Surf’s up in Biarritz. The French resort town on the Bay of Biscay in Basque Country draws the world’s top surfers for its spectacular beach break. And now, Biarritz is calling all canines for a dog surfing competition on September 7.

Originally started in California, dog surfing has quickly caught on in France. This “surf chien” contest will be the first of its kind in Europe with ample opportunities for the crowd to marvel as Fido, or shall we say Toutou, hangs 10. Organised by the Bidart-based association Les Toutous Surfeurs (named in homage of the Tontons Surfeurs, who introduced surfing to Europe in 1957), the competition will even welcome débutant(e)s who’ve never set a paw on a surfboard for immersion in the art of canine surfing.

The dogs won’t just be judged on their ability to stay standing while riding a wave, but also on their style and confidence. In the words of the organisers: “The spirit of the competition is focused on the dog’s amusement, not just his master’s.”

Note that a veterinary exam is required for all participants. The association is currently raising funds for the competition through a crowdfunding website. For more information, visit

Pictured here: Louie, a rescue dog from California, who has been surfing for four years. Featured on the Travel Channel, he has won the Championship in Huntington Beach twice. He lives with his owner on a yacht in San Diego. Check out his website:


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Mary Winston Nicklin
Based in Paris, Nicklin is the Web Editor of France Today. She is also the Editor of Bonjour Paris, the site's sister publication. As a freelance journalist, she has contributed to publications like The Washington Post, Condé Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, CNN Travel, Vinepair, Travel Agent Magazine, and Luxury Travel Advisor.


  1. How fun! Biarritz is a great place to visit any time and this just puts the icing on the cake. Great information!