By Lisa PAREDES
Montrose has a four-legged surfing champion. Hanzo the “Samurai Surf Dog,” was recently inducted into the International Surf Dog Walk of Fame in Huntington Beach, along with two other popular surfing dogs, Sugar and Abbie Girl.
The nearly 6-year-old boxer lives with his human family Eric, Miho and Hugo Felland, along with his canine brother Bruno, a miniature Pinscher. Hanzo has been skateboarding since a pup.
“I first noticed Hanzo’s obsession with skateboards as a puppy and had him skating on the board by 10 weeks old, He was happiest when skateboarding down Hollywood Boulevard,” said Eric. “One of my coworkers knew he skated and told me about a surfing competition coming to Huntington Beach so we went to check it out. He was a natural and won Crowd Pleaser his first year.”
Since that first competition in 2009, Hanzo has attracted fans and media coverage from around the world. He has won first or second place in approximately 10 competitions over the past five years, both as an individual and in the tandem division.
Hanzo is a crowd pleaser because of “his enthusiastic, hard-charging style,” added Eric. “When people watch Hanzo surf they leave with the feeling ‘That dog loves to surf.’”
While Hanzo doesn’t get the chance to surf as often as many of his competitors, he stays in shape and works on his balance by skateboarding as often as possible with Eric.
“I really love that we have found what our dog loves to do most and that is skateboarding and surfing!” said Eric. He also added that his family was honored Hanzo was chosen for the inaugural International Surf Dog Walk of Fame.
Hanzo, Abbie Girl and Sugar, along with help from their humans, pressed their paw prints into fresh cement that will be placed along the sidewalk of the International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach. The ceremony in September recognized three of the sport’s most popular and globally-recognized surfing dogs.
More information on So Cal Surf Dogs and teaching canines to surf can be found at http://www.socalsurfdogs.com/teach-your-dog-to-surf.html. For a list of the next local competitions visit http://surfcitysurfdog.com. Hanzo’s latest video can be found at http://youtube/wsHl2QCMvMM.