Anne and I don't have a dog. We ride tours with the SUP, fast and enduring, even with luggage. We know what it's like to drive with a 20-kilo load. We don't know what it's like when this load suddenly moves, jumps off the board, runs from front to back, between your own legs and back again...
But we exchanged intensive ideas with people who who SUPen with their dog. Or who at least try 😊 Many come to our shop and want a board they can paddle with the dog. And we find that as different as the dogs and people are, so are their experiences, opinions and wishes on the subject.
The wish that unites everyone is: the dog may stand still, stay in the assigned place and enjoy the ride, especially when he's big, please! For this reason, a female paddler even attaches a laundry basket to the front of her board and places her dog in it. Because he loves the water so much that he constantly jumps into it. Getting him back in place is a hassle, as he jumps back in as soon as it's done... Others find that the claws leave clearly visible marks on the board and pad material. Which is of course a pity with a new board. Or the dog slips on the wet, slippery material and cannot find a footing if the pad material does not reach the front of the nose.
Since this joint activity between humans and dogs has changed due to the nature of the offers the same speed of movement very well, we thought about a solution. We are aware that with all the different characteristics of humans and dogs, there is no one solution that is just right for everyone and solves all problems.
But the "Dog Pad" seems to be a pretty good approach:
A dog is always looking for a cozy place? What if you just set it up on the board and that also protects the board? That was the initial spark for the "Dog Pad": The pad is sewn from robust, washable Cordura. It's padded. The edges are neatly lined. The length is 120 cm. There are hooks on the bottom that attach to board mounted D-rings as well as the handle.
The Dog Pad is perfectly matched to the Lite Venture Inflatable SUP "ULTRA": this board has a total of 9 D-rings on the front. The pad stretches from the tip to just before the area of the standing surfaces. Here the pad is stretched tightly on the handle and sits well on the board overall. The board itself has been optimized as a sporty touring board that enables fast touring, but remains stiff and stable even with heavier loads. The board is available in two lengths 11'6"x31" and 12'6"x30" - the pad fits perfectly on the front of both boards and covers the area of the board that is not covered with pad material.
So much for the theory. We tested it: with Cooper, a pretty big hunk weighing 90 pounds, 3 years old. Cooper already has SUP experience. He probably doesn't always want to get on the board with the same enthusiasm, but this time he lets himself be convinced with treats. The dog pad seems to appeal to him, at least he sits down on it and elegantly drapes his long front legs over one another. His look says: Okay, you should cast off 😎
And the team cast off. After a short period of getting used to the board by Cooper's owner Valerie, it really picks up speed. The animal stays on the pad until the team lands on the shore again.
We're eagerly awaiting feedback: maybe the pad is helping Cooper stay still on the board? At first it seems to be the case. It kind of looks like his placemat, doesn't it? At full speed, however, he doesn't want to be so far forward, because the water splashes up at the bow, he doesn't like that and therefore pulls further back towards the middle of the board. With his size, he is no longer completely on the dog pad, but partly on the foot pad of the board. With its weight, this position also stabilizes the board better, as the center of gravity is more in the middle.
Conclusion: Basically, the dog pad is a good solution because it covers the uncomfortable ones D-rings and bungee creates a flat, cushioned surface, protects the board and stays in place while paddling. Does the pad help to keep the dog where you want it to be? This will certainly also depend on the nature of the dog and cannot be proven for everyone.
A note on the Lite Venture ULTRA board: The pads of some boards cover the entire board, in this case an additional "Dog Pad" is then not absolutely necessary. Since a continuously glued pad also makes the board heavier and is generally not needed by the driver at this point, we deliberately used firmly glued pad material on the ULTRA where the driver needs it: in the area of the standing surface and on the kickpad.
The board can be moved quickly and is stable once you get used to it. Anyone who otherwise rides a wider board has to get used to the new feeling of balance, but can paddle faster and with the Lite Venture ULTRA you have a board that can be used for really sporty paddling even without a dog. However, with a dog as big as Cooper, it's stretched to the limit. Anyone who is less sporty or has a heavy dog that behaves more restlessly than our test candidate should try it out in peace and compare it with a wider board.
And what happens to Anne after all the experience? Due to the many positive and also funny encounters with dogs and their owners, she keeps coming back to the dog herself and is actually toying with such a little animal. Wait and see - maybe one of us will soon be on the board with six paws...
Fits all Lite Venture inflatables 11'6" to 14'0" long: All Lite Venture inflatable boards can optionally be used with a dog pad. The pad is securely attached to the 9 D-rings and also to the handle of the board. It can be attached and removed quickly and easily.
This protects the board and the four-legged friend stands / lies comfortably on the padded pad.
With the Dog Pad, the dog can also be prepared for paddling away from the water from home: you can train him to "sit" on the pad and he learns that this is his place. The blanket is therefore already familiar when it comes to the water.
All our boards and products can be tested. It is important to us that everyone has the opportunity to try it before they buy it. Call us, write, drop by the shop or make an appointment. We are happy!