Dogs 'hang ten' in San Diego surfing championships

Betsy, a seven-year-old Bulldog, rides a wave during the surfing competition. Credit: Reuters

More than 50 dogs of all sizes from across the US gathered along the shore of San Diego, California for an intense day of competitive surfing.

The 7th annual dog surfing competition has become one of the most unique events in Southern California, sparking a growing movement for dog surfing across the globe.

Dogs compete in ten minute heats and are scored on their best two waves. The heats are subdivided into three categories - small dogs, large dogs and tandem dogs.

For many participants, dog surfing is a way to extend fun times on the water to man's best friend.

"I'm a surfer myself, so I think it's great that just not only humans get out in the water, but dogs love water too, so why not get out there and get on the board?" says contestant Chris Caringer.

Winners of the competition receive a holiday and snacks for their pets. All profits from the event are to be donated to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.