It’s a tough call on whether this is a good thing, a bad thing, or somewhere in between. Bono the Surf Dog, who has a zillion times more Instagram followers than most of us, was towed into this outer reef in Hawaii by Garrett McNamara recently with his owner, Ivan Moreira. Riding a SUP, no less.
McNamara surrounds himself with fearless people. And apparently, fearless dogs too, because this was a legit wave, as you can see in the video. While all parties mostly avoided a beating (that we could glean from the approved angles) McNamara took a bit of a beating on his Facebook page: “I’m a huge dog lover and former champion surfer,” wrote Tonya Montgomery in the comments of the video. “I find this to be horrific!!!! I agree with everyone else, what if he falls and is held under those huge waves. Maybe small waves would be fine but not those size waves!!!! Absolutely selfish of owner!!!”
McNamara claimed a world record for a dog on a wave (perhaps jokingly) but it just might be—we can’t confirm that and wouldn’t know where to start. We did get in touch with Ivan’s manager (yes, he and Bono have a manager) to address the question, what if the dog were to take a two or three-wave hold down? “Usually he doesn’t get multiple waves on the head because Ivan is always using his surf skills, and all the security tools and staff,” said Vicente Quinderé Falcão in an email.
And what about all the online haters? “Bono is a dog athlete, he’s surfed since he was 6 months old,” he said. “So he loves to be in the water, but he loves more to be in the ocean getting some waves. People don’t know their history at all. He is a four-time World Champion (of tandem dog surfing). He has a Guinness World Record for longest wave ever surfed by a human and a dog, and we will do a lot more. People will complain and people will love, but only Ivan and Bono will share those moments. And they know, sharing is caring.”
Lots of people seem to care about Bono the chocolate Labrador from Brazil. More than 50,000 of em’ on Instagram. Bono has scored a piece in People magazine, visits kids with cancer on his off days, and is generally a fun-loving pooch. Which probably makes this whole stunt a good thing, given the dog’s history. And if it gives the online haters any solace, he was wearing a life jacket.
4 X World Surfing Dog 🐕 Champ Bono surfing with Derek Rabelo working with Garrett McNamara for Derek’s new film. @bonosurfdog @derekrabeloofficial @polikromia @mcnamara_s @reddigitalcinema @swellnet @mindshiftgear @patagonia_surf @patagonia @lemosimages @kleberhawaii @polikromia #surfing #surfingdog #thebigwaveproject #swellchasers