe than sorry! My dogs can swim and are paddle pros, but I always make sure they’re wearing a life jacket when we kayak and SUP, just in case.

For the last year, we have been using Alcott Mariner Life Jackets,which are a super affordable option at only $26.99. You can read our review here. We are now testing out the new Hurtta Life Savior, which is a more premium jacket. We will post a full review for that shortly as well. (So far we absolutely love them too!)

3. Floating Lead

Another safety precaution that you may want to consider is a floating lead. We always bring one on trips down the river or for open-water paddles, anywhere that has a current or that may be choppy. Even good swimmers can get in over their head in choppy conditions or fast-moving water, making a safety line a really great idea. This will allow you to grab your dog if they fall in the water or swim too far away and get stuck in the current.

Look for a floating lead with a carabiner hook on the end, so you can hook and unhook your dog easily. Never tie a rope to your dog’s collar! If they get tangled on a fallen limb or if the rope gets wrapped around theirs legs, this could be a dangerous situation. You need something that you can detach easily. Also, never use a regular leash or long line that. If you use something that doesn’t float, it adds extra weight as well as increases the chance of your dog stuck on something as the leash drags behind them underwater. We use this 20-foot floating lead from Sport Lines.

4. Water

This is one of those things that may sound like common sense, but it’s easy to forget to bring water when your’e going TO the water. Bring enough for yourself AND your dog(s).  Dogs get hot and dehydrate quickly when you’re out in the middle of a lake, river, or ocean with no shade and sun reflecting off the water.

5. Collapsible Dog Bowl

Don’t forget a dog bowl too! Bringing water for your pup is pretty useless if you end up wasting half of it trying to use your hand as a bowl! We use this small collapsible silicone bowl from Dexas. It ‘s small and lightweight and can be clipped onto your board or kayak with the attached carabiner.

6. Dry Bag or Dry Box

It’s always smart to keep a phone on you in case of emergencies… if you get lost or stranded, injured, etc, it’s important to have a way to tell people where you are. BUT phones are expensive and most of them do not do well when wet, so it’s important to bring a dry bag or a dry box to keep your phone, keys, and any other personal items dry and secure. I picked up this inexpensive dry box a few years ago for under 10 dollars and it’s still going strong. For longer paddles or when I want to bring more than just a phone and keys (snacks, money, dog treats, camera, etc) I use this dry bag from H2Zero.

7. Waterproof Camera or Phone Case

Spending time with your dog on the water is fun. It’s an activity that is sure to make some great memories. Be sure to bring either a waterproof camera like a GoPro or for a cheaper option, pick up a universal waterproof phone case to keep your phone dry so you can capture the highlights!

8. Snacks & Treats

Paddling is a great workout for you and your pup. Bring high-protein snacks like granola bars or trail mix to keep your energy up. Don’t forget treats for your pup too! They need energy just like we do, and they’re also great for training if your dog is new to water sports!

9. Cheap Sunglasses & Flip-flops

You will lose them. Maybe not today, but someday, and you will thank me. Leave the Ray-Bans and Rainbow sandals at home and grab no-name brand shades and shoes, just in case. You’ll care a LITTLE less if they float away (or sink).

Fun extras:

In addition to our must-haves, here are some other ideas to make your day on the water even more fun. A fetch toy that floats is great way to keep your dog entertained while burning off some of their energy! The Ruffwear Lunker is a floating toy that is sure to be a big hit with your water-loving pup. You can also bring a small cooler and find a cute little beach or riverbank to pull off and have a picnic. Also, don’t forget sunscreen! Remember that you aren’t only getting the rays from the sun directly, but also reflecting back at you off the water.

Whatever you decide to do, be sure to stay safe and have fun with your pup!

Want to SUP or Kayak with your pup but don’t know where to start? Check out our “SUP with your PUP” post.

Do you have other gear that you bring on the water with your dog or questions about the gear we use?

Thanks for reading!

Debbie & Roxie

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Paddle board yoga makes waves Yoga-on-the-water classes calming and challenging

1 03 2013

Written By: Kathleen Kenna Special to the Star, Published on Fri Aug 24 2012

What do you call two Toronto women who standup paddle board on Lake Ontario in winter?


Fitness studio owner Gudrun Hardes, 48, and marathoner Diana Turnbull, 47, met on the lake and decided to start a stand up paddleboard (SUP) business.

It just made sense: “We’re out there in our wetsuits in December and January — the only two idiots on the water — and we figured we’re enjoying this so much, let’s do it the rest of our lives,” Hardes recalls.

By May they had opened WSUP, and Hardes, who has been doing yoga for 15 years, was experimenting with doing asanas (yoga postures) on a paddle board as well. They soon launched yoga-on-the-water classes at The Beach.

“People just love it,” says Hardes. “It’s really picking up everywhere.”

Gudrun Hardes (second from left) and students do yoga on stand-up paddle boards on Lake Ontario.

Gudrun Hardes (second from left) and students do yoga on stand-up paddle boards on Lake Ontario.

WSUP has had students aged 8 to 72 since it began offering paddle board yoga at two locations (Woodbine and Balmy Beach) this summer.

“People wanted a little more, as soon as they started ‘getting their legs,’” Hardes says. “With paddle boarding, you get really tight in the legs, so it’s a nice stretch after being out on the board.

“It really helps with your balance; it makes you focus more, and helps improve your posture.”

Yoga paddle boarding involves vinyasa postures, from the sun salutation to lunges. “I do it just for the feel-good aspect,” Hardes says. “Being on the water is so calming; people just gravitate to water naturally.”

Hardes, who can do some of the most difficult yoga poses on a board — including headstands — says she has started introducing subtle yoga moves in her regular paddleboard classes too. “When the water is nice and calm, it helps stretch you out — but it’s not a yoga class,” she stresses.

Paddle boarding is like surfing but more gentle, she adds. Add yoga and “it becomes a real social event. We’re getting a lot more groups who want to try paddleboard yoga.”

As proof, she cites a recent booking: Toronto’s Meet Market Adventures singles’ group.

“Men usually want a private lesson first, because they don’t want to fall in the water in front of a woman.”

Paddleboard yoga removes that concern, because poses are done slowly and with core-building strength and balance.

Kyhiera Machado, a yoga instructor in Santa Cruz, Calif., shows the ease of balancing on a paddle board.

Kyhiera Machado, a yoga instructor in Santa Cruz, Calif., shows the ease of balancing on a paddle board.

There’s some dispute about the origins of paddle board yoga, with both Florida and California claiming that title. Canadian travellers taking classes at resorts from the South Pacific to South America began demanding paddle board yoga at home. Hardes tried it in Spain in May, before starting on Lake Ontario.

“Paddle boarding is the fastest-growing water sport in the world,” says longtime instructor Neil Pearlberg, owner of Santa Cruz Stand Up Paddle Board in California.

He says his son, Quinn, pioneered yoga on the water in 2009 when he was 17 after getting bored teaching an all-women paddle boarding classes at an upscale club in San Jose.

Pearlberg says he expected few takers when he started the classes — but had to call in Quinn as a backup teacher when 60 women showed up.

“After an hour, Quinn says, ‘Dad, I’m bored.’ He doesn’t want to be on the flat water with a bunch of women — he’s a surfer!”

But Pearlberg insisted, so Quinn made his job more interesting by leading students in poses he had learned at yoga classes with his mother.

“We’re in the middle of this lake and he’s doing downward dog, and all my students are saying they want to try that, too.”

Demand soared when Pearlberg began offering classes at outdoor pools later that year.

“Women don’t want to get cold, they don’t want to be in a 50-degree harbour, and they don’t want to know what’s on the bottom of the ocean,” he said. “They want to be in warm water.”

“You don’t have to be good at yoga,” Pearlberg says. “You can be injured (disabled); you can be overweight. If you can sit on a board, you can do it.”

When Pearlberg began classes in 2009, yoga instructors told him “You’re out of your mind,” because they were doubtful that paddle boarders would take to it, he says. “Now, we have classes all over the Bay area.”

Artist Kyhiera Miller, a certified yoga teacher, is among his instructors. Asked about the appeal of yoga on water, the 43-year-old has a one-word reply: “Bliss.”

WSUP classes are $25 for one session; $100 for five; $180 for 10. For more information, contact or call Gudrun Hardes at 416-834-5801 or Diana Turnbull at 416-725-7735.

Original article:

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