Weird World of Sports is a goofy New Zealand website that is challenging visitors to “invent your own sport”. Among the six finalists are games such as underwater chess and plank-walking, but my favorite is called “Bruce Boarding”. The inventors list the required equipment to include a harness, a leash, a plywood board, a beach, and “one keen dog … preferably named Bruce”.
What they are actually doing is skimboarding while using a dog to help maintain momentum. Those of you familiar with sports such as canicross, skijoring, or scootering will certainly see a resemblance. As much as these sports are growing in popularity, it wouldn’t surprise me if this new variation also takes off. I imagine it would need a more descriptive name than “Bruce Boarding”; the first that comes to mind is “dog boarding” but that term can be interpreted as kenneling a dog. Maybe “skimdogging”?
Regardless of the name, the sport looks like fun! Personally I’ve never tried skimboarding or even surfing; in fact I rode a skateboard just once (back in high school) and it was enough to demonstrate that I was far better suited to other sports. If only I’d thought to hitch up my dogs I might have stuck with it! Of course I wouldn’t have made it far before earning some road rash, and I do not like the taste of asphalt.
However, the taste of wet sand isn’t nearly so bad. This is one appealing aspect of skimboarding with a dog: for sure I would fall, but falling into the sand and surf is actually exhilarating rather than painful. Being able to fall safely isn’t the only reason to try it out this sport - it’s a challenge, it’s fun, it’s outdoors, it’s at the beach, and best of all it requires the assistance of a dog. Most dogs I know absolutely love to run with their human friends on a beach.
Watching the video, most Bruce Boarders would require the assistance of not only their dog, but also a friend to act as a “rabbit” for the dog to chase, ideally following the water’s edge on the beach. If I tried this alone with my dog Haven, she would pull me up a dune instead; if I tried with my other dog Beacon, he would swim me out into deep water! Given my past experiences on skateboards, I’m probably best suited to being the rabbit in this sport rather than the skimboarder but those of you with more balance while skidding sideways could really do well and maybe pull off a few tricks.
I want to emphasize that I’m trying to promote skimboarding with a dog, not necessarily all the weird sports on that website. I was disturbed to see a featured video of “goat-o-cross” where an adult was trying to ride a goat like a motorcross bike. The goat clearly did not want to participate and the human may well have out-weighed the goat; they could’ve injured the goat trying that stunt. In comparison, Bruce Boarding - or at least, skimboarding with your dog - is quite safe and enjoyable for both dogs and humans.
So if you’re looking for an excuse to drag your friends and family off the sofa, try enticing them with a plywood board and “one keen dog”. You will probably eat some sand and swallow some seawater, but you will also have a blast and your dog will appreciate the activity!
Photo: Weird World of Sports